How To Earn Hotel Status For FREE
Having hotel status at the major hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt entitles you to some very nice perks such as late check-out, free breakfast, complimentary upgrades, and more. And there is an easier way to earn status without having to spend a fortune on multiple hotel stays throughout thewh year.
Most premium travel credit cards along with hotel branded cards offer complimentary hotel status simply for signing up for the card and ranges from the lowest level of status to the top level depending on which card you sign up for. Let’s take a look at the major hotel chains and see how you can earn status the easy way.
One of the largest hotel groups in the world, Hilton offers more than 570 properties across six continents. With brands such as the Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Embassy Suites, Double Tree, Hilton Garden Inn, and more you will certainly be able to find a Hilton property almost everywhere you travel.
The lowest level of the Hilton Honors program is Silver. In order to earn Silver the traditional way, you need either 4 stays at Hilton properties in a calendar year or 10 nights total. As you can see in the chart above, Silver earns you 20% more points on Hilton stays plus a few more perks compared to simply being a Hilton Honors Member.
The easier way to earn Hilton Silver status is by signing up for the American Express Hilton Honors card. Just by signing up for this card you will receive complimentary Silver Status. This card has no annual fee and a sign-up bonus offer of 75k Hilton Honors Points. So if you don’t plan on staying at a Hilton property more than 4 times a year you can still enjoy the perks of Silver without paying a dime.
The mid tier Hilton Honors status will grant you complimentary breakfast at all hotels, along with 80% more points on stays along with the possibility of room upgrades, which can be a valuable perk. In order to earn Gold, you will need to log 20 stays or 40 nights in a calendar year, or earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Points in a calendar year.
There are a few ways to earn complimentary Gold Status with credit cards. The first option is by signing up for the Amex Hilton Honors Ascend Card, which comes with a $95 annual fee and a sign-up bonus of 125k Hilton Honors Points. This card earns 12x points for each dollar spent with you card at Hilton properties, 6x points at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. You will also receive a weekend night reward after the first year card anniversary.
You can also sign up for the American Express Platinum Card in order to receive Gold Status. This card is a better option for you if you want a more versatile card that offers more than just Hilton perks and benefits. Be wary of the $550 annual fee however.
Diamond is the top tier status for Hilton. You can earn Diamond Status with 30 stays, 60 total nights, or by earning 120k Hilton Honors Points in a calendar year. Chances are you will have trouble earning this status unless you are frequent traveler for work or constantly on the road.
The shortcut to Diamond comes from the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card, one of my favorite hotel credit cards on the market today. The card offers a sign-up bonus of 150k Hilton Points, a $250 airline fee credit, and a free weekend night certificate, all for an annual fee of $450. The value of being a Diamond member alone can nearly offset the annual fee if you are a frequent Hilton customer, so this card is a pretty easy choice if you are in the market for a great hotel credit card.
WORLD OF HYATT
Hyatt currently offers 13 brands and 600 hotel properties in over 50 countries. No matter if you are looking for luxury or an extended stay hotel, Hyatt has a property for you.
The lowest tier of Hyatt status, comparable to Silver status from Hilton, is the Discoverist level. This tier can be earned with 10 nights at a Hyatt property, or by earning 25k Hyatt points. This perk will earn you complimentary internet access, late checkout, and the possibility of a room upgrade.
The only Hyatt branded credit card currently on the market is the World Of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase. This card will earn you complimentary Discoverist Status, and comes with a 50k sign-up bonus offer and annual fee of $95. You will also earn a free night at category 1-4 hotels after the first year anniversary, which can easily offset the annual fee.
The new and improved Marriott Bonvoy program represents the merger of the Marriott Rewards, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton programs. Marriott offers plenty of credit card options spanning across both American Express and Chase.
SILVER ELITE STATUS
The lowest Marriott Bonvoy status is the Silver Elite. This can be earned by staying 10 or more nights at Marriott properties. Silver Elite status will grant you 10% bonus points on stays, priority late checkout, and access to a dedicated elite reservation line.
If you want Silver Elite status without the hassle of booking stays, look no further than the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase. Along with automatic Silver Elite status, this card earns you a free night award (up to 35,000 points) each year after account anniversary, and the chance to earn Gold Elite status after spending $35k on purchases. With a 75k point sign-up bonus offer and $95 annual fee, this is not a bad entry level card for Marriott.
You can also earn automatic Silver Elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. This card currently offers a slightly larger sign-up bonus offer of 100k Marriott Bonvoy Points. You will also earn 4x points at US restaurants, gas stations, and wireless telephone services, a benefit you will not find on the Boundless Card. All other benefits match the Boundless Card, and the Business card comes with an annual fee of $125.
GOLD ELITE STATUS
Marriott Gold Elite status can be earned with 25 stays in a calendar year, including redemption nights. Gold Elite status will earn you 25% bonus points on stays, enhanced room upgrades, and 2 p.m. late checkout.
There is no need to worry about staying 25 nights at Marriott properties if you have the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. The Brilliant Card will earn automatic Gold Elite status, 6x points for each dollar spent at Marriott properties, 3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, 1 free night award (up to 50k points), a $300 statement credit for eligible purchases at Marriott properties, one of my favorite hotel credit card perks, and a 100k points sign-up bonus offer. The card also comes with a $450 annual fee, but with the sign-up bonus and $300 statement credit alone, this card will easily provide positive net balance in the first year.
The American Express Platinum Card also offers complimentary Gold Elite status. If you stay at both Hilton and Marriott properties frequently, this card may be the better option for you.
As you can see, earning hotel status can be done the hard way or the easy way. Hopefully you prefer the easy way, which is signing up for a credit card that grants automatic status. If you properly utilize perks such as room upgrades and bonus points for stays, you can receive a ton of value from having status with these major hotel chains.
Which hotel status do you have? Which do you have your eye on? Let me know down below!