The Best Mid-Tier Hotel Elite Status and How To Earn It The Best Mid-Tier Hotel Elite Status and How To Earn It

The Best Mid-Tier Hotel Elite Status and How To Earn It

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Many of the major hotel chains offer a loyalty program that recognizes and rewards frequent guests. Most of these programs offer several tiers of elite status levels, allowing members to earn more perks as they climb the ranks. But, in many ways, mid-tier hotel elite status is the sweet spot.

Traditionally, the only way to earn elite status with a hotel loyalty program was to complete the required number of stays or nights. Not anymore. As hotel brands compete to fill beds and increase occupancy rates, rewards programs now offer multiple paths to reach elite status.

You can earn anywhere from mid- to top-tier elite status as a benefit of select credit cards, through status matches and reciprocal agreements with airlines, via promotions, and occasionally even through a status challenge. This article examines which hotel programs offer the best mid-tier elite status, as well as tips for earning that status.

Choice Privileges Platinum

Choice Privileges is known for its budget-focused hotels, but it does have some premium offerings, such as Cambria and the Ascend Hotel Collection. Plus, Choice completed its integration with Radisson Rewards Americas in 2023, adding even more valuable options for hotel stays. If you haven't previously considered the benefits of Platinum, Choice's Privileges mid-tier elite status, now is a good time to do so.

a Comfort Inn & Suites hotel with logo above the entrance
Credit: Choice Hotels

Choice Privileges Platinum benefits

  • 25% bonus points on stays
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Early check-in and late checkout
  • Welcome gift of bonus points or a snack and beverage
  • Space-available room upgrades at Cambria and Ascend Hotel Collection brands worldwide and Radisson, Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Radisson Collection, Radisson Individuals, and Park Plaza brands in North America, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean

How to earn Choice Privileges Platinum from stays

Choice Privileges Platinum requires 20 elite night credits. Award stays and points plus cash bookings count toward elite status.

Cards that award Choice Privileges Platinum as a benefit

Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard® Credit Card offers Platinum status as a built-in benefit.

Other ways to earn Choice Privileges elite status

Those with the $0-annual-fee Choice Privileges® Mastercard® Credit Card automatically earn 10 elite night credits each year, which is the number of nights needed for Gold status.

Choice Privileges also has a status match program and will match you up to Platinum with proof of your elite status in another hotel rewards program.

Hilton Honors Gold

Gold is Hilton Honors’ mid-tier elite status and offers some of the best mid-tier status benefits — especially when combined with the global reach of the Hilton Honors program. Free breakfast from a mid-tier program is always going to be a value winner. Plus, Hilton Honors elite status unlocks a fifth night free when redeeming Hilton points for your stay, which can drop the cost of redemptions by up to 20%.

Enjoy mid-tier hotel elite status at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Credit: Hilton

Hilton Gold benefits

  • 80% bonus on all Hilton Honors base points
  • Receive every fifth night free on award stays
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Daily food and beverage credit at U.S. hotels or continental breakfast at non-U.S. hotels
  • Space-available upgrades at Waldorf-Astoria, Conrad, Curio, Hilton and DoubleTree

How to earn Hilton Gold from stays

Hilton Gold typically requires 40 nights, 20 stays, or earning 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points. Award stays count toward elite status.

Cards that award Hilton Gold as a benefit

Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Related: Earn Elite Status in Multiple Programs With 1 Credit Card

Other ways to earn Hilton Honors elite status

The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers complimentary Hilton Silver status with a fast track to Gold after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Want to earn even higher elite status? The $550-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has top-tier Diamond elite status as a complimentary benefit.

Hilton Honors also has a status match program and will match you up to Gold with proof of your qualifying elite status in another hotel rewards program. You will then have 90 days to complete the requirements to retain your Gold status or earn Diamond status.

Related: Do Any Credit Cards Provide Top-Tier Hotel Elite Status?

IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite

IHG offers a relatively easy points-earning structure, budget redemption options, and elite rollover credits. The new IHG One Rewards program added some elite status perks in June 2022, making it even more worthwhile to have its mid-tier Platinum Elite status than it was in the past.

Enjoy mid-tier hotel elite status at the Hotel Indigo Phuket
Credit: Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong

IHG Platinum Elite benefits

  • 60% point bonus
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Welcome amenity
  • Complimentary room upgrades (if available)
  • Points don't expire
  • Guaranteed room availability
  • Early check-in (subject to availability)
  • 2 p.m. late checkout (if available)
  • IHG reward night discounts

How to earn IHG Platinum Elite status from stays

IHG Platinum Elite requires 40 nights or earning 60,000 qualifying points. Award stays count toward elite status.

