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TPG reader Michael writes:
“In your mind is it more advantageous to focus on a single program (even after you have achieved their top status) or try to achieve status on multiple programs?”
In my opinion, top tier hotel status with one chain beats having mid tier status with multiple chains. Generally the increase in benefits from mid to top tier are exponentially better than the benefits from regular to mid. In fact, a lot of mid-tier hotel statuses can be achieved with little/no effort. Starwood gives Gold status to any American Express Platinum cardholder and Hilton is giving away Gold status to any Visa Signature cardholder.
So, simply put, I’d focus on attaining top tier status with one hotel chain before focusing on anything else as long as your stay habits allow it. And remember, hotel hopping can be an easy way to speed up attaining elite status, so you may actually be able to get top tier status in more than one program (like I have) if you plan your stays strategically. The more top tier statuses you can attain, the more options you have when it comes to redeeming. For example, I always start the first day of my European trips at an Intercontinental, because my Royal Ambassador status guarantees an 8am check-in, which is amazing after an overnight flight.
Maintaining top tier status is a challenge, but for me- that’s part of the fun!
For more information on the best hotel credit cards (and those that give elite status benefits), click here.