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Ultimate Guide to Hotel Loyalty Program Status Matches and Challenges

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Christine Krzyszton

Christine Krzyszton

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Most travelers enjoy the special treatment they receive from having a hotel loyalty program elite status — so much so that long-term relationships may be built with that hotel brand preference.

Once you’ve grown accustomed to upgraded rooms, executive lounge access, late checkout, complimentary breakfast, and other amenities, it can be difficult to break away and stay at other hotel chains.

Fortunately, with hotel loyalty program status matches and challenges, you may not have to give up those hard-earned perks to try out a new brand — and that is our topic today.

We will discuss leveraging your current hotel loyalty program’s elite status to receive corresponding complimentary elite status in another hotel loyalty program. This strategy can be extremely helpful if you’ve relocated, changed jobs, or want to try a different hotel brand.

Let’s start by covering which hotel programs offer these status matches or challenges, the requirements, and the process for submitting a request. We’ll also discuss some benefits you can expect to receive with elite status. Additionally, we’ve included our recommendations for hotel-branded credit cards that may offer an even faster path to elite status or that complement the associated hotel rewards program.

It’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

How Do Hotel Loyalty Program Status Matches and Challenges Work?

Hotel rewards programs want to attract good customers with proven loyalty. A strategy for doing so is to match your current earned hotel elite status to the corresponding elite status in their hotel loyalty program.

This match gives a proven loyal customer time to try out the new brand while having similar elite status, with hopes that the guest will continue to stay at that brand. It’s worth noting that normally only earned (versus granted) elite status will be matched, but there are exceptions where status held by having a co-branded hotel credit card has been matched.

A granted status match may be granted for 90 days and may include requirements for a specified number of stays or nights within that time period to extend your status. This additional stay requirement is commonly called a “challenge.” If you meet the challenge stay requirements, the extended status could last a set number of additional months, the remainder of the current calendar year, or even the entire subsequent calendar year, depending on the structure of the match or challenge.

Note that usually, only paid stays count towards a challenge, and stays must be booked directly through the hotel reservation website versus a third party, such as an online travel agency.

Most major hotel loyalty programs offer matches, challenges, or a combination of the 2, but offers can be withdrawn anytime. Also, not all hotel loyalty programs publish the requirements for a status match or challenge. In these cases, different customers may receive different offers.

Look at some of the most popular hotel loyalty program status matches and challenges.

Hot Tip:

Watch your email or online loyalty account for targeted hotel status matches or challenges offered to loyalty program elite members. For example, American Airlines AAdvantage elite members may be targeted for World of Hyatt elite status matches or challenges or United MileagePlus elite members for Marriott Bonvoy matches or challenges.

Marriott Bonvoy

With nearly 7,000 properties worldwide, there’s a Marriott property appropriate for every traveler. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. Image Credit: Marriott

The Status Match and Challenge

While Marriott Bonvoy doesn’t publish a status match or challenge to other hotel loyalty program elite status, reports are that matches and challenges have been approved.

Enroll in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program before inquiring about a match or challenge. Have your account number ready, then call Marriott Bonvoy at 800-535-4028 and ask for a Marriott Bonvoy representative (if you are not immediately directed to one). Indicate that you have elite status with another hotel program and would like to try out Marriott Bonvoy’s elite status and ask for a status match.

You may be granted a match and/or given a challenge. If given a challenge, reports are that you will have the remainder of the current month plus 3 additional months to complete the challenge. For example, if you call in on March 15, you would have the remainder of March plus all of April, May, and June to complete the stays you need to extend status.

Here’s a typical Marriott Bonvoy elite challenge.

  • Gold Challenge — Stay 8 paid nights
  • Platinum Challenge — Stay 16 paid nights

A word of caution voiced by members who have completed the challenge and had issues: document the challenge offer, follow up with a call back to make sure the challenge is noted in your account, and check your Marriott Bonvoy account to see if the challenge has been listed under your “promotions.” You may or may not see it, but if it is, you can be assured you’re registered.

You could also request a follow-up email confirming that you are enrolled in the challenge and that it states the specific terms of the challenge such as dates, number of nights needed, and level of elite status requested.

