How to Get ‘Status’ at a Hotel (and Use It at Other Chains)

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Photo: David Tadevosian (Shutterstock)

When it comes to hotel status, there are two types of travelers: those who have it, and those who don’t. And if you fall into the latter category, you might be wondering how you can get in on the benefits that come with being a loyalty member. You don’t necessarily need to stay loyal to just one hotel chain to reap the rewards. In fact, you can often leverage your status with one hotel company to get perks at other chains.

Take advantage of a hotel’s “status match”

If you have hotel status with one chain, you can usually use that status to get benefits at other chains via a “status match.” This is when a hotel chain will recognize the status you have with a different chain and, in an effort to win your business, offer you status for a limited time. The benefits you’ll receive will vary depending on the chain and the level of status you are matched to, but they can include room upgrades, free breakfast, late checkout, and more.

To take advantage of a status match, you’ll need to contact the hotel chain you’re interested in and provide proof of your current status—the process is usually pretty simple and straightforward. Typically the most accurate information will come from the hotel chain itself, so Googling “[hotel chain name] status match” is a good place to start. StatusMatcher allows users to report successful and unsuccessful status match requests across airline, hotel and car rental programs.

Taking advantage of status matches can be quite lucrative. For example, I had a few upcoming trips to Las Vegas and was able to match my Hyatt status to MGM Gold. This saved me from having to pay the resort fees at MGM properties (which are $39 per night!). In total, the few minutes it took me to match my status has saved me over $400 in resort fees.

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Get status faster with a “status challenge”

If you don’t have any hotel status, or if you want to upgrade your current status, you can sometimes take advantage of a “status challenge.” This is when a hotel chain will offer you the opportunity to earn status by staying at their properties for a certain number of nights or spending a certain amount of money within a set period of time. The requirements are lower than the normal requirements for earning that status, and sometimes you will be offered status for a limited period while you work to complete the status challenge.

The benefits you’ll receive from a status challenge will again vary depending on the chain, but they can be pretty generous. And since you’re essentially earning your status from scratch, it’s a great way to get some extra perks on your next stay.

Earn status with a credit card

If you don’t have status with a hotel chain yet, keep in mind that many hotel credit cards offer a base level of status just for having the card. These cards typically have annual fees around $100, but also typically offer a free night certificate at the hotel chain. Depending on how often you travel and whether or not you are able to take advantage of the card benefits, it could be worth it to pick up a hotel credit card and even leverage that status to match to other programs.

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