Good (very early) morning from Belfast! I’m typing this from my suite at the Radisson Blu, where our gold status is getting us free breakfast for 4 every day and early check in which was MUCH appreciated after our overnight flight. This is an award stay on points so I happily paid $30 a day to guarantee a suite, but previous stays have granted me free upgrades with gold status.
Per View from the Wing on Boarding Area, you can use this link to get Club Accor Platinum Status for free. Club Accor runs Sofitel and a number of other chains, mostly in Europe and Asia. Update 8/2015: This specific promotion is no longer valid, but Accor runs frequent status promotions. Just google the phrase “Accor Platinum Status Free” and see what pops up.
Why should you care? Because you can use the two magic words that get me free Hotel Upgrades, no matter what hotel chain I use! Those two words are …STATUS MATCH! I’ve used the fact that I have status with one chain to leverage access to another. All you have to do is email the customer service of the rewards program you stay with and many will match your status from the highest level program into theirs.
What is Status Match? It’s basically the hotel’s and airline’s attempt to steal the best customers from each other. Once you “have status”, the companies will FIGHT for you! But, they don’t know how you got the status in the first place. You can get status from miles/stays, from Credit Cards, or from promotions such as the one above. Some chains are getting a bit more savvy and are asking to see at least one recent stay from a hotel with a status match, but this is not across the board.
At the very least the hotel program may offer you a “challenge”, which is where if you stay a certain number of nights in one of their hotels within a time frame (say 12 in 60 days), you will earn their next level status. The benefit of a challenge is that you will be matched immediately to the next level so even if you don’t meet the challenge you get to sample the next level of service, which if well timed may be VERY beneficial to you. If you have a long vacation of business trip coming up where a specific chain is mandated definitely keep the challenge in mind!
If you can’t get into a promotion like the one above, here is a summary of other status methods I use:
- The American Express Platinum Card gets you free Gold Status with Starwood
- The Hyatt Visa from Chase gets you Platinum Status with Hyatt
- For $200 a year you can purchase status with IHG (holiday inn, etc.), or you can use this shortcut and earn platinum in 10 stays or less.
With status, you get more than just a pat on the back. You earn points much faster with bonuses and get all kinds of goodies.
- In London, Platinum Status with Hyatt (along with my very real trials with British Airways) got me upgraded to a Club Level room, worth over $150 a night.
- In Paris, I got free breakfast and a view of the Eiffel Tower with my Club Carlson Gold status.
- In Tenerife, I got a plate of chocolates at the Ritz-Carlton thanks to my Marriott status.
- Over Memorial Day last year, Platinum Status in Priority Club got us Free breakfast (worth $20 a day) at the Hampton Crowne Plaza.
- In New York, Platinum Status with Hyatt got us in to a corner suite at the Hyatt Lex 48, a room that cost over $450 a night, for the price of $0 since we were redeeming points. (Note: this property has since left the chain.)
How has having status worked for you?