A Guide To Hotel Elite Status 2021

Hotel elite status offers benefits such as free breakfast, complimentary room upgrades, late check-out, and more. Details on benefits and how to qualify.

Hotel elite status is granted by hotels to their most loyal guests in exchange for their continuing loyalty. Elite status programs are typically broken into levels or tiers. The higher tiers offer the best benefits, but require the most stays.

How Do You Qualify For Status?

Qualifying for elite status will vary depending on which hotel chain you're staying at. All hotels have different qualifications that you must meet in order to advance in their program.

Qualification Requirements

Progress in a hotel's program is usually measured using one or more of the following during a calendar year: Nights, Stays, or Base Points. You typically have between January 1 and December 31 of the year to qualify for status.

Nights

Nights for most hotel chains are defined as an overnight stay. If you checked in to a hotel on a Tuesday and checked out on Wednesday, that would count as 1 night. Nights are typically the easiest way to earn elite status if you commonly stay at hotels multiple nights in a row.

Stays

Stays are defined as the number of times you stay at the hotel. Checking in to a hotel and checking out when you're about to leave counts as 1 stay. The amount of days you were at the hotel does not matter. If you plan a 1-week vacation to a resort, your visit to that resort counts as one stay.

marriott bonvoy 4 nights
This reservation would count as 4 nights or 1 stay.

Base Points

All major hotel rewards programs offer points when you book your stay directly with the hotel. Each chain offers a numerous amount of ways to earn points from using co-branded credit cards to signing up for promotion, but every hotel chain offers a set amount of points you'll earn at the base level when you stay at their hotel chain. Most chains offer a base of 10 points per $1 spent, but there's a few chains that offer more or less.

As an example, Hilton gives you 10 Hilton Honors Points per $1 spent at their hotels. If you book a hotel stay that cost $200 (before taxes and fees), you would earn 2,000 base points (10 * 200). Points earned with promotions, elite status, and co-branded credit cards do not count as base points (unless otherwise indicated).

How Long Does Status Last?

Hotel elite status lasts for the remainder of the year in which you earned it and all of the following calendar year. If you were to earn elite status September 2021, you would be able to enjoy the benefits of that status the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022. Unless you re-qualify for status again during 2022, your benefits would end December 31, 2022 though some programs do extend into January or February of the next year (2023 in this case).

Re-qualifying Annually

Once you earn elite status, you have to re-qualify every year. Using the same example as above, lets say that you earned elite status September 2021. Again, you'll get to experience the benefits that comes with that status the remainder of the year and all of 2022. During 2022 though, you'll need to work towards the required amount of stays, nights, or base points to have status for 2023. If you don't, you'll lose your elite status at the end of 2022.

Book Direct

Hotel chains will not give you credit towards elite status if you book using a third party. Third parties as are basically a "middle-man" between you and the actual hotel. Examples are:

  • Expedia.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Booking.com
  • Agoda.com
  • Orbitz.com

When you book your stay using a third party, most hotels will not honor your nights/stay credit, will not reward you base points, and will not offer you benefits if you do have elite status with them. This is one of the big things about earning elite status whether it be for a hotel chain or frequent flyer program.

Do you book through that third party and save a couple dollars or do you book direct and earn credit towards elite status as well as points and other benefits? This really all comes down to how much you value elite status. If you're someone that can hit the higher tiers in a program, paying that extra money to book direct might be more worth it as the higher tiers might offer benefits that can easily drown out that extra money that you initially paid.

Shortcuts To Elite Status

There are shortcuts to elite status for many hotel chains as well as ways to help push you towards elite status faster. The most important two ways are co-branded credit cards and rollover nights.

Co-branded Credit Cards

Most hotel chains offer one or more co-branded credit cards. These credit cards allow you to earn hotel rewards points on everyday spend which can then be used towards free nights and more. Along with the ability to earn points, these credit cards also typically offer either complimentary elite status, elite nights towards elite status, and/or benefits that mirror having elite status.

For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers complimentary Hilton Gold Elite Status. So instead of having to earn 20 nights at Hilton every year, you can just hold this card to experience the benefits.

