How To Receive Elite Hotel Benefits Without Elite Status How To Receive Elite Hotel Benefits Without Elite Status

How To Receive Elite Hotel Benefits Without Elite Status

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Holding elite hotel status is a surefire way to enhance your hotel stays. Perks like welcome amenities, bonus points, early check-in, late checkout, free breakfast, and complimentary room upgrades improve the hotel experience at no additional cost.

But, if you don’t travel regularly for business or pleasure, it can be difficult to collect enough nights within one hotel program to reach elite status, let alone across multiple programs. There is also the issue that chain hotels have a limited footprint in some areas of the world, restricting the number of destinations where you can enjoy your elite status benefits.

One possible solution to getting elite-like perks without holding elite status is by using luxury hotel collections offered by American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Visa, and Mastercard. While the perks only apply to paid stays, you can access luxury hotels all over the globe at competitive rates and receive complimentary elite benefits similar to what you’d receive as a mid or top-tier elite member within the hotel’s loyalty program.

To access these benefits, you must hold an eligible credit card within the program and book your stay through the provider’s travel service or portal, such as American Express Travel or Chase’s Luxury Hotels & Resorts Collection website.

The six programs covered are:

  • American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts
  • Capital One Premier Collection
  • Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Citi Luxury Collection
  • Visa Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Mastercard® Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio

All six are worth a look. An important point to keep in mind, if you're deciding whether to book through one of these programs or direct with a hotel, is that it is highly likely that you'll be booked on a points/elite night eligible rate, which means these nights may count towards your required annual total if you're chasing elite status and staying at a hotel that participates in your preferred loyalty program. It's not a guarantee, however.

Overview of Luxury Hotel Programs

a luxury hotel hut with private plunge pool nestled among trees
Keemala in Phuket, Thailand. Credit: Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Each luxury hotel program offers perks for booking accommodations through its portal or program. Common perks include space-available upgrades at the time of check-in, an on-property credit to use during your stay, or complimentary Wi-Fi. Access to any of these programs depends on which credit card you hold.

Below is an overview of luxury hotel programs accessed through credit card membership.

Hotel Program NameWho Gets Access?Guaranteed BenefitsAdditional BenefitsWhat Can On-Property Credit Be Used For?How to BookCan You Book With Points?
American Express Fine Hotels + ResortsHolders of The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, or Centurion® Card from American ExpressDaily breakfast for two people

Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout

Complimentary Wi-Fi

$100 Experience Credit to be used at the hotel
5x points per dollar spent on eligible prepaid FHR stays

Room upgrade at check-in, subject to availability

Noon check-in, when available

Up to $200 annual prepaid hotel credit when paying with Amex Platinum (The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two night stay)
Experience credit varies by property. Typical options include spa visits or food and beverage purchases.Online at the FHR website or by calling 800-525-3355Yes (worth 1¢ apiece)
Capital One Premier CollectionCapital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Business cardholdersDaily breakfast for two

Complimentary Wi-Fi

$100 experience credit to use during your stay
Earn 10x miles per dollar spent on Premier Collection bookings

Room upgrade, when available

Early check-in and late checkout, when available

Can use the card's annual $300 travel credit toward these bookings (will not earn 10X miles on the travel credit portion of the booking)
Qualifying charges will be credited at time of checkout and vary by location.Online at Capital One Travel Premier Collection websiteYes (worth 1¢ apiece)
Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionThose with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, J.P. Morgan Reserve card, United℠ Explorer Card, United Gateway℠ Card, United Club℠ Infinite Card, United Quest℠ Card, and United℠ Business CardDaily breakfast for two

A special benefit unique to each property, worth $100

Complimentary Wi-Fi
Room upgrade, if available

Early check-in, if available

Late check-out, if available

Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use the card's $300 annual travel credit toward these bookings
Special benefit uses vary by property.Online at or by calling 855-234-2542No
Citi Luxury CollectionCiti Prestige® Card and Citi Premier® Card cardholdersDaily breakfast for two people

