Feasibility of going from getting top tier hotel status from credit card?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by corz123, May 11, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. corz123

    corz123 Silver Member

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    Hey guys. I've become more interested in top tier hotel status recently as I've been staying in them more. So my question is with Hilton Gold/Hyatt Platinum that we get from credit cards. How feasible is it to hit the higher level since technically I might have 0 elite nights and only the status from the credit hard. Is there anyway to game or mattress run this? Possibly using cash+points?

    Thanks!
     
  2. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Some of us think there is very little difference between HHonors Gold and Diamond. HHonors Gold is free w/ the premium CCs, and you can get HHonors Diamond simply from CC spend - $40k/year on either of the premium cards. I am content with HHonors Gold and wouldn't put much effort or $ into trying for HHonors Diamond.

    By comparison, Hyatt Platinum is a pretty useless status. Hyatt Diamond is among the best of the top-tier statuses, and it is worthwhile if you're staying in full-service hotels (v. Hyatt House and Hyatt Place). Hyatt points+cash stays count toward qualification, and you can get a few extra stays/nights based on CC spend. But are there Hyatts where you're normally going, and are you willing to pay the premium for them, if any?

    More generally: how many nights/stays will you likely have over a calendar year (on an ongoing basis) without spending extra money chasing status?

    There's a line of thought around here that unless someone else is paying your hotel bills, chasing hotel loyalty perks is not a good value. If you're traveling on your own dime, you can usually do better by going for price/value on individual stays.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
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  3. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I guess your question is answered by @traveltoomuch.
    At least when you are based in the NA, this is at least an option.
    Not here where I am based in.
     
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  4. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    You can also get PT with IHG by getting their card, but Hilton's Gold runs circles around it.

    DTWBOB
     
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  5. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Probably the most interesting "games" are challenges and status matches. Get some status (e.g. HHonors Gold, or Marriott Gold from having UA status), then ask for a match or challenge in a program you prefer.

    But, again, it comes down to your patterns. Will you be making enough stays on an ongoing basis to benefit from and requalify for status? Stays at midmarket properties (e.g. Courtyard by Marriott) will likely not be enhanced by status.
     
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  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    You might also want to look into SPG Amex Personal/Business ... that gives you combinded ~40k SPG Points (I think?) + 4 Stays/10 Nights. You could theoretically use the ~40k SPG points to stay C&P/Free Nights and hotel hop to 25 stays to get you PLT...

    Or like what other have said ... HHonors + $40k Spend.
     
  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I disagree, you often get a room in a better (quieter!!!) part of the hotel which is often all I want/need on a trip -- particularly when I get in before dinner, go out for a bite, get some sleep and leave after breakfast the next morning.. and you can get some bonus points -- and at HGI's gold status equals free breakfast if you're traveling on your own nickel.

    DTWBOB
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It really depends. And it is worthwhile figuring out the value one places on those benefits. E.g., free breakfast is nice, but how much is it worth? I had a good bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee (free refills) for less than $5 this morning. Perfectly good start of the day for me. I don't need or actually benefit (healthwise) from a huge breakfast buffet every morning and certainly wouldn't be interested in paying the cash price that hotels charge for it. Similarly with suites -- I personally don't buy suites because I don't hang out in my room when I am traveling. It's just more space to spread my stuff around (and lose track of it) :)

    Quieter room... please tell the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki to not put Diamonds near the super noisy elevators. Have had that twice my my two years as a Hyatt Diamond.

    Overall, I have come to the conclusion that it's financially advantageous to me to actually buy the benefits I want when I really want them. Want club access when I am traveling with my parents (who really like clubs at some hotels because they aren't jaded frequent travelers)? I'll pay for it explicitly, instead of overpaying the rest of the year by staying at more expensive or inconvenient properties to earn status. And I am certainly not putting all my credit card charges on hotel cards when I could earn more valuable rewards elsewhere. I don't have business expenses to run through the cards, so $40k is a significant portion of my annual spend (and no, not interested in manufactured spend).

    Of course, if I was running a business selling award credit cards, I would tout the advantages of elite status and the amazing suites I get every time I set foot into a Hyatt. "Trip reports" with photos of the "breakfast spread" at the Hyatt Place in Fremont, CA aren't going to sell many Hyatt credit cards..
     
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  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Oh, how original! Let me see...where did I hear that claim before? As it turns out, it is all over the travel blogosphere echo chamber, where one falsehood or discredited idea is advanced by an ignorant blogger and then it is picked up and repeated mindlessly by the others and their readers until it becomes established dogma or The Truth.

