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There’s nothing like the fun of checking into a hotel when you have elite status. First, you get to skip the line and go straight to the front desk, where you’ll likely receive a room upgrade. Then you’ll be told about all the free amenities you’ll have access to, possibly including free breakfasts, late checkouts and perhaps even free parking. And don’t forget that you’ll either be earning extra points on paid stays, or possibly spending fewer points on award stays. 

But you don’t have to pay for dozens of nights a year to earn elite status with your favorite hotel programs, as status is routinely offered through credit card use, award stays or a combination of both.

Unlike airline frequent flyer programs, you actually earn credit towards elite status when you redeem your points to stay at a hotel for free. (Yes, I said “free” as the vast majority of hotel award stays don’t require you to pay any taxes or fees).

How I Earn Top-Tier Globalist Elite Status With the World of Hyatt Program

Despite its somewhat awkward name, my favorite hotel loyalty program is the World of Hyatt, where I have achieved Globalist, the highest status in their program. This status normally requires 60 night stay credits per year; although they have reduced it to 30 night stays for 2020, in light of the pandemic. 

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But even 60 night stays is within my reach, as I enjoy their Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands. Award nights at these properties tend to cost me just 5,000, 8,000 or 12,000 points per night.

But I stay nowhere near 60 nights a year. Instead, I have The World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase, which offers me 5 night-stay credits each year, and another 2 night-stay credits for every $5,000 spent. So by fall, when I have an idea of how many night-stays I’ll earn  at hotels that year, I can dedicate some additional spending to that card to fill the gap, if necessary. 

And boy is it worth it! Beyond room upgrades, Globalists always receive free breakfasts, as well as waived resort fees and parking fees. These expenses can otherwise add up to hundreds of dollars on a longer stay.

I also receive 4 p.m. late checkouts and access to a Hyatt Concierge who assists me in my sometimes complicated travel plans. But even if you don’t achieve Globalist status, the credit card will still grant you entry-level Explorist status, which is a lot better than nothing. 

Earning Status in Other Hotel Programs

I also hold top-tier Wyndham status, which I received by having the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card. This status includes late checkouts, suite upgrades and a welcome amenity kit at check-in. 

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I enjoy mid-tier Gold status with both Marriott and Hilton, by virtue of holding The Platinum Card® from American Express. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply. Hilton Gold comes with late checkouts and a daily food and beverage credit at US hotels, and continental breakfast at non-U.S. hotels. Both come with room upgrades and additional points earnings. 

Bottom line

If you travel more than just a few times a year, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t hold some level of elite status with your favorite hotel program. By learning how easy it is to earn elite status, and by choosing the right credit card to get you there, you’ll never be just another guest when you stay at a hotel. Get the absolute best deals on your trips with Travelocity Promo Codes and status-based discounts. also offers loyalty programs that can help you save more. promo codes can help you earn points and miles for your next trip.


Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist who specializes in covering credit cards, award travel and other areas of personal finance. As one of the nation’s leading experts in the credit card industry, Jason’s work has been featured at mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Business Insider.