Since Marriott Bonvoy does not publish a status match or challenge, this information was gathered by calling Marriott Bonvoy directly, from the Marriott Insider Facebook page, and sites such as StatusMatcher and FlyerTalk.

The Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

All elite members receive complimentary Wi-Fi, a dedicated reservation line, and a fifth night free when booking 5 consecutive award nights.

Elite LevelNights Required Each Calendar Year
Key Benefits
Silver1010% bonus points on stays, late checkout when available
Gold2525% bonus points on stays, 2 p.m. late checkout, enhanced room upgrades, welcome points
Platinum5050% bonus points on stays, executive lounge access, welcome gift (points, breakfast, or amenity), 4 p.m. late checkout, early check-in, enhanced room upgrades including suites, annual choice benefit
Titanium7575% bonus points on stays, all Platinum benefits, an additional choice benefit, United Airlines Silver Premier status, guaranteed room availability
Ambassador100 plus $23,000 in qualified spending at MarriottAll Titanium benefits plus an assigned personal ambassador and “Your 24” with the ability to pick check-in and checkout times

This is just an overview of the key benefits of Marriott Bonvoy elite status. We’ve written extensively on how to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points, and the best way to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for maximum value. We’ve also discussed in depth how to earn Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.

Hot Tip:

Marriott Bonvoy’s preferred partnership with United Airlines matches United MileagePlus Premier Gold members (and higher) to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

The Best Credit Cards for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists

American Express and Chase issue several Marriott-branded credit cards, each with the potential to serve a Marriott guest well. Here are just a couple of the best credit cards for Marriott loyalists:

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists:

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
  • Worldwide lounge access to over 1,300 Priority Pass locations
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary year, worth up to 85,000 points
  • $100 property credit at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties
  • 6x earnings at Marriott, 3x earnings on flights booked with airlines and U.S. restaurants, 2x earnings on all other purchases
  • 25 qualifying elite night credits toward elite status
  • $300 annual dining credit on eligible restaurant purchases worldwide
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists:

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Receive Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 on the card
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary year, worth up to 35,000 points
  • Up to 17x earnings at Marriott, 2x earnings on all other purchases
  • 15 qualifying elite night credits towards elite status, plus earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.

Both cards come with complimentary premium Wi-Fi at Marriott properties, no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, and travel benefits such as secondary car rental insurance, trip delay, and baggage delay.

Bottom Line: Marriott Bonvoy may offer a status match and/or a challenge if you call in and request one. You may be able to participate in a Gold or Platinum level challenge that will extend status after staying 8 qualifying nights or 16 qualifying nights, respectively, within a 90-day challenge period. 

Hilton Honors

Enjoy the perks of an upgraded room, complimentary breakfast, and more, with Hilton Honors elite status. London Hilton on Park Lane. Image Credit: Hilton

The Status Match and Challenge

Hilton Honors will match most current equivalent hotel elite statuses to its Gold level for an initial 90-day period. During that time period, you’ll have the option to complete a challenge.

  • Stay 8 nights during the 90-day challenge period and extend Gold status through March 31, 2025
  • Stay 14 nights during the 90-day challenge period and receive top-level Diamond status through March 31, 2025

To request that your current elite status be matched and to participate in a challenge, sign up for Hilton Honors, then complete the online status match request. You’ll need to provide your Hilton Honors membership number and upload proof of your current hotel elite status.

The Benefits of Hilton Honors Elite Status

The benefits of Hilton Honors elite status are many. Here are just some highlights of what you can expect as a Hilton Honors elite:

10 Nights, 4 Stays, or 10,000 base points
40 Nights, 20 Stays, or 75,000 base points
60 Nights, 30 Stays, or 120,000 base points
Free Wi-FIStandardStandardPremium
Fifth Award Night FreeXXX
Bonus Points on Stays20%80%100%
Upgraded Rooms XIncluding suites and rooms with executive lounge access
Complimentary Breakfast XX
Gift Elite Status  X

All elite members receive late checkout when available, elite rollover nights, and no resort fees on award stays.

The Best Credit Card for Hilton Honors Loyalists

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

You’ll normally find nothing higher than mid-level elite status on a hotel-branded credit card, but the Hilton Aspire card delivers much more. The card offers top-level Hilton Honors Diamond status for as long as you hold it.

