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The perks of hotel elite status enhance your stay, whether by granting you complimentary late check-out so you can sleep in just a little longer before a return flight home, or by offering hotel spa credits to kick-start a vacation.
Although the benefits of earning status at your favorite hotel can feel like a treat, maintaining status can also be challenging — especially if you don’t travel often.
Typically, elite status is earned through qualifying nights, events or meetings under a hotel program. Even if you don’t have many opportunities to travel, there are still ways to keep your status. Here’s how:
Credit cards that offer automatic status
Some hotel credit cards fast-track you to elite status (and keep you there), as long as the card remains active and in good standing. If you’re looking for the best hotel credit card for status, many of the major hotel loyalty programs offer a co-branded card with automatic status.
For example, Hilton Honors provides complimentary status for a number of elite tiers, depending on the Hilton Honors credit card you carry:
The Hilton Honors American Express Card gets you to Silver status. Silver status normally requires four stays, 10 nights, or 25,000 base points, making it the lowest entry point into Hilton elite status. Terms apply.
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card grants you Gold status. Getting to this status level would require either 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 base points per calendar year to achieve. Cardholders can upgrade to Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a calendar year. Terms apply.
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express offers top-tier Diamond status. You’d need to complete 30 stays, 60 nights or earn 120,000 base points per calendar year to each this status without the card. Terms apply.
» Learn more: Hilton AmEx Surpass review: Decent value, lounge perks
There are also non-hotel-branded cards that offer elite status with popular hotel programs. The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, comes with Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.
» Learn more: American Express Platinum review: Luxury isn’t cheap
Jump on a status challenge
One way to maintain elite status is by activating a hotel status challenge. These challenges normally require you to book a certain number of nights within a defined period of time in order to earn a particular status tier. The number of nights is lower than what the program typically requires.
For example, Hilton Honors currently has a status challenge in conjunction with its status match offer. If you request an elite status match and stay 10 nights within a 90-day trial period you’ll get to keep Gold status through Mar. 31, 2021. If you stay 18 nights during a 90-day trial you’ll receive Diamond status through Mar. 31, 2021.
Request a status match
Do you already have hotel elite status but want to diversify your options? A different hotel loyalty program may offer a status match. Based on your existing status with another program, a status match gives you the opportunity to receive an equivalent hotel status tier with a new program. Not having to earn status through the traditional route of booking nights or earning base points saves time and money.
Wyndham Rewards is one program that offers a status match. If you have Hyatt Discoverist or Explorist status, for example, you can get matched to Wyndham Platinum status. The program offers status matches to elite members from various other programs, like Hilton Honors, IHG, Marriott and more.
Is keeping your status worth it?
Take a look ahead at the upcoming year and assess whether your travel plans will make earning status straightforward. If your travel itinerary won’t cut it, researching the best hotel credit card for status or requesting a status match might make more sense.
Keeping hotel elite status doesn’t have to be difficult, if you’re strategic. Just make sure you’re evaluating the cost-to-benefit ratio of doing so before investing a great amount of time and effort into keeping your hotel status.
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
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 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card