Complimentary Wi-Fi for the length of your stay

$100 on-property credit
Room upgrades at check-in when available

Early check-in and late checkout based on availability

Can combine with Prestige Card fourth night free

Can combine with Citi Premier $100 hotel credit
Varies by property. Credit may come in the form of a gift card or credit on final bill.Online at the Citi Travel with website or by calling 800-THANK-YOUYes (worth 1¢ apiece)
Mastercard® Luxury Hotel & Resorts PortfolioAnyone with a World Elite Mastercard®Complimentary daily breakfast for two

Additional bonus amenity, varies by location. Could be up to $100 hotel credit or other experience.
Complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability at check-in

Early check-in, subject to availability

Late check-out, subject to availability
Additional bonus amenity varies by locationOnline at travel.mastercard.comNo
Visa Luxury Hotel CollectionVisa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholdersComplimentary continental breakfast

$25 food or beverage credit

VIP Guest status
Room upgrade upon arrival, when available

Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available

3 p.m. check-out upon request, when available
Food and beverageOnline at visaluxuryhotelcollection.comNo

Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts is only available to those with the Amex Platinum, Business Platinum Card, and Amex Centurion Card.

You must book through the Platinum Travel Service, Business Platinum Travel Service, Centurion Travel Service,, any American Express Travel office, or the Agency Services Desk for the perks to apply.

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits

A screenshot of American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits.

Four of the six Amex benefits are guaranteed, including the guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, which is exclusive to Amex and a highlight of the listed benefits.

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary experience credit valued at $100
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • 12 p.m. early check-in, when available

It’s worth noting that the free breakfast and $100 experience credit are applied even if the daily hotel rate falls under $100. That's not a situation likely to happen often with hotels of this caliber, but it's a steal if you can find a cheap overnight stay.

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts hotel selection

A screenshot of the Find Your Kind of Luxury hotel search tool on the FHR website.

Amex lists over a thousand hotels in its Fine Hotels + Resorts collection, which you can search by vacation type on the dedicated FH+R directory website. Filters include ambiance, environment, guest experience, and features and activities. If searching from the Amex Travel home page, a simple button on the left side also allows you to filter for Fine Hotels + Resorts properties only.

It's also worth pointing out that the Amex Platinum offers up to $200 in statement credits annually toward prepaid hotel bookings with Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection. (Hotel Collection bookings require a minimum two-night stay to use your $200 credit). This can really reduce the cost of your stay while still enjoying the perks mentioned above.

Capital One Premier Collection

A screenshot of the homepage of the Capital One Premier Collection website

The Capital One Premier Collection is available exclusively to those who hold a Capital One Venture X or Capital One Venture X Business. The collection can be accessed through Capital One Travel.

When searching for hotels through Capital One Travel, you'll have the option to search Premier Collection properties exclusively. All you need are your dates, location, and number of travelers.

Capital One Premier Collection benefits

Capital One guarantees four benefits when booking Premier Collection hotels, including 10x per $1 spent on each booking. There are three additional benefits that depend on availability:

  • Earn 10 miles per dollar on each booking
  • Complimentary $100 experience credit
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Room upgrade, when available
  • Early check-in, when available
  • Late checkout, when available

The experience credit can be used towards at least one food and beverage experience and various other expenses, such as spa treatments, that can be charged to your room. This perk will vary by property.

Capital One Premier Collection hotel selection

Capital One doesn't advertise how many properties are part of the Premier Collection of hotels and resorts. However, it does boast that the hotels that are included in the Premier Collection are one-of-a-kind resorts, hotels, and other accommodations, and Capital One mentioned at launch that the properties list is constantly expanding. You could find private islands and villas in the collection, as well.

A screenshot of Premier Collection search results

Because each property is hand selected, there don't ever seem to be a ton of search results in any given city. When searching, you'll find that there's no way to further filter down results (by neighborhood, by features, etc.), but you can view hotels on a map to help narrow down your location.

Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

A screenshot of the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection homepage.

The Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC) is available to those with certain United co-branded credit cards and those with either the Sapphire Reserve or J.P. Morgan Reserve card. You'll need to enter the first six digits of your eligible card number to access the website.

