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Comparing the best hotel elite status tiers and how to earn them in 2023

Jan. 30, 2023
11 min read
Marriott Le Meridien Maldives
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Editor's Note

We've updated this post with current information.

Hotel elite status offers many valuable perks. For example, at higher status tiers, you can often snag perks ranging from complimentary breakfast to upgrades and 4 p.m. late checkout.

But which hotel elite status tier is best? The best tier — and even best hotel loyalty program — depends on your travel habits, likes and needs. So, in this story, I'll describe four of the best hotel elite statuses for U.S.-based travelers. I'll also discuss how to earn each status this year.

You'll notice that the status levels I discuss aren't the absolute top-tier in some programs. After all, you don't always need true top-tier status to reap valuable perks.

Related: Is hotel elite status worth it anymore?

TPG's best hotel elite status levels to earn in 2023

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

Comparing the best hotel elite status levels

StatusFree breakfastLounge accessAdvance suite upgradesBest options for earning in 2023
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum EliteYes, usually.Yes, usually.Yes, through Suite Night Awards.Stay 50 nights (elite night credits from select Marriott Bonvoy cards count).

Be a cardholder of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card.

Earn double elite nights on stays between Feb. 7 and April 23 (requires registration for promotion).

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 DiamondSometimes.Yes.No.Complete 30 stays, stay 60 nights or earn 120,000 base points.

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

IHG One Rewards Platinum EliteNo.Yes, if you have an annual lounge membership through Milestone Rewards.Yes, through confirmable suite upgrades.Stay 40 qualifying nights or earn 60,000 qualifying points.

Be a cardholder of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card, IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card or United Club Infinite 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: Which hotels count award stays toward elite status?

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite

The Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance in California. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Marriott'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.

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As a Marriott Platinum Elite member, you'll get perks including 4 p.m. late checkout (subject to availability at resort and convention hotels), room upgrades (based on availability) and breakfast or lounge access at many brands. Plus, if you reach 50 elite night credits in a calendar year, you'll get access to Marriott Choice Benefits (including Suite Night Awards).

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

Related: What is Marriott Bonvoy elite status worth?

How to earn Marriott Platinum Elite status in 2023

Free breakfast can save you serious money at a property like Le Meridien Maldives Resort and Spa in the Maldives. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

To earn Marriott Platinum Elite status in 2023, you'll need to accrue 50 elite qualifying nights during the year.

Luckily, you don't necessarily have to spend 50 nights in Marriott hotels this year. After all, you can earn double Marriott elite nights and bonus points on all paid stays between Feb. 7 and April 23 after registering for Marriott's latest promotion.

Plus, having the right credit cards can help you achieve status much faster than staying at Marriott hotels. Select Marriott cobranded cards provide elite night credits as a perk of holding the card. And the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card provides Platinum Elite status as a cardholder perk.

There are many pathways to earning Platinum Elite status. For example, if you have the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, you'll get 30 elite night credits just for holding these cards. Then you'd only need to stay with Marriott 20 nights this year to earn Platinum Elite status. And, you might need fewer nights if you earn double elite nights on some paid stays this spring.

Related: The complete guide to earning Marriott elite status with credit cards

World of Hyatt Globalist

Hyatt's Alila Fort Bishangarh in India. KATIE GENTER/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 (based on availability), 4 p.m. late checkout (upon request at most properties), club lounge access (or breakfast at properties without a lounge) and the Guest of Honor benefit.

Related: What is World of Hyatt elite status worth?

How to earn Hyatt Globalist status in 2023

I enjoyed access to a buffet breakfast as a Globalist at the Park Hyatt Chennai in India. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

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 each calendar year.

You could theoretically spend your way to Globalist status without ever stepping into a Hyatt hotel. But, it's usually more feasible to use a combination of stays and credit card spending to earn Hyatt Globalist status.

Related: 5 easy ways to maximize Hyatt award redemptions

Hilton Honors Diamond

The Hilton Santa Monica Hotel and Suites in California. BILL FINK/THE POINTS GUY

Hilton Honors Diamond status affords some valuable perks, including space-available room upgrades, lounge access and a daily food and beverage credit or continental breakfast (depending on brand and region).

Hilton Gold and Diamond status aren't as valuable as they previously were due to Hilton's switch to a daily food and beverage credit for some brands and regions. But, I've always been impressed with my stays outside the U.S. as a Hilton Diamond elite member.

Related: Hilton's international free breakfast is here to stay — at least for now

How to earn Hilton Diamond status in 2023

A room at the Hilton Niseko Village in Japan. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to earn top-tier Hilton elite status. You could complete 30 stays, stay 60 nights or earn 120,000 base points for top-tier Diamond status.

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

The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire 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.

Related: Reflecting on my 1st year as a Hilton Honors Diamond member

IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite

The InterContinental Phuket Resort in Thailand. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

IHG One Rewards is often left out when discussing the best hotel elite status. That said, IHG seriously improved its elite benefits by launching the new IHG One Rewards program in 2022.

Platinum Elite status offers perks like reward night discounts, complimentary upgrades (subject to availability) and late checkout (subject to availability). Plus, you can earn extra rewards — including food and beverage rewards, bonus points, confirmable suite upgrades and an annual lounge membership — through the Milestone Rewards program starting after just 20 nights each calendar year.

IHG One Rewards properties often provide reasonable quality at a modest price. Especially since you can maintain Platinum Elite status just by holding a card with a $99 annual fee, this status may be the best for value-conscious travelers.

Related: What is IHG One Rewards elite status worth?

How to earn IHG Platinum Elite status in 2023

The Hotel Indigo London Paddington in England. SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

It's easy to earn IHG Platinum Elite status since it's a cardholder perk of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. Likewise, United Club Infinite Card members can also register for complimentary IHG Platinum Elite status.

You can also earn IHG Platinum Elite status by accruing 40 qualifying nights or 60,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. But, if you're eligible for an IHG Rewards credit card, it's worth adding the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card or IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card to your wallet. Then you can enjoy Platinum Elite status and only worry about nights if you want to earn Milestone Rewards.

Related: 7 ways to earn more IHG One Rewards points for your next redemption

Bottom line

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

But there isn't one best hotel elite status for everyone. Instead, the best elite status for you depends on your travel style, the perks you value most and where you like to travel. For example, I truly appreciate the 4 p.m. late checkout that I can get as a World of Hyatt Globalist or Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite at most Hyatt and Marriott properties.

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 2023.

Additional reporting by Nick Ellis.

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.