In the spring of 2020, all major hotel chains extended the elite status of everybody. No hotel chain was willing to take the risk of its most loyal customers losing their elite status and moving their business elsewhere.
This generosity does not appear likely to continue in 2021 – hotel chains need to tempt guests back into hotel beds – but instead we are seeing double elite credit promotions and a loosening of qualification criteria.
So here’s how to achieve elite status in 2021… Each chain offers several tiers of elite status, but I will only mention those that are worth aiming for.
(I’m not here to sell you credit cards, but of course there are some cards available in the US market that render the following moot…)
World of Hyatt
If you achieve or renew elite status with World of Hyatt during 2021, your status will be valid until 28 February 2023.
Hyatt has cut its targets in half. As a result, you require:
- Globalist – 30 nights or 50,000 base points (i.e. $10,000 of pre-tax spend)
- Explorist – 15 nights or 25,000 base points (i.e. $5,000 of pre-tax spend)
Although Globalist is well worth it in its own right, it must be said that Hyatt’s most attractive perks don’t come with elite status per se; they come from picking up “Milestone Rewards” during the year. Hyatt has NOT changed the requirements for Milestone Rewards. As a result, you will still need to stay 50 or more nights in 2021 if you want to earn the suite upgrade certificates that allow you to confirm those seven-night complimentary suite upgrades.
If you achieve or renew elite status with Hilton Honors during 2021, your status will be valid until 31 March 2023.
Hilton has cut its target in half as well. As a result, you require:
- Diamond status – 15 stays, 30 nights or 60,000 base points (i.e. $6,000 of pre-tax spend)
- Gold status – 10 stays, 20 nights or 37,500 base points (i.e. $3,750 of pre-tax spend)
Hilton Honors has also given its members a head start, rolling over ALL nights from 2020. To be clear, ONLY nights have rolled over, not stays or base points. So, if you managed to stay enough nights with Hilton during 2020, you might have already re-qualified for Gold or Diamond status.
If you achieve or renew elite status with IHG Rewards during 2021, your status will be valid until 31 December 2022. (or shortly thereafter)
IHG Rewards has relaxed its requirements by approximately 25%. As a result, you require:
- Spire status – 55 nights or 55,000 elite qualifying points (i.e. $5,500 of pre-tax spend)
- Platinum status – 30 nights or 30,000 elite qualifying points (i.e. $3,000 of pre-tax spend)
If you are interested in IHG status – even though its benefits are somewhat sparse when compared to other chains – you might want to consider the ongoing promotion that is offering 2,000 Elite Qualifying Points for every two paid nights before March 31st.
If you achieve or renew elite status during 2021, your status will be valid until 28 February 2023.
Marriott has NOT changed its requirements for reaching elite status in 2021, except for an adjustment to the spend needed for Ambassador status.
- Ambassador status – 100 nights + $14,000 of pre-tax spend
- Titanium status – 75 nights
- Platinum status – 50 nights
What Marriott is doing instead (a repeat of what it did in 2020) is adding complimentary elite nights to members’ accounts, based on their status earned in the previous year. This has already taken place, so…
- Silver members have received 5 complimentary elite nights
- Gold members have received 13 complimentary elite nights
- Platinum members have received 25 complimentary elite nights
- Titanium members have received 38 complimentary elite nights
- Ambassador members have received 50 complimentary elite nights
Until April 27th, Marriott is running a double elite credit / double points promotion on paid stays of 2 nights or longer. Between any complimentary elite nights and the double credit promotion, you can easily reach your desired level of status by the end of April…