My 2024 Elite Status Plans

a table and chairs on a patio overlooking the ocean

Better late than never?  I’ve been tied up with some family health issues but wanted to get caught up on my 2024 outlook for elite status. First, let’s look at the various elite status levels I achieved in 2023.

2023 Elite Status

2023 was a heavy travel year for me, with over 100,000 miles of flying and over 100 nights in hotels.  Here’s what I ended the year with:

  • United Airlines Global Services
  • American Airlines Executive Platinum (will finish by end of February)
  • Delta Diamond
  • JetBlue Mosaic 4 (status match)
  • Hyatt Globalist (lifetime)
  • Marriott Titanium (lifetime)
  • Hilton Diamond (lifetime)

2024 Elite Status Plans

My hunch is that global travel demand will cool off at least a bit in 2024.  I would expect all of the Big 3 airlines to shed some of their elite members based on continued increases in elite status requirements and benefits, though American generally stood pat on qualifications and benefits this year.

United Airlines

I renewed my Pass Plus membership, which is a business travel program that United offers. Along with that renewal I was also granted Global Services status, an invite-only level that United has offered for some time. I struggled a bit with this decision. Global Services was more rewarding than 1K last year, but not by a wide margin.

If my hunch is right on global travel demand, airfare may come down a bit which would make it harder to burn up the deposited funds that are part of my Pass Plus membership. My hunch is that the increase in elite status requirements will continue thinning out the elite ranks at United. That should mean more meaningful use of my Global Services benefits. If a reduction in overall air travel happens as well I should see more access to the expanded upgrade inventory that really is the most valuable Global Services benefit for me. I do think this will be the final year I spend as Global Services.

a model airplane on display

American Airlines

I’ll qualify for Executive Platinum by the skin of my teeth (and with a bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul).  American has a unique structure now where you earn status based on your spending from March 1st to February 28th as opposed to a calendar year. That meant when I finished off my other elite status requirements I chose to redirect some spending to American Airlines in January and February to renew Executive Platinum for another year.

Admittedly, I did not put my Executive Platinum membership to much use in 2023. I almost felt a bit foolish chasing the status in the early part of 2024. However, when I sat down to crunch the math a bit I realized that my calculations didn’t take into account all of the upside.

In 2023 American Airlines made some pretty significant changes to their hotel booking platform, AAdvantage Hotels. These hotel stays earn Loyalty Points, American’s currency for earning elite status. In some cases, a 1-night hotel booking could earn 10,000 Loyalty Points. The obvious part I wasn’t considering is that those bookings also earn redeemable miles. Based on how cheap some of the hotel stays are, I’d never earn that sort of return if I booked through Hyatt, Marriott or Hilton directly.

Since I cleared out my AAdvantage account for an incredible deal on business class tickets to Tokyo, I’m eager to rebuild my AAdvantage balance.  I have other goals for Hyatt that may get in the way, more on that in a bit.  Suffice it to say that I’m willing to give up at least a few Hyatt bookings early in 2024 in exchange for AAdvantage miles and Executive Platinum status.

I’m still unsure if I’ll chase Executive Platinum in 2024.  I still want to earn AAdvantage miles and when a good opportunity presents itself I’ll do so.  American offers 20% and 30% Loyalty Points bonuses when you hit certain thresholds.  That really accelerated my earning later in the year and may ultimately push me to Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum again in 2024.

a large concrete sign with a logo

Delta Air Lines

Delta made some pretty massive changes to their club access in 2023 before rescinding some of those changes in favor of less punitive ones.  As a “make good” for the changes, Delta is offering status extensions to folks with significant rollover MQM (Medallion Qualifying Miles) balances.  The alternative rewards for large MQM balances aren’t that valuable to me, so I intend to cash in my MQM balance for an additional 3 years of Diamond status.

Once I figured out that was my plan (in October when Delta shifted based on negative customer sentiment), I shifted a bunch of business spending to the Delta Reserve AMEX card to finish off Diamond for 2023. Now that I’ve done that, I intend to cancel at least 1 of the 2 Delta Reserve cards I hold, and potentially both. I’ve been using Delta as my “connecting” airline, with United as my primary airline for all nonstop flights. If I shift my connecting flights to American I’ll have no need for Delta Sky Club access. In that case, I would drop both Delta Reserve cards, ride out 3 years of Delta Diamond and see what the landscape looks like then.

a large airplane on a runway


Lifetime status can have a way of reducing motivation to commit travel spend to a brand.  Hyatt has always been the opposite for me.  Their lifetime status is the only hotel brand I’m aware of that rewards lifetime members with more benefits for continued loyalty.  I receive all the benefits of Hyatt Globalist each year, but I can also “double up” many of those benefits if I qualify the old-fashioned way by earning 60 nights.  That would generally be enough to keep me loyal to the brand.

On top of that, Hyatt rolled out some pretty customer-friendly benefits late last year.  With the ability to earn new benefits such as a Category 8 award and free nights at Miraval, I’m committed to earning 150 nights at Hyatt this year.   I noted earlier that my path to American Airlines Executive Platinum status may run in contrast to this goal.  There will undoubtedly be some math along the way.  One side of the equation is the ability to earn bonus points on hotel stays with AAdvantage Hotels.  On the other side, a Category 8 award should be worth 40,000 Hyatt points.  And, a night at a Miraval property is generally worth at least $1,000.  Hitting 150 nights with Hyatt between hotel nights and credit card spend is awfully tempting.

a deck with a hot tub and a tree
Carmel Valley Ranch, Unbound Collection. Image Courtesy of Hyatt