Another example is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card which offers 15 nights towards elite status. Silver status requires 10 nights meaning that this card gives you Silver Elite Status automatically. Gold status with Marriott requires 25 nights and since the card offers 15 nights, you'll only need to stay 10 nights to hit Gold Status. This makes Gold Elite status easier to obtain.

If you're loyal to any hotel chain or thinking about it, you'll want to check out their line-up of co-branded credit cards.

Rollover Nights

Several hotel chains offer the ability to 'rollover' your unused nights. This is a great way to get a head start on status for the following calendar year. As an example, lets say that status requires 20 nights during the calendar year and you stayed 27 nights. Once the next year rolls around, those 7 extra nights will 'rollover' into the next year and it will be easier to qualify because you'll now only need 13 nights to reach the 20-night requirement.

What Are The Benefits Of Earning Status?

Each hotel chain offers their own list of benefits which are covered in the next sections, but the most common benefits of earning elite status are:

  • Bonus points on stays
  • Member rates
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Early check-in and/or late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Welcome amenities and gifts
  • Guaranteed room availability

If you plan on staying at a hotel chain, I highly recommend signing up for that hotels rewards program since it's free to do so. Even at the member level, main chains offer great benefits such as discounts that can save you a little money on your booking.

Best Western Elite Status

Best Western's rewards program is broken up into 5 tiers which are: Blue, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select. Status can be earned using Nights, Qualifying Stays, or Points.

How To Qualify For Best Western Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status with Best Western, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • Best Western Blue: Sign up for an account
  • Best Western Gold: 5 Nights, 3 Stays, or 5,000 Base Points
  • Best Western Platinum: 7 Nights, 5 Stays, or 7,500 Base Points
  • Best Western Diamond: 15 Nights, 10 Stays, or 15,000 Base Points
  • Best Western Diamond Select: 25 Nights, 20 Stays, or 25,000 Base Points

Shortcuts To Best Western Elite Status

Best Western offers two co-branded credit cards that can earn you complimentary status.

Best Western Elite Status Benefits

Benefits of the Best Western's rewards program include:

  • Up to 50% bonus points per $1 spent
  • Exclusive reservation line
  • Early check-in / late check-out
  • Complimentary water and points upon arrival

Best Western doesn't have offer nearly as many benefits as other top chains. Most of their benefits apply to the earning and redeeming of Best Western Rewards Points. There's not many actual amenities offered from earning status. Even still, I recommend since it's free to do so and you'll earn points on your bookings.

Choice Elite Status

The Choice Privileges program has 4 membership levels which are: Member, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Status is earned based on number of nights stayed during the calendar year.

How To Qualify For Choice Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status with Choice Privileges, you must meet the following requirements during the calendar year:

  • Choice Privileges Member: Sign up for an account
  • Choice Privileges Gold: 7 Nights
  • Choice Privileges Platinum: 15 Nights
  • Choice Privileges Diamond: 25 Nights

Shortcuts To Choice Elite Status

Choice offers one credit card with Barclays that can shortcut you to Gold status.

Choice Elite Status Benefits

Benefits of the Choice Privileges Membership program include:

  • Exclusive member rate
  • Your Extras & Double Your Extras
    • Ability to earn extra airline miles, gift cards, and other rewards on top of the points you already earn
  • Up to 50% bonus points per $1 spent
  • Elite gift cards
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • Elite reserved parking
  • Rollover nights
  • Elite customer hotline
  • Elite welcome gift
  • Avis Preferred Plus status

Choice offers a good amount of benefits that can be useful. Specifically, the Your Extras & Double Your Extras can earn you some nice additional miles from several airlines as well as gift cards for Shell's Fuel Rewards program, Starbucks, Uber credits, and more. Rollover nights are also a big plus to this program if you want to make sure your left over nights count.

Hilton Elite Status

The Hilton Honors program has 4 tiers which are: Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Status can be reached with nights, stays, or base points earned during the calendar year.

