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Do hotel stays on December 31 count toward earning status this year or next?


With just weeks left in 2023, travelers are tallying their status-earning achievements.

You may hope to earn status for the first time this year or chase a higher status tier. If you’re in that boat, you might be planning to get there through organic travel or are even considering a last-minute mattress run.

It’s often much easier to qualify for elite status with hotels than with airlines because award stays at major chains count towards hotel elite status.

However, if you risk falling a night short in earning status in 2023, do hotel stays from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 count toward earning status this year or next? TPG reader Hailey asks:

After accounting for all my work travel I’m going to be one night short of Marriott Platinum status this year. If I book an award stay over New Year’s Eve, would that count towards 2023 (when I check in) or 2024 (when I check out)?

Earning elite credits on New Year’s Eve stays

MARRIOTT

The short answer is that the four major hotel chains, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and IHG, all credit stays from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 to the previous year.

That means if Hailey books a one-night stay over New Year’s, it will push her over the threshold to earn Marriott Platinum elite status for 2024.

Things start to get a little more confusing if Hailey were to book a longer stay, for example, checking in Dec. 31 and checking out Jan. 3. Representatives from the three major hotel chains have shared with us that the official policy is that the nights would split — so the night of Dec. 31 would count toward Hailey’s 2023 qualification year.

The subsequent nights in January would count toward her 2024 qualification year.

A Hyatt agent we spoke to said that the default setting is for all nights to post to 2023, but if you call in, they have a process to adjust it manually.

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Meanwhile, a Marriott agent explained that the nights would automatically split.

How to earn elite hotel status with a credit card

THE POINTS GUY

With the right credit card, you won’t need to worry about squeezing in an elite night on New Year’s Eve to earn elite status in your favorite hotel loyalty program.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card provides Platinum Elite status for all cardmembers. Alternatively, if you have both the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, you’ll get 30 elite night credits just for holding these cards, more than half of the elite nights needed for Bonvoy Platinum status.

If you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll automatically get five tier-qualifying nights yearly. You’ll also earn two tier-qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on your World of Hyatt Credit Card. The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card provides five tier-qualifying nights for every $10,000 spent on the card each calendar year.

If you prefer Hilton Honors, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers Diamond status if you have the card open.

The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Finally, IHG Platinum Elite status is offered as a cardholder perk of the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

If you hold the United Club Infinite Card, you can also register for complimentary IHG Platinum Elite status.

Bottom line

It’s risky to leave requalifying for status until the very last day possible, especially given how big of a gap there is in benefits between Marriott Gold and Marriott Platinum status.

That being said, Hailey will be able to earn her last elite qualifying night on Dec. 31, even if her stay stretches into January of the following year.

If you plan on using New Year’s travel to qualify for hotel elite status, keep an eye on your account for the first week of January to ensure your stay credits the way you expect it to.



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