A screenshot of the popup to choose your credit card on the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection website.

The full list of cards is as follows:

Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort collection benefits

Unlike the majority of Amex’s perks, the bulk of Chase benefits are left up to the discretion of the participating hotel. You’ll receive daily breakfast for two and the unique property perk, which might include lunch or dinner for two, a spa treatment, golf green fee waivers, a welcome gift, or airport transfers. The early check-in/late checkout and room upgrades are all “if available.”

Listed benefits include:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • A special benefit worth up to $100, unique to each property
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Room upgrade, if available
  • Early check-in, if possible
  • Late check-out, if available

Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort hotel selection

Chase doesn’t list participating hotels in a directory, and there is no interactive map allowing you to search by region. Instead, you have to search each location manually via the search box on the homepage. However, you can view a map of your results after searching.

Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection search results map for Bangkok

Chase advertises that over 1,000 properties participate in the program. The hotel selection covers every popular destination we entered, although cities in off-the-beaten-path regions may offer fewer options to choose from.

Citi Luxury Collection

A screenshot of the Citi Travel with screenshot

Citi Luxury Collection is a collection of four- and five-star accommodations exclusively available to those with a Citi Premier or Prestige Card (no longer open to new applicants). Cardholders can earn up to 10x Thank You Points, the bank's travel rewards currency, on hotels, rental cars, and activities booked through the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.

Citi Luxury Collection benefits

The Citi Luxury Collection comes with a few guaranteed benefits and some that are based on availability:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • $100 on-property credit
  • Room upgrades at check-in, when available
  • Early check-in and late checkout, when available

Conveniently, there are no minimum stay requirements when booking hotels through Citi Luxury Collection, making it a great option for one-night stays.

However, if you're in need of a four-night stay or longer and you hold a Prestige Card, you can stack the fourth-night-free benefit with the other perks available when booking Citi Luxury Collection hotels. This benefit is available twice per year. Alternatively, if your reservation costs $500 or more, you can get $100 back as a statement credit when paying with the Citi Premier. This perk is available once yearly.

Citi Luxury Collection hotel selection

When searching for Luxury Collection hotels in the Citi Travel portal, the results will bring back hotels and resorts belonging to both the Citi Luxury Collection and the Citi Hotel Collection, if you have the right card, as well as hotels that don't participate in either program. The real benefits are in the Citi Luxury Collection hotels so be careful to book with the right collection.

Citi Luxury Collection booking example at Marquis Los Cabos in Mexico

There's no way to filter results to only show Luxury Collection properties, and there's no master list available online. You'll need to look for hotels with the Luxury Collection tag in your search results and then ensure you choose a qualifying room rate.

Visa Luxury Hotel Collection

Visa Luxury Hotel Collection home page screenshot

The Visa Luxury Hotel Collection offers over 900 properties around the globe, catering to both Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders. The benefits are similar, offering seven perks for Visa Signature cardmembers plus one more for those holding Visa Infinite cards — though only available at over 200 hotels across the collection.

Guaranteed perks include daily breakfast for two, food and beverage credits, and the extra Visa Infinite amenity, with the rest being “when available.” Reservations must be booked through the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection website or a Visa Concierge for benefits to apply.

The first seven benefits listed below are available to all U.S.-issued Visa Signature, Signature Preferred, and Signature Business credit cards. You even get access with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has a sub-$100 annual fee.

To qualify for the final benefit, you must hold a Visa Infinite rewards card issued in the U.S., such as these:

Visa Luxury Hotel Collection benefits

The following perks are available on both Signature and Infinite cards:

  • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
  • Complimentary continental breakfast for two
  • $25 food or beverage credit
  • VIP Guest status
  • Late checkout upon request, when available

The final benefit is only offered to Visa Infinite cardholders at roughly 200 hotels in the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection. Some of the perks you might receive for this benefit include:

  • An additional $75 food & beverage credit, on top of the existing $25 food and beverage credit
  • $100 hotel credit
  • $100 spa credit
  • $100 golf credit
  • $100 room rate credit

Restricting the Visa Infinite benefit to just 25% of the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection puts it at a distinct disadvantage to Chase and Amex’s offerings, which both offer the amenity across all properties.

