Earn Elite Status in Multiple Programs with 1 Credit Card

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There are two rewards cards that stand out from the crowd when it comes to earning elite status. The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express hold a special place in the points and miles world, granting elite status across multiple loyalty programs and opening up access to elite benefits at luxury hotels through Amex Platinum programs like The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts.

Earning elite status within a loyalty program is one of the easiest ways to improve the travel experience. You can score free room upgrades, gain access to the hotel lounge for evening drinks and canapés, earn increased points for stays, and in some cases, enjoy breakfast on the house.

Achieving status in a loyalty program can take time and significant financial investment, however, often requiring 25-50 nights with the hotel chain to achieve even mid-tier elite status.

Elite status welcome gift
Welcome gifts are just one of the perks you can expect when you achieve elite status

The good news for loyalty members is that there’re other methods to attaining the same level of recognition and benefits, the easiest of which is acquiring the right credit cards.

IHG Rewards Club and Club Carlson both offer mid-tier elite status as a benefit of low-fee co-branded credit cards like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card. While the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card earns base level Silver status, plus elite night credits towards higher elite levels, on top of a generous welcome bonus and other perks.

The merger between Marriott and Starwood opened up new opportunities for the two platinum cards. On top of some positive changes to the business card’s benefits like 5X points on airfare and receiving 35% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points, you can now take advantage of status with Marriott Bonvoy across the combined Marriott portfolio, increasing the number of hotels and resorts where you receive elite benefits.

 1 Credit Card = Elite Status with Multiple Programs

The Amex Platinum currently earns elite status in the following programs.

  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
  • Avis Preferred®
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards®
  • National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive

It also offers reciprocal earning agreements with these airlines.

  • Emirates – YourWorldRewards® with Marriott Bonvoy and Emirates Skywards®
  • United – RewardsPlus with Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus

Highlights of The Platinum Amex Cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual Fee$695
Welcome Bonus Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • Earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year).
  • Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • New Cardmembers: Earn 10X points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual Fee$595
Welcome Bonus Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® where available and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year
  • 1X point on other purchases
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.

Earn Hotel and Airline Elite Status the Easy Way

Another alternative to earning elite status with the Amex Platinum, which we covered in another post, is earning top-tier elite status through Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers one of the easiest methods of attaining the top level of benefits with Marriott, also gaining elite status or benefits with 2 airlines after reaching the spending requirement. The card does have an annual fee of $450 - Rates & Fees, so it’s worth weighing up whether you can maximize the benefits of the card before signing up.

Marriott Bonvoy offers a fast-track to Platinum by spending $75K in a calendar year on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, which opens up great status match opportunities. You’ll qualify for:

Final Thoughts

If it’s elite status with a loyalty program that you’re chasing, without having to do the legwork, the Amex Platinum, Business Platinum Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offer alternatives to the traditional path of racking up night after night in a hotel to reach an elite tier.

Amex is working hard with the Platinum cards to make them more competitive with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and with recent changes to cards, plus the Marriott merger, the value proposition is swinging in a positive direction.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees)

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