Can You Use Your Hotel Elite Status For Others?

Can You Use Your Hotel Elite Status For Others?

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I’m often asked about the limits of “extending” hotel elite status to friends and family. This question most commonly comes in one of two forms:

  • If you make a booking for a family member or friend, is there a way they can receive your elite benefits?
  • If you make a booking for a family member or friend, is there a way that you can earn the elite qualifying nights from their stay?

I get where the question comes from, since many people view this as a win-win situation — their friends & family can get more perks than they’d get directly, while the member can get help toward elite qualification.

So let me address this question, for anyone who may be wondering a similar thing. Let me note that if you’re booking multiple rooms and you’re staying, there are other strategies to maximize hotel elite perks. This is more intended for booking hotel stays for others when you’re not staying.

Officially the member has to stay to earn points & get elite perks

As you might expect, according to the terms & conditions of virtually all hotel loyalty programs, the member has to be the one staying in order to earn points and take advantage of elite perks. Program terms make it clear that the member must stay in one of the reserved guest rooms, and must pay for the guest room, in order to earn points and take advantage of elite perks.

In other words, you can’t make a booking for someone else and then earn points and extend your elite benefits to them.

Hotel elite perks are only intended for the member

Best route to go if you want to chance it

The above are the official rules, which I always want to share, because I think they’re worth following. It’s not worth playing games and jeopardizing your membership with a loyalty program. That being said, there are a couple of techniques that are probably worth being aware of, for those who want to chance things.

Adding a second guest to a reservation

If you book a room for two guests, you can generally add a second guest to the reservation. Some hotels let you add this online during the booking process, while others require you to call in to add the second name.

Hilton lets you add a second guest to a reservation online

The whole point of adding a second guest to a reservation is that they should be able to check-in without issue. Ford and I sometimes arrive places on different flights, so sometimes he’ll check-in before me. Here’s my experience with that:

  • Within the United States they’ll almost always just check him in without issue, and provide the standard elite perks
  • Outside the United States they often need to scan the passports of both travelers, and we’ve had hotels say that they’ll only provide the elite benefits when the member checks in (which isn’t an issue, ultimately, but gets tricky with room upgrades)

Admittedly the above is a “legitimate” use of this feature, though this might get trickier if you’re trying to use your status for others, and there are multiple people staying. In other words, let’s say Person A (elite member) makes a reservation and lists Person B as the second guest, when in reality Person B and Person C are staying. In those instances I would recommend that the second guest staying not go to check-in and kind of “hang out” outside to avoid any further issues.

After all, if the room is booked for two people and two people show up (neither being the elite member), that’s what would raise a red flag.

You can generally add a second guest to a hotel reservation

Checking someone else in

There’s another scenario that people often ask about. Say you have family or friends visiting the area, but they’re not staying with you, but rather are staying in a hotel. Can you book the hotel in your name, check-in, give them the keys, and have them enjoy your elite perks?

Officially the answer is still no, which is because the terms of major hotel programs say you have to actually be staying in the room in order to use elite perks and earn points.

Realistically speaking, this is something that most hotel groups will be unable to police, since you could be the one checking in, etc.

I suppose this might get tricky if you have a personal relationship with the hotel and they know you, and are confused when someone enters the club lounge from your room number, but it’s not you. But in a vast majority of situations, hotels don’t provide such personalized service.

You should have fewer issues if the member is checking in

Redeem hotel points for others

On a different note, most hotel programs will let you redeem your points for others. The catch is that you won’t earn points or elite credits for these stays, and the person staying typically won’t receive your elite benefits.

The only exception that I want to mention is that if you’re a World of Hyatt Globalist member, you can make Guest of Honor bookings for others with your points. This allows you to extend your elite benefits to them, but you wouldn’t earn points or elite nights.

Hyatt Guest of Honor lets you share elite perks with others

Bottom line

Hotel elite status is generally non-transferable, which is to say that the member must be the primary guest on a reservation and staying in the room in order to earn points and take advantage of elite perks. There are some tricks that some people try that may work, but just be aware that they can also backfire.

If you’ve ever made a booking for someone else using your elite status, what was your experience?

Conversations (7)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    While I agree with your comments, it is actually not as simple as you mention because in the case of being outside of the US, most hotels will say that the second room cannot receive the benefits because you, as one individual, can't stay in two rooms. One way around this is if you and your partner are both elite members and the friends in the other room are not, then if one of you...

    While I agree with your comments, it is actually not as simple as you mention because in the case of being outside of the US, most hotels will say that the second room cannot receive the benefits because you, as one individual, can't stay in two rooms. One way around this is if you and your partner are both elite members and the friends in the other room are not, then if one of you is on that reservation and technically checks in for that room it should work okay for everyone to get the benefits. Once again this is a situation where it is not officially not allowed but difficult to prove and police. If you are the only member then it is not possible. This said, often times outside of the US it can be pretty cheap to pay onsite for the upgrade and lounge, etc.

  2. Emily Guest

    Simple answer is yes. I just add them as a guest as I don't have the patience to create a new user/guest on the apps all the time. Hotels rarely check, if at all.

    On stays with multiple rooms, the hotel staff have even recommended that they will issue the stay and earnings to my loyalty account in the case where my associates or guests don't have loyalty accounts.

    On both cases, I have never instructed nor asked for any specific benefits.

  3. Never In Doubt Guest

    Conveniently, the eldest Doubt child shares my first name.

    Never an issue with him.

  4. Carrie Member

    I have been in the position whereby my husband, complete with his elite status, was unable to travel at the very last moment and a certain Park Hyatt was more than accommodating in allowing me to stay using 'his' amenities and perks. I suspect this is a usual course of action as long as it is not abused.

  5. Eskimo Guest

    @Lucky

    There is still one situation that you haven't covered yet.
    What if the elite member is the 2nd guest and does use the room?

  6. IVO SIO Guest

    The adding second guest name trick most likely will work in US, but I am pretty sure near 99% of chance won't work in Asia. Unless the card member checkin prior and let the second guest stay. In this case will be receive all elite member benefits since elite member did the checkin. Otherwise most likely no benefit at all, or even won't let you (second guest) checkin. The only exception will be HYATT GOH.

  7. Calvin Guest

    At Hilton Hotels I‘m usually staying on my Dads Account. It’s mostly about collecting elite nights and getting the lounge access as well as free breakfast.
    When asked at Checkin I’m always stating, that it’s only me and not my dad staying. Once I was (in a fun way) asked if it’s about elite nights, no issue at all.
    If it would ever become an issue I could earn Hilton Gold on my own, currently just to lazy to create an own account ;)

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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.

iamhere Guest

While I agree with your comments, it is actually not as simple as you mention because in the case of being outside of the US, most hotels will say that the second room cannot receive the benefits because you, as one individual, can't stay in two rooms. One way around this is if you and your partner are both elite members and the friends in the other room are not, then if one of you is on that reservation and technically checks in for that room it should work okay for everyone to get the benefits. Once again this is a situation where it is not officially not allowed but difficult to prove and police. If you are the only member then it is not possible. This said, often times outside of the US it can be pretty cheap to pay onsite for the upgrade and lounge, etc.

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Emily Guest

Simple answer is yes. I just add them as a guest as I don't have the patience to create a new user/guest on the apps all the time. Hotels rarely check, if at all. On stays with multiple rooms, the hotel staff have even recommended that they will issue the stay and earnings to my loyalty account in the case where my associates or guests don't have loyalty accounts. On both cases, I have never instructed nor asked for any specific benefits.

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Never In Doubt Guest

Conveniently, the eldest Doubt child shares my first name. Never an issue with him.

0
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