How To Qualify For Hilton Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status in the Hilton Honors program, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • Hilton Honors Member: Sign up for an account (free)
  • Hilton Honors Silver: 5 Nights, 2 Stays, or 12,500 Base Points
  • Hilton Honors Gold: 20 Nights, 10 Stays, or 37,500 Base Points
  • Hilton Honors Diamond: 30 Nights, 15 Stays, or 60,000 Base Points

Shortcuts To Hilton Elite Status

All tiers in the Hilton Honors program are obtainable with Hilton's line-up of American Express credit cards. On top of that, Hilton's credit cards are great for earning points with the program and each card offers additional benefits on top of the complimentary status you'll already receive.

The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express both offer complimentary Gold Elite status with Hilton along with a very long list of additional benefits.

Hilton Elite Status Benefits

Benefits of elite status in the Hilton Honors program include:

  • Hilton Honors discount rate
  • Up to 100% bonus points per $1 spent
  • No resort fees on reward stays
  • Digital check-in & Digital Keys
  • Choose your room
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free bottled water
  • Fifth Night Free on reward stays
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Room upgrades
  • Free continental breakfast
  • Executive lounge access
  • Elite status gifting

Hilton offers a long list of great benefits and all of these benefits are in reach thanks to how easy they make it to obtain elite status. Even at the member level you'll receive discounts and have access to several perks that makes signing up for a free account worth it.

Hilton Honors American Express Card
Rewards Rate
7X
Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio
5X
Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
3X
Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Intro Bonus
Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
Annual Fee
$0
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Rewards Rate
12X
Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
6X
Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
3X
Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Intro Bonus
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
Annual Fee
$95
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Rewards Rate
12X
Earn 12X at hotels & resorts in the Hilton portfolio
6X
Earn 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases
3X
Earn 3X on all other eligible purchases.
Intro Bonus
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Annual Fee
$95
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Enjoy complimentary Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries and counting.
  • Terms Apply.

Hyatt Elite Status

The World of Hyatt program has four tiers which are: Member, Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist. Status can be reached with nights or base points earned during the calendar year.

How To Qualify For Hyatt Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status in the World of Hyatt program, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • Hyatt Member: Sign up for an account (free)
  • Hyatt Discoverist: 5 Nights or 12,500 Base Points
  • Hyatt Explorist: 15 Nights or 25,000 Base Points
  • Hyatt Globalist: 30 Nights or 50,000 Base Points

Shortcuts To Hyatt Elite Status

Hyatt offers one Chase credit card that you can use to receive complimentary elite status.

Hyatt Elite Status Benefits

Benefits of earning elite status in the World of Hyatt program includes:

  • Up to 30% bonus points per $1 spent
  • Member rates
  • Waived resort fees on free night awards
  • Status match to MGM's M life Rewards
  • Benefits and points with Exhale and Small Luxury Hotels of the World
  • Premium Internet
  • Late checkout (as available)
  • Room upgrades (at check-in)
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Bonus (earn miles on stays)
  • Club access or complimentary breakfast
  • Priority access to rooms
  • Guaranteed availability
  • Milestone Rewards
world of hyatt elite status 2021
Some of the many benefits that the World of Hyatt program offers.

The benefits listed above only scratches the surface of what you can receive when you obtain status with Hyatt. Benefits such as Milestone Rewards offers another layer of perks which includes bonus points, gift cards, lounge access passes, suite upgrade awards, and more. Hyatt Points are one of the most valuable hotel point currencies on the market, so earning them can really save you some serious money on hotel bookings.

Chase World of Hyatt Card
Rewards Rate
4X
Earn 4 bonus Hyatt Points per $1 spent at Hyatt Hotels
2X
Earn 2 bonus Hyatt Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
1X
Earn 1 bonus Hyatt Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro Bonus
Earn up to 60,000 Points. Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
Annual Fee
$95
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card

IHG Elite Status

The IHG Rewards Club program features four tiers which are: Club, Gold, Platinum, and Spire. Status can be obtained based on either nights or elite qualifying points (base points) earned during the calendar year.

IHG also offers the InterContinental Ambassador program in which you can purchase membership and receive a handful of additional benefits when staying at the Intercontinental brand.

