Hotel Cheat Sheet – Earning Elite Status in 2021

With autumn now upon us, you have less than three months to renew or upgrade your hotel chain elite status. If you haven’t been paying much attention to your progress or the general requirements, here’s a quick cheat sheet for you…

Earning Status via Stays / Nights

Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors has already extended the current level of status of its members until March 31st, 2023. (click here for details)

If you are thinking about upgrading your level of elite status, you will need:

  • Gold status – 10 stays, 20 nights or 37,500 base points
  • Diamond status – 15 stays, 30 nights or 60,000 base points

If you had some Hilton nights in 2020, those nights have all rolled forward into 2021. To be clear, ONLY nights have rolled over, not stays or base points.

To further tempt you, ALL nights that you stay in 2021 will roll forward to 2022. Again, NOT stays or base points…

World of Hyatt

  • Globalist status – 30 nights or 50,000 base points
  • Explorist status – 15 nights or 25,000 base points

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott has NOT changed the requirements for earning elite status in 2021, except for an adjustment to the spend needed to achieve Ambassador status.

  • Platinum status – 50 nights
  • Titanium status – 75 nights
  • Ambassador status – 100 nights + $14,000 of pre-tax spend

What Marriott has done (as it did in 2020) is add complimentary elite nights to members’ accounts, based on the status earned in the previous year. You will have already received:

  • Silver members received 5 complimentary elite nights
  • Gold members received 13 complimentary elite nights
  • Platinum members received 25 complimentary elite nights
  • Titanium members received 38 complimentary elite nights
  • Ambassador members received 50 complimentary elite nights

IHG Rewards

  • Platinum status – 30 nights or 30,000 elite qualifying points
  • Spire status – 55 nights or 55,000 elite qualifying points

Credit Card Short-cuts

Hilton Honors

Diamond is automatically given to cardholders with the Aspire card from American Express.

World of Hyatt

5 elite nights are credited annually to Chase co-branded cardholders. You can earn additional elite night credits by spending large sums on your Hyatt card.

Marriott Bonvoy

15 elite night credits are given annually to personal cardholders (either American Express or Chase). You can only earn one set of elite night credits from a personal credit card. Small business owners can get a business card that provides an additional 15 elite nights.

Cards are occasionally available that offer Platinum status to cardholders spending large amounts. However, credit card spend does NOT result in additional elite night credit.

IHG Rewards

Platinum status is automatically given to Premier cardholders (Chase).

Credit card spend usually generates Elite Qualifying Points, meaning that you can spend your way to Spire status if you choose…


The Bottom Line

Hilton Honors might not offer the best elite status benefits – if everybody is elite… then nobody is – but it certainly makes it easy to become and remain a top-tier Diamond member.

The other hotel chains also give their co-branded credit card holders a head start towards elite status, something that makes the rest of the world rather jealous…

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