24 Credit Cards That Give You Hotel Elite Status

Filed Under: American Express, Chase
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I recently wrote an updated post about the hotel credit cards that offer free night certificates, either as an annual benefit, or as a reward for reaching certain spend thresholds. In many cases these anniversary free night certificates can more than justify the annual fees on cards, given that they can be redeemed at some great hotels.

For example, both The World of Hyatt Credit Card and IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offer anniversary free night certificates that can be redeemed at hotels with nightly rates that are way higher than the cards’ annual fees.

That’s only one perk that potentially makes hotel credit cards useful, though. One of the other awesome things about some credit cards is that they can make it easy to earn status. Nowadays it’s possible to earn top tier elite hotel status with several hotel credit cards, and the opportunities to earn status with credit cards keeps improving.

So in light of all the hotel loyalty program changes we’ve seen lately, in this post I wanted to provide an updated look at all the ways you can use US-issued credit cards to earn elite hotel status. In some cases, you get status just for having a card, and in other cases, a certain amount of spend is required. Here are all the options, organized by program and then status level:

Choice Privileges

Earn Choice Privileges Gold status (requires 10 nights per year)

There are no cards that offer Choice Privileges Platinum or Diamond status.

Hilton Honors

Earn Hilton Honors Silver status (requires 4 stays or 10 nights per year)

Earn Hilton Honors Gold status (requires 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points per year)

Earn Hilton Honors Diamond status (requires 30 stays, 60 nights, or 125,000 base points per year)


Hilton Honors Gold & Diamond members receive free breakfast at most Hilton hotels

IHG Rewards Club

Earn IHG Rewards Club Gold status (requires 10 nights or 10,000 base points per year)

Earn IHG Rewards Club Platinum status (requires 40 nights or 40,000 base points per year)

  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card ($89 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card
  • IHG Rewards Club Credit Card ($49 annual fee, no longer open to new applicants) — valid for as long as you have the card

Earn IHG Rewards Club Spire status (requires 75 nights or 75,000 base points per year)

  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card ($89 annual fee) — points earned on this card count as base spend towards status, so spending $75,000 on non-bonused purchases, or $37,500 on gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, would earn you Spire status


IHG Rewards Club Platinum members receive room upgrades

Marriott Bonvoy

Given the recent introduction of Marriott Bonvoy, we saw significant changes to the ability to earn status with them through credit cards.

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status (requires 10 nights per year)

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase ($95 annual fee) — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status
  • Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card ($95 annual fee, no longer open to new applicants) — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status
  • Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card ($125 annual fee (Rates & Fees)) — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card ($99 annual fee, no longer open to new applicants) — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Card ($85 annual, no longer open to new applicants) — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status

Note that each Marriott member can earn at most one set of 15 elite night credits per year, so even if you have multiple of the above cards, you’d earn a maximum of 15 elite nights per year.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (requires 25 nights per year)

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status (requires 50 nights per year)

  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express® Card ($450 annual fee) — when you spend $75,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card ($450 annual fee, no longer open to new applicants) — when you spend $75,000 on the card in a cardmember year


Marriott Platinum members receive complimentary suite upgrades

Radisson Rewards

Radisson Rewards Silver status (requires nine nights or six stays per year)

  • Radisson Rewards Visa Signature Card ($50 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card; if you already have Silver status, you receive 10 qualifying nights towards Gold or Platinum status each year

Radisson Rewards Gold status (requires 30 nights or 20 stays per year)

  • Radisson Rewards Business Visa Card ($60 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card; if you already have Gold status, you receive 15 qualifying nights towards Platinum status each year
  • Radisson Rewards Premier Signature Visa Card ($75 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card; if you already have Gold status, you receive 15 qualifying nights towards Platinum status each year

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt Discoverist status (requires 10 nights or 25,000 base points per year)

  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card ($95 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card
  • The Hyatt Credit Card ($75 annual fee, no longer open to new applicants) — valid for as long as you have the card

World of Hyatt Explorist status (requires 30 nights or 50,000 base points per year)

  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card ($95 annual fee) — the card offers five elite qualifying nights annually, plus two additional elite nights for every $5,000 spent, so spending $65,000 would earn 31 elite qualifying nights, which is more than enough for Explorist status
  • The Hyatt Credit Card ($75 annual fee, no longer open to new applicants) — when you spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year

World of Hyatt Globalist status (requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points per year)


World of Hyatt Globalist members receive complimentary suite upgrades

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Rewards Gold status (requires 5 nights per year)

Wyndham Rewards Platinum status (requires 15 nights per year)

There are no cards that offer Wyndham Rewards Diamond status

Bottom line

It’s pretty remarkable that nowadays you can earn top tier status with Hilton just for having a credit card, and with Hyatt and Marriott for credit card spend. Until recently these tiers were all much more difficult to achieve.

On top of that, there are many mid-range credit cards that offer status just for having the card, which can be valuable as well. For example, it’s really easy to earn Hilton Honors Gold status, and that gets you perks like free breakfast at most brands, bonus points, and more.

If you are going to spend money on your hotel credit card to earn status, just make sure you consider the opportunity cost of that spend.

Which credit cards do you find to be most valuable for earning elite hotel status?


Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by One Mile at a Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Rates & Fees), Hilton Honors American Express Card (Rates & Fees), The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Business Card From American Express (Rates & Fees).

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Mlife Rewards Mastercard was left out. It offers Mlife Pearl status, which also matches to Hyatt Discoverist. There aren’t many no annual fee cards that include hotel status, but this one does. Although it is hard to justify spending on the card, perks in Las Vegas like free parking and priority check-in line have value. Hyatt Discoverist 2 PM checkout and other small benefits are nice to have for no annual fee.

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