Cards that award IHG Platinum Elite as a benefit

Other ways to earn IHG One Rewards elite status

If you have the IHG One Rewards Premier Card or IHG One Rewards Business Card, you can earn Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 or more in purchases on your card in a calendar year.

With the $0-annual-fee IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you automatically get Silver Elite status and can earn Gold Elite status by spending $20,000 in a calendar year.

IHG also sometimes offers status challenges or fast-track promotions to earn status, though there are no current promotions at this time.

Related: How to Get Hotel Elite Status for Free (or Almost Free)

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite

Gold Elite is the second tier of Marriott Bonvoy elite status. While not quite as valuable as Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold Elite still offers plenty of benefits — and it's slightly easier to earn.

Enjoy mid-tier hotel elite status at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa. Credit: Marriott

Marriott Gold Elite benefits

  • 25% bonus points
  • Enhanced room upgrade (based on availability)
  • 2 p.m. priority late checkout (based on availability)
  • Welcome gift of points
  • Complimentary enhanced in-room internet
  • Ultimate reservation guarantee

How to earn Marriott Gold Elite from stays

Marriott Gold Elite requires 25 elite night credits in a calendar year. Award stays count toward elite status.

Related: Last-Minute Strategies To Reach Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

Cards that award Marriott Gold Elite as a benefit

Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Other ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy elite status

The refreshed Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card now gives cardholders automatic Platinum Elite status and 25 elite night credits each year — the only Marriott credit card to do so.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, Marriott Bountiful, and Marriott Bonvoy Business Card all offer 15 elite night credits each year. In addition, you can earn 1 elite night credit toward status for every $5,000 you spend on the Marriott Boundless.

The 15 elite night credits from these cards are enough to earn Marriott Silver Elite status automatically. Unfortunately, you can only earn 15 total elite night credits (or 25 in the case of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card) from personal cards, even if you hold more than one.

If you have both a business and a personal card, it's possible to earn a total of 30 nights toward status qualification (or 40 in the case of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card). As of July 21, 2022, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card added Gold Elite status as a complimentary benefit, so those 30 elite nights will give you a head start toward reaching Platinum Elite status.

Another way of earning Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy is the reciprocal agreement with United MileagePlus through RewardsPlus. United members who have earned Premier Gold status can register for Marriott Gold Elite status as one of the benefits.

Related: Start the Year With up to 40 Marriott Elite Night Credits

Radisson Rewards Premium

While the Radisson Rewards Americas program has been acquired by and integrated into Choice Hotels, the international Radisson Rewards program is still around. Unfortunately, Radisson gutted its valuable rewards program in October 2022, changing from fixed award pricing to dynamic pricing based on the hotel's cash rate. However, having mid-tier Premium status may still be worth considering — particularly if you travel frequently to Europe or the Middle East.

the Radisson Blu hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia
Radisson Blu in Tbilisi, Georgia. Credit: Radisson

Radisson Premium benefits

  • Earn 27 points per dollar spent on stays
  • Discount Booster option to receive up to 20% discount on bookings
  • Early check-in and late checkout (if available)
  • Complimentary room upgrade to the next category (if available)
  • 10% discount on food and beverages

How to earn Radisson Premium status from stays

Radisson Rewards Premium elite status only requires five nights or three stays. Stays booked with points or a combination of points and cash count toward elite status.

Cards that award Radisson Premium as a benefit

None. All Radisson credit cards were discontinued in 2022.

Other ways to earn Radisson Rewards elite status

Radisson Rewards has a status match program and will match you up to its Premium tier with proof of your elite status in another hotel rewards program. You are eligible as long as you did not receive a status match within the last five years. Status matches can be requested by using the online contact form. If granted, the status match will be valid for the current program year only.

Related: All Hotel Elite Status Match & Fast Track Opportunities

World of Hyatt Explorist

Hyatt Union Square front door
Hyatt Union Square. Credit: Hyatt

World of Hyatt offers arguably the most valuable top-tier status at its Globalist level. Unfortunately, Hyatt doesn’t offer the same level of benefits for its mid-tier status: Explorist.

While World of Hyatt Explorist status requires slightly fewer nights to earn compared to the competition, it's not as easy to earn. World of Hyatt elite status is not easily earned through credit cards. Plus, Hyatt doesn't offer a fourth- or fifth-night-free benefit like other hotel programs. All things considered, Hyatt is still lagging behind the competition when it comes to mid-tier status.

