Hotel Status Recap: Looking Back On 2017 And A Look Forward

2017 was an incredibly busy travel year for me.  It was also an interesting year for hotel status.  I finished off lifetime status with Hyatt.   Since I already had lifetime status with SPG, it was time to start thinking about what future hotel loyalty would look like for me.

The significant changes to the Hyatt program were something to consider.  The improvement of Hyatt lifetime status was an important fact to consider.  I’m still openly wondering what SPG will look like when Marriott is done with it, including whether and how they plan to honor SPG lifetime status.

Looking back on my goals for 2017, I planned to focus on Hyatt and SPG.  When I did my mid-year status check, I had picked up some additional status.  My bets for the end of the year were:

My bets?  70 or so nights with Hyatt, SPG 75 and 15 or 20 nights with Hilton.

Hyatt Gold Passport

It ended up being an odd second half of 2017.  I was well past the halfway point with 43 nights.  There were a couple of stays I pushed to SPG for progress there.  Other than that, I just ended up in a few spots where a Hyatt wasn’t a convenient option.  I didn’t need 60 nights, since I already have lifetime status.  But, I earned double the amount of free nights and confirmed suite upgrades.  I think it was worth it to push for 60 nights.  Still, I missed my projection by 10 nights.

Starwood Preferred Guest

Yup, missed this projection as well.  I didn’t think I’d even sniff 100 nights.  75 nights was achievable but might have required a mattress run.  Then, I woke up one morning with almost 90 nights.  I actually ended up needing to book a few nights at a Category 1 hotel to finish off 100 nights.  Did I need Ambassador status in 2018?  Hard to say.  I don’t have any big trips planned.  Those are where I’m likely to see the most help from my Ambassador.  It might not have been worth it to stretch to 100 nights, but we’ll find out in 2018.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was stupid enough to take suite nights again.

Marriott Rewards

I somehow missed taking a screen shot of my Marriott Rewards progress.  I had 8 paid nights at Marriott this year and one award night.  Marriott Platinum status is art of the status matching Marriott and SPG instituted when they merged.  It was nice to have in 2017 but I don’t know that I realized much benefit from it.  I didn’t receive any upgrades but I suppose I earned some extra points along the way.

Hilton Honors

On December 30th I went to collect screenshots of all my hotel status for this post.  At that point, Hilton had kinda decided the year was already over and reset my tracker.  As of today, they still say my 2018 tracker is on the way.  Yay!

If my math is right I ended the year with 20 stays which should be enough to retain Gold status.  I was given Diamond status a few years ago as part of a Hilton partnership with American Airlines.  I expected it to go away last year, but Hilton extended it without me asking.  2017 saw me at significantly more Hiltons than 2016.  However, I didn’t get much in the may of material benefits from having the higher status.

This remains in the “beats a sharp stick in the eye” category.  I certainly won’t turn down Diamond status if they decide to give it to me again.  I don’t have enough Hilton Honors points to pursue a vacation with them where I could really put any of the benefits to work for me.

I did apply for a Hilton Honors AMEX this year and put some spend on it, thinking I’d  potentially hit Diamond status.  My balance has increased a bit but I’m not actively spending on that credit card.  In the end, the possibility of me getting to 30 stays and keeping Diamond was just that, a possibility. I don’t anticipate actively seeking Hilton status in 2018.

IHG Rewards

Spire Elite status was an odd mix of a necessary points transfer for a vacation and a few nights I wasn’t expecting to stay in an IHG property.  Since IHG offers even less to their elite members than Hilton, I suspect this will be an anomaly.

Looking Forward

A quick note on looking back before we look forward.  It might look like I spent an insane number of nights in hotels.  While I did, I also had a few trips where I booked hotel rooms for employees and credited those rooms to my account.  Additionally, chains like SPG give elite credit for multiple rooms on the same night.  As a family, we generally try to grab more than one room for our trips.  Side note: this is a nice little perk for families to get closer to elite status when redeeming points.  So, there’s some overlap on the total number of rooms.

I expect 2018 to look a lot like 2017.  I’ll be shooting for Globalist status with Hyatt.  I start my hotel search process for each trip by identifying the Hyatt hotels in the market and looking at rates.  That shouldn’t change.  Family vacations will be researched predominately at Hyatt and SPG properties.

SPG will serve as my secondary chain until some sort of clarity from Marriott on elite status and other benefits.  I’m happy enough with my Hyatt that I won’t be heartbroken if Marriott decided to wreck what SPG built.  I certainly won’t be surprised, either.  I’m hoping not much news is good news, and that the Marriott folks are taking a thoughtful path to merging the programs.

What hotel status did you decide to shoot for in 2017? Did you achieve your goal? Was it worth it?

What are you doing for hotel elite status in 2018?

The post Hotel Status Recap: Looking Back On 2017 And A Look Forward was published first on Pizza in Motion

 

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