Having hotel status is one of the best ways to save money and make your trip better. And higher levels of status provide more benefits. But hotel statuses expire at the end of each calendar year if you do not spend or stay at the hotel chain enough. However, there is a solution in hotel lifetime status.
Hotel lifetime status is when you get to maintain your level of hotel status regardless of how often you stay or how much you spend. This is awesome because you get to access the perks that come with a given level of status for as long as you have it. Lifetime status does not refer to your lifetime, but rather the lifetime of the hotel chain’s status program. In other words, you can lose your lifetime status if the hotel chain removes its status program.
Furthermore, different hotel chains have different perks and requirements for their lifetime status. Your mileage may vary. You must also determine how loyal you are to a certain hotel chain. That will also determine whether you should go for lifetime status with that chain.
Marriott currently offers three tiers of Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All three lifetime statuses have different requirements. But going for the former two tiers is not worth the hassle because of the lack of benefits and the many requirements.
Marriott Lifetime Statuses are some of the hardest to get, 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 if you have been staying at Marriott hotels for a long time. However, Lifetime Platinum Status is the one level that’s worth striving for because you will receive the most benefits. With Platinum Status, you will receive 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 does not offer any lower or mid-tier lifetime status. They only offer Hilton Lifetime Diamond Status, which is their highest tier.
There are three ways to earn Lifetime Diamond Status. You must stay 1,000 nights, maintain Diamond Status for 10 years (they don’t have to be consecutive), and earn at least 2 Million points over the course of membership. One easy way to get Hilton Diamond Status now is to get the Amex Hilton Aspire Card. This is assuming that complementary Diamond Status remains a 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 going for because there are so many ways to qualify. Plus, its one of the most valuable top-tier statuses in the industry 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’s lifetime status is closer to Hilton Diamond than Marriott’s setup. They also offer just one level of lifetime status in Hyatt Lifetime Globalist. There is only one way to earn Lifetime Globalist Status. All you have to do is earn 1,000,000 Hyatt points over the course of being a Hyatt member.
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 Hyatt 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.