Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why Taj Inner Circle Gold is your semi-secret sixth Amex Platinum hotel status

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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)

Taj Inner Circle match to Shangri La Golden Circle

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.

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


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 2023:

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?

  • World of Hyatt is offering a 25% discount, equivalent to a 33% bonus, when you buy points by 10th October. Click here.

Comments (11)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • JonW says:

    Do these hotel benefits come with a Corporate Amex Platinum card?

  • David says:

    You actually get 22 upgrade vouchers- 20 normal upgrade vouchers for stays up to 5 days and 2 upgrade vouchers to club rooms.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    100 GC = 67 Taj so each Taj is worth 1.4ish a GC

    but 100 Taj only = 38 GC! That’s an awful deal.

  • DB2020 says:

    Although I have been a frequent traveller to India and on several occasions I have been offered the opportunity to sign up for the Inner Circle programme, in my experience it was always better to take Avios or other airline miles per stay.

    It does have benefits, but I passed on them as it was more useful for me to collect the air miles.

  • George K says:

    Is the status match something that would only work for a year once matched, or is it slaved to Shangri-la’s Jade status?

    • Vasco says:

      It keeps going without any need for further input in my experience.

  • Pangolin says:

    The status match from Shangri-La Jade to Taj Gold appears to be sticky, in that once you lose your Shangri-La status the Taj status remains as it was.

    My Shangri-La status was downgraded from Jade to Gold on March 31 this year; my Taj account is still showing Gold 🙂

    The annoying thing is that literally 2 days after my Shangri-La account was downgraded, the CEO sent a global letter saying that due to COVID-19 all statuses were being extended for another year :-/

  • alasdair says:

    I did a tour of India earlier this year and stayed at a number of Taj hotels. Despite being TIC gold (through amex platinum), I don’t think any of the hotels recognised my membership and there certainly weren’t any upgrades or perks. I did get the points after my stays so my membership number was obviously against my booking correctly.

    There were some good room rates for being TIC gold though, and these probably made it worthwhile doing the status match.

    I might follow up on the vouchers (which haven’t appeared in my account) as there may be some value in these.

  • raoul says:

    Even better for Centurion, we get Taj platinum as via the matching of shangrila diamond status

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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