How to Use Credit Cards to Earn Elite Status at Hotels

Posted in Hotel Rewards Programs, Hotel Rewards Programs - Reward 101

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Anyone that has ever had elite status with a hotel knows just how beneficial it can be. Being able to receive different perks, like late checkout, free breakfast or even free Wi-Fi is certainly nice, but the best benefit is the superior customer service that most employees will give their elite customers. If a better room is available, there is a good chance that they will go to elite guests.

If you thought that you could never earn elite status, because you don’t spend that much time traveling each year, think again. Many people earn elite status not because of the time they spend in hotels, but rather because they have the hotel’s co-branded credit card.

Let’s take a look at some credit cards that will offer you immediate elite status if you were to open them.

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Club Carlson. Those who obtain the Club Carlson Rewards Visa receive silver status.  Going a step further you could get either the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature or the Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa and you will automatically be awarded with gold status.

Hilton HHonors. By signing up for a Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature or Hilton HHonors card from American Express, you will receive silver status. It’s possible, however, to get the Hilton HHonors Surpass card from American Express or the Hilton HHonors Reserve card to receive gold status.

Hyatt Gold Passport. By signing up for the Hyatt Credit Card, you can upgrade to Gold Passport Platinum membership.

IHG Rewards. By signing up for the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card, you will receive platinum elite status.

Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. When you sign up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa you will receive 15 elite qualifying nights, equating to silver status. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card will offer you gold elite status during your first year.

Starwood Preferred Guest. When you sign up for either the Starwood Preferred Guest card or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business card you will receive two stays and five nights toward elite status. If you want to automatically receive gold status, it’s possible by signing up for the Platinum Card from American Express.

No matter what hotel chain you prefer to stay at there is a way to earn elite status just by signing up for one of the hotels co-branded credit cards.

Related: What Does the Perfect Hotel Credit Card Look Like?

Earn higher elite status by using your card

Each year when you meet certain spending thresholds, you’ll be able to earn more than just the lower tier elite status.

Hilton HHonors. Each year that you spend $40,000 with either the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card or the Hilton HHonors Surpass card from American Express you will be upgraded to Hilton diamond status.

Hyatt Gold Passport. Once you spend $20,000 in a calendar year on your Hyatt Credit Card, you will receive a bonus two stays and five days elite credit.  Once you spend $40,000 you will earn another 3 stays and 5 nights.

Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. For every $3,000 you spend using your Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card you will earn an extra night toward Marriott elite status. With the Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card, you will receive gold status for the first year of card membership but to keep your gold status you will need to spend $10,000 per year with your card. High spenders can earn platinum status after they spend $75,000 in a calendar year.

Starwood Preferred Guest. You will earn gold preferred status once you spend $30,000 in a calendar year with your Starwood Preferred Guest personal or business card.

Asking for hotels to match your status from other hotels

If you manage to earn elite status with one hotel brand, then its possible to earn status with others as well. Some will offer it to you outright, while others will ask you to stay a select number of nights in a certain period of time.

Earning elite status at hotels can offer guest some additional perks that make your stay more enjoyable and hassle free. Most people don’t stay enough nights each year to take advantage of elite status, making strategic credit card use the best ticket in.