How To Qualify For IHG Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status in the IHG Rewards Club program, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • IHG Rewards Club Member: Sign up for an account (free)
  • IHG Gold Elite: 10 Nights or 10,000 Base Points
  • IHG Platinum Elite: 40 Nights or 40,000 Base Points
  • IHG Spire Elite: 75 Nights or 75,000 Base Points

Shortcuts To IHG Elite Status

IHG offers two co-branded credit cards that you can use to shortcut your way to elite status.

The Intercontinental Ambassador program is only available through the purchase of a membership.

  • IHG Intercontinental Ambassador Program: USD $200

IHG Elite Status Benefits

The IHG Rewards Club offers the following elite status benefits in their program:

  • Exclusive rates
  • Complimentary internet
  • Extended check-out, early check-in, and priority check-in
  • Welcome amenity
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • Guaranteed room availability
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star Status
  • Inner Circle Amenity
  • Complimentary Chef's Taste

The Intercontinental Ambassador Program offers it's own list of unique perks and benefits on top of any elite status benefits you receive. Benefits of the program include:

  • Guaranteed one category room upgrade
  • Guaranteed extended 4pm check-out
  • Complimentary weekend nights
  • Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards program
  • Restaurant and bars credit of up to US$20 per stay
  • Complimentary mineral water
  • Complimentary internet
  • Single room-rate for double occupancy

Overall, the IHG Rewards Club program offers a good amount of benefits that can make your stay at IHG hotels very enjoyable. If you frequently stay at IHG's InterContinental brand hotels, the Intercontinental Ambassador membership can easily be worth the money.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Rewards Rate
10X
Earn 10 points per $1 spent at IHG properties
2X
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
1X
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro Bonus
Earn 125,000 bonus points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
Annual Fee
$89
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide
  • Enjoy a Reward Night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
Rewards Rate
5X
Earn 5 points per $1 spent at IHG properties
2X
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
1X
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro Bonus
Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
Annual Fee
$0
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Enjoy a Reward Night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights

Marriott Elite Status

The Marriott Bonvoy program features six tiers which are: Member, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador. Status is based on nights per calendar year.

How To Qualify For Marriott Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • Marriott Member: Sign up for an account (free)
  • Marriott Silver Elite: 10 Nights
  • Marriott Gold Elite: 25 nights
  • Marriott Platinum Elite: 50 nights
  • Marriott Titanium Elite: 75 nights
  • Marriott Ambassador Elite: 100 nights + $14,000 US Dollars in qualifying spend
    • Will return to $20,000 US spend in 2022

Shortcuts To Marriott Elite Status

All of Marriott's credit cards offer 15 elite nights towards status. You can earn a max of 15 elite nights holding a personal Marriott credit card and a max of 15 elite nights holding a business Marriott credit card. This means you can earn up to a total of 30 elite nights towards status by holding both a personal and business Marriott credit card. Holding two or more of the same card type (personal or business) will not stack.

Since all of their cards offer 15 elite nights towards status, you'll automatically earn at least Marriott Silver Elite status since it only requires 10 nights.

Marriott has a large spread of credit cards, but only a total of four credit cards that are available to apply for.

If you're big on travel and want to experience top-tier travel benefits, you can also earn complimentary Marriott Bonvoy elite status with the The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Marriott Elite Status Benefits

Benefits of having elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program include:

  • Complimentary in-room internet access
  • Member rates
  • Mobile check-in/services
  • Ultimate reservation guarantee
  • Up to 75% bonus points per $1 spent
  • Late checkout of 2pm or 4pm based on status
  • Points, breakfast offering, or amenity option at check-in
  • Enhanced room upgrade
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Annual Choice Benefit
    • Choose 5 Suite Night Awards (upgrades to suites) or several gift options
  • 48-Hour Guarantee
  • Ambassador Service
  • Your24
    • Ability to check-in and check-out at whatever times you want

