I recapped my airline status achievements for 2022 last week. I finally got a free moment to talk about where I ended up in regards to hotel elite status last year. The title of this post is only a little deceptive, in that at most I have one hotel status goal for 2023. But, let’s take a look back at 2022 first. You can also hear us discuss hotel elite status on a recent podcast episode.
Hyatt Globalist Status
This is probably the lowest night count I’ve had at Hyatt in any year over the past 15, with the exception of the pandemic years. I did make a bit of a push near the end of the year to make sure I got to 60 nights even though I’m lifetime Globalist. The incentive for lifetime Globalists to shoot for 60 nights per year is a doubling of certain benefits, such as Globalist suite upgrades and the Category 1-7 free night certificate Globalist members receive for staying 60 nights.
It’s a virtual certainty that I’ll hit 60 nights again with Hyatt this year. I added the World of Hyatt Business credit card to my wallet, so I now hold both Hyatt cards. That will give me a boost towards elite status with personal and business spending earning elite night credits. Hyatt is still my first choice in virtually every market I visit. The one exception is Las Vegas, where I slightly prefer Resorts World to the MGM resorts.
Hilton Diamond Status
I continue to go back and forth on the value of top-tier Diamond status with Hilton. I manage to rack up a bunch of nights with them each year due to booking rooms on behalf of a few employees where those stays ultimately get paid by me and credited to my account. Now that I’ve finished off lifetime Hilton Diamond status I honestly don’t see a big reason to chase status with Hilton. Unlike with Hyatt, there are no benefits if you qualify for status the old-fashioned way.
And, I don’t find that Hilton properties treat Diamond members anywhere near as well as Hyatt treats Globalist members. Because of business travel spend I’ll still rack up some Hilton Honors points. That’s helpful for when we have to travel for our daughter’s track meets. However, with a few recent mishaps where guaranteed connecting rooms with Hilton weren’t so “guaranteed”, my expectations are low.
Marriott Titanium Elite
I actually had to look back at my stay history to see when I paid for a Marriott stay. It turns out I paid for a stay at the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. For the life of me I can’t recall why I did that. The only thing that seems logical was that I couldn’t get enough award stays when we were down there for our charity fundraiser at the end of last year. At any rate, while I still find value in Marriott Bonvoy points I don’t believe earning them on paid stays with Marriott makes sense for me. When I do choose a Marriott property my first step is to check Capital One Travel to see if the rate is competitive. I strongly prefer 10 Capital One Venture Miles per dollar to earning Bonvoy points.
I earned Lifetime Titanium Elite status as part of the Marriott/SPG merger a number of years ago. There’s no higher level of lifetime status to achieve, so I don’t spend a ton of time focused on the Bonvoy program when it comes to paid hotel stays. I still hold two Marriott credit cards. I really need to sit down and make sure I’m still getting the value out of the annual fee I’m paying on both of those.
Wyndham Rewards Gold Status
No screenshot on this one. I have Gold status by way of a small handful of stays with Wyndham last year. I was treated really well during our family stays at a full-service Wyndham property and would definitely return. The footprint of higher quality Wyndham hotels in the cities I normally travel is pretty thin. It would be nice to bump up to Platinum status (15 nights) to get a status match to Caesars Rewards again to waive resort fees on Vegas hotel stays. I do continue to keep an eye on Caesars property hotel rates in Vegas and may get to Platinum status this year.
At the end of the day, Wyndham has done enough with their program over the past few years to earn a place on my radar. As of right now, I view them interchangeably with Marriott and Hilton. I’d definitely consider shifting business to Wyndham if I found myself in a position to book more of their full-service hotels.
The Final Two Pennies
Hotel loyalty remains a pretty straightforward proposition for me. The discussion starts with Hyatt, then there’s everyone else. Is Hyatt Globalist status as good as Diamond was back in the day? Not quite. The My Hyatt Concierge still leads the industry but has come back to the pack just a bit. As the chain has gotten bigger I’ve had a moment or two where there was some confusion on benefits.
However, by and large they continue to offer a value proposition that far exceeds the competition. Delivery of benefits such as breakfast and late check-out is exceptional. Most hotels are very thoughtful and accommodating when we have special requests such as connecting rooms. It just feels like they care about their jobs so much more than the rest of the chains.
Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham all play a role in my hotel needs throughout the year. But, my heart still belongs to Hyatt.
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Thank goodness the actual number of nights/stayed for 2022 with your head on pillow is much smaller than those listed numbers!
Ed, there actually is a benefit for actual nights stayed at Hilton even if you are Diamond. 60 nights lets you gift Gold status to someone and 100 nights lets you gift Diamond. That might come in handy when your kids head off to college and will be taking vacations of their own – just speaking from personal experience.
Like you, I am a Lifetime Globalist as well as Lifetime Titanium. I understand that IHG has significantly upgraded their program so that it now seems competitive. I am considering looking into getting a status match to give it a try. I like the idea of Kimpton Hotels, mostly because they tend to have good restaurants on the properties. Further, there is a good international footprint of InterContinentals. Have you considered IHG?