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There's not much left of 2021, but there is still time to plan for and achieve top-tier hotel elite status with several programs. Due to various hotel loyalty program promotions, earning elite status now—and carrying it through next year—is still on the table. Here are the different routes you could take to earn top-tier elite status with hotel loyalty programs.
Accor Live Limitless (ALL)
Aside from Diamond status with ALL—which requires spending 10,400€ in a year and cannot be achieved through stays alone—the top tier of elite status most of us would hope to achieve is Platinum. The Platinum level requires 60 nights of stays in a year. Here is your path to getting top elite status with Accor hotels by the end of 2021:
- You cannot status match from other programs to gain a shortcut or head start.
- Earn double Status Points and Status Nights for all stays in 2021. This means you only need to stay 30 nights for Platinum status, which you will carry through all of 2022.
Best Western Rewards
The simplest path to the top level of elite status with Best Western Rewards will always be to carry the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® from First National Bank of Omaha. For an $89 annual fee, you get automatic Platinum Elite Status. This saved my wife and me $40 per day on breakfast at the Grand Canyon earlier this year.
Without the credit card option, here is your quickest path to Best Western elite status:
- Best Western Rewards offers a status match option, so you can simply match from another program.
- Status earning requirements are reduced in 2021, so you need just 7 nights (or 5 stays) for Platinum status. Diamond tier requires 15 nights (or 10 stays), while Diamond Select requires 25 nights (or 20 stays).
The top elite status level in this hotel program is Diamond. This is the only level that qualifies you for room upgrades at check in. Here is the simplest way to earn this status by year's end:
- Status match from other loyalty programs to Platinum level or to Diamond level with proof of a stay at a luxury Cambria property.
- Because we are in the 2nd half of the year, your matched status would be valid through the end of 2022. After that, you need to earn status like normal in 2023.
- Choice Privileges offers rollover nights, so your best bet to roll over as many nights as possible into 2022 for a jump start toward 2023 status. Whatever nights you have beyond the requirements for a certain level will roll over.
- Elite requirements were slashed for 2021, so you need just 25 nights to earn Diamond status this year.
There are a ton of moving pieces here. Of course, the simplest path to Hilton Honors Diamond status will always be carrying the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and paying the annual fee. For anyone who doesn't have it, here are your options for Diamond status by the end of 2021:
- Reduced requirements for 2021 mean you need just 30 nights or 15 stays for Diamond status in 2021.
- You cannot check out then check in again immediately at the same hotel to get 2 stays. However, those in an area with many Hilton properties could switch between nearby hotels for several nights.
- Status match plus rollover creativity.
- Hilton offers a “once in a lifetime” chance to apply for status match from other programs. You'll need to stay 5 nights within 90 days of approval to retain Gold status. It's 9 nights for Diamond status. If you would complete this by the end of 2021, your Diamond status would be valid until March 2023.
- I cannot confirm this, but I have a suspicion this creative approach could work to retain status even longer. Start your status match late in 2021, so you have room to complete it in early 2022. Stays in 2021 will roll over into 2022 and could count double (though the status match promotion is managed by a unique team, so maybe not). However, the real target would be 8 nights in 2021 and then finishing the last night in 2022. Why? Earning status in 2022 means you retain it through the end of 2023—not just March 2023, from earning it in 2021.
The top level of elite status with IHG Rewards is Spire Elite. You cannot earn this automatically by having a credit card, but you can earn it through:
- 2021 reduced requirements mean you need to earn 55,000 points or stay 55 nights.
- Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to your IHG account will work. Transferring 55,000 Ultimate Rewards = instant Spire Elite qualification. There are screenshots to prove it. Just keep in mind that there are much more valuable uses of your Chase points.
Several things are happening with Marriott Bonvoy that can make it really easy to earn Titanium Elite or Platinum Elite status levels with their hotel program this year:
- Marriott gifted all members 50% of the nights needed to earn your elite status level pre-pandemic:
- Members — 0 Elite Night Credits
- Silver Elite Members — 5 Elite Night Credits
- Gold Elite Members — 13 Elite Night Credits
- Platinum Elite Members — 25 Elite Night Credits
- Titanium Elite Members — 38 Elite Night Credits
- Ambassador Elite Members — 50 Elite Night Credits
- Add to that the ability to earn 30 night credits by having a personal and a business Bonvoy credit card
- Even those with Gold status previously (thus starting 2021 with 13 night credits), you could be at 43 nights with the gift and the 2 credit cards. That puts you just 7 nights away from Platinum Elite status by year's end.
Radisson Rewards Americas
Radisson Rewards Americas did not reduce status requirements for 2021. That being said, there is a simpler path this year.
- Earn double stay credits/elite night credits for stays at any of 600+ Radisson Hotels Americas hotels in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean for stays through December 31, 2021.
- Platinum status requires 60 nights or 30 stays in a year. This promotion drops your requirements to 30 nights / 15 stays.
Sonesta Travel Pass
The top elite status with this hotel program is simply called “Elite”. Elite status in the Travel Pass program is as simple as holding the Sonesta World Mastercard®. The card has an annual fee of $75 (waived for the first year).
- You can status match to Elite from other programs.
- There are no reduced requirements or double stays promotions, but you need just 12 nights to earn Elite.
World of Hyatt
This hotel chain is a favorite of many; the top elite status with World of Hyatt is “Globalist”. Normally, it requires 60 stays in a year. Award stays do count. Here's your path for Globalist status for 2022:
- Globalist requirements were reduced to 30 nights in 2021.
- From October 19 to December 23, earn double night credits for stays at Andaz properties. Register here.
- Those who hold the The World of Hyatt Credit Card get 5 elite night credits automatically.
- Anyone who applied for this card by September 30, 2021 had special terms in the welcome offer:
- New cardmembers who apply by September 30, 2021 will receive double elite night credits for stays between August 16 and December 31, 2021. This means earning 2 night credits for each night you stay at a Hyatt for the rest of 2021.
- Hyatt credit card holders earn 2 elite night credits for each $5,000 they put on the card in a year.
- World of Hyatt had several iterations of “Bonus Journeys”, such as earning double nights and nights rolled over from 2020.
- Between rollover nights from 2020, double nights you earned earlier this year, and the ability to earn double nights by the end of the year if you're a new credit card holder (+5 to start with for holding the card), you should be able to hit 30 nights for Globalist status by the end of the year.
In the Wyndham Rewards hotel program, the top elite status level is Diamond. You can achieve this just by simply holding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Card from Barclaycard.
- For those who don't have this card, there's bad news: Wyndham Rewards isn't offering status matches right now. Your only option is to match from Caesars Rewards, if you have this from Las Vegas or Atlantic City status matching opportunities.
- Without the above opportunities, you'll have to qualify the old-fashioned way. Wyndham Rewards reduced requirements to 24 nights for Diamond status in 2021.
There are still opportunities to earn top levels of hotel elite status with your favorite (or multiple!) hotel program by year's end. Several loyalty programs have made it really simple, given a combination of promotions, double earning opportunities, and reduced requirements for status levels. If you're interested in attaining elite status with one or more programs, we're almost to November. Examine your options and start planning.
Is there any status you're chasing in 2021 that you wouldn't normally pursue? Let us know!
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