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We’ve seen a lot of airlines and hotel chains adjust their loyalty programs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every major program announced elite status extensions in 2020 and 2021 as well as reduced some qualification requirements. Now, with the pandemic and omicron variant still wreaking havoc on travel, some loyalty programs are going a step further by extending elite status into 2022 and 2023.
Here’s a complete list of all of the elite qualification changes you need to know about. We’ll continue to regularly update this guide as more airlines and hotels announce changes.
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Aeroplan extended elite status for all members through the end of 2022. This means anyone with Air Canada elite status in 2021 will continue to enjoy benefits even if they haven’t re-earned their current status tier this year. The extension is automatic and there is no need to enroll.
Further, all members who qualified for any elite status tier in 2021 through flight activity had their Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) rolled over to 2022. Those who earn status through credit card spending will not have these metrics rolled over.
For example, an Aeroplan Super Elite member who earned 28,000 SQMs, 13 SQSs and $5,000 SQDs started 2022 with Super Elite status and the same number of SQMs, SQSs and SQDs in their account. This has made it much easier for Aeroplan elites to maintain or upgrade their status in 2022 (for the 2023 status year) without worrying about losing their current status tier if they don’t fly as much in 2022.
Air Canada also extended the validity date of eUpgrade credits. Any eUpgrade credits earned on or before Aug. 31, 2022, now expire on Jan. 15, 2023, while those earned on or after Sept. 1, 2022 expire Jan. 15, 2024. While these extensions should already be reflected in members’ online accounts, it’s worth noting that members will only receive a physical membership kit (with luggage tags, etc) if they achieved a higher level of elite status in 2021.
Unfortunately, Air Canada doubled the SQD requirement for travelers outside of Canada in 2022, putting it in line with SQD requirements for Canadian members. International members could previously qualify for status at lower rates than Canadian members.
Here’s a look at 2022 spending requirements (converted to U.S. dollars) for all status tiers:
On the flip side, Aeroplan is offering two limited-time promotions to help fast-track member’s qualifications for status in 2023:
The first promotion is super easy to take advantage of. Members will get a one-time bonus of 5,000 SQM, 5 SQS, and $500 SQD when they do any three of the following by April 30, 2022:
Note, several of these activities are only for members based in Canada.
Air Canada is also awarding more SQM, SQS and SQD on its flights and vacation packages through April:
Alaska normally offers two ways to reach MVP elite status: Flying Alaska-operated flights exclusively (with lower qualification thresholds) or taking a combination of Alaska- and partner-operated flights (with higher thresholds).
However, for 2022, Alaska has lowered qualification thresholds for all members.
Alaska also extended elite status for those who didn’t requalify in 2021 through April 30, 2022. These members will have the opportunity to extend their status through Dec. 31, 2022, by earning the following number of base flight miles between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2022:
American was the first U.S. airline to announce elite status updates for 2021; however, no reductions in elite requirements have been announced for 2022. In fact, in October 2021, American Airlines announced a new way to earn status through Loyalty Points, completely eliminating its notorious elite-qualifying miles (EQMs), elite-qualifying segments (EQSs) and elite-qualifying dollars (EQDs).
While there are numerous creative ways to earn Loyalty Points, by solely flying on American, the spending thresholds are high. Specifically, to requalify for Executive Platinum status, a member would need to spend $18,182 on paid American tickets (base fares and carrier-imposed fees). This is a 34% higher spend requirement than the 2021 threshold, which was $12,000 EQDs. It is worth noting that American’s elite status qualifying cycle will no longer be Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 and now be March 1 to Feb. 28. Despite this, Loyalty Point activity between Jan. 1, 2022 and Feb. 28, 2022 will count for both 2022 and 2023 status.
Amtrak extended elite status for all Select, Select Plus and Select Executive members through Feb. 28, 2023.