    Here are variations on the theme, as bounced off the walls of the blogosphere echo chamber:
    “Hilton Diamond isn’t materially better than Gold” –Gary Leff
    “HH Diamond is only marginally better than Gold” –Scott Mackenzie
    “There’s not much difference between HHonors Diamond and HHonors Gold status in my experience…” –Lucky
    “[The requirement for the HH Diamond lifetime status] seems like a little much to us for a status that isn’t much better than their Hilton Gold status.” –Joe Caldwell

    Well, that's the dogma in the travel blogophere. Out here in the real world, anyone who claims that "there is very little difference between HHonors Gold and Diamond" either has never been a HH Diamond or their idea of the ultimate elite perk is free breakfast, which is really the one perk that HH Golds receive that bloggers love but I skip about half of the time in favor of my beauty sleep!

    Just a few reasons why there is no equivalence between HH Diamond and Gold:
    • Suite upgrades - a Diamonds-only perk, which if you follow the link, will see that I cleared 100% last year. Try that as a HH Gold.
    • Diamond Force - a Diamonds-only perk, follow the link to see a jaw-dropping demonstration of its value as a perk. In my book, it is the ultimate elite perk.
    • Exec lounge access - Diamonds always get access regardless; Golds must pray that they are upgraded to the exec floor to get access to the exec lounge.
    Then the following was announced recently, as if HHonors program managers got really tired of hearing the outdated claim about how Golds are just like Diamonds and decided to put even more distance between the two levels.

    Starting in the second quarter of 2015 when booking directly through Hilton:

    • Diamond members will receive complimentary premium wifi.
    • Hilton HHonors Blue and Silver members will receive complimentary basic wifi.
    • Hilton HHonors Gold members will continue to receive complimentary basic wifi.
    Like I said, anyone who claims that "there is very little difference between HHonors Gold and Diamond" either has never been a HH Diamond or their idea of the ultimate elite perk is free breakfast, which really sets the purported Diamond/Gold equivalence bar very low!

    BTW, the notion of how Hyatt GP Diamond is among the "best top-tier statuses" is debatable considering that the GP program itself is, at best, a work-in-progress...but that I will reserve that debate for another time.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
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  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I was waiting for @NYCUA1K response =)
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Glad I did not disappoint...;)
     
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  12. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I would say @NYCUA1K is the most vocal supporter of the HHonors program here in MP.
    To his credit, he did not blindly support the program and provided experiences to back his assertions.
    Some are pretty lengthy and I blame his professional for training him the way he presents information :)
    Pity that for someone who obviously like and appreciate the program so much would find it hard to attain LT Diamond since I understand he gets that status mainly through high spent at the properties so 1,000 paid nights is as tough for him as others although he will likely "miss" it more than us :D
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am not sure what that means but it sounds like a criticism since I see the word "blame" in there. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I tend to be thorough in presenting my arguments, which I often wish to see others do as well? Please explain...
    Lucky for me I am not interested in a HHonors lifetime membership or lifetime Diamond status, so that I need no "pity"! ;)

    BTW, I do not think it is easy to achieve lifetime top elite status with any of the major hotel programs...

    Also, you are a HH Gold, so let me assure you that it remains the best second-tier status in the business, right up there with Marriott Gold. I will be happy to fall back to HH Gold based on CC when I can longer afford to make HH Diamond... ;)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  14. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Haha. It is not a real criticism. I think there were some comments in the past by others that your posts were lengthy but I attribute that to your work practice. I might have mixed you up but are you (not) some kind of a scientist? My apologies if I goofed.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am a big-time research scientist and supporting what one claims is an integral part of my business. Therefore, I do not apologize for my style of posting since, in my opinion, there are just too many fact-free claims made here and elsewhere that seldom stand to scrutiny. I hope that sets the record straight...;)
     
  16. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    We are presently at the Conrad in Tokyo. As a diamond we were given an absolutely beautiful suite with one of the better views I have ever had in Tokyo.
    There is a huge difference between HH gold and diamond if you care about upgrades.
     
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  17. corz123

    corz123 Silver Member

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    Ok guys. So if I get gold from a credit card...what's the best way to get up to diamond?
     
  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You might want to check out this blog post:

    Hotel Elite Status Match and Challenge Plans for 2015

    The only trouble may be that a Gold status obtained through a credit card may not be eligible for a higher elite status challenge...
     

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