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Hotel Status Benefits in Charts

I try to make things I don’t see elsewhere, and hotels make terrible benefit charts. You have to weed through so much junk.

For example, Club Carlson lists “free award nights” (as if anyone else charges for them),  or “points & cash”. These aren’t things that help me understand why I want status, they are just minor details of the program. Like Marriott’s page lists dozens of things, including “Member Exclusive Offers”, “Your preferences remembered”, “Promotion Central”. These are meaningless things that just make the site harder to use, and harder to find the meaningful info.

The other thing is that these benefit charts don’t list alternative ways to earn status. This is how I think all the charts should look. Status earning from credit cards, and just the meaningful benefits…

Skip ahead:


Hyatt Gold Passport Status

Platinum Diamond
Earning 5 stays / 15 nights 25 stays / 50 nights
Status via Credit Card? Chase Hyatt Visa
Points Bonus 15% 30%
Premium Internet Yes Yes
Breakfast Yes
Lounge Yes
2 United Lounge Passes Yes
4 Suites Upgrades Yes

Elite night credit: Paid stays, and cash & points

Status Match? There is often a Diamond status “Challenge” to complete 12 nights in 60 days. But, YMMV.


Hilton HHonors Status

Silver Gold Diamond
Earning 4 stays / 10 nights 20 stays / 40 nights 30 stays / 60 nights
Status via Credit Card? – Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature
– Hilton HHonors American Express
– Citi Hilton Reserve Card
– Amex Hilton Surpass Card
– $20,000 spending in a calendar year /w Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature (or 4 stays in 90 days)
– $40,000 spending in a calendar year /w Citi Hilton Reserve Card
– $40,000 spending in a calendar year /w Amex Hilton Surpass Card
Points Bonus 15% 25% 50%
Premium Internet Yes
Breakfast Conrad, DoubleTree, Hilton, Cuiro, Garden Inn Conrad, DoubleTree, Hilton, Cuiro, Garden Inn
Lounge Yes

Notes:

  •  Silver, Gold, and Diamond get free fitness access, and 5th night free
  • I often get lounge access as a Gold member

Elite night credit: Paid nights, award nights, and cash & points

Status Match? Diamond challenge or “Fast Track” is 21 nights in 90 days. I was given a status match to gold in the past. But, YMMV.


Marriott Rewards

Silver Gold Platinum
Earning 10 nights 50 nights 75 nights
Status via Credit Card? Chase Marriott Rewards Premier
Points Bonus 20% 25% 50%
Premium Internet Yes Yes
Breakfast Yes Yes
Lounge Yes Yes
Partnerships Hertz #1 Club Gold United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status

Marriott Credit Card Elite Night Credits:

  • Marriott Rewards Premier Card
    • 15 elite qualifying nights annually
    • 1 credit per $3,000 spent
  • Marriott Rewards Credit Card
    • 10 elite qualifying nights annually
    • 1 credit per $3,000 spent
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card
    • 15 elite qualifying nights annually
    • 1 credit per $3,000 spent”

Elite night credit: Just paid nights

Status Match? Challenges seem to be given based on the status you’re matching from, and what Marriott status you currently have. But, YMMV.

Note: United Premier Gold status or higher gets you Marriott Gold status.


Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Status

Gold Platinum
Earning 10 stays / 25 nights 25 stays / 50 nights
Status via Credit Card? – Amex Platinum Card

$30,000 spending in a calendar year /w the SPG card 

Points Bonus 50% 50%
Premium Internet Yes Yes
Breakfast Yes
Lounge Yes
10 suite upgrades with 5 days After 50 nights

The SPG credit card doesn’t give status, but it does give elite night credits. SPG card gives 2 stays / 5 nights credit.

Elite night credit: Paid nights, award nights, and cash & points

Status Match? Challenges based on status you are matching from. But, YMMV.


IHG Rewards Club Status & InterContinental Ambassador Status

Gold Platinum Spire IC Ambassador (only good at the ~200 IC Hotels) IC Royal Ambassador (only good at the ~200 IC Hotels)
Earning 10 nights / 10,000 points 40 nights / 40,000 points 75 nights / 75,000 points Buy it for $200 or 32,000 points Invite only (~60+ nights)
Status via Credit Card? IHG Chase card
Points Bonus 10% 50% 100% + 25,000 points
Premium Internet
Breakfast
Lounge
Guaranteed room type upgrade Yes (except on award nights) Yes (except on award nights)

Elite night credit: Paid nights, award nights, and cash & points count towards IHG status. Just paid nights count towrards Royal Ambassador Status.

Status Match? Temporarily discontinued? They were matching to IHG status up to Platinum. Not for Spire, or Ambassador/RA. YMMV.


Club Carlson Status

Silver Gold Concierge
Earning 15 nights / 10 stays 35 nights / 20 stays 75 nights / 30 stays
Status via Credit Card? – Club Carlson Visa – Club Carlson Premier Visa
– Club Carlson Business Visa
Points Bonus 15% 35% 75%
Premium Internet
Breakfast Yes
Lounge

Elite night credit: Paid nights, award nights, and cash & points

Status Match? They will match up to Gold, but not Concierge. But, YMMV.

 

Conclusion

One thing you’ll notice is that IHG has no meaningful benefits actually listed. Yet, it’s easy to think they are all the same when they all list 100 dumb things like “elite phone line” over and over.

