Hotel chains like Hilton / IHG / Marriott / etc. grant “status” to their best customers, the customers who stay the most nights. Some typical status names are Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond.
Having status is beneficial, because it often enables you to get free/faster wi-fi, late departure and free breakfast. The latter can really save you money…a few weeks ago I used my Hilton Diamond status to get free breakfasts that would normally cost $15 plus tax per day.
Hilton is currently offering free Gold status to employees of Accenture, but it seems as if anyone can sign up for it.
Once you have status from one hotel chain (say, Hilton), you can ask other hotel chains to for a “status match.” They usually will grant you temporary status that they believe is comparable to what you have at their competitor. That is how I came to be a Hilton Diamond…not from stays, but because Hilton matched my IHG Platinum status.
And how did I get IHG Platinum status, you ask? Did I do a lot of paid stays at IHG properties (Crowne Plaza, Interncontinental, Holiday Inn, Staybridge)? Nope, I just applied for and received one of their IHG credit cards from Chase Bank…one perk of that card is that it grants free Platinum status.
The world of hotel (and airline) status is crazy like that.