How to earn Elite status at hotels

So how do you earn elite status? One way is to travel frequently, and be loyal to the same hotel brand.  The other way is to have the right credit card, and meet any necessary spending thresholds to reach the next level of status. And if you have the chance to do both, you’ll find yourself among the top-tier elites very quickly.

Here are six credit cards that offer you the fastest paths towards elite status:

1. The Platinum Card® from American Express. This card offers you instant Gold status in both the Hilton Honors program and the Starwood Preferred Guest program, which is now part of Marriott Rewards. You can also book stays in the Fine Hotels and Resorts program and The Hotel Collection, which offers you elite-like benefits such as free breakfast, room upgrades, late checkouts and hotel credits. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card.

2. Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase. This card offers you automatic Silver Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program and a path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year. Silver status offers you benefits such as priority late checkout, free Wi-Fi and 10% bonus points on stays. Gold status gives you a 25% points bonus, enhanced room upgrades and a 2 pm late checkout. You also receive 15 elite night credits each calendar year, starting in 2019. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.

3. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. This card also offers you automatic Silver Elite status in the combined Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards program. You can earn Gold Status when you spend $30,000 on purchases each account year, which rises to $35,000 in 2019. Silver status offers you benefits such as priority late checkout, free Wi-Fi and 10% bonus points on stays. Gold status gives you a 25% points bonus, enhanced room upgrades and a 2 pm late checkout. You also receive 15 elite night credits each calendar year, starting in 2019. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card waived the first year.

4. IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card from Chase. This card offers you instant Platinum Elite Status each year so long as you remain a cardmember. Platinum Elites receive room upgrades, extended check-outs, free mini-bars and a $30 in-room spa credit.  There’s an $89 annual fee for this card.

5. Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. This card offers you complimentary Gold status in the Hilton Honors program. In addition, you can earn top-tier Diamond status after spending $40,000 on eligible purchases with your card in a calendar year. Gold status offers you bonus points, room upgrades, and  free breakfasts. Diamond status includes executive lounge access and the ability to gift status to others. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.

6. Hilton Honors American Express Card. This card offers you Silver status in the Hilton Honors program, and a chance to earn Gold status after spending $20,000 in a calendar year. There’s no annual fee for this card.