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Which hotel chains offer lifetime status? (and the British Airways lifetime status criteria revealed)

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Lifetime status is a popular perk among the hotel chains.

In general, lifetime status usually requires such a high threshold that you would wonder why such a person would ever want to set foot in another hotel ever again if they did not have to.

Despite that, I thought it was worth running through the various options.  The New Year means that you may have knocked up another year of qualifying status – or picked up another 15 elite nights from your Marriott Bonvoy American Express.  Mine have already posted for 2022.

Hotel chains with lifetime status

At present, Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton offer lifetime status.  Accor Live Limitless, Radisson Rewards and IHG Rewards do not.

How do you get lifetime status with Hilton Honors?

Hilton Honors launched Lifetime Diamond (top tier) status in 2015.  You can find the – sparse – details in the Hilton Honors rules here – search for the word ‘lifetime’ in your browser.  You need to have been a Diamond member for 10 years, not necessarily consecutive, whilst earning:

  • two million Hilton Honors base points, representing $200,000 of spending OR
  • a whopping 1,000 nights in Hilton properties

Even tougher, the 10 years of Diamond status must be full calendar years. If you earn Diamond status in April 2022, after a very busy first six months of the year, you have the status for the rest of 2022 and all of 2023.  However, only 2023 counts towards the 10 years you require.

How do you get lifetime status with World of Hyatt?

World of Hyatt offers Lifetime Globalist (top tier) status to anyone who has earned 1 million base points.  This would require $200,000 of spending.  Details are here.

There is a good additional perk for Lifetime Globalist members.  Every year, you will receive four Suite Upgrade Awards and a Category 1-7 Free Night Award.  There is real value here.

How do you get lifetime status with Marriott Bonvoy?

Marriott Bonvoy has three levels of lifetime status:

Lifetime Silver Elite – 250 nights plus 5 years of Silver elite status or higher

Lifetime Gold Elite – 400 nights  plus 7 years of Gold elite status or higher

Lifetime Platinum Elite – 600 nights plus 10 years of Platinum elite status

There is no longer a base points requirement, as there was under the old Marriott Rewards lifetime status criteria.  Existing members with lifetime status with the legacy Marriott Rewards or SPG scheme were merged into Bonvoy.

Further details can be found on the Marriott Bonvoy site here.

Which hotel chains offer lifetime status?

Or just get yourself the right payment card ….

The rationale for pushing for lifetime status is undermined by the fact that both Marriott and Hilton give out status via UK payment cards.

As you can obtain year-by-year Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy for free with American Express Platinum – for as long as you keep your Platinum card – Lifetime Silver Elite and Lifetime Gold Elite are less valuable than they could be.

You can also achieve Gold Elite status by spending £15,000 per year on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card.

Similarly, Amex Platinum also comes with Hilton Honors Gold status.  This is not as good as Lifetime Hilton Diamond, of course, but you still get the free breakfast benefit and potentially an upgrade.

You also get free MeliaRewards Gold and Radisson Rewards Gold status with American Express Platinum.  We wrote about the hotel status benefits here.

Whose lifetime are we talking about anyway?

To be honest, lifetime status with airline or hotel chains has never appealed to me.  I would be happy to accept it as a by-product of stays I was doing anyway but would not chase it.

Ask the former ‘Lifetime Gold’ members of bmi Diamond Club if it was worth spending money chasing that status, which British Airways promptly scrapped after the takeover of British Midland.

Even when the company survives, your lifetime status can be downgraded.  American Airlines added a new status level, Platinum Pro, from 2017.  This pushed Lifetime Platinum status holders down the pecking order for upgrades.

British Airways lifetime status rules

How do you get British Airways Lifetime Gold status?

Lifetime status can even create perverse incentives.  I have a friend who achieved Lifetime Gold status with British Airways – it is explained here at ba.com if you want to know more about it.

His first move on achieving it was to abandon British Airways on long-haul for what he considers ‘better’ airlines.  If Lifetime Gold did not exist he would definitely continue to earn 1,500 tier points a year to retain Galleries First access on short-haul, but that isn’t a problem for him now ….

The requirement for British Airways Executive Club lifetime Gold status is 35,000 British Airways tier points which is the equivalent of 125 Club World return trips to New York.  We published a full article explaining how British Airways Lifetime Gold status works here.


Hotel offers update – May 2022:

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 is a 30% discount when you buy World of Hyatt points by 30th May 2022 (buy here) and an 80% bonus when you IHG One Rewards points by 10th June (buy here).

Comments (20)

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

  • Robert says:

    I never realised BA’s GFL criteria was a secret 🙂

    • TGLoyalty says:

      +1

    • riku says:

      it is when you’re used to writing daily mail style headlines. Tomorrow .. “10 things YOU didn’t know about Avios redemptions” and “how to get lufthansa senator status for 99e from TAP”

      • Rob says:

        We always change the tone a bit in early Jan because we get big spikes of new readers who have decided to finally try to use their Avios for a holiday this year.

  • mradey says:

    Re. Amex Platinum gives Hilton Gold – Centurion gives Hilton Diamond.

  • Harry T says:

    Considering how naff Hilton Diamond is, it always amazes me how hard it is to achieve Lifetime Diamond. And yes, I am Hilton Diamond…

    • ianM says:

      Why do you keep using it then. What a naff remark

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Except diamond is the best top tier status in any chain, so…

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Unless you actually want late checkout or a proper upgrade

      • Paul says:

        I really enjoyed my time as as a Diamond member (save in the US where it’s worth zilch), not least for Executive Lounge access and some other perks (e.g. at the AMS airport Hilton, and the time in Rome when the Exec Lounge was out of action and had access to the double secret Lounge). Were it not for COVID curtailing our travel I’d be exploiting my Lifetime Diamond status for all it’s worth – unfortunately the one time we had a stay planned recently I got the two bar surprise in the morning…

  • Harry T says:

    Also, I wish lifetime titanium was still a thing with Bonvoy…

    • Harry T says:

      Maybe worth pointing out in the article that the Bonvoy amex makes it easier to achieve Platinum each year by awarding 15 nights per calendar year? As a side note, mine are already in my account for 2022.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Rob did

        “ The New Year means that you may have knocked up another year of qualifying status – or picked up another 15 elite nights from your Marriott Bonvoy American Express. Mine have already posted for 2022.”

    • Jim E says:

      It is I have it as well as a few of my ex-colleagues. It was a one time thing for those of us who had qualified under the old Marriott rules. It is a s far as I know no longer available.

  • Russ says:

    I’d shift a few stays to secure Hyatt lifetime status. We like the product and stay in areas where Hyatt’s are more plentiful. I’d also like SPG status if Marriott ever drops the brand. But If I was younger and had heavy financial and childcare commitments then it’s not a strong incentive. Guaranteeing the Marriott Your24 benefit till death do us part may be worth striving for but you’d get that being Ambassador anyway.

  • Paul Pogba says:

    How do you check how many years you’ve officially had Marriott status or your progress towards lifetime status?

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

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