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How To Get Hotel Mid-Tier Status – and Why You Want It

Hotel Mid-Tier Status
Written by Charlie

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A lot of ink is spent on airline elite status and many travelers know what people get as a result – waived baggage fees, possible upgrades, priority boarding, priority check-in, better customer service, greater award availability, etc. When it comes to hotel elite status, many people may not exactly understand what people get as a result. I thought it would make a good post to detail how you can get mid-tier hotel status without staying one night in a hotel and why you want it, especially as a runner.

How To Get Hotel Mid-Tier Status

Similar to airline elite status, hotel elite status is (generally) earned by being a frequent customer of the hotel. Hotels have elite status levels tied to the number of nights or stays that you have at that chain’s hotels over the course of the year. For the traveling runner, earning elite status by staying at hotels might not be possible. I know for my travel habits, I generally stay at hotels that suit my needs as far as distance from the starting line, possible race shuttles, price, and ratings. Hotel chain does not typically rank high on the list for most runners when booking their race hotels. The reason for that has to do with availability and price, mostly. In a city like Fargo, you may not find your desired hotel chain with a presence there. Furthermore, you may find that your decision for a hotel is anchored in what has availability still. Race host hotels typically have a minimum night stay (normally 2 nights). I find that most hotels dictate which two nights they are offering for a rate. Those nights might be the night before the race and the night after. That has to do with hotels not wanting to offer a special price on week nights due to business travelers and such.

So How Do I Get Status Without Staying?

So, if you are making hotel choices based on those things above, then achieving hotel status really will not happen based on stays. Unlike most airlines, hotels allow customers to receive status by having their co-branded credit cards (or, having a different credit card that has an arrangement with the hotel). Let’s break down the major hotel chains to show how you get that status. Also, you can see what you get with that status.

 Best Western Hotels

Hotel Mid-Tier statusBest Western might not seem like a hotel that would have elite status, but, believe it or not, they can be quite convenient for race stays. If you are racing in the Southern US or the Western US (or any smaller town/city marathon), the hotel that may prove to be the best option might just be Best Western. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Gold Elite

  • Requires 10 Nights or 10,000 Points
  • 10% Bonus Points per stay
  • Elite only offers

Platinum Elite

  • Require 15 Nights or 15,000 Points
  • 15% Bonus Points per stay
  • Elite only offers
  • Best available room
  • Welcome snack and beverage OR 250 bonus points

Diamond Elite

  • Requires 30 nights or 30,000 Points
  • 30% Bonus Points per stay
  • Elite only offers
  • Best available room
  • Welcome snack and beverage OR 250 bonus points

How to Get Best Western Elite Status

If you apply for the Best Western Credit Card (I do not receive a commission for this link), you will receive Gold Elite status after your first purchase. If you spend $10,000 on the card each year, you will also earn Diamond Elite status. With your Gold Elite status (that you get just for making your first purchase), you will receive elite only offers and elite recognition when checking.

Another way you can receive Best Western elite status is through status matching. Best Western will match the elite status you have with any other hotel program. So, if you really want Best Western status, you may be better off picking it up through some other hotel chain and then matching it over to Best Western. For more information about that, click here.

Choice Privileges Hotels

Mid-tier Hotel statusThe Choice Privilege Hotel chain might be another that you may be surprised about with elite status but, again, many of the hotels in the smaller marathon towns will be within this chain. So, it is good to look into this program as well. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Gold Elite

  • Requires 10 nights per calendar year (reward nights count towards elite status)
  • 10% elite bonus points
  • Can book award nights 50 nights out (instead of 30 that everyone can do)
  • Exclusive reservations number
  • Exclusive elite offers

Platinum Elite

  • Requires 20 nights per calendar year (reward nights count towards elite status)
  • 25% elite bonus points
  • Can book award nights 75 nights out
  • Exclusive reservations number
  • Exclusive elite offers
  • Exclusive elite luggage tags

Diamond Elite

  • Requires 40 nights per calendar year (reward nights count towards elite status)
  • 50% elite bonus points
  • Can book award nights 100 nights out
  • Exclusive reservations number
  • Exclusive elite offers
  • Exclusive elite luggage tags
  • Complimentary room upgrade

How to Get Choice Privilege Elite Status

If you apply for the no-fee Choice Privilege credit card (I do not receive commission from this card) from Barclay, you will receive Gold Elite status. This card carries no annual fee and as long as you hold the card, you will hold your Gold Elite status.