I already have the highest lifetime status Marriott offers, Titanium Elite.  The lack of a confirmed suite upgrade at time of booking reduces the appeal of booking Marriott hotels for family vacations.  The number of points required to book some desirable Marriott properties (85,000 points per night at the Disney World Dolphin and Swan on many nights) is also a detractor from loyalty to the brand.  Marriott has an incredible footprint and also has some pretty nice hotels.  However, in the area of elite recognition they trail the competition.  I have one paid Marriott stay on the books in 2024 so far, and that may be as far as I get.

a building with a large green pyramid shaped building
Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan


Hilton has become my backup hotel chain, ahead of Marriott on a number of occasions.  I’ve even flirted with a few Wyndham stays ahead of Marriott.  Where Hilton has distinguished themselves is in the sheer number of points you can earn when you combine seasonal promotions with elite and credit card bonuses.  I’ve also received a handful of complimentary upgrades on Hilton stays as a lifetime Diamond.  For those reasons, Hilton will continue to get a portion of my paid business travel every year.  However, with lifetime Diamond status already locked up, I don’t have a stronger reason to commit more spending to Hilton than on those occasions where there’s not a good Hyatt option to be found.

The Final Two Pennies

The world of airline and hotel loyalty has shifted greatly over the past decade.  Gone are the days where a “mileage run” to earn extra miles with an airline would result in meaningful elite status benefits.  The requirements to qualify are much higher, the benefits noticeably less valuable.  Hyatt continues to be a standout for me on hotel elite status.  They continue to recognize their most loyal customers in a way that differentiates themselves from the competitors.  Until that changes, Hyatt will continue to be my hotel brand of choice.

I’m still figuring out my credit card priorities for 2024.  The World of Hyatt Business credit card will play a prominent role, along with the Bilt Mastercard.  From there, it’s a bit harder to judge where I’ll be putting most of my spending.  The Capital One Venture card is in the mix along with my Ink Business credit cards.  I should have a better idea in the next few weeks.

What are your choices for elite status in 2024?

Did you enjoy this post?  Please share it! There’s plenty of ways to do that below.

You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

And, I hope you’ll check out my podcast, Miles To Go.  We cover the latest travel news, tips and tricks every week so you can save money while you travel better.  From Disney to Dubai, San Francisco to Sydney, American Airlines to WestJet, we’ve got you covered!


  1. You certainly have this down pat. I hadn’t realized while reading you these past years just how much you stay, fly, and spend on an annual basis. As long as you’re accruing points and benefits for when you want them, major props to you.

    1. 150 nights of the head in the bed with just Hyatt in a year? Unless using the hotel program also on some nights when I leave the rooms unoccupied, I just can’t see myself doing that with my head in Hyatt beds if it’s primarily Hyatt in the US.

      Other than for airlines programs where I am on the cusp of a higher lifetime elite status, I have stopped caring about chasing elite status with the airlines. I have enough airline lifetime elite status and otherwise to cover enough of my flights and manage to get my way otherwise that it really doesn’t matter what little material gain I may lose from not having more/higher airline elite status levels.

      Have lounge access and/or suite-upgrade-granting elite status at Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, Hilton and some Choice affiliated properties for this year. The Hyatt one is the one I value the most, followed by the IHG one.

      1. GUWonder, I’ll earn some of those nights with credit card spending. And, the new benefit where you can earn 1 night for each of Guest of Honor award you gift to someone, I’ll probably earn another 5 nights that way. Still probably close to 100 nights in Hyatt beds, which is a bit of a stretch. I’m usually in the 80-100 range.

        I don’t have any lifetime elite status goals to chase at this point. I was contemplating a run for some level of Delta lifetime status using credit card spend but they put an end to that in October. As I approach 1MM miles on United I know I’ll never get to 2MM. And, I already have over 3MM lifetime miles with AA. Boy, did I back the wrong horse in that lifetime status race!

        IHG is intriguing to me with the improvements to their loyalty program. I’ll see how this year sorts out with Hyatt before deciding if I should continue being all-in on Hyatt each year or toy with some IHG status.

        1. IHG hotels seem to often have cash-back return % that are higher and less restricted than they are with other hotel groups. And the IHG cash-back returns — along with what may be IHG’s lower rates — are additional cream on top of the points earnings from the stay itself.

          Recently got Diamond back with IHG due to a Chase credit card offer that has Diamond status as part of the SUB on the IHG Premier credit card. Not sure how well I will milk that $99 (annual fee) card before the end of this year, but the SUB points, a few breakfasts and the Iberostar Beach whatever promo should land me enough value in free nights and full breakfast that I’ll get something out of it even as I’ll probably lose IHG Diamond status since I end up doing too many nights at other brands in places where IHG is too substandard or inconvenient (if it’s even around) to get my business away from other hotel groups.

    2. Christian, I am fortunate to have a lot of business spending. That makes some of these goals much easier to achieve!

  2. Your hotels loyalty program lifetime statuses are the best as they could be. Have you thought collect the miles to BAEC instead of AAdvantage? TP to GfL and lounge access in US even with Silver.

    1. Not sure I’d get very far on spend with BAEX, since most of my AAdvantage accruals are through portal bonuses and cc spend.

  3. Question:
    If I have AAdvantage Platinum status now and book a flight for August using the platinum benefit to select main cabin extra seats for me and my wife at time of booking but then don’t requalify for 2024 and thus lose status as of March 1st will I retain those MCE seats or will I be reassigned come check-in?

    What if it’s on a partner airline such as Finnair, does that make a difference?

    1. Andrew, with partners it’s always a bit of an imperfect science. My guess is that if you don’t qualify for status again this year that you won’t have benefits on Finnair later this year even if you make the booking now. For AA, my guess is that you’ll retain your seat selections on an AA flight as long as there are no major changes to your flight.

Leave a Reply