A Guide to Hotel Elite Status Matches

If you've got elite status with one hotel brand, you can use status match offers to get perks at another.
Dan Miller
By Dan Miller 
Edited by June Casagrande

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Elite status in a hotel loyalty program can get you perks like suite upgrades, points bonus on paid stays, executive lounge access and late checkout — but only at hotels within the chain. Stay with another chain and you will be treated the same as any other traveler, with no special perks and no prestige.

The solution? A hotel status match.

What is a hotel status match?

A hotel status match is an offer made by one hotel company to give elite status to a traveler who has elite status with a competitor. There are many different ways that a hotel status match can work, but often, the hotel chain will just grant you elite status at a level equivalent to your status in your current program. Sometimes, you have to do more, like make a certain number of stays with the new hotel group before qualifying for your new elite status. These offers are sometimes called “hotel status challenges.”

Why do hotels offer elite status matches?

Hotels (and airlines) offer elite status matches hoping to lure away their competitors’ best customers. For example, if you’re an elite member of the Marriott Bonvoy program, you’re less likely to stay at a Hilton family property because you would miss out on Bonvoy elite perks like bonus points and a chance for a free room upgrade. But if Hilton matched your status, you wouldn’t have to forgo elite benefits when you stay at Hilton. The hope is that you’ll try the competing hotels and like them enough to switch your loyalties.

How do I get a status match?

Like any promotion, a hotel status match offer can appear or end at any time. If you’re interested in staying at a hotel outside the brand where you have elite status, go to the other hotel’s loyalty program website and read the terms. As of early 2021, for example, Best Western Rewards is offering its Status Match...No Catch program to elite members. If you don’t see a status match offer for your chosen hotel group, you can contact the loyalty program directly to ask.

How do I take advantage of a status match offer?

To get a status match or to meet a status challenge, you usually fill out a form at the website of the hotel offering the match. For example, for the Best Western status match offer, you’ll be asked to supply your name, your Best Western Rewards membership number and information about your elite status program. If you’re not already a member of Best Western Rewards, you can just sign up first.

Other programs require you to jump through some extra hoops. For example, a Marriott Bonvoy offer active in early 2021 grants Marriott elite status for 90 days to elite members of Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club or Accor Live Limitless, with an opportunity to extend that status into 2022. The process goes like this:

  1. Fill out the online form.

  2. Upload proof of elite membership in another program.

  3. Upload proof of having stayed at a hotel in that program sometime in the last 12 months.

  4. You’ll be granted either Bonvoy Gold or Bonvoy Platinum status for 90 days depending on your status level in the competitor program.

  5. Within 90 days, stay five nights at a Bonvoy property to get Gold status or 15 nights to get Platinum status through February 2022.

Hilton Honors has a similar offer. Elite members of IHG Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, Best Western Rewards, World of Hyatt, Accor Live Limitless and other programs can apply to get Hilton elite status for 90 days and, by staying at Hiltons, earn Gold or Diamond status through March 2023. To apply for this Hilton Honors status challenge:

  1. Fill out the online form.

  2. Upload proof of elite membership in another program.

  3. Upload proof of a stay in the last 12 months.

  4. Within 90 days, stay five nights at Hilton properties to earn Gold status or nine nights to earn Diamond status, both through March 2023.

The bottom line

If you’re an elite member of any hotel loyalty program, you may be eligible to get your status matched by a competitor program. Look for match offers from competing hotel groups to see if you want to experience what it’s like to stay at one of their hotels as a valued elite. Who knows? You may like it so much you switch to the new hotel group for good.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

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