How to Get Elite Status for Free Hotel Upgrades

By Jason Steele. Last updated 27 June 2017. 0 comments

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It's a great feeling when you are handed the keys to your hotel room and are informed that you received a complimentary upgrade. And it feels even better when you open the door to your room and are blown away by its size, view, and amenities. Most of the time these free upgrades are offered to guests who hold elite status in the hotel's loyalty program. (See also: Credit Cards that Offer Free Hotel Status Upgrades)

But since every hotel chain has its own loyalty program, which one should you use to get the best room upgrades? Here is a list the major hotel brands, and how they doll out upgrades to their elite members.


The World of Hyatt offers Discoverist members a preferred room, including rooms on higher floors or larger rooms, based on availability. You can earn Discoverist status through 10 qualifying nights or earning 25,000 Base Points or holding 3 qualifying meetings/events per calendar year. If you have top-tier Globalist status, you are automatically upgraded to the best room available, including standard suites. 


There are three elite tiers to Hilton's Honors™ program. The entry level Silver tier is reached by completing four stays in a calendar year, or 10 nights in a calendar year, but does not offer room upgrades as stated benefit. Gold status is reached through one of three ways: 20 stays in a calendar year, 40 nights in a calendar year, or by earning 75,000 Honors Base Points in a calendar year. Those with Gold status can receive space-available upgrades to a preferred room. Finally, Hilton offers a top-tier Diamond status to those who do one of the following: complete 30 stays in a calendar year, stay 60 nights in a calendar year, or earn 120,000 Honors Base Points in a calendar year. Nevertheless, the published room upgrade benefit is the same as it is for Gold members, which includes space-available upgrades to a preferred room.


Starwood hotels includes several brands such as Westin and Sheraton. Gold elite status in the Starwood Preferred Guest® program offers and enhanced room at check-in, such as one with a preferred view or a corner room. In addition, Platinum elites are offered select standard suites, when available. Gold status is earned through 10 stays or 25 eligible nights annually, while Platinum status requires 25 stays or 50 eligible nights annually.


The Marriott Rewards program offers complimentary room upgrades to both its Gold and Platinum elites. Gold status is achieved from staying 50 nights or more in a year, while Platinum Elite status requires 75 nights or more. 


IHG® stands for Intercontinental Hotels Group, and it offers complimentary room upgrades to Platinum Elites and to those in its new Spire Elite. Platinum status is earned through 40 night stays or by earning 40,000 elite qualifying points, while its newly introduced Spire elite status is achieved through 75 night stays or by earning 75,000 elite qualifying points. 

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