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.
If you have status on one airline or hotel chain, you may be able to have another airline or hotel chain match it. So, for example, if you are Gold on American Airlines and are a nobody on AirBerlin, you can request a status match on AB before your next flight and receive the privileges that your new (temporary) AB status grants.
This post from Dan’s Deals is a very useful summary.
Best of all, the card has no annual fee. That means it’s a keeper, and if you use it for some small purchase from time to time it will give you a few HHonors points which will preserve the rest of your points.
Just having the card gives you automatic Silver status at Hilton, which isn’t terribly valuable but at least gives you a little leverage. If you spend $20,000 in a year your Hilton HHonors status will jump to Gold and you will have earned at least 60,000 more HHonors points.
UPDATE: This morning I realized that I had included the two screen captures in .png format, rather than the required .jpg format. Unfortunately, the Hilton website will not permit a second application for the same HHonors number, so no update for me this time.
ORIGINAL POST: This might be good until 2018. The offer is targeted, but it might work for anyone.