Why We Like the Card for Hilton Honors Loyalists:

Bottom Line: Hilton Honors will grant a status match for an initial 90-day period and then extend the status after completion of the challenge requirements during that time. Staying 8 qualifying nights during the period extends Gold status while staying 14 nights is required to extend Platinum status. The Hilton Aspire card offers the quickest way to top elite status, offering Diamond level status as long as you have the card. 

World of Hyatt

Status match to World of Hyatt and enjoy staying at well-located properties such as the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in D.C. Image Credit: Hyatt

The Status Match and Challenge

While there isn’t a public status match or challenge available with World of Hyatt, some corporations are eligible for their employees to participate in status challenges. Check with your travel booking department to see if your company currently participates.

Hyatt has also had an ongoing partnership with American Airlines. Select AAdvantage elite members could qualify for Hyatt elite challenges or status matches. You can link your accounts online.

Additionally worth noting is that with another Hyatt partnership, MGM Rewards members have the opportunity to receive the corresponding World of Hyatt status.

The Benefits of World of Hyatt Elite Status

Whether it’s entry-level Discoverist status, mid-tier Explorist, or top-level Globalist, you’ll enjoy the perks of being a World of Hyatt elite. Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of having status with Hyatt including the annual requirements for each level.

10 Nights, 25,000 base points, or 3 events

10 Nights, 50,000 base points, or 10 events
60 Nights, 100,000 base points, or 20 events
Points Earning5 base points per dollar spent + 10%5 base points per dollar spent + 20%5 base points per dollar spent + 30%
Waived Resort FeesOn free night awardsOn free night awardsOn eligible rates and on free night awards
Small Luxury Hotels of the World BenefitsXXX
Upgraded RoomTo a Preferred room within the booking classUpgraded room, excluding suites/lounge access roomsUpgrades to suite and lounge access rooms, when available
Late Checkout2 p.m.2 p.m.4 p..m
Club Access or Breakfast  X
Guest of Honor Privileges  X
Free Parking  On award nights

All elite members receive premium internet, a dedicated reservation line, bottled water, members-only rates, a dedicated check-in area, Milestone Rewards, and the opportunity for corresponding MGM Rewards elite status.

Hot Tip: If you already have Hyatt Explorist status, check out the possibility of status matching to MGM Rewards Gold, Ceasar’s Diamond, and Wyndham Diamond.

The Best Credit Card for World of Hyatt Loyalists

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt card supports the World of Hyatt loyalty program nicely with free hotel nights, elite qualifying nights each year, entry-level elite status, and elevated earnings at Hyatt properties.

Why We Like the Card for World of Hyatt Loyalists:

  • Free hotel night certificate at card renewal
  • Complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status
  • 5 elite qualifying nights towards elite status qualification each calendar year
  • Earn 2 additional elite qualifying nights for each $5,000 spent on the card
  • 9x earnings at Hyatt
  • 2x earnings on flights, local transit, fitness/gym memberships, restaurants

Bottom Line: World of Hyatt is not offering a public status match or challenge currently, but certain corporate clients may be able to participate in a status challenge. World of Hyatt members with MGM Rewards status may receive reciprocal elite status. 

IHG One Rewards

Earn IHG One Rewards points and redeem them for free nights at properties worldwide. Holiday Inn Dead Sea, Jordan. Image Credit: Holiday Inn

The Status Match and Challenge

IHG One Rewards periodically offers status matches and fast-track challenges. Its most recent offer included a fast-track offer to Gold or Platinum Elite status when staying 2 or 5 nights, respectively.

IHG does allow you to purchase Ambassador Elite status, which grants elite benefits at InterContinental properties. Ambassador status costs $200, or you can redeem 40,000 IHG One Rewards points.

The Benefits of IHG One Rewards Elite Status

All IHG One Rewards elite members receive late checkout, special member rates, and free internet. Rewards nights also count toward elite status for all members.

