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Comparing 4 top hotel elite status levels — and how to earn them in 2022

Feb. 26, 2022
10 min read
Sunrise overwater villa at the Le Meridien Maldives
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Hotel elite status offers many valuable perks. At the mid to high tiers, you can snag sometimes perks ranging from complimentary breakfast to upgrades and a guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout.

Here's a rundown of four of the best hotel elite status tiers — and how to earn each status this year.

The status levels we discuss may not always be the absolute top-tier in some programs since you don't always need true top-tier status to reap most of the best elite perks.

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TPG's best hotel elite status levels to earn in 2022

  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite: Best worldwide elite perks.
  • World of Hyatt Globalist: Best for waived fees.
  • Hilton Honors Diamond: Best easy-to-maintain top-tier status.
  • IHG Rewards Platinum Elite: Best for value-conscious travelers.

Comparing the best hotel elite status levels

StatusFree breakfastLounge accessAdvance suite upgradesBest options for earning in 2022
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum EliteYes, usually.Yes, usually..Yes, through suite night awards.Stay 50 nights (elite night credits from select Marriott Bonvoy cards count).

Earn double elite nights on stays through May 4, 2022 (requires registration for promo).

World of Hyatt GlobalistYes.Yes.Yes, through suite upgrade awards.Stay 60 tier-qualifying nights, earn 100,000 base points or host 20 meetings and events (tier-qualifying nights earned through promotions and Hyatt credit cards count).
Hilton Honors DiamondYes.Yes.No.Complete 15 stays, stay 30 nights or earn 60,000 base points.

Be a cardholder of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.

IHG Rewards Platinum EliteNo.No.No.Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 30,000 elite-qualifying points before the new IHG Rewards program launches in March (then requirements jump to 40 nights or 60,000 points).

Be a cardholder of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Now, let's take a closer look at each of these hotel elite statuses. In particular, we'll consider the highlights of each status, as well as how you can snag the status this year.

Related: Breakfast, upgrades and more: 3 TPG staffers reveal their favorite elite status perks

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Marriott Bonvoy's third-highest status tier is widely regarded as a sweet spot in the program, thanks to its roster of perks and the relative ease of earning Platinum Elite status (compared to Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite status).

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As a Marriott Platinum Elite member, you'll get perks including guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout, room upgrades, breakfast or lounge access at many brands, an annual selection of Choice Benefits including Suite Night Awards and more.

There are some specific brands or types of hotels (including Ritz-Carlton) where some of these benefits don't apply. But on the whole, Platinum Elite status turns out to be very useful at most types of Marriott properties.

How to earn Marriott Platinum Elite status in 2022

If you want to earn Marriott Platinum Elite status in 2022, you'll need to accrue 50 elite-qualifying nights during the year.

Luckily, you don't necessarily have to spend all of these nights in Marriott hotels. After all, you can earn double elite-night credits and bonus points on stays between Feb. 8 and May 4, 2022, after registering for Marriott's latest promotion.

Plus, having the right credit cards can help you achieve status much faster than staying in hotel rooms. Select Marriott cobranded cards provide 15 elite-night credits as a perk of holding the card. And, now you can earn up to 30 elite nights per year with Marriott credit cards.

So, you could snag Platinum Elite status after just 10 nights if you get 30 elite nights from Marriott cards and stay 10 nights this spring during Marriott Bonboy's current promotion offering double elite nights and be well on your way to some potential free breakfasts and upgrades.

Included room service breakfast at a St. Regis (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Related: How and why TPG's hotel reporter is going for Marriott Platinum status

World of Hyatt Globalist

Park Hyatt Aviara (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

World of Hyatt Globalist is a favorite hotel elite status for many TPG staffers and readers because of its consistently delivered perks.

Some of the best World of Hyatt Globalist perks include waived resort fees, room upgrades (including to standard suites), 4 p.m. late checkout, club lounge access (or breakfast at properties without a lounge) and "Guest of Honor" benefits on awards that allow you to formally share your perks with others.