The Marriott has a lot of tiers in their rewards program, but progressing your way up through these tiers can be very beneficial if you frequently stay at Marriott brand hotels. Bonus points, complimentary room upgrades, lounge access, and free breakfast are just some of the nice perks that status offers. If you're able to obtain status with Marriott over several years, you can gain status for a lifetime meaning your benefits and points will never expire.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Rewards Rate
6X
Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
2X
Earn 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Intro Bonus
Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Annual Fee
$95
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year.
  • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. That's 6X with the card and 11X as a Silver Elite member.
  • Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Rewards Rate
6X
Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels
3X
Earn 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
2X
Earn 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Intro Bonus
Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Expires 5/12/2021.
Annual Fee
$450
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Rewards Rate
6X
Earn 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
4X
Earn 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X
Earn 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
Intro Bonus
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21.
Annual Fee
$125
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Main Card Highlights
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn an additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card.
  • Earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

Radisson Elite Status

Radisson Rewards has four tiers in their program which are: Club, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Status in the program can be earned with nights or stays with Radisson during the calendar year.

How To Qualify For Radisson Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status in the Radisson Rewards program, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • Radisson Club (Member): Sign up for an account (free)
  • Radisson Silver: 9 Nights or 6 Stays
  • Radisson Gold: 30 Nights or 20 Stays
  • Radisson Platinum: 60 Nights or 30 Stays

Shortcuts To Radisson Elite Status

Radisson offers two co-branded credit cards through U.S. Bank, but only one offers complimentary status in the program.

Radisson Elite Status Benefits

The Radisson Rewards program offers benefits such as:

  • Members only rate (save up to 10%)
  • Up to +15 Bonus Points per $1 spent
  • Up to a 20% discount on food and beverage
  • Two complimentary bottles of water
  • Rollover nights
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • In-room welcome gift
  • Room availability guarantee
  • Free breakfast

Radisson offers a decent amount of benefits that can be useful if you frequent their hotels. At most, you can get some solid value out of the bonus points they offer and the discount on food and beverage purchases at their hotel restaurants. If you're able to get to the higher tiers, the free breakfast and complimentary room upgrades also add value to obtaining status.

Wyndham Elite Status

Wyndham Rewards has four membership levels in their program which are: Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Status is based on nights spent at Wyndham brand properties during the calendar year.

How To Qualify For Wyndham Elite Status

In order to obtain elite status in the Wyndham Rewards program, you must meet one of the following requirements for any given tier during the calendar year:

  • Wyndham Blue: Sign up for an account
  • Wyndham Gold: 3 Nights
    • Standard 5 Nights
  • Wyndham Platinum: 9 Nights
    • Standard 15 Nights
  • Wyndham Diamond: 24 Nights
    • Standard 40 Nights

The nights required for status are reduced for 2021 qualifications due to the pandemic. The standard requirements (pre-pandemic) are also listed in the case that they go back to these rates in 2022 or beyond.

Shortcuts To Wyndham Elite Status

All tiers in the Wyndham Rewards program can be obtained complimentary by holding any of their three credit cards offered by Barclays.

Wyndham Elite Status Benefits

The Wyndham Rewards program offers a small handful of useful benefits such as:

  • Member rate
  • Rollover nights
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Preferred room choice
  • Up to 30% bonus points per $1 spent
  • Late check-out and early check-in
  • Caesars Rewards status match
  • Avis and Budget car rental upgrades
  • Suite upgrades
  • Welcome amenity at check-in
  • Ability to gift Wyndham Gold status

Wyndham doesn't offer as many benefits as other chains, but it can still be a great rewards program if you enjoy staying at Wyndham brand hotels or Caesars Entertainment hotels.

Summary

Earning elite status with a hotel rewards program can be very rewarding. Everything from earning bonus points that you can use towards free nights to receiving complimentary room upgrades can make travel much more affordable and enjoyable.

If you're not 100% on which program is best for you, I recommend taking a closer look at each program on their respective websites. This guide only touches the surface of the amount of perks and benefits you can receive with some of these top hotel rewards program. I also recommend checking out the list of Best Hotel Credit Cards which can also help you decide on which program to choose!

Updated 2021-03-18 By Robert Flowers III

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