World of Hyatt Explorist benefits

  • 20% bonus earnings on paid stays
  • Complimentary premium internet
  • Upgraded room — excluding club-level rooms and suites (based on availability)
  • 2 p.m. late check-out (as available)
  • Earn Hyatt points from American Airlines flights
  • 72-hour room guarantee

Plus, if you earn Explorist by staying 30 nights at Hyatt, you'll earn four Club Lounge access awards — two club lounge awards after 20 nights, then two more club lounge awards plus a Category 1–4 free night award once you reach 30 nights — through the Hyat Milestone Rewards program.

How to earn Hyatt Explorist from stays

World of Hyatt Explorist elite status requires one of the following:

  • Staying 30 nights — including award stays
  • Earning 50,000 Base Points
  • Hosting 10 meetings or events

Cards that award Hyatt Explorist as a benefit

No World of Hyatt credit cards offer Hyatt Explorist as a direct benefit. Both the The World of Hyatt Credit Card and World of Hyatt Business Credit Card only offer entry-level Discoverist elite status. However, you can use your World of Hyatt credit cards to help you spend your way toward elite status.

Those with the The World of Hyatt Credit Card earn five elite qualifying nights each year as a benefit of holding the card. Plus, you'll receive two elite qualifying nights toward Explorist or Globalist status for every $5,000 you spend on the [CC_AW_FullName slug=WOHCard] in a calendar year.

Meanwhile, those with the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card earn five elite qualifying nights for every $10,000 spent annually. This card doesn't offer any complimentary night credits to start the year, however.

Other ways to earn World of Hyatt elite status

World of Hyatt members who also have American Airlines AAdvantage elite status can fast-track their way to Hyatt elite status by participating in a challenge promotion.

Related: How To Receive Elite Hotel Benefits Without Elite Status

Wyndham Rewards Platinum

Mid-tier Platinum status with Wyndham Rewards doesn't offer much to entice potential guests to switch their stays to its hotel program. Only Wyndham Diamond members receive the program's best status benefit: suite upgrades.

a pool and deck chairs at a hotel
Wyndham Garden Cancun Downtown. Credit: Wyndham

And while it's true that Wyndham Platinum members can match to Caesars Rewards Platinum, the Caesars match is most useful for Wyndham Diamond members. That's because you can match to Caesars Diamond to receive benefits such as waived resort fees, a $100 celebration dinner, and a complimentary stay at Atlantis in The Bahamas.

Wyndham Platinum benefits

  • 15% bonus points
  • Early check-in and late checkout (subject to availability)
  • Status match to Caesars Rewards Platinum tier
  • Avis and Budget car rental upgrades

How to earn Wyndham Platinum from stays

Wyndham Platinum requires 15 qualifying nights in a calendar year. Award stays count toward elite status.

Cards that award Wyndham Platinum as a benefit

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card offers complimentary Platinum status.

Other ways to earn Wyndham Rewards elite status

The $0-annual-fee Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card offers complimentary Gold status just for having the card.

Want even higher elite status? The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Card offers top-tier Diamond status as a complimentary benefit. And Diamond status earned from the Wyndham business credit card qualifies for matching to Caesars Diamond status.

Wyndham Rewards also has a status match program and will match you up to Diamond with proof of your qualifying elite status in another hotel rewards program. You will then have 90 days to complete the requirements to retain your status. Keep in mind that if you receive Wyndham Platinum or Diamond through a status match, you will not be eligible to match to Caesars Rewards.

Which Hotel Mid-Tier Elite Status Is Best?

The answer of which mid-tier hotel elite status is best likely won't be the same for everyone. But, we certainly have an opinion. For us, the first prize goes to Hilton Honors Gold as the best mid-tier hotel elite status among hotel chains. Runners-up are Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and the much-improved IHG Platinum Elite status.

Free breakfast (or a food and beverage credit in the U.S.) and the fifth night free add tangible value to Hilton Honors Gold status. These benefits will save you money over the long term, as long as you use them. And with multiple card cards offering Hilton Gold status — or an easy fast-track to Gold — as a benefit, it's one of the most accessible elite tiers on the market.

As far as rewards cards go, if you are looking to get mid-tier hotel elite status across multiple programs, the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum Card are hands-down winners — offering Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Gold as a benefit via complimentary enrollment.

What do you think is the best mid-tier hotel elite status? Let us know in the comments.

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