How We Got Hotel Elite Status for 2024

by joeheg

We never stay at a single hotel chain enough to organically earn elite status. While we stayed away from home for over 50 nights last year, our visits were spread out over several different chains, independent properties, and, for one trip, by renting a cabin in the woods.

However, I’ve learned that there are perks to having some level of elite status with hotels, even if it’s only getting a free breakfast or faster internet. I get why people chase status and go on mattress runs to collect nights to reach a higher status level. I’m personally still not going to do it, but now I understand instead of asking, “What’s the big deal about a free breakfast?”

Here’s where we currently sit with our hotel status levels, how we got there and if we’re going to keep it:

Hilton Honors

Both Sharon and I have Hilton Gold status for 2024. Sharon has status by having the Hilton Surpass AMEX card. My Hilton Gold Elite status comes from having the AMEX Platinum card.

I’m happy with keeping Hilton Gold, as I think that’s the sweet spot of the Honors program.

Marriott Bonvoy

Sharon earned Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status through a back door when the Marriott Rewards and SPG programs merged in 2018. Since then, she’s been able to keep that status thanks to Marriott lowering the requirements for several years and, most recently, by having the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX. Thanks to the stay credits from that card and her Marriott Business card, she once again qualified for Platinum status in 2024.

a screenshot of a websiteSince I think Platinum is also the sweet spot of the Marriott Bonvoy program, I’m not sad about getting the status for another year.

I get automatic Gold Elite from having the AMEX Platinum card. We only book a stay under my account if I’m the only one staying for a solo trip or when using my free night certificate from the American Express Bonvoy Card.

IHG Rewards Club

Sharon and I both have Platinum status with IHG by having the IHG Select co-brand credit card.  We also have the IHG Premier card for overlapping benefits and free hotel nights.

Platinum status with IHG also got us a larger room at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport and a late checkout.

a room with a bed and a desk and chairThe only IHG level higher is Diamond Elite, which takes 70 nights to earn.

World of Hyatt

I have Hyatt Discoverist status by holding the World of Hyatt co-brand card, and Sharon has it from the World of Hyatt Business card. It takes 30 tier qualifying nights to reach Explorist and 60 tier qualifying nights for Globalist. I get 5 nights from the Hyatt Credit card.

It’s possible to earn night credits with spending on the World of Hyatt cards, but I’m not going to spend our way to status when we only stay in Hyatt properties for about 10 nights a year.

Wyndham Rewards

Sharon has Diamond elite status with Wyndham by having the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business card. With this status, she was also able to match to Caesar Rewards Diamond.

Final Thoughts

When I consider our hotel status levels, I’m happy with our current positions. In 2023, we spent around 50 nights in hotels. If we were to stick to a single hotel chain, we might be able to achieve elite status. However, since we frequently use hotel points and free night certificates, we are already committed to multiple chains. By obtaining status through credit cards, we can ensure that we receive complimentary internet and, hopefully, a room with a better view than the air conditioning unit or dumpster.

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