Club Carlson Hotels

Hotel mid-tier statusClub Carlson Hotels have a lot better of a presence in Europe and Asia than they do in the US, but their program is very good so it is a great chain to consider. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Silver Elite

  • Requires 15 nights / 10 Stays per calendar year
  • 2,000 bonus points for online booking
  • 25% point bonus
  • Elite roll over nights
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Early check-in/late check-out
  • Elite customer service line

Gold Elite

  • Requires 35 nights / 20 Stays per calendar year
  • 2,000 bonus points for online booking
  • 50% point bonus
  • Elite roll over nights
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Early check-in / late check-out
  • Elite customer service line
  • In-room welcome gift
  • 72 hour room availability guarantee

Concierge Elite

  • Requires 75 nights / 30 stays per calendar year
  • 3,000 bonus points for online booking
  • 75% point bonus
  • Elite roll over nights
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Early check-in / late check-out
  • Elite customer service line
  • In-room welcome gift
  • 48 hour room availability guarantee
  • Free continental breakfast (Restaurant only)
  • Global Concierge

How to Get Club Carlson Elite Status

If you receive the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card (I do not receive a commission if you use this link), you will receive Gold Elite status once you use your card. Your status will remain as long as you hold the card. Be aware, though, if you are not approved for the Premier Rewards Visa Signature card, you may be approved for the lower card that offers Silver Elite status. You will not be told if that happens – you will find out when your card arrives. This happened to me and was a bit of a disappointment but still gave me elite status with Club Carlson.

Hilton HHonors Hotels

Hotel Mid-Tier StatusHilton just celebrated opening their 4,000th hotel so chances are very good that you will find one of their hotels in your race city! Many race host hotels are actually Hilton hotels so having elite status with them can prove to be very helpful. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Silver Elite

  • Requires 10 Nights / 4 Stays per calendar year
  • 15% elite point bonus
  • 5th Night Free on reward nights of 5 nights or more
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay

Gold Elite

  • Require 40 Nights / 20 Stays / 75,000 Base Points per calendar year
  • 25% elite point bonus
  • 5th Night Free on reward nights of 5 nights or more
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay
  • eCheck-in – check-in up to 24 hours in advance
  • Complimentary in-room internet access
  • MyWay Gold Membership Hotel Benefits (which includes free breakfast)

Diamond Elite

  • Require 60 Nights / 30 Stays / 120,000 Base Points per calendar year
  • 50% elite point bonus
  • 5th Night Free on reward nights of 5 nights or more
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay
  • eCheck-in check-in up to 24 hours in advance
  • Complimentary in-room internet access
  • 48-Hour Room Guarantee
  • MyWay Diamond Membership Hotel Benefits (which includes free breakfast)

How to Get Hilton HHonors Elite Status

There are many different ways to receive Hilton HHonors status. As I have written before, Hilton has the most ways of any hotel to get points. There are four different credit cards that will give you elite status with Hilton (I do not receive a commission for any of these cards). They are:

Hyatt Hotels

Hotel Mid-tier StatusHyatt hotels are favorites of many travelers and make really nice race hotels! There are a lot of great Hyatt hotels around the US as well as boutique style brands in the chain. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Platinum Elite 

  • Requires 15 Nights / 5 Stays per calendar year
  • 15% bonus points
  • Preferred rooms on higher floors or larger rooms
  • Complimentary internet
  • Expedite check-in at dedicated elite line
  • Stay until 2PM with late check-out
  • Exclusive Platinum line

Diamond Elite

  • Requires 50 Nights / 25 Stays per calendar year
  • 30% bonus points
  • Best room upon arrival, excluding suites
  • Receive complimentary breakfast
  • Suite upgrades on 4 paid stays per year
  • Complimentary internet
  • Expedite check-in at dedicated elite line
  • Stay until 4PM with late check-out
  • Exclusive Diamond line
  • Special bonus points or food and drink upon arrival

How to Get Hyatt Hotel Elite Status

Hyatt makes it quite simple also as they also have a credit card that is co-branded and they offer Platinum Elite status just for holding their Hyatt Credit Card (I do not receive a commission for this card). This status lasts for as long as you hold the card.

IHG Hotels

Hotel Mid-Tier StatusIHG is the new rewards program of the Priority Club network of hotels. There are over 4,600 hotels in this program making it an ideal chain to have loyalty status with. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Club Elite

  • Requires 1 – 14 Nights per calendar year
  • Collect Points or Miles
  • Points never expire
  • Extended check-out
  • No blackout date for reward nights
  • Reward nights count towards elite status

Gold Elite

  • Requires 15 Nights / 20,000 Points per calendar year
  • Collect points or miles
  • Points never expire
  • Extended check-out
  • No blackout date for reward nights
  • Reward nights count towards elite status
  • Free internet
  • Priority check-in
  • 10% bonus points

Platinum Elite

  • Requires 50 Nights / 60,000 points per calendar year
  • Collect points or miles
  • Points never expire
  • Extended check-out
  • No blackout date for reward nights
  • Reward nights count towards elite status
  • Free internet
  • Priority check-in
  • 50% bonus points
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • Guaranteed room availability

How to Get IHG Hotel Elite Status

IHG is the only one of these hotels that grants top elite status, Platinum Elite, to holders of their IHG Rewards Club Credit Card. As long as you hold the card, you will have the Platinum status.