Visa Signature and Visa Infinite benefits

Visa Luxury Hotel Collection hotel selection

You can access the property list for Visa’s hotel collection via, and Visa offers the ability to refine your search by region, rating, style, and brand, or you can click on the interactive map at the top of the page for a visual approach. To see the Visa Infinite properties, you need to enter your card details on the Visa Infinite website.

Visa Infinite page to enter card details

Mastercard® Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection

Mastercard offers a different program, with over 3,000 properties in its portfolio. This program is part of  Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services and offers a concierge-style helpline, which is another benefit of holding a Mastercard credit card.

The program covers all World Elite Mastercard® products, an extensive list of cards that includes:

Note that this benefit is not restricted to premium cards, as you'll see some cards on the list have no annual fee. To reserve a hotel in the Mastercard Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection, book online via or call 855-802-1387.

Mastercard® Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection benefits

The benefits section is where Mastercard’s offering gets interesting.

In addition to complimentary daily breakfast and “when available” check-in, check-out, and room upgrades, you receive one customized benefit. The bonus perks range from $50 and $100 hotel credits to guaranteed late check-out or even a private wine-tasting experience. The listed benefits include:

  • Complimentary daily breakfast
  • Complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability at check-in
  • Early check-in, subject to availability
  • Late check-out, subject to availability
  • Special amenity worth up to $100

A screenshot of the Mastercard Travel page 2023

Mastercard includes two more benefits when booking a hotel in the Luxury Portfolio and paying with a World Elite Mastercard:

  • Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee: If your 3-star or higher-rated hotel is not working out, a Lifestyle Manager will work to make it right.
  • Mastercard Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee: If you find the same prepaid hotel stay for less, Mastercard will refund the difference.

A common complaint we hear from members attempting to book hotels through these portals is they can find the same room cheaper elsewhere, so the low-price guarantee is a nice touch to ensure you get the best deal.

Mastercard® Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection hotel selection

The hotel selection at Mastercard offers more variety and more locations than its rivals. After putting in your destination and dates, you can further filter results by amenities, star rating, whether it's part of the hotel collection, and price.

Mastercard Travel search demo screenshot

Do Prices Differ Between Collections?

Yes, they do. Most of the time, you'll see similar pricing between the six collections, but we have seen occasions where the price differs by $100 or more per night for the same room. The only advice we can give is to do your own research for each room based on the cards you hold, as perks as prices can vary across programs for the same room.

The collections crossover in most cities we searched, so you may qualify with multiple cards if you hold more than one eligible rewards card.

It's also worth checking the price for booking directly with the hotel. If booking via one of these portals is more expensive, weigh the price difference against the added perks. Would you pay $10 more per night to get daily breakfast included? Probably. Would you pay $80 more? Probably not.

Final Thoughts

Elite benefits like complimentary breakfast and late checkout can make a significant difference to the quality of your hotel stay. Getting those perks as a credit card benefit — rather than through hotel status earned either the old-fashioned way or through a credit card — adds another layer of value to cards like the Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum.

As for the best program? Assuming room rates were similar (any significant difference and it’s a no-brainer to choose the least expensive), we give an edge here to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts for the guaranteed 4 pm late check-out, something none of the other programs offer as standard. And while there's no guarantee that hotels booked through these programs will honor your elite status benefits or give you stay credit with your favorite loyalty program, it never hurts to ask if you can add your rewards number to the booking.

4.3 / 5 - (12 votes)
AwardWallet Tip of The Day
Did you know that we display your elite status progress within the list of accounts? Each block in this progress bar represents an elite level. If you mouse over any of the blocks, it will show you the name of that elite level. Clicking it will open the account details on the 'Elite Levels' tab. This will show you exactly where you are regarding your elite status and what you need to do to reach the next level.
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  • Is there an efficient way to check all the programs to see who has the best rate?