Further, members can earn 2 TQPs (Tier Qualifying Points) per dollar spent; however, paid business class tickets provide a 25% TQP bonus, and paid a first class Acela ticket provides a 50% TQP bonus.
Elite threshold requirements remain unchanged for 2022:
Avianca LifeMiles lowered elite status requirements for 2022. The temporary change offers up to a 40% reduction on elite status requirements:
As with 2021, you must earn 80% of your qualifying miles on Avianca-operated flights to qualify for status. You can earn the remaining 20% of your qualifying miles on any Star Alliance partner or — starting on Feb. 1, 2022 — with an Avianca cobranded credit card. 25% of the redeemable LifeMiles earned with one of these cards now count toward elite status.
Choice Hotels reduced thresholds for elite status qualification in 2021 and again in 2022. Any status you earn this year will be valid through 2023. Here’s how the requirements break down:
Delta was the first airline to extend elite status due to the coronavirus outbreak in 2020 and again in 2021. This means that those who earned elite status in 2019, 2020 or 2021 now have elite status through Jan. 31, 2023.
Additionally, the airline made it easier to qualify for higher status and is offering extra perks for those that qualify organically. Specifically, effective Feb. 1, 2022, travelers who earned their status in 2021 will clear for complimentary upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level whose status was extended.
Although its notorious Medallion Status Accelators have now ended, all 2021 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) rolled over to 2022, which gave many elites a jumpstart on earning towards 2023 Status. Additionally, award tickets will continue to earn elite qualifying metrics through the end of 2022.
At the time of writing, no requirement reductions have been announced.
Emirates is extending all elite status set to expire by February 28, 2022, by 12 months. If your tier expiration date is on or before February 28, 2022, your net tier review date will automatically be adjusted to February 28, 2023. Emirates elites will have the opportunity to retain tier status based on activity between March 1, 2022, and February 28, 2023.
Hertz extended status for existing elites through Feb. 28, 2023. Additionally, it’s awarding new Gold Plus Rewards members complimentary Five Star elite status through June 30, 2022.
For everyone else, Hertz is honoring the same reduced elite status requirements in 2022 as 2021:
|Status tier||Reduced requirements||Normal requirements|
|Five Star||10 rentals||12 rentals or $2,000 spent|
|President’s Circle||15 rentals||20 rentals or $4,000 spent|
Hilton has extended elite status for all members through Mar. 31, 2023. Hilton’s previous status extension was set to expire on Mar. 31, 2022, meaning some travelers will enjoy two years of “free” Hilton status.
For those who don’t already have status with Hilton or wish to upgrade their status, in 2022, Hilton Honors members can earn:
Status earned in 2022 will be valid for the remainder of 2022 and the entirety of 2023.
In addition to reducing requirements, Hilton automatically rolled over all 2021 elite-qualifying nights and points to 2022, so you could get a big head start on your 2022 qualification based on stays this year.
However, keep in mind that you can also get automatic Hilton Honors elite status with a cobranded Hilton card or The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Enrollment required for select benefits.
While Hyatt reduced elite status requirements by 50% for the 2021 qualification year, the standard, pre-pandemic elite requirements are back:
That said, those with the World of Hyatt Credit Card automatically get five qualifying nights each year just for having the card. Additionally, cardholders earn two elite-qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card, making it far easier to earn elite status for high spenders.
If you currently hold IHG Rewards elite status, it has been automatically extended through February 2023. In March 2022, IHG will begin to implement several major program changes. Part of these changes is an adjustment to elite requirements. In particular, IHG will restructure the elite status tiers and requirements as follows:
In 2021, JAL extended status and gave JAL Mileage Bank members with Fly On elite status bonus Fly On points for a head start in earning status for the following year.
In October 2021, elites were credited additional points:
For 2022, the pre-pandemic status requirements are back for JAL.
In December 2021, JetBlue announced a new status tier, Mosaic+. There are two tracks to qualifying for JetBlue’s new elite tier.
