When we compare the major hotel loyalty schemes on Head for Points, we generally look at them in terms of the number of nights you need to stay.
For most people, this is the correct approach. Whilst most of the hotel programmes let you qualify by either spend or nights, the majority of people earn status by qualifying nights because the spend target is disproportionately high.
If you like to stay in luxury hotels, however, you may be able to qualify for top tier status on spend even if you don’t do many nights. This is especially true if you tend to book larger rooms or suites.
Let’s take a look at how much spending each programme needs for top tier status.
For clarity, not all top tiers are created equal. IHG doesn’t give breakfast, lounge access or guaranteed upgrades to its top tier members – you would get more as a mid-tier Hilton Honors member than as top-tier IHG Rewards Spire Elite. That said, the analysis below provides a basis for discussion.
You should also note that different chains have different rules over how multiple rooms are treated. Accor will count spend from TWO rooms per night towards status, which is unusual. Most chains will give redeemable points on 2nd rooms but not status points.
Here are the headline numbers, which exclude any covid changes for 2021:
Easiest chain to earn top-tier status by nights:
- Accor Live Limitless – 60 nights (for Platinum)
- Hilton Honors – 60 nights
- World of Hyatt – 60 nights
- IHG Rewards – 75 nights
- Marriott Bonvoy – 75 nights (for Titanium)
Easiest chain to earn top-tier status by spend:
- Accor Live Limitess – $6,700 (for Platinum)
- IHG Rewards – $7,500
- Hilton Honors – $12,000
- Accor Live Limitless – $12,500 (for Diamond)
- World of Hyatt – $20,000
Here is a breakdown by chain which also includes covid changes for 2021:
Accor Live Limitless
Top-tier Diamond status requires €10,400 of qualifying spend. There is no ‘nights’ equivalent.
If we drop down to Platinum, it requires 60 nights or €5,600 ($6,700) of pre-tax hotel spending.
The benefits of Platinum and Diamond status are shown on accorhotels.com here.
Top-tier Diamond status requires 60 nights or 120,000 base points.
At 10 base points per $1, you would earn Diamond with $12,000 of pre-tax hotel spending.
During 2021, as a covid measure, this is reduced to 60,000 elite qualifying points which requires $6,000 of spending.
The benefits of Diamond status are shown on hilton.com here.
Top-tier Spire Elite status requires 75 nights or 75,000 elite qualifying points.
At 10 base points per $1, you would earn Spire Elite with $7,500 of pre-tax hotel spending.
During 2021, as a covid measure, this is reduced to 55,000 elite qualifying points which requires $5,500 of spending.
The benefits of Spire Elite status are shown on ihg.com here.
Top-tier Titanium Elite status requires 75 nights. There is no cash equivalent.
The ‘concierge’ level, Ambassador Elite, requires 100 nights AND $20,000 of annual spending.
The benefits of Titanium Elite status are shown on marriott.com here.
Top-tier Platinum status requires 60 nights. There is no cash equivalent.
The benefits of Platinum status are shown on radissonhotels.com here.
World of Hyatt
Top-tier Globalist status requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points.
At 5 base points per $1, you would earn Globalist with $20,000 of pre-tax hotel spending.
During 2021, as a covid measure, this is reduced to 50,000 base points which requires $10,000 of spending.
The benefits of Globalist status are shown on hyatt.com here.
If you are a big spender at hotels, Accor Live Limitless may have more to offer than you originally thought.
Both Platinum and Diamond, which is ‘spend only’, are easy to achieve compared to the competition. Accor also has a lot of high quality brands, including Fairmont, Raffles, Sofitel and Swissotel. You can also have spend from two rooms per night count towards status.
At the other end of the scale, World of Hyatt has less to offer, requiring $20,000 of spend for Globalist. 60 nights is easy in comparison. Marriott Bonvoy, despite having St Regis and The Ritz Carlton in its portfolio, doesn’t offer any route for high spenders to gain status on just a few luxury stays.
As for Radisson Rewards, big spenders should give it a miss. 29 stays in a £1,000 per night won’t get you Platinum, but 30 stays in a £50 Park Inn will.
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).