    • Ryan Smith says:

      Unfortunately, no. There’s no comparison shopping website across the programs…yet. I’m hoping there will be at some point.

  • While I’ve long known about Amex’s FHR program I never knew there was a similar benefit offered by other cards, namely MasterCard. I will definitely turn to this compilation next time I’m booking a hotel!

  • Too rich for me. It can be a good deal though.

  • It becomes more and more complicated check the prices on different sites and see the different advantages.
    As you say in the article the price can differ a lot.
    In my opinion for short stays it’s better not to worry and only do more checks for long stays.

  • Checked Visa Luxury Hotel Collection before, didn’t seem very attractive

  • I really got into this blog post because it was intriguing, however, it was a VERY nice surprise that I could two of the links! I will definitely see if I can enjoy this for my 40th birthday in Hawaii :o) Thank you! Is this something that it on Chases website and I just missed it?! Clearly I’m not exploring Chases website enough!

  • This is a perk of the Platinum Card that I haven’t even considered using. Partially because I always thought that no points would be earned. Now that I know this is a possibility, I’ll definitely take a closer look.

  • So wonderful to have late check out bennies. I seem to often need that mostly due to departure flight schedules.

  • I am definitely planning to use this on my trip to TCI this summer. CSR keeps on giving.

  • Thanks for the information. Ill have to remember this for my next trip.

  • Bookmarked. This is a great resource for programs that, although eligible for, I’ve generally overlooked. thiese are definitely going to become part my trip-planning going forward.

  • It’s good to know, although I’ll probably never make it, as I look for the best value. which spreads me around and often to independent places that aren’t part of any of these programs.

  • Amex has worked out very good for me. I have always received points and status perks.

  • The Amex Platinum card has a lot of perks but the $550 annual fee is a bit much for me.

  • I love the tips about Chase! I never knew that!

  • Great ways to maximize hotel value. Thank you for the info. I need to check some of these out.

  • This is very, very useful. Sometimes I wonder how you gathered and distilled so much information in each article. Thanks.

  • Wow, this is awesome! I imagine they would only be for pretty popular destinations, but it looks like a great way to live in luxury if you’re going to a bigger city.

  • Aspirational for me. I tend to travel more practical. But there may come a day. Appreciate reading, learning, and dreaming.

  • awesome details! thank you for the info!

  • Credit Cards seem to be the answer to everything 🙂

  • “…if you’re deciding to book through one of these programs or direct with a hotel is that it is highly likely that you’ll be booked on a points/elite night eligible rate, which means if you’re chasing elite status, these nights may count towards your required annual total.”

    Is there any way to know for sure if points/elite night would or would not be awarded?

    • You can confirm at the time of booking. Typically if you’re redeeming points, you won’t receive credit. With Amex FHR I’m batting 1.000 with earning credit and my current elite status being recognized.

    • I found this quite interesting. I had always assumed you wouldn’t get points or nights towards elite status unless you booked direct.

  • AmEx’s FHR program has decent hotels with decent prices.
    Pretty good program IMHO.

  • Thank you for the information, I tend to avoid luxury properties so my dollars go farther.

  • In this day and age, a true card user and traveler definitely should be able to take advantage of status at a good chunk of locales. Thanks for the article.

  • I find it interesting that the Ink Cash has access to this benefit but the Ink Business Preferred doesnt.

    • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card in this article should be Ink Plus is my guess.

      All of the Chase cards listed have 0% foreign exchange fee except the Ink Cash which is 3%.

      Unless they’re saying its included because its a Visa Signature but so is Freedom and Freedom Unlimited (both also 3% foreign fee) and they aren’t on the list.

      • I’ve confirmed it works with the Cash, but don’t have a Plus to test it with. If you’ve got one and can verify that please let us know. Freedom and Freedom Unlimited also work. Just added them both.

  • I’m from Canada, so many of these perks can not apply to me… i might have to try to get a USA card at some point. It might help with less foreign exchange fees when i travel as well. I will have to strategize and do more research.

  • As you pointed out – the Signature is only issued in the United States?