Here are the additional benefits you can expect with IHG One Rewards elite status:

10 Nights
10 Nights
40 Nights
70 Nights
Bonus Points on Stays20%40%60%100%
Complimentary Room Upgrades  XX
Elite Rollover Nights  XX
Guaranteed Room Availability  XX
Free Breakfast   X
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards 5-Star Status   X

The Best Credit Card for IHG One Rewards Loyalists

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

  • Complimentary Platinum Elite status as long as you hold the card
  • Free night certificate at each card anniversary
  • Spend $20,000 in a calendar year on the card and receive 10,000 bonus points
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

To decide which IHG-branded credit card is right for you, you’ll want to read our full review. We’ve covered these topics to learn how to earn lots of IHG One Rewards points and redeem them for great value, too.

Bottom Line: Ambassador status, good at Intercontinental properties, can be purchased for $200. IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status can be secured with the IHG Premier card. 

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham’s diverse portfolio includes budget options, mid-tier properties, and high-end resorts. Wyndham Kona Resort, Hawaii. Image Credit: Club Wyndham

The Status Match and Challenge

Update: While Wyndham has currently suspended its status match and challenge program, we’ll still detail the previous program as we are hopeful the program will return. One exception to suspending Wyndham status matches is the brand’s reciprocatory relationship with the Caesars Rewards program. Top Wyndham Rewards Platinum and Diamond members may still status match to the Caesars Rewards program

If you are a member of any of the major hotel loyalty programs, Wyndham will match you to its Gold-level status. You do not need to have elite status in another program to receive Wyndham Gold status.

Wyndham offers an elite status match that grants equivalent elite status 90 days from approval. To extend the status, the member must complete the required amount of stays during the 90-day period.

For the Platinum level, the required number of stays for the challenge is 7, and for Diamond, 14 stays. Once those stays are completed, the status is extended to December 31 of the following calendar year.

Here is a sampling of what you can expect when you request a status match with Wyndham.

Hotel Loyalty ProgramStatus Level in Current ProgramMatched to This Wyndham Status Level
Marriott BonvoySilver ElitePlatinum
Marriott BonvoyGold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, Ambassador EliteDiamond
Hilton HonorsSilverPlatinum
Hilton HonorsGold, DiamondDiamond
World of HyattDiscoveristPlatinum
World of HyattExplorist, GlobalistDiamond
IHG One RewardsGoldPlatinum
IHG One RewardsPlatinum Elite, Diamond EliteDiamond
Radisson Rewards AmericasSilverPlatinum
Radisson Rewards AmericasGold, PlatinumDiamond
Choice PrivilegesGold, PlatinumPlatinum
Choice PrivilegesDiamondDiamond
Best WesternGold, Platinum, DiamondPlatinum
Best WesternDiamond SelectDiamond

The Benefits of Wyndham Rewards Elite Status

All Wyndham Rewards members receive free Wi-Fi, rollover elite nights, a go free local gift or experience discount voucher, and a minimum of 1,000 points per stay.

BenefitsGold — 5 NightsPlatinum — 15 NightsDiamond — 40 Nights
Preferred Room ChoiceXXX
Late CheckoutXXX
Early Check-in XX
Avis and Budget Car Rental Upgrades XX
Welcome Amenity  X
Suite Upgrades  X
Gift Gold Status  X

The Best Credit Card for Wyndham Rewards Loyalists

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card

Why We Like the Card for Wyndham Rewards Loyalists:

  • Welcome bonus
  • 6x earnings for spending at Wyndham properties in addition to 10 points per dollar for staying at Wyndham, plus 5x earnings on gas
  • 4x earnings on dining and groceries
  • 7,500 Wyndham Rewards points at each card renewal
  • annual fee

Barclays also issues a Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card with no annual fee. You can learn more about these 2 cards and how to earn Wyndham Rewards points here.

Bottom Line: Wyndham Rewards will match members of other hotel rewards programs to its Gold status level and corresponding elite members to the same Wyndham Rewards elite level. To extend status beyond the initial 90-day match, Gold level requires 7 qualifying stays and Diamond requires 14 stays. 

Radisson Rewards Americas

Radisson has some stunning properties that offer excellent redemption value. The Radisson Blu Resort, El Quseir, Egypt. Image Credit: Radisson

The Status Match

While Radisson Rewards Americas offers a quick and easy path to matching your existing hotel status, the hotel chain limits status matches to once in a lifetime. For this reason, you’ll want to plan the timing of your request for when the status is especially important to you, perhaps for an upcoming stay at a special property or an extended stay.