There are three ways to earn standard Mosaic status in 2022:
The information for the JetBlue Plus and JetBlue Business cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
In 2021, Miles and More members earned double miles and enjoyed a one-year status extension. There’s no shortcut to earning status with Miles and More in 2022. The requirements are as follows:
Marriott Bonvoy announced that it’s further extending all elite status through February 2023, regardless of when it was earned. Beyond that, it hasn’t made broad adjustments to its qualification requirements. While Marriott Bonvoy reduced the spend threshold for attaining Ambassador Elite status to $14,000 in 2021, the standard $20,000 spend threshold has returned for 2022.
That said, Marriott is offering an elite status fast track through its latest global promotion. Registered members will earn double elite night credits, as well as 1,000 bonus points per night, on all stays between Feb. 8 and May 4, 2022.
Singapore Airlines has extended the elite status for all members by another year. All PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite statuses that were set to expire between March 2022 and February 2023 will be automatically extended to now expire between March 2023 and February 2024.
Singapore Airlines will be rolling over Elite miles earned in the 12 months before the latest extension. In other words: elite miles earned during the previous membership qualification cycle will also count toward the next requalification cycle.
The airline is also pausing the expiration of award miles in 2022. Any KrisFlyer award miles that are set to expire in 2022 will be automatically extended by 6 months at a time.
There are also new benefits for KrisFlyer members when flying with Scoot. Singapore Airlines is the parent company of Scoot, a discount airline based in Singapore. Effective February 2022, PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite tier members will be entitled to priority boarding, complimentary standard seat selection, an additional 5kg check-in baggage allowance with any baggage purchase and 25% more KrisFlyer miles for every mile earned when traveling on Scoot flights.
Lastly, Singapore Airlines has also increased mileage accruals for KrisFlyer members traveling on Scoot. KrisFlyer members now earn 2.5 elite miles for every KrisFlyer mile earned from flying on Scoot, up from 1 elite mile for every KrisFlyer mile.
Like many other airlines, particularly American, Southwest provides ways to qualify for status without flying. In general, these include partner hotel stays, partner car rentals, and certain Southwest cobranded credit card purchases.
For 2022, status requirements are back to the pre-pandemic requirements:
United is keeping the same 2021 status requirements for 2022. Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) requirements have been reduced by around 25% to 30% for both years. Unfortunately, only targeted elites will automatically have their elite status extended through 2022.
As a reminder, travelers earn one PQP for each eligible dollar spent on tickets issued by United or based on distance and fare class for tickets issued by partners. You’ll also earn one PQF for each eligible flight segment flown.
Here’s how it breaks down:
In 2021, United provided countless promotions to its Premier members, which meant that most were able to requalify for status. United has not released any 2022 PQP promotions to date.
Still, through its Chase credits cards, the following can be earned:
In September 2021, Virgin Atlantic announced a fifth round of elite status and Companion Voucher extensions. Gold and Silver elite members had their status extended by an additional six months and will have an additional six three months to requalify for status.
Virgin Atlantic is also making it easier to qualify for status in 2022:
The tier point reduction will be in effect from April 1, 2022, until March 30, 2023.
Wyndham Rewards reduced elite status qualifications in 2021 by 40%, and they are keeping these reduced levels for 2022. Here’s what it will take to earn Wyndham elite status this year:
Remember that if you qualify for Wyndham Diamond status, you could match that to Diamond status within the Caesars Hotels and Resorts chain. Caesars Diamond perks include waived resort fees on all stays, complimentary valet and self-parking and a $100 annual celebration dinner at Caesars-owned restaurants.
Many airline and hotel loyalty programs made it easier to earn elite status in 2021 for 2022, while some are already reducing qualifications for the new year. However, as you can see, there still are a few major programs on this list that can do more for their members. More changes will likely be announced in the weeks to come, so be sure to bookmark this guide and check back regularly as we update it with more information.
Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.
Featured photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy
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