Hyatt is my favorite program for benefits. They offer everything the competitors do but better. Like they give suite upgrades you can confirm at the time of booking, which no one else actually does. And they still have a solid points earning and redeeming system. While SPG may have many of the same perks, they are fundamentally the slowest earning program in terms of a free nights.

Club Carlson offers the least amount of benefits, but what you can’t tell here, is that they absolutely give the most free nights per stay… then again their hotels are generally not as nice.

So this page doesn’t talk about quality but it does talk about how to earn status and what that actually gets you, all in one place.

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21 Comments

  1. Nice. As usual you’ve applied order to chaos. A couple of things you might consider adding that I find valuable in these programs:

    – Late checkout. I’m only really familiar with Hyatt so I don’t know what others offer. This one is probably number 2 or 3 for me after suites and maybe lounge access.

    – Status matches to partners. Again, I don’t know what others offer, but Hyatt will status match you to the Mlife loyalty program that is attached to a lot of the most desirable MGM properties in Las Vegas. FWIW, it’s one of the few ways I’ve seen to get a decent level of status in Vegas without actually having to drop a lot of money in the casino.

    Reply
    • I started to do late checkout, but virtually every status comes with “late checkout” and “upgrades”, which on their own are meaningless. Usually it says, upon availability, or something. IHG Ambassador status is always 4pm, in my experience, and that’s nice. But most just say late checkout. My experience is that anyone with any status can get 2pm just by asking.

      In terms of “partner” programs, I can’t think of any other examples for hotel chains off my head.

      Reply
  2. Amex Platinums give SPG Gold. Personal and business cards.

    Reply
    • Thanks. Added.

      Reply
  3. Hey Drew just wanted to let you know that you can sign up for SPG gold status through the Amex Plat card.

    Reply
    • Thanks. Added.

      Reply
  4. Great summary – thanks! Also if you have the AmEx Platinum card you get SPG gold status.

    Reply
    • Thanks Added.

      Reply
  5. Ritz carlton card gives gold status at rc and marriott.

    Reply
    • I don’t think Ritz Carlton Gold status translates to Marriott Gold. At least it doesn’t the other way around. or do you get Marriott Gold status if you use your Marriott number?

      Reply
    • Ritz Carlton card definitely gets you Marriott gold. There really is no distinction between Ritz Carlton points/status and Marriott points/status as far as I can tell…they are one and the same.

      Reply
  6. Great charts! Please correct me if this is no longer the ase but I believe the Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott/Ritz gold status for just having the card, at least for the first year. Thanks.

    Reply
    • I don’t think Ritz Carlton Gold status translates to Marriott Gold. At least it doesn’t the other way around. or do you get Marriott Gold status if you use your Marriott number?

      Reply
    • Ritz Carlton card definitely gives you Marriott Gold status. You have to spend 10K a year I think to keep Gold after the first year. I have Marriott and my husband has Ritz Carlton but they both show up as Marriott numbers in the system. Even though you have to pick one program over the other, it seems to translate back and forth for status.

      Reply
  7. Thank You for all your posts!
    You may upgrade your Hilton hotel maps with 2 new hotels in UFA, Russia which are brand new and cost only 5000 points. Located in great areas of the city with very nice views.

    Also, thank you for your recommendation to book off season AA from Dominican Republic or Jamaica to Europe. It was no availability to Europe from Atlanta but thanks to you we are going to Punta Cana for several days and then flying Air Berlin straight to Dusseldorf for 20000 miles!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting. Glad the tip came in handy!

      Reply
  8. You can also earn SPG Gold by spending $30k in a calendar year on the SPG Amex.

    Reply
  9. Thanks, just added.

    Reply
  10. I just got Gold status with Hilton by spending $20k on the no annual fee Amex Hilton card.

    Reply
  11. Great resource – thanks for making it! Here’s a potential addition for you: are hotel business services complimentary. Hyatt and Starwood seem to waive all printing/faxing/delivery charges for their top tier elites. I can’t find documentation of this, but it’s been 100% consistent for me with both chains, vs. say, 0% as an IHG plat.

    And I’m another who cares about late checkout — Starwood’s 4pm guarantee is significant. And although Hyatt’s is “as available”, I’m actually 100% with them too. Less luck as a Hilton Diamond or IHG plat, unsurprisingly.

    You might consider adding a “partnership” line as you did for Marriot to capture MLife for Hyatt and Delta for Starwood.

    Reply
  12. I generally agree with this post except for its listing only Hyatt’s 4 “confirmable” Diamond suite upgrades (DSUs) and not the complimentary suite upgrades that top elites of other programs get. Hyatt’s DSUs are “confirmable” but NOT guaranteed, which makes them no different than the complimentary suite upgrades og other top elites because they ALL depend on availability. The only difference is that Hyatt DSUs can be confirmed at booking, while other elites need to wait until check-in. However, it makes no practical difference whether an upgrade clears at booking or at check-in as long as it clears when it is AVAILABLE. A couple of major limitations of Hyatt DSUs are that there are only 4 of them per year and that they are good only on paid stays. That is in contrast to, e.g., Hilton complimentary Diamond suite upgrades, which are UNLIMITED and are good even on award stays. Can’t beat that… 😉

    In 2014, I cleared 12 of 12 (100%) Hilton Diamond suite upgrades, i.e., 8 more than a Hyatt Diamond can clear before s/he has to start playing out of pocket or using extra points to see the inside of a suite again.

    Reply

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