Best Credit Cards Offering Hotel Elite Status (2022)

Best Credit Cards Offering Hotel Elite Status (2022)

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I’ve written about the best hotel credit cards offering free nights, either as an annual benefit or as a reward for reaching certain spending 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 (review) and IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review) 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 elite 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.

Best hotel credit cards for elite status May 2022

In this post I wanted to take a 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 spending is required.

There are potentially all kinds of benefits to hotel elite status, ranging from free breakfast to late check-out to bonus points to suite upgrades. Obviously the higher your status, the better the perks.

Here are all the options, organized alphabetically by program and then by hierarchy of elite tiers.

Choice Privileges Gold status credit cards

Choice Privileges Gold status ordinarily requires 10 nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

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

Choice Privileges Gold members receive a welcome gift

Hilton Honors Silver status credit cards

Hilton Honors Silver status ordinarily requires four stays or 10 nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

Hilton Honors Gold status credit cards

Hilton Honors Gold status ordinarily requires 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

Hilton Honors Diamond status credit cards

Hilton Honors Diamond status ordinarily requires 30 stays, 60 nights, or 125,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

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

IHG One Rewards Silver status credit cards

IHG One Rewards Silver status ordinarily requires 10 nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

IHG One Rewards Gold status credit cards

IHG One Rewards Gold status ordinarily requires 20 nights or 40,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following card:

IHG One Rewards Platinum status credit cards

IHG One Rewards Platinum status ordinarily requires 40 nights or 60,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

IHG One Rewards Diamond status credit cards

IHG One Rewards Diamond status ordinarily requires 70 nights or 120,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

IHG One Rewards Platinum members receive room upgrades

Marriott Bonvoy Silver status credit cards

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status ordinarily requires 10 nights per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card (review), no annual fee — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (review), $95 annual fee — offers 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which is more than enough for Silver status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (review), $125 annual fee (Rates & Fees) — 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 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 fee (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 Bonvoy member can earn at most 30 elite nights per year from credit cards, with 15 elite nights coming from a personal card, and 15 elite nights coming from a business card.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold status credit cards

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status ordinarily requires 25 nights per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status credit cards

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status ordinarily requires 50 nights per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, $450 annual fee — earn status 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) — earn status when you spend $75,000 on the card in a cardmember year

There are no cards that offer Marriott Bonvoy Titanium or Ambassador status.

Marriott Platinum members receive complimentary suite upgrades

Sonesta Travel Pass Elite status credit cards

Sonesta Travel Pass Elite status ordinarily requires 12 nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

Sonesta Travel Pass Elite members receive lounge access

World of Hyatt Discoverist status credit cards

World of Hyatt Discoverist status ordinarily requires 10 nights or 25,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

World of Hyatt Explorist status credit cards

World of Hyatt Explorist status ordinarily requires 30 nights or 50,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

  • 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 World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, $199 annual fee — the card offers five elite nights for every $10,000 spent in a calendar year, so spending $60,000 would earn you 30 elite nights, which is enough for Explorist status

World of Hyatt Globalist status credit cards

World of Hyatt Globalist status ordinarily requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points per year, but can be earned with the following cards:

  • 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 $140,000 would earn 61 elite qualifying nights, which is more than enough for Globalist status
  • The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, $199 annual fee — the card offers five elite nights for every $10,000 spent in a calendar year, so spending $120,000 would earn you 60 elite qualifying nights, which is enough for Globalist status
World of Hyatt Globalist members receive complimentary suite upgrades

Wyndham Rewards Gold status credit cards

Wyndham Rewards Gold status ordinarily requires five nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

Wyndham Rewards Platinum status credit cards

Wyndham Rewards Platinum status ordinarily requires 15 nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

Wyndham Rewards Diamond status credit cards

Wyndham Rewards Diamond status ordinarily requires 40 nights per year, but can be earned with the following card:

Wyndham Rewards Diamond members receive room upgrades

Bottom line

It’s pretty remarkable that nowadays you can earn top tier status with Hilton, Sonesta, and Wyndham just for having a credit card, and with Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott you can earn top tier status with credit card spending. 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 spending.

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

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: 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), Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees).

Conversations (3)
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  1. martoka New Member

    Good summary. Thanks Ben!

  2. Danielle F Guest

    I just checked and I believe the Aspire offers Hilton Platinum but the other two cards listed do not. Did I get that wrong?

  3. Brutus Guest

    "Best Credit Cards Offering Hotel Elite Status"

    "Every Single Card Offering Hotel Elite Status" is more accurate.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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.

martoka New Member

Good summary. Thanks Ben!

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Danielle F Guest

I just checked and I believe the Aspire offers Hilton Platinum but the other two cards listed do not. Did I get that wrong?

0
Brutus Guest

"Best Credit Cards Offering Hotel Elite Status" "Every Single Card Offering Hotel Elite Status" is more accurate.

0
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