For a not-so-frequent traveler like me, elite status is not something easily attainable. Besides, I usually opt for the most cost-efficient option for leisure travels, so that doesn’t help much with accumulating the number of nights, stays, or miles required for elite statuses.
However, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to help out on a special project last year, which required me to travel for 2 months. Together with some other work travels, I traveled just enough (53 nights) last year to reach Platinum for SPG.
My 2016/2017 'pathway' to elite statuses.
Thanks to the Marriott-SPG merger, I was able to obtain status match to Diamond status for both Hilton and Hyatt with my SPG Platinum status. And by linking my SPG and Marriott accounts, I was awarded Platinum Elite status for Marriott as well. With just one hotel elite status, I was able to obtain elite statuses for 3 other major hotel chains, United, and Hertz. =)
Besides, I believe I received the first year free offer ($450 annual fee waived) for the MileagePlus Club Credit Card due to my Premier Silver status for United, which also came with a free United Club membership and Hertz Presidents' Circle status.
While it's nice to have the perks that come with elite statuses, it doesn’t mean anything unless I get to enjoy them. Besides, I’m absolutely aware that these privileges are temporary and I certainly do not feel more entitled or privileged than others. I'm just a lucky ‘economy’ traveler this year. I'll most likely lose most of these statuses next year anyway. =P
Knowing that these elite statuses are just temporary, I try to optimize while I have them, and before everything gets devalued. Here are some of the perks I've received over the last few months:
SPG - Platinum
HiltonHonors – Diamond
Hyatt Gold Passport – Diamond (now called Globalist)
Marriott Rewards – Platinum Elite
United MileagePlus – Premier Silver
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards – President’s Circle
I love frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs for the free flights and award stays. Elite statuses are just bonuses and I don't do mileage runs or mattress runs just to keep them. If I get them, great. If not, I'm equally happy just being able to travel and see more of the world!