The program has 3 elite levels. To request a status match, simply send an email with your Radisson Rewards Americas membership number and proof of current earned hotel elite status to

Hot Tip:

In 2022, Choice Hotels International purchased Radisson Hotels Americas. Although the 2 loyalty programs are still separate, you can transfer Choice Privileges points to Radisson Rewards at the rate of 1:2.

The Benefits of Radisson Rewards Americas Elite Status

Here are the key benefits you can expect when you receive a match to any of the following Radisson Rewards Americas elite status levels. We’ve also included the number of nights you would normally have to stay to achieve each level.

All Radisson Rewards Americas members receive members-only rates, the ability to book using points and cash, complimentary water during their stay, and award nights that count towards elite status qualification.

Learn more about the best ways to earn Radisson Rewards points and how to get maximum value when redeeming your points in our articles on these topics.

Radisson does not have a co-branded credit card available.

Bottom Line: Radisson Rewards Americas will status match all of its levels. Matches expire at the end of the elite qualifying year unless the elite status is earned under the normal annual requirements. Radisson only matches status once in a lifetime. 

Choice Privileges

The Clarion Hotel Helsinki, Finland. Image Credit: Clarion

The Status Match and Challenge

Join Choice Privileges to be eligible for a status match with Choice Privileges.

Send an email to (U.S. and Canadian members), (for European members), or (for Australian or New Zealand members) and include the following information.

  • Full name
  • Choice Privileges member number
  • Screenshot or copy of your other program’s membership card, current statement, or account status page showing your status and expiration date

You can expect to be matched to the Gold or Platinum Elite level.

However, if you stay 1 night at a Cambria hotel, you will be upgraded to Diamond Elite status. Just add this documentation to your request:

  • A copy or screenshot of your Cambria hotel folio or receipt

You can expect a response within 3 to 5 business days.

Status matches granted for Diamond status between January and June normally provide elite status through the remainder of that calendar year. Matches to Diamond status granted June through December normally receive status through the end of the following year. Guests who received a Diamond status match in the previous year are not eligible in the current year.

If you were previously matched to a status less than Diamond, you might still remain eligible for a Diamond status match with a Cambria stay.

The Benefits of Choice Privileges Elite Status

All elite members receive exclusive member rates, a dedicated elite customer service line, and express reservations/check-in. Here are some of the key benefits of Choice Privileges’ elite status.

10 Nights
20 Nights
40 Nights
Bonus Points on Stays10%25%50%
Elite Welcome GiftXXX
Avis Preferred Plus XX
Complimentary Room Upgrades  X

While elite status doesn’t result in a long list of benefits, if you can secure a status match to Diamond and have an upcoming stay or 2, you could benefit from extra bonus points and an upgraded room.

The Best Credit Card for Choice Privileges Loyalists

Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®

If you stay with Choice often, you might want to check out this Choice-branded credit card. The card does have an annual fee but it is waived the first year! You’ll also find a nice welcome offer and super-elevated earnings at Choice properties.

Why We Like the Card for Choice Privileges Loyalists:

  • Generous welcome bonus worth up to 11 free hotel nights
  • 20 elite status night credits each year, enough for complimentary Choice Privileges Platinum Elite status
  • 10x points per dollar spent at eligible Choice properties
  • 5x earnings at grocery stores, gas stations, home improvement stores, and on phone service
  • 1x earnings on all other purchases
  • 30,000 bonus points at each card renewal anniversary
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
  • Cell phone protection
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits

If you prefer a no-annual-fee card, there is also the Choice Privileges® Mastercard®.

For more information on earning and redeeming Choice Privileges rewards, check out our guides on the best ways to earn Choice Privilege points and the best ways to redeem Choice Privilege points.

Bottom Line: Choice Privileges will match you to Gold or Platinum level based on your current hotel elite status, but if you stay at a Cambria hotel just 1 night, you could be matched to Diamond-level elite status. 

