Stupid Tip of the Day: How To Get More Stays to Qualify For Elite Status

This is the time of the year when everyone is focused on the holiday season, which generally begins around Thanksgiving and ends after New Year’s Day — food, fun, festivities and frozen weather…

Stupid Tip of the Day: How To Get More Stays to Qualify For Elite Status

Grand Hilton Seoul

Upgraded amenities — such as a plate of fruit — are only part of the benefits of elite level status at a hotel or resort property. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

…but this is also the time of year when frequent fliers want to preserve their vaunted elite status to carry over into next year — before membership accounts reset back to zero once the new year arrives — and one of those ways is to qualify once again by meeting the minimum requirements to achieve elite status, depending on the level or tier.

Most lodging chains with frequent guest loyalty programs use the number of stays as an option to earn elite level status. A stay is typically defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel or resort property — whether or not you check out of the hotel or resort property and check back in again.

Staying at a hotel or resort property for a number of consecutive nights is not a bad idea if you can qualify for elite level status in a frequent guest loyalty program that way — but when the number of nights you stay is an option, it is usually a more difficult option with which to qualify for elite level status because the number of nights required is more than the number of stays. Some lodging companies also give the option of accruing points or revenue spend as ways to earn elite level status…

Hilton Nairobi

Access to an executive lounge with refreshments can be a benefit of elite status. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…but the easiest way to earn elite level status in the frequent guest loyalty program of your choice is usually by the number of stays. The aforementioned definition of a stay typically means as little as one night in a hotel or resort property.

If you are spending three nights at a destination away from home, instead of spending three nights at one hotel or resort property — which would count as one stay — the entire time, you could:

  1. Check into one hotel property on the first night of your trip; then
  2. Check out of that first hotel property the next morning and check into the next hotel property that afternoon; then
  3. Check out of that second hotel property the next morning and either return to the first hotel property that afternoon to check in; or you can choose a third hotel property at which to stay.

Summary

Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi

A suite can be another benefit of elite status. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

This method of changing hotel or resort properties during a stay at a destination in order to qualify for elite level status for the next year in the frequent guest loyalty program of your choice is not for everyone. For starters, not many people like to check out of one hotel property and check into another one if they are not required to do so, as people generally prefer convenience. This method is also easier for someone with one carry-on bag as opposed to a couple or family with many pieces of luggage — unless they have a car with a trunk. Depending on room rates, moving from one hotel property to another can be more expensive — or it can be more cost effective, depending on which hotel properties you use.

In the past, I have purposely switched from one hotel property to another in the past to qualify for elite level status — and although I did not do that all that often, it has worked well for me.

Whether or not this method is worth doing depends on what you want and what benefits the elite status level for which you are attempting to earn are of enough value to you. For example, if the inconvenience of switching hotel properties at which to stay is minimal and — upon earning elite level status for the next year — you get such benefits as lounge access with complimentary food and drink and earning bonus points for the entire year, doing so may likely be worth the inconvenience for you.

By the way: if you happen to be fortunate enough to earn elite level status in a frequent guest loyalty program via either a status match or challenge — both of which usually require fewer stays than normal — the method of switching hotel or resort properties for more stays typically works well here too.

All photographs ©2014 and ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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