Marriott Hotels

Hotel Mid-Tier StatusMarriott is another large hotel chain with excellent presence all around the world. They are also a top choice by marathons as host hotels. Again, having status with them is very helpful for the runner. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Silver Elite

  • Requires 10 Nights per calendar year
  • Elite reservation line
  • Exclusive Guest Services line
  • Priority late check-out
  • 20% bonus points
  • Elite only rewards

Gold Elite

  • Requires 50 Nights per calendar year
  • Elite reservation line
  • Exclusive Guest Services line
  • Priority late check-out
  • 25% bonus points
  • Elite only rewards
  • Free internet access
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Continental breakfast
  • Hertz #1 Gold membership

Platinum Elite

  • Requires 75 Nights per calendar year
  • Elite reservation line
  • Exclusive Guest Services line
  • Priority late check-out
  • 50% bonus points
  • Elite only rewards
  • Free internet access
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Continental breakfast
  • Hertz #1 Gold membership
  • 48-Hour guaranteed availability
  • Complimentary United MileagePlus Silver status
  • Guaranteed Platinum Arrival gift

How to Get Marriott Hotel Elite Status

You can get 15 stay credits towards elite status just by holding the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa (I do not receive a commission for this card). This grants you automatic Silver Elite status each year plus putting you 35 nights away from Gold status. In addition to the credit card avenue, Marriott offers challenges to help you fast-track to their various status levels. So, you can call/e-mail and request their Taste of Platinum Challenge that will give you Platinum Elite status after 9 stays in 90 days. During the period of the challenge, you will have Platinum status.

Starwood Preferred Guest Hotels

Hotel Mid-Tier StatusThe Starwood Preferred Guest program has many different brands under it and their Westin brand has just signed a huge deal with a marathon series to be the partner hotel. Given their involvement with races, having SPG status will help the runner. Their elite status levels work like this (I will mention the things that vary from basic membership):

Gold Elite

  • Requires 25 Nights / 10 Stays per calendar year
  • 50% bonus points
  • 4PM late check-out
  • Enhanced room at check-in
  • Choice of welcome gift each stay – bonus Starpoints / internet access / beverage
  • Elite check-in line
  • Award nights count towards elite status

Platinum Elite

  • Required 50 Nights / 25 Stays per calendar year
  • 50% bonus points
  • Upgrades to best room available, including standard suites
  • Welcome gift – bonus Starpoints / Breakfast / local amenities
  • Elite check-in line
  • 4PM late check-out
  • Platinum exclusive line
  • Award nights count towards elite status

How to Get SPG Hotel Elite Status

You can get credit of 2 stays and 5 nights for each the consumer American Express SPG card and the business American Express SPG card for a total of 4 stays and 10 nights leaving you 6 stays or 15 nights from Gold Elite status. To actually get Gold Elite status, you can get that as one of the perks of the American Express Platinum card – business or personal.

Summary

That is a lot of information to take, I know! To sum up, basically every hotel chain listed will give you low level or mid-tier status just for holding their credit cards. The common denominator is that you can get perks such as bonus points, free internet, upgraded rooms, late check-outs, etc. Those things can be valuable to the traveling runner – especially the late check-outs, free internet, and elite check-in lines when the hotel is pretty crowded.

Each hotel status can be valuable for the different travelers, but I find Hilton Gold Elite status, Hyatt Platinum Elite status, IHG Platinum Elite status, and SPG Gold Elite status to be the most beneficial for the traveling runner. Each of those statuses you can get just for holding credit cards. I hold Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and SPG status all from holding their co-branded credit cards. I have never achieved hotel elite status by staying at hotels and you can achieve status without ever staying too!

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

This is a repost of a previous article as I wanted to introduce some of these previous posts to my new BoardingArea readers!

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links that will support this site. Thank you for your support.

About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

3 Comments

    • You are right – it is part of the MyWay Gold Membership benefit and changes depending on which Hilton brand you stay at (it is also one of the choices, so it has to be selected). I will put a note next to it that breakfast is one of the options of the MyWay benefit to be more clear.

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