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How To Earn Hotel Elite Status Faster

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I admit it, I’ve switched hotels mid-week just to earn hotel status faster and get the additional perks of multiple “hotel stays” during the same week. It isn’t fun having to un-pack, re-pack, check-out, check-in several times in one week, but sometimes it is just too easy to pass up.

For example, during a previous stay at the Hyatt 48 Lex, I received a Diamond stay bonus at check-in. Instead of staying there for the entire week, I checked-out and went over to the Marriott East Side. Heck, I could even see the Marriott East Side entrance from my Studio Suite balcony at the Hyatt 48 Lex.

Marriott East Side Entrance

Why did I do it? It was too hard to pass up the chance to earn two stay credits towards elite status and another Hyatt stay credit when I checked back in to the Hyatt 48 Lex two days later, the next time into a Corner Suite at the Hyatt 48 Lex. Most programs offer members the chance to earn hotel status on hotel nights or hotel stays. A stay consists of a check-in and check-out while a hotel night is basically what it is, an overnight period.

So if a member stays 3 nights in the same hotel during the week, they will earn 1 hotel “stay” credit and 3 hotel night credits towards status. But if they stay at three different hotels for 1 night each, they’ll earn earn 3 different hotel “stay” credit and 3 hotel night credits towards status. The trick is to make sure you actually switch hotels to a different hotel each night. You can go back to the previous one, but you usually need to have a day break from the hotel for them to count the stays as separate, although I’ve had the same hotel count multiple stays simply because it was separate reservations. Using the second approach will help you earn status on “stay” credits which are usually a lower requirement than earning status on “night” credits. Here are a few examples:

  • Hyatt Diamond status requires 25 stays or 50 nights per calendar year
  • Starwood Platinum status requires 25 stays or 50 nights per calendar year
  • Club Carlson Concierge status requires 30 stays 0r 75 nights per calendar year

So as you can see, earning status on “stays” is generally a faster path to elite status.

Hyatt 48 Lex Entrance

For the gimmicks, I even added the W New York into the mix on occasion. In one week I could earn a stay credit in the Starwood program, Marriott program and Hyatt program. The only reason this was logistically feasible was that two of the hotels (Marriott and Hyatt) are literally next door to one another while the W hotel is just down the street.

Tips For Hotel Hopping

Here are a few practical tips if you find yourself in the Road Warrior dilemma and cannot resist the urge to switch hotels mid week.

  • Only un-pack the items you need at night and the next morning
  • Find hotels that are nearby so you can drop your bags off with the bellman at your new hotel in the morning
  • If you have a rental car, plan on keeping your bag in your rental car trunk during the day

Bottom Line

Road Warriors often find themselves getting sucked into gimmicks to game the loyalty system. One such gimmick is completing multiple 1 night hotel stays at different hotels during the week instead of one long hotel stay at the same hotel. Switching hotels each night during the week might help you end up with status in multiple programs a lot faster, but at the expense of sanity.

How many of you have used this approach to quickly earn your hotel program status? Is it worth it to you and do you still do it?

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About the Author

About the author: The Weekly Flyer is writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • David November 3, 2013, 7:56 pm

    Shorter stays also tend to generate better upgrades, from my experience.

  • Jim November 3, 2013, 8:05 pm

    @David, hotels prefer to give upgrades to those with one-night stays since less damage can be done to the room and they can accommodate another guest the next night.

  • Kestie November 3, 2013, 8:05 pm

    If I am traveling alone on a 3-4 day trip, yes, I will stay at a different hotel each night in order to get the credit for the stays. Once you get used to it, I don’t find the unpacking, packing and moving sequence to be that bad.

  • Karung99 November 3, 2013, 8:15 pm

    Do it all the time when traveling alone, with family is different story.

  • Carl P November 3, 2013, 8:53 pm

    I do it whenevr I have the chance. Sometimes it’s also been good because it turned out plans changed and I didn’t need the next night (morning checkout, afternoon check-in).

    It’s not just for status. Usually you also get more points (internet booking points with Club Carlson, IHG stay promos, etc.).

  • Carl November 4, 2013, 4:28 am

    To the extent there is a welcome amenity like Hyatt’s 1000 point Diamond bonus and SPG’s 500 point Platinum bonus, you get to repeat those, too.

    For me, it depends on the logistics and whether my wife is joining. It can also depend on whether it is early in the year or not, and whether I have any idea how I will be doing on stays for the year.

    Another added benefit of switching is that you get to experience different breakfasts. In my experience after about 2 days at a property, I’m tired of the breakfast and appreciate additional variety.

  • TTF November 4, 2013, 4:56 am

    Nearly complete leisure traveler. So of course we hotel hop. For us, same benefits for sometimes half the price. Throw in the extra points earned as each night is usually a stay and we find we end a year with top tier in a couple programs and then of course a pile of points in each.

    The wife gets it so it has been easy to accomplish.

  • LC November 4, 2013, 8:15 am

    Yep, around this time of year if I find myself short a few stays, I do several “mattress runs” to maintain my status.

  • PH November 4, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Your “Bottom Line” summary tone is rather contrary to the tone of the rest of this blog posting.

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