Best Western Rewards

Best Western Rewards elite status may secure you an upgraded room at premium hotel properties such as this Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Image Credit: Best Western

The Status Match — Best Western

Best Western Rewards offers a “No Catch” status match that matches your current hotel program elite status and extends that status to the end of the program year.

Join Best Western Rewards, call 800-444-7646 if you have questions, and complete the status match request form. You’ll need to include documentation of your current hotel status. A prompt reply is promised.

Elite members who status match in 2023 will have their elite tier extended through March 2025.

The Benefits of Best Western Rewards Elite Status

Here are the core benefits you’ll receive when matched to any of these elite levels, plus the qualifications you would normally have to achieve:

5 Nights, 3 Stays, or Earn 5,000 Points
7 Nights, 5 Stays, or Earn 7,500 Points
15 Nights, 10 Stays, or Earn 10,000 Points
Diamond Elite
25 Nights, 20 Stays, or Earn 25,000 Points
Bonus Points on Stays10%15%30%50%
Special Member RatesXXXX
Late Checkout and Early Check-inXXXX

All Best Western Rewards elite members receive a dedicated reservation line, points that never expire, no blackout dates, and free award nights that count toward elite status.

The Status Match — WorldHotels

In early 2019, Best Western acquired the luxury hotel brand WorldHotels. Although its footprint is small, with just 300 properties worldwide, the acquisition serves to round out the brand with an upscale accommodations option.

The brand’s “No Catch” status match functions like the Best Western program in that you must first join WorldHotels Rewards, then complete a form to request the match. WorldHotels Rewards will determine the equivalent match level based on your status with the other hotel chain.

The benefits of elite status with WorldHotels Rewards align with the same benefits as Best Western Rewards.

The Best Credit Card for Best Western Rewards Loyalists

Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®

Why We Like the Card for Best Western Rewards Loyalists:

  • Complimentary Platinum Elite status as long as you have the card
  • Welcome bonus worth up to 4 free hotel nights
  • 20x points per dollar spent at Best Western (10x points for having the card + 10x points for Platinum status)
  • Low annual fee

Best Western also has a co-branded card that has no annual fee. The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® earns 13x points per dollar spent at Best Western properties.

Bottom Line:

Best Western will match your hotel elite status through March 2025 if you are approved for a status match in 2023. You can also request a status match with the associated WorldHotels Rewards program and receive the same length of granted status.

Sonesta Travel Pass

Royal Sonesta New Orleans. Image Credit: Sonesta

While Sonesta sports a small footprint worldwide with less than 100 properties, the offerings are diverse and range from upscale resorts and extended-stay properties to unique, intimate accommodations.

The Status Match

A status match is simple to obtain by first joining Sonesta Travel Pass, then sending an email to Include your Travel Pass number and a copy of your current hotel status credentials with another hotel chain, such as your membership card or statement.

Sonesta will match to the Preferred or Elite level depending on your current status with the other hotel chain.

The Benefits of Sonesta Travel Pass Loyalty Status

All Sonesta Travel Pass members receive complimentary upgraded Wi-Fi, 5% off, express check-in and checkout, customized room preferences, member-only offers, and assistance from a Member Champion during their stay.

Here’s an overview of the requirements and key benefits for Sonesta Travel Pass elite members.

Member Tiers/Elite Benefits
Annual Nights or Point Requirement
0 Nights
10 Nights or 10,000 Points
20 Nights or 20,000 Points
10 Nights or 10,000 Points
Special Rates and PromotionsXXXX
Complimentary Free Upgraded Wi-FiXXXX
Enrollment BonusX   
Tier Bonus Point Multipliers 50%75%100%
Exclusive Reservation Line XXX
Early Check-in/Late Checkout XXX
Welcome Gift XXX
Room Upgrades XXX
Complimentary Continental Breakfast  XX
Priority Self-parking  XX

The Best Credit Card for Sonesta Loyalists

Sonesta World Mastercard® Credit Card

  • Generous welcome bonus worth up to 6 free hotel nights
  • 3x earnings at Sonesta (a total of 13x earnings for Travel Pass members)
  • 2x earnings on car rental, dining, and airfare
  • Spend $7,500 each anniversary year and receive 30,000 bonus points
  • Complimentary Elite-level member status
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • 15% discount on dining and amenities
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $75 annual fee waived the first year

Bottom Line: If you’re a Sonesta fan, have upcoming stays with the hotel chain, and have elite status with another hotel loyalty program, requesting a status match is an easy way to gain benefits that can make your stay more comfortable and also more rewarding. 

