Hotel lifetime status is when members get to maintain their level of hotel status regardless of how often they stay or how much they spend. This is awesome because members get to access the perks that come with a given level of status for as long as they have it. Lifetime status does not refer to a member’s lifetime, but rather the lifetime of the hotel chain’s status program. In other words, a member can lose your lifetime status if the hotel chain removes its status program or ceases to exist.
Furthermore, different hotel chains have different perks and requirements for their lifetime status. This post explains those differences..
Marriott currently offers three tiers of Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All three lifetime statuses have different requirements. But striving to acquire less than Platinum Status is not worth the hassle because of the lack of benefits and the numerous requirements.
Marriott Lifetime Statuses are some of the hardest to acquire, despite the lack of benefits that come with each level. All levels require staying a certain number of nights and maintaining that level of status for several years.
Lifetime Silver Status can be obtained by having at least five years of Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and staying at least 250 nights. Unfortunately, Marriott Silver Status is like basic membership with a few extra perks. Those with Silver Status will receive a 10% points bonus, late checkout (if available), and Ultimate Reservation Guarantee.
Lifetime Gold Status can be obtained by having Gold Status (or higher) for at least seven years and staying at least 400 nights. This level of status is a little better than Silver Status as it provides more perks. The main ones include a 25% points bonus, a welcome gift, late checkout, and room upgrades (if available).
Lifetime Platinum Status can be obtained by having Platinum Status (or higher) for at least 10 years and staying at least 600 nights. This level is difficult to get even for members who have been staying at Marriott hotels for a long time. However, Lifetime Platinum Status is the one level that’s worth striving for because it has the most benefits. Platinum Status offers all the perks of Gold Status plus a 50% points bonus and better room upgrades (if available).
There is also Lifetime Titanium Status, which is currently unobtainable. This special tier was created for SPG and Marriott members who had at least 750 combined nights and 10 combined years of membership between both programs. Those who have this status will receive all of the Marriott Titanium Status perks.
Unlike Marriott, Hilton only offer a lifetime version of their highest tier: Hilton Diamond Status..
There are three ways to earn Lifetime Diamond Status. Members can organically acquire Lifetime Diamond Status by staying 1,000 nights, maintaining Diamond Status for 10 years (they don’t have to be consecutive), and earning at least 2 Million points over the course of membership. Alternatively, cardholders can acquire and keep the Amex Hilton Aspire Card for 10 years. This is assuming that complementary Diamond Status remains a card benefit for that long.
Hilton Diamond Status provides a plethora of perks for their top tier guests. Complementary room upgrades (up to a suite), free breakfast, and Executive Lounge access are some of the best ones. Other Diamond Status perks include 48-hour reservation guarantee, bonus points, milestone bonuses, premium wi-fi, and the ability to gift elite status to someone else.
Lifetime Hilton Diamond Status is worth striving for because there are so many ways to qualify. Plus, Hilton Diamond is one of the most valuable top-tier statuses because Hilton has a huge global footprint. They are the second-largest hotel chain in the world (after Marriott). And Diamond Status can be used in some way at any Hilton hotel.
World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt also offers just one level of lifetime status in Hyatt Lifetime Globalist. This is more akin to Hilton than Marriott. However, there is only one way to earn Lifetime Globalist Status. Members have to is earn 1,000,000 Hyatt points over the course of membership.
Hyatt Globalist Status is one of the most rewarding top-tier statuses in the industry. Some of the perks include complementary room upgrades (up to a suite), suite upgrade awards, annual free nights, and club lounge access.
Hyatt loyalists should strive for Lifetime Globalist Status. It’s worth its weight in gold, especially for frequent travelers. Hyatt does not have the global footprint that Marriott or Hilton does. But they are growing each year as they add more locations. Globalist Status might come in especially handy with Small Luxury Hotels of the World and other higher end locations.
Hotel status is an extremely useful way to save money and make your vacation or business trip better. However, different levels of status (including lifetime status) can be of varying use. That depends on the hotel chain and the level of status. Your mileage may vary.
Both Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt offer one level of lifetime status at the top of their status pyramids. Conversely, Marriott Bonvoy takes a different approach by offering lifetime status at the middle and bottom of its pyramid. I prefer the Hilton and Hyatt approach more for both the chains and consumers. For the hotels, having one level of lifetime status make benefits and guests easier to manage. And it makes planning easier for consumers.