The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
The hotel industry is highly competitive, which is partially why hotel brands launch loyalty programs to lure in and reward frequent travelers. But there’s another tool hotel brands use to steal business travelers and jet-setters from other brands, and it’s known as status match.
If you frequently stay with one hotel brand and you have elite status to show for it, you’re probably busy enjoying hotel benefits like room upgrades, early check-in, late checkout and lounge access. But what happens if you want to change your preferred hotel brand?
Read on to learn how status match programs can help you enjoy these elite benefits with other hotel loyalty programs for a limited time, or even in perpetuity if you switch programs.
Learn more: Check out Bankrate’s travel toolkit for tips and tricks on how to maximize travel with a credit card.
What is a status match?
Status match is a tool hotel loyalty programs use in order to snag frequent travelers from competing hotels. Essentially, these programs let elite members from another brand qualify for top-tier perks that they would normally have to earn through paid hotel stays or having a co-branded hotel credit card.
Whereas some status matches are offered automatically to those who sign up, others are offered in the form of a status “challenge.” When the latter applies, customers typically need to complete a specific number of paid stays or reach a specific spending threshold with the new hotel brand in order to qualify.
Which hotels offer status matches?
Here’s a rundown of which hotel brands are offering status matches right now.
Hilton Honors members who have not applied for a status match in the past and are a Silver tier or lower can apply for this benefit. Essentially, frequent travelers need to submit proof of elite status with another hotel brand upfront, at which point they’ll be upgraded to Hilton Gold status for 90 days. At that point, guests can do one of the following:
- Stay at least seven nights with Hilton within the 90-day trial period to keep Gold status through March 31, 2024
- Stay an additional five nights (12 total nights) within the 90-day trial period to upgrade to Diamond status through March 31, 2024
Also, be aware that several Hilton credit cards provide automatic elite status just for signing up. Some options to consider include:
At the moment, the Marriott Bonvoy program does not have a status match offer you can apply for. However, the brand has offered status matches in the past, so you should always watch out for new opportunities.
There are also co-branded Marriott credit cards that offer automatic elite status. Consider the following cards if you want to get automatic elite status and earn rewards on your spending:
- The Platinum Card from American Express (comes with automatic Marriott Gold Elite status)
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express (comes with automatic Marriott Gold Elite status)
World of Hyatt
The World of Hyatt program doesn’t offer a status match program at the moment, and it has not had a public offer for status match in the past. However, you can get automatic World of Hyatt elite status by signing up for the right World of Hyatt credit card:
IHG One Rewards
IHG One Rewards is another hotel brand that is not offering a public status match challenge at the moment. However, you can still get automatic elite hotel status with an eligible credit card:
- IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card* (comes with automatic Platinum Elite status)
While Wyndham Rewards does offer the opportunity to match your status from time to time, the hotel brand does not currently have a public offer. You can, however, get elite hotel status through several co-branded hotel credit cards:
Choice Privileges currently offers status match. Essentially, you can apply for a status match by submitting proof of elite status with another hotel brand. You’ll email your full name, Choice Privileges member number and proof of status (such as a screenshot that shows your elite hotel status) to the following email address: Status_Match@choicehotels.com.
At that point, you’ll automatically become an elite member with Choice Privileges. You’ll then be eligible for elite perks like bonus points on paid stays and a welcome gift at eligible properties in the U.S. and Canada.
Best Western Rewards
Best Western offers a program called Status Match…No Catch, which lets you request a status match without a ton of work required on your part. This program requires you to send an email to StatusMatch@bestwestern.com with the following information in order to receive elite status with Best Western:
- Full name
- Full address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Best Western Rewards member number
- Proof of elite status in another hotel program, such as a screenshot of your loyalty card
Best Western also says that elite members who reach a new elite status tier through this program in 2023 will receive their new elite status through March 31, 2025.
Should you use hotel status match?
Using a status match program is a no-brainer if you already have elite status with a particular hotel brand but you’ve been wanting to try out a new program. After all, most status match programs give you a higher tier of status just for proving your current status, and you may get to enjoy elite status perks for a year or longer.
That said, you can also get automatic elite status through a number of top hotel credit cards, and this is probably the easiest course to take. Hotel credit cards even let you earn generous sign-up bonuses and hotel points on all your spending, and many offer a free award night each year (often after your cardmember anniversary).
The bottom line
Status match programs tend to come and go over time, so you’ll want to frequently check the hotel programs you’re interested in to see which new status match offers have come along. By proving you have elite status and taking steps to have it matched, you can enjoy elite perks and try out a competing hotel brand before fully committing to a new brand.
*The information about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, The World of Hyatt Credit Card, World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, IHG One Rewards Premier Business Card and Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.