Living with credit, New products, Rewards

Hotel programs will match your elite status

Jenny Hoff

It’s not easy accruing enough hotel points, either through credit card purchases or through purchasing enough nights at the hotel, to earn a top-tier status with the chain. And unless you are a frequent business traveler, it’s nearly impossible to do that at more than one hotel chain.

Hotel competition, though, can work in your favor now.

Hilton, which includes the Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Embassy Suites properties, currently is offering a 90-day status match to the elite level you have with another hotel loyalty program. This means if you have reached the upper echelon of Starwood Preferred Guest status, you can enjoy the perks of Hilton’s elite tier as well, without having to do the work.

Club Carlson, which includes Radisson, Quorvus Collection, Park Plaza and Country Inns & Suites, also has been informally matching loyalty members’ status with most other hotel programs. Club Carlson recently launched a webpage with an explanation of how the offer works. Just email documentation with “Status Match” in the subject line.

At Club Carlson, silver, gold and concierge status benefits include early check-in/late checkout and complimentary room upgrades.

HHilton member silver, gold and diamond status benefits include digital check-in/late checkout, elite status bonus (varies by tier), fifth night free on stays of five nights or more, complimentary access to fitness centers, and two complimentary bottles of water per stay.

If you want to earn upper-tier HHilton status the hard way, you would normally need four stays or 10 nights at a Hilton hotel in a calendar year for silver; 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 HHonors base points for gold; and 30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 HHonors base points for diamond.

Of course, just by signing up for a hotel credit card also will get you bumped up to elite status.

For example, with the no annual fee Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card, cardholders can reach silver status automatically. With the $95 annual fee Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card or the $75 annual fee Hilton HHonors Surpass card from American Express, you can reach gold status automatically.

With Club Carlson, the $50 annual fee Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card gets you silver elite status from the start. With the $75 annual Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card comes automatic gold elite status, which is the mid-level status between silver and concierge.

Bottom line: If you’ve been yearning to find out just what kind of luxury another hotel chain has to offer, then don’t miss out on your opportunity to become elite.

How to extend the Hilton status match: If you take advantage of your new Hilton status and stay at a Hilton hotel at least four nights within the three-month promotional period (if you were matched to gold status) or eight nights (for diamond), Hilton will extend your new elite status until March 2018.

See related: How to get free stays and perks faster with hotel rewards

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