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Which hotel chains offer lifetime status?

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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. I have, without really planning it, just become Lifetime Gold (woo!) with Marriott Bonvoy so it can creep up on you.

Which hotel chains offer lifetime status?

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?

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.

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.

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 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 – February 2024:

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?

  • Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 12th March 2024. Click here.
  • IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 35% to 40% bonus when you buy points by 31st March 2024. Click here.
  • World of Hyatt is offering a 20% discount when you buy points by 9th April 2024. Click here.

Comments (35)

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

  • meta says:

    It’s not too difficult to achieve Marriott Silver and Gold lifetime given that we have been given heaps of extra elite nights during covid plus double elite nights promos all of which counted for lifetime status.

  • His Holyness says:

    Lifetime Diamond has worked out quite well but there’s no way on earth I’d go out of my way to get it now.
    In true Hilton style they watered it down twice. Firstly, by including award nights and secondly, by including card spend in the US.
    The quality of the hotels is sinking faster than Basement Joe’s approval ratings, and it’s not offset by new openings because those are mostly HbH, DT and Curio, Tapestry where the benefits are minimal and largely similar to Gold. It feels like every week I read of a hotel cutting back on Diamond benefits.
    I expect they will just sink the tiers further down by one, like BA have done with their LHR lounges where GF is now like GC of years ago.
    Hilton are in a crisis.

    • meta says:

      I agree, hence I’ve decided to drop to Hilton Gold after six years of pursuing Diamond (ok 2.5 years were covid, but even then I made some effort). It’s been worst for me in terms of real benefits even in Asia.

  • MisterE says:

    I’ve found Marriott Lifetime Titanium pretty good for me, even in the US. In San Francisco last November I got a good suite upgrade at the JW Marriott for 4 nights, and then again at Boston Seaport in early June for 5 nights. These were cash bookings and didn’t use SNA’s. For multi night stays, I generally write/email to a named person at the hotel (either the General Manger or Front Office Manager) ahead of time. I’ve found hotel responses on Trip Advisor often give me the name of a relevant person. And it looks as if snail mail letters thoughtfully composed get a better response than emails.

  • Robert says:

    OT but I’ve just had an email offer to ‘boost’ my ihg points by x1, x2 or x3, some sort of bonus that I can’t find an article for on here and wondered if anyone knows if it’s a good promo or not, says 55% discount when I click through to buy the x3 option but don’t really need the points, and there’s so many offers these days, never know which ones are worth taking up! Thanks

    • Rob says:

      No better than the 100% buy points bonus that comes around every couple of months.

      • Robert says:

        Thanks Rob, I’ll skip this one and wait for another 100% further down the line. I really enjoyed the ‘burn as you earn’ article btw. I tend to hold onto my points for expensive leisure trips, where I feel I get the most value, such as JW Marriott Venice or Park Hyatt Kyoto.

  • robbo says:

    It’s funny reading most of the comments. Very many criticise Hilton Lifetime Diamond, but those who criticise don’t meet the criteria according to their own positions explained in their messages. It’s really simple people, if you are loyal to the brand and meet the criteria, you get it. If you’re not loyal, you don’t get it. You’re not special LOL.

    • His Holyness says:

      The status isn’t as special because of Hilton’s pathological obsession with devaluing their status levels because the cost of their changes is a burden for the hotels.
      All Hilton care about is getting a % of the revenue.

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

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