I was previously asked what are the best hotel elite benefits. I believe that this is a strongly personal question, because it is based on personal preferences, as well as specific travels. In other words, depending on where you want to go, you may want to take advantage of a different benefit. I would not get too caught up on very specific benefits, it is always better to remain flexible and open minded to what’s available, along with customizing to specific needs.
For example, let’s look at Platinum status with AccorHotels (Le Club AccorHotels) (need 60 nights or 25,000 points), it is difficult to determine what is valuable, because sometimes you cannot put a monetary value to something valuable. Here’s a list of all the perks:
- Priority Check-in
- Private sales
- Free Internet worldwide
- Welcome drink
- Late check-out on request
- Early check-in on request
- Guaranteed room availability up to 2 days before arrival
- VIP Treatment
- Upgrade to next room category
- Access to Executive lounge
I highlighted in bold what I think are what to watch out for. What I mean by personal preference and travel specific needs is that, let’s say Executive lounge access is obviously more monetarily valuable than early-check in. However, there situations where having early check-in really makes the stay so much better for me that I would trade access to the Executive lounge for that stay.
That being said, I will give it a try to list some of the valuable perks and benefits to watch out for on specific elite statuses. For the purposes of this post, I will only focus on the highest level of elite status for each program, as they offer the best benefits anyway. Let me know if you want to see a post about some of the other levels of statuses too!
Keep in mind that some hotel elite status offer significantly more valuable benefits than others. So the benefits is loyalty program specific, not necessarily relative to other programs.
With the Diamond Select (need 50 nights, 40 stays or 50,000 points) elite status, I would watch out for:
- Earn 50% bonus points per stay
- Room upgrade
- Recognition gift (which can be hit and miss on whether it is good)
Obviously any time you can earn bonus points, it will help accelerate your account toward the next reward night, which is one of the main goals that we strive for with hotel points!
Concierge (75 Nights or 30 Stays) elite status has some pretty sweet perks:
- Earn 75% bonus points per stay
- Free continental breakfast
The 75% bonus is one of the highest bonus out of all the hotel programs. Free food is always a favourite of mine!
Diamond (40 nights) members should take advantage of
- 50% elite point bonus
- Complimentary room upgrade
- Choice of 250 bonus points or a snack and beverage (I would personally always choose points)
This is a perfect example of what I was explaining earlier, about every program has their own decent benefits, and it may not seem impressive compared to other programs. The 250 bonus points may not be significant compared to other hotel programs, but it’s nice to have with Choice Hotels.
Platinum (10 stays or 30 nights) status offers:
- 1 complimentary night
- Receive 1 complimentary night for every 10th additional night stayed beyond Platinum room night tier (i.e. beyond 30 nights).
- Receive a $100 USD Fairmont dining (lunch & dinner) or Willow Stream Spa e-certificates
Note that Fairmont has been bought out by AccorHotels, so who knows how much longer these benefits will be around. So take advantage of them while you still can!
Diamond (30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 points) status members:
- Earn 50% bonus on all the HHonors base points
- Receive every 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more
Arguably, Diamond (25 stays or 50 nights) elite status may actually be the most valuable hotel elite status out of all the current programs out there.
- Receive 4 suite upgrade annually (used at the time of reservation on eligible paid nights)
- Receive 2 complimentary one-time-use United Club Passes annually
- Receive best room available upon arrival (excluding suites)
- Exclusive Club Access (Regency Club or Grand Club lounge)
Spire (75 nights or 75,000 points) members have some pretty good benefits:
- Earn 100% bonus on top of base points
- Elite Rollover Nights
- Exclusive Choice Benefit upon receiving status
- Exclusive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star upgrade upon receiving status
The 100% bonus is currently the highest in the industry. Maybe one day I will rank the top hotel elite programs. For now, I would put Spire in the top 3!
Platinum (75 nights) enjoy:
- Guaranteed lounge access/ breakfast
- Guaranteed Platinum Arrival Gift
If Hyatt’s Diamond status is number one, Starwood’s Platinum (25 stays or 50 nights) is a close number 2 place with the following benefits:
- Choice of 500 bonus Welcome gift Starpoints (250 at Aloft, Element, Four Points), local gift or continental breakfast
- Additional SPG Nights Benefits awarded Platinum members after 50, 75, and 100 nights in a calendar year
- Best available room upgrades at check-in, including Standard Suites
Even though SPG has been taking a bit of a beating lately, as well as a possible merger with … someone? … they still have an amazing hotel elite program.
Diamond (40 nights) should look forward to:
- Earn 6,000 annual bonus points
- Avis and Budget car upgrade
- Suite upgrades (including reward nights)
- Welcome amenity
- Gift Gold Level to another Member once per calendar year
Wyndham might be an underrated elite program, which offers a nice variety to watch for.