How to get elite status benefits on more than one hotel room
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When traveling with your family or taking a trip with friends, you may want to make the most of your hotel stays, especially when you need more than one room. Recently, we walked through the rules for different chains when earning points while booking multiple rooms, broken down by brand. Today we tackle a similar but different issue — extending your hotel elite status perks to multiple rooms.
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Before getting into the elite perks, let’s start with a quick overview of how booking multiple rooms helps you qualify (or requalify) for elite status. In short, they usually don’t. While you can earn points for booking multiple rooms, every major hotel program’s official rules only count one room toward elite-qualifying activity.
For example, here’s the applicable portion of Marriott Bonvoy’s terms and conditions (section 2.1.d.ii):
“Members will only earn credit for each Qualifying Night which is part of a Stay at a Qualifying Rate … for the guest room the Member personally pays for and stays in, and not for any additional guest rooms.”
There are always exceptions to these rules, and there’s anecdotal evidence that members occasionally get elite credits for multiple rooms on the same day. However, that’s not something you should expect. The Starwood Preferred Guest program was historically the only option for that, as you could earn a qualifying night for up to three booked rooms per night. Unfortunately, when Marriott merged with SPG in 2018, the new program kept Marriott’s legacy policy, which only issues one elite-qualifying night — even if you’ve booked more than one room.
Elite Status Perks
While booking multiple rooms won’t help you earn elite status faster, can you still enjoy the perks of your existing elite status on more than one room? The waters here are a bit murkier. Again, the official terms and conditions of just about every hotel program specifically state that you’ll only get the elite perks for one room per night, regardless of how many rooms you have booked. However, this often ends up being somewhat subjective in practice. Some factors that could influence the success of this endeavor include:
- The individual hotel’s policy
- The level of occupancy
- Your elite status tier
- The front desk agent’s willingness to grant an exception
When all is said and done, receiving elite perks on multiple rooms is absolutely a thing that happens sometimes, so don’t be afraid to ask about it. However, know that it’s possible — or even likely — that your request will be denied at least as often as it is approved.
That being said, if you’re in a situation where certain elite benefits would make a huge difference to the quality of your trip, you may want to contact the hotel(s) directly before your stay. You could even use this correspondence to determine which hotel to book based on whether they can extend elite perks for multiple rooms.
Note that it’s entirely within a hotel’s discretion to deny said request, but if you’re polite and even include something along the lines of “I understand if this isn’t possible” in the email, the property may allow you to enjoy perks on more than one room.
Now that we’ve learned what the “official” rules, let’s look at what it’s really like when people travel and book multiple rooms. I posted a question over on the TPG Family Facebook group and got a few responses (some have been lightly edited for clarity):
“Hilton Lifetime Diamond [member] and there are six of us, so we rarely fit in a single room. I make separate reservations for our immediate family and often for our extended family when we travel. The front desk almost always extends benefits to both of our rooms and has been known to extend to all reservations booked by us.”
“Hilton Diamond and it’s been mixed over the years. Some hotels have extended the benefits to the second room, but some have not. When the Aspire came out, we picked it up so that now both of us are Diamond.”
“Lifetime Marriott Platinum. I usually book two rooms but only get benefits (e.g., room upgrades, late checkout and breakfast) on one.”
“Over July 4th weekend, I booked a room at Conrad Chicago under my name and account and booked the other room under my wife’s name and account. Since we are both Diamond members, we got the benefits for both rooms. My SIL and her husband stayed in one of the rooms and we stayed in the other.”
“Anytime we book two rooms with Marriott (was Platinum, now Bonvoy Titanium), we only get free breakfast/lounge access for 2 people from one room. Yea, no recognition. We often book three rooms and other than faster internet, that’s it.”
Meanwhile, TPG Editor Nick Ewen had some success with gaining lounge access for a second room during a trip to the Grand Hyatt Seattle a few years ago as a Globalist member, simply by asking at check-in.
TPG’s Summer Hull, aka Mommy Points, also had several recent stays in Hawaii where status perks were granted to multiple rooms without request. This included at the Sheraton Kona in Hawaii, where she got breakfast and lounge access for two rooms, and the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where free continental breakfast was granted to multiple rooms.
As you can see, the ability to get perks on multiple rooms is possible but generally isn’t the norm.
However, if you still want other guests in additional rooms to enjoy a more comfortable stay, there are some relatively simple ways to do this without needing to ask (or hope) for an exception to a program’s terms.
Hyatt Guest of Honor
The World of Hyatt program is a favorite among award travelers, and its Guest of Honor benefit is part of that. This can be a great way to book reservations for other people and still allow them to enjoy elite status perks — whether or not you’re traveling with them. If you are a Hyatt Globalist member, you can use your points to make a Hyatt Guest of Honor booking for a friend or family member. In turn, they will get all of your benefits just as if it were you making the stay.
Let’s say — for example — that you were a Globalist member traveling with another couple to a luxury Hyatt resort. Instead of each couple redeeming points for individual rooms, have the other duo transfer Hyatt points to you (for free) and then book the reservations from your account. Both of the rooms would then enjoy perks like complimentary breakfast, lounge access and space-available room upgrades, a simple way to extend these perks to other rooms.
How Credit Cards Can Help
Another avenue to unlock perks for multiple hotel rooms involves sharing your knowledge of top credit cards that offer hotel elite status. This is one of the simplest shortcuts around the (often) onerous requirements for earning status organically. There are a few cards that are particularly valuable along these lines:
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: This card grants the cardholder automatic Gold status, a tier that includes free breakfast and space-available room upgrades — all for just a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees). Now is also a great time to add this card to your wallet, as it’s offering a welcome bonus of 130,000 bonus points after you use your card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: You’d enjoy automatic, top-tier Diamond status with the Aspire card, and while the perks of this level are similar to Gold, you’re eligible for upgrades into suites and can also enjoy a host of other benefits. New cardholders can also take home a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership. While it does carry a $450 annual fee (see rates and fees), you’ll get a ton of valuable perks as well.
However, your friends and family members with whom you’re traveling may not want to apply for cards themselves. If you’re in this situation — and also carry The Platinum Card® from American Express — consider adding them as authorized users. It will cost you just $175 for up to three additional cardholders (see rates and fees) and these travelers can then get automatic Gold status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Plus, they’ll enjoy various other perks like Priority Pass Select membership and Delta Sky Club access. The card has a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees).
TPG Editor Nick Ewen does this for his wife, brother and sister each year as a Christmas present, essentially paying ~$58.33 per person for this array of benefits.
Even if your friends and family aren’t in on the cards approach, if you and your partner are, you could book at least one room out of each account and share the perks that way.
As you can see, sharing your elite status perks with multiple rooms is a bit of a mixed bag and not something that you can count on 100% of the time. If getting elite perks on multiple rooms is something that will make or break your trip, try contacting a property directly to see if it’s possible. Alternatively, you can mitigate things by working to get elite status for multiple people by leveraging credit cards like The Platinum Card from American Express.
Featured photo by fstop123 / Getty Images
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