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We have all noticed the shorter lines, separate lounges, and special privileges that come with being a Hotel VIP Member. The first thing that crosses our mind (besides wishing we were one) is how much they must have to spend to get VIP treatment. Typically, Hotel Status is earned when people spend hundreds of nights per year in hotels, but we’re going to show you how to beat the system and get treated like a VIP.

Getting VIP Status with a Credit Card

The easiest way to achieve status is to open a co-branded credit card. Just like earning points and savings with stamp cards and memberships, a co-branded credit card will have you climbing up the VIP ranks in no time. There are plenty of credit card options to choose from that work right for you and your finances.

 

Credit Card Hotel Chain Status Annual Fee Key Perks
Citi Hilton HHonors Hilton Honors Automatic Gold $95 – 10X points at participating hotels, 5X points on airline/car rental purchases, 3X points on all other purchases

-2 % elite status bonus on all points earned

-5th night free & anniversary bonuses

-Concierge services

-Travel & emergency assistance & car rental insurance

American Express Hilton Honors Card Hilton Honors Automatic Silver None – 7X points at participating hotels, 5X points at restaurants, supermarkets, & gas stations, & 3X points on all other eligible purchases

-Travel accident insurance and global assist hotline

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card Hilton Honors Automatic Silver w/ upgrade to Gold if you complete 4 stays in first 90 days None – 6X points on participating hotels, 3X points at supermarkets, drugstores, & gas stations, & 2X points on all other eligible purchases

-5th night free

-Travel & emergency assistance & car rental insurance

Chase Hyatt Credit Card World of Hyatt Automatic Discoverist $75 -3X points at all participating hotels, 2X at restaurants, airline tickets, & car rentals, 1X points on all other purchases

-No foreign transaction fees

-Travel & purchase coverage

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards Automatic Silver $85 -5X points at participating hotels, 2X points at airline/car rental & restaurants, & 1X on all other purchases

-Points don’t expire

-Purchase protection

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards Automatic Gold $450 – 5X points at participating hotels, 2X points at airline/car rental & restaurants, & 1X on all other purchases

– $300 annual travel credits

– Travel & purchase coverage

– No foreign transaction fees

– Hotel privileges

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Starwood Preferred Guest 2-5 nights of Elite status credit every year No fee for the first year, then $95 – 5X points at participating hotels, 2X points at participating Marriott rewards, & 1X on all other purchase

– No foreign transaction fees

-Travel accident insurance and global assist hotline

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card Starwood Preferred Guest 2-5 nights of Elite status credit every year No fee for the first year, then $95 – 5X points at participating hotels, 2X points at participating Marriott rewards, & 1X on all other purchase

– Free nights, free flights, club lounge access

– Free and unlimited internet access

– No foreign transaction fees

 

Get Higher-Tier VIP Status by Spending More

Not only will having a co-branded credit card give you status, but it also gives you the opportunity to climb up the status ladder. The secret: spend more! The more you spend annually, the more you get.

 

Hotel Chain Spending Requirement Upgrade Perks
Hilton Honors Earn automatic Diamond status by spending $40k on either the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card or the Hilton Surpass Amex. Also earn Gold status by spending $20k on the regular Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card Gold Status

– 25% bonus on all earned points

– 5th night free

– 48-hour room guarantee

– All benefits of lower tiers

Diamond Status

– 50% bonus on all earned points

-5th night free

-Additional hotel benefits

– Members can choose to extent status for an additional year beyond expiration day, one-time, for any reason

-All benefits of lower tiers

World of Hyatt $50k on the Hyatt Credit Card for Explorist status -20% bonus points on all eligible purchases

-Additional hotel perks: complementary internet, daily bottled water, club lounge access, expedite check-in, waived resort fees

-Save 10% with member discount rate

-Exclusive reservation line and book hotels up to 72 hours in advanced

Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards Earn Gold status by spending $105k or Platinum by spending $180k on the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. With the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, spend $10k for Gold status and $75k for Platinum. Gold

-Reservation line, guest services line, reservation guarantee, late checkout, gift shop discount, weekend discount, internet access, room upgrades, discounted long distance phone calls

– 25% bonus on points earned during stays

 

Platinum

-Reservation line, guest services line, reservation guarantee, late checkout, gift shop discount, weekend discount, internet access, room upgrades, discounted long distance phone calls

– 50% bonus on points earned during stays

– 48-hour room guarantee

– United Airlines Premier Status

– Guaranteed arrival gift

Starwood Preferred Guest $30k on the SPG Amex Card for Gold status – All benefits of preferred membership

– 50% earning bonus during stays

– Late checkout, room upgrade, welcome gift, internet access

– Delta Airlines Crossover & Emirates Airlines Rewards


Match Your Status from One Hotel or Airline, to Another

Another way to achieve elite status is to take advantage of hotel/airline status matching along with hotel/airline partnerships. Status matching is when one chain offers you status for the remainder of the year in hopes of securing you as a member over a competitor. Status matching requires a little research since some chains will have programs and some won’t. StatusMatcher.com is a great site that shows the success rate of different matching programs provided by members. Airline and hotel partnerships offer great benefits for both flights and overnight stays. Although there are only a couple partnerships right now, other partnerships and opportunities will soon be making their way to the surface.

Overall, the easiest way for VIP treatment is opening a credit card that allows for benefits. I think we all can agree that VIP perks can definitely make for a more enjoyable trip. We would love to hear your upgrade and VIP success stories – post a comment and share your experiences!

 

 

 

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