Status Challenge Considerations

Before you jump in and request a challenge, be sure to investigate and learn the answers to these questions:

  • Can I receive written confirmation of the terms and conditions of the status match or challenge?
  • What are the exact start and end dates for the challenge?
  • Do only paid stays count toward completing the challenge? Note that third-party bookings, such as Orbitz or normally do not count, and benefits do not normally apply when nights are not booked directly with the hotel brand.
  • Is my current status matched to the new brand at the beginning of any required challenge period or after I complete the challenge?
  • If I complete the challenge successfully, how long with my new status be extended? What date will it expire?
  • Would a hotel-branded credit card give me the same elite-level status without completing a status challenge requiring a lot of paid stays?
  • How often does this hotel brand grant members a status match or challenge? For example, is it limited to once in a lifetime, every 3 years, or every 5 years?
  • Do I have many stays coming up at the brand with which I am requesting the match or challenge? Is this the best timing for the challenge if I can only do it once in a lifetime or every 5 years?

Hot Tip: Some hotel loyalty elite programs have been known to match granted elite status, such as the complimentary elite status that comes with your credit card. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold statuses that may be possible to match to other hotel elite programs. 

Final Thoughts

A hotel loyalty program status match or challenge can be a great opportunity to try out a new hotel brand without sacrificing the benefits you’ve previously earned with your current hotel brand.

Securing status via a status match or challenge can also be smart to have elite status in more than 1 hotel program as a backup when a preferred hotel brand is unavailable at your destination.

It’s noteworthy that status matches or challenges can come and go quickly, availability can disappear, and requirements can change.

Additionally, elite status challenges and matches are not unique to hotel loyalty programs — some airline frequent flyer programs offer the same type of elite status reciprocity. To learn more about matching your earned airline elite status with another airline, you’ll want to catch our comprehensive article on the topic.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Choice Privileges® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

The information regarding the Sonesta World Mastercard® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have current elite status with a hotel loyalty program, it is likely that another hotel loyalty program would match that elite status. This allows you to enjoy elite status with the new hotel program immediately.

Some hotel loyalty programs do not match elite status but offer an opportunity to fast-track to elite status with a stay challenge. If you complete a stated amount of stays during the required period (usually 90 days), your status can be granted and extended for a greater period of time. Hotel loyalty programs can offer a status match, a challenge, or a combination of the 2.

It’s also worth noting that matches and challenges can change or be discontinued anytime.

Most major hotel programs offer a status match, a status challenge, or a combination of the 2. Even if a hotel program does not publicly advertise a match or challenge, it is always worth calling or sending an email if you plan to stay at a specific brand for an extended period.

A hotel program may not have a published status match or challenge program but grants them on a case-to-case basis.

Status matches and challenges differ by hotel loyalty program. Some only grant these once in a lifetime. Others allow you to do a challenge repeatedly — once every other year, once every 3 years, or even once every 5 years.

It’s good to ask up front how often the hotel loyalty program allows you to be granted a match or participate in a challenge and plan your requests appropriately.

The answer is yes if you frequently stay at a particular brand. Even entry-level elite status can result in free Wi-Fi, special member rates, a dedicated reservation line, free water, and the ability to use cash combined with points for a free night stay.

Elevated elite status can deliver benefits such as room upgrades, executive lounge access, complimentary breakfast, early check-in, late checkout, guaranteed room availability, and bonus points. Elite status can make your stay more comfortable, save you money, and allow you to earn free hotel nights faster. Hotel elite status is not difficult to achieve.

You can secure elite status with status matches, challenges, or a hotel-branded credit card. Hotel loyalty programs can also grant entry-level elite status when you stay as little as 4 stays in a calendar year, such as with Hilton.

Each of the hotel loyalty programs we have covered in this article allow reward nights booked with points to count toward elite status qualification. If you’re completing a status match or challenge, reward nights normally do not count toward that match or challenge.

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.


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