How to earn Hyatt Globalist status in 2022

You need 60 tier-qualifying nights, 100,000 base points or 20 meetings and events each year to earn World of Hyatt Globalist status.

But, you can stay fewer nights and still earn Globalist status with a World of Hyatt credit card.

Specifically, if you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you'll automatically get five tier-qualifying nights each year. Plus, you'll earn two tier-qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on your World of Hyatt Credit Card. Meanwhile, if you have the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, you'll earn five tier-qualifying nights for every $10,000 spent on your card.

So, you could theoretically spend your way to Globalist status without ever stepping into a Hyatt hotel. In particular, you could spend $140,000 on your World of Hyatt Credit Card in 2022 (or $120,000 on your World of Hyatt Business Credit Card) and earn World of Hyatt Globalist status.

But, it's usually more feasible to use a combination of stays and credit card spending to earn Hyatt Globalist status.

Related: Credit card showdown: World of Hyatt card versus World of Hyatt Business card

Hilton Honors Diamond

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Hilton Honors' top-tier Diamond status affords plenty of generous perks, including room upgrades, lounge access, complimentary continental breakfast at many brands and more. I've always been impressed with my stays as a Hilton Diamond.

How to earn Hilton Diamond status in 2022

Fortunately, Hilton Honors consistently makes it relatively easy to achieve top-tier Hilton elite status.

Unlike many programs, Hilton continues to offer reduced elite status requirements this year. As such, you'll have to complete 21 stays, stay 42 nights or earn 84,000 base points for top-tier Diamond status.

But, you could also earn Diamond status without ever setting foot in a Hilton property. The easiest way to earn Hilton Diamond status is to open the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which offers Hilton Diamond status as a cardmember perk.

Related: 7 great ways to use a free night reward and 130,000 Hilton Honors points

IHG Rewards Platinum Elite

IHG's InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

IHG Rewards is often left out when discussing the best hotel elite status. After all, IHG Rewards doesn't provide complimentary elite breakfast, lounge access or even guaranteed late checkout to its elite members.

Frankly, there are many ways IHG Rewards should improve its loyalty program.

But, Platinum Elites often do get upgrades and late checkout. And, IHG Rewards properties often provide reasonable quality at a modest price. So, IHG Platinum Elite can be a good status for budget travelers.

IHG Rewards announced earlier this year that it would change its elite status tiers, including requirements and bonus earnings, this March. But, IHG has told TPG that these changes are just the beginning and to expect additional changes soon.

How to earn IHG Platinum Elite status in 2022

It's easy to earn IHG Platinum Elite status since it's a cardholder perk of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card. Those with the United Infinite Club Card can also activate newly included IHG Platinum status.

Another cardholder benefit is a fourth-night reward benefit on award stays of three nights or longer and an annual free night certificate (which you'll soon be able to top off). So, even if you don't stay at IHG hotels frequently, the IHG Rewards Premier Card is likely worth its annual fee.

Of course, you can also earn IHG Platinum Elite status through stays. Until IHG changes its program in March, you can earn Platinum Elite status after 30 qualifying nights or 30,000 elite-qualifying points. But, once IHG launches its new program in March, these requirements will jump to 40 qualifying nights or 60,000 elite-qualifying points.

Related: IHG now has a calendar search to help you find the best cash or points rates: Here's how to use it

Bottom line

Hotel elite status, especially at the higher tiers, can provide significant perks and enhance your travels.

I can attest from personal experience the value provided by each status. Between my husband and myself, we have each of the four statuses (or higher) described in this article.

There isn't one best hotel elite status for everyone, though. Instead, the best elite status for you depends on your travel style, the perks you value and where you like to travel. Once you decide which hotel elite status is best for you, use the information above to find the best path to earn this status in 2022.

Additional reporting by Nick Ellis.

Featured image by (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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