Status – Is it Worth it?

Currently, I hold the following hotel, airline and rental car statuses:

Airline:
Delta Platinum Medallion
United Premier Silver

Hotel/Casino:
Hyatt Globalist
Marriott Titanium
Hilton Diamond
Wyndham Diamond
IHG Platinum
MGM Gold
Caesars Diamond

Rental Car:
Hertz President’s Circle
National Executive Elite
Avis Preferred

How did I get all these? In a weird way, many are linked to each other in some form. In 2018, I made Marriott Titanium (75 nights) as I had two Chase Marriott credit cards (which I keep for the annual free night certificate that comes with each card) which earned me a total of 30 elite night credits. I used Marriott for most of my hotel stays that year, and with some promotions, I just about earned Titanium for the first time (I had been Platinum before that – the 50 night level, which used to be called Gold…blah blah, long story about a merger with Starwood). Reaching Marriott Titanium got me complementary United Premier Silver status in 2019. Keep in mind I had never flown United in my life and didn’t until 2021.

Armed with my United Premier Status, I did a status match to Delta (my local airline in Atlanta) which I fly often, but not quite often enough to earn status organically. I had to fly six segments in late 2019 (I waited to do the status match until I had 3 round trips planned in a short period of time) and earned Delta Silver Medallion. After I looked at the math, I realized that holding an American Express Delta Reserve Card would be a good idea, as it would give me MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) for signing up and bonuses of additional MQMs at various spend thresholds throughout the year. I was aiming for Delta Gold status in 2020.

Then the pandemic hit. You would think that this ended my quest for Delta status, but you would be wrong. Delta and Amex increased the spend bonuses to the point where I was able to, with very reduced flying, earn Platinum Medallion in 2020. Then Delta rolled over the MQMs for 2021 and again for 2022. At this point, as long as I spend $25,000 on the Delta Reserve card each year, I should be Platinum until at least 2025.

As for Hyatt Globalist, I made a push for that in 2021. I had to cheat a bit. I booked 22 nights at $39/night early in the year when they had a double elite night promotion, plus they reduced the required number of nights for qualification to 30 from 60 just for 2021. Hilton Diamond was achieved through holding the Aspire credit card from Amex, but I canceled the card in 2020. Despite that, I earned enough nights at the Covid-reduced qualification level to keep Diamond status in 2021 and 2022. IHG Platinum status (pretty useless) comes from holding the Chase IHG credit cards (also kept for the annual free nights).

Rental car statuses were earned by status match from Hyatt Globalist to National Executive Elite and then matching National to the other companies. When I was in Vegas in December 2021, I matched Hyatt Globalist to MGM Gold and then MGM to Caesars Diamond which I matched to Wyndham Diamond.

I was able to take good advantage of some of these airline and hotel statuses in 2021. For example, when we finally flew United (from Kauai to Denver to Atlanta on an award ticket) in summer 2021, I was able to check our bags for free and upgrade us to economy plus seats. Not bad for a status I got for nothing. On Delta, I always upgrade myself (and a companion) to comfort plus at the time of booking and sometimes we get upgraded to first class (though less often than you would think because there are so many Delta elites in Atlanta). With Hyatt, we stayed at some amazing properties in 2021 (Grand Hyatt Kauai, Park Hyatt New York, Hyatt Clearwater Beach, and Andaz Papagayo) and all included upgrades, great free breakfast, free parking and other benefits. We’ve also enjoyed some great Hilton stays in the past few years (Hilton Bangkok, Conrad Koh Samui, and Conrad New York Downtown come to mind). Marriott has become less enticing thanks to devaluation, but we have also taken advantage of some nice stays in the past few years (Le Meridien Chiang Mai, Sheraton Times Square and Aloft Liverpool to name a few).

So is it worth it? That depends. If you travel a decent amount (especially if it’s mostly leisure travel at cheaper rates and/or using points), but not enough to earn status each year, it may be worth exploring these methods further to see if you can leverage status to get more benefits each time you travel. I don’t think people should chase status for the sake of it, but if it’s fairly easily attainable and you will get some benefit, go for it!

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