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. I have, without really planning it, just become Lifetime Gold (woo!) with Marriott Bonvoy so it can creep up on you.
At present, only Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton offer lifetime status. Accor Live Limitless, Radisson Rewards and IHG One 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?
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.
Interestingly, the 15 free elite night credits you receive each year with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card cound towards lifetime status. This means that I can see a path to hitting Lifetime Platinum from my current Lifetime Gold despite not doing huge numbers of Marriott nights.
Further details can be found on the Marriott Bonvoy site here.
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.
Whose lifetime are we talking about anyway?
To be honest, lifetime status with airline or hotel chains has never appealed to me. I am happy to accept Lifetime Marriott Bonvoy Gold as a by-product of stays I was doing anyway but would not have chased it. That said, Lifetime Platinum would be more interesting due to the benefits and due to the fact that I can’t get Platinum via a credit card.
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. My only potential interest in Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Platinum is free breakfast and free lounge access and these benefits could be removed at any point, given that Titanium and Ambassador tiers exist above Platinum.
Hotel offers update – December 2023:
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