If you want to gain status at a number of hotel chains quickly, you have two options. One is to start spending every night of the week in a hotel, potentially changing property every day because qualifying on stays is usually quicker than on nights.. The easier option, however, is to get an American Express Platinum charge card.
Amex Platinum has an unrivalled list of benefits for the frequent traveller, including:
full travel insurance for yourself and up to five supplementary cardholders
car hire insurance
Eurostar lounge access
2 x Priority Pass, allowing up to four people free unlimited access to 1,300 airport lounge globally
exclusive hotel benefits, including a guaranteed 4pm check-out, via Fine Hotels & Resorts
The most comprehensive list of benefits, however, come from Amex’s hotel partners. You can receive status in five hotel chains for free:
Hilton Honors (Gold status)
Radisson Rewards (Gold status)
MeliaRewards (Gold status)
Marriott Bonvoy (Gold Elite status)
Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade status)
There is, however, an extra 6th shiny hotel card you can get if you know how:
Taj Hotels InnerCircle (Gold status)
This comes about due to a partnership between Shangri-La Hotels and Taj Hotels & Resorts.
Apart from its home market of India, where it is obviously very strong, Taj runs a number of luxury properties across the world. This includes the well known Taj Exotica resort in the Maldives, 51 Buckingham Gate and St James’ Court in London, The Pierre in New York and a fairly new Taj-branded property in Cape Town.
Taj and Shangri-La co-operate to allow members the opportunity to earn points at hotels in either chain. A status match is part of the package.
You can match your Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status to Taj InnerCircle Gold status via this website.
Taj InnerCircle Gold status is not hugely valuable but, at the same time, it is silly not to claim it if you are staying at a Taj property in the near future. Taj InnerCircle Gold benefits are
Late Check Out
Early Check In
2 Upgrade Vouchers
15% discount on room redemption rate
You can also transfer your Shangri-La points to Taj and vice versa. The rates are:
100 Shangri-La = 67 Taj
100 Taj = 38 Golden Circle
You can find out more on this special website here.
The ability to match Shangri-La Jade status to Taj InnerCircle Gold status will only benefit a few American Express Platinum cardholders, but it is always useful to have additional options when travelling.
Remember that you keep your Hilton, Marriott, Radisson, Melia, Shangri-La and Taj hotel statuses irrespective of whether you cancel your American Express Platinum card or not. They will continue until they expire naturally, which is usually early in the following year or the year after depending on the scheme.
Hotel offers update – September 2021:
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Marriott Bonvoy (‘mystery’ 45% or 50% bonus to 25th September), Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 30th September), IHG Rewards (‘mystery’ bonus, usually 100%, to 8th October) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 31st October).