I travel a lot, but since most of my trips are “purchased” using points and miles, I rarely earn elite status with travel providers. And although I am not very excited about earning airline status (You can’t get upgrades on awards), I have found that hotel status is well within the grasp of even infrequent travelers.
The advantage of hotel status
Hotels, like the airlines, are very big on charging fees to customers. Common fees include Internet usage, breakfast, and late checkout fees. But the great think about hotel status is customers can enjoy room upgrades and have all of these fees waived. And the key to enjoying elite status with hotels is not necessarily becoming a frequent paid guest, but choosing the right credit card. In fact, credit cards can offer elite status in hotel programs that can be the equivalent of tens of nights of paid stays.
Here are my favorite credit cards for earning elite status with a hotel programs:
Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express
This card offer Gold status after cardholders spend $30,000 in a calendar year. This entitles members to room upgrades, late checkout, and free Internet service. There is a $65 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.
Hilton HHonors American Express
Cardholders earn Hilton Gold status after spending $20,000 on the card within a calendar year. Gold status offer free breakfast, free Internet, late checkout, and room upgrades. There is no annual fee for this card.
Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
Cardholders earn Hilton HHonors Gold status after four hotel stays within their first 90 days of card membership. Guests with Gold status receive free Internet services, continental breakfast, and room upgrades based on availability. There is no annual fee for this card.
The Hyatt card from Chase
This card is great for many reasons. First, new cardholders earn two free nights at any Hyatt worldwide. Also, this card has no foreign transaction fees and even includes an EMV smart chip that is necessary for some transactions in Europe. But also, cardholders receive Platinum status in Hyatt’s Gold Passport program which offers guests free Internet service and room upgrades.
There are other cards that offer credits towards elite status, but these are my favorite products that make it easiest to earn status just by being a card member and/or reaching a spending threshold. And when you enjoy all the perks and benefits these cards offer, you will be glad you took the time to choose the right credit card.