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How to gift airline and hotel elite status


Travelers with elite status have a range of privileges, including complimentary breakfast at hotels and flight upgrades. These perks often extend to companions when they travel together. However, what options are available when your family or friends travel without you?

Some programs let you gift elite status to someone else for a stay or a trip, including Hyatt’s Guest of Honor program, Air Canada’s Status Pass and American Airlines’ Enhance with Miles opportunities. Several programs even allow you to gift full-fledged elite status to another traveler.

Here’s a look at some programs that allow you to gift elite status for a day, stay or extended period.

Air Canada

You won’t receive preferred seats when you use the Air Canada Status Pass. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Air Canada Aeroplan offers its 50K, 75K and Super Elite members the option to select Status Pass through Select Benefit Bundles. Super Elite members are automatically granted two passes each year as a Core Benefit.

In straightforward terms, Status Pass enables elite members to share their privileges with another traveler even when not traveling together. The recipients of the passes will receive the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in
  • Three checked bags with priority handling
  • Priority security screening
  • Access to Maple Leaf lounges
  • Priority airport standby
  • Priority boarding

Each Status Pass covers an entire Air Canada reservation, including award flights, for up to nine travelers booked together. However, it’s important to note that Status Pass benefits are exclusive to Air Canada flights.

In addition to the Status Pass benefit, Air Canada allows select elite members to gift status directly to others. Aeroplan 75K elite members can choose to gift Aeroplan 35K status as a Select Benefit, and Super Elite members can choose to gift Aeroplan 50K status as a Select Benefit.

Related: How to redeem Aeroplan points for maximum value

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Alaska Airlines

Once you earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K status during a calendar year, you can share MVP status with a friend or family member. Complete this form on Alaska’s website to designate the recipient.

Once you earn MVP Gold 100K status during a calendar year, you can select one 100K Choice Benefit for the following year. One of the 100K Choice Benefit options is to upgrade the individual you nominated for MVP status upon your MVP Gold 75K qualification to MVP Gold status.

Related: What is Alaska Airlines elite status worth?

American Airlines

COOPER NEILL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

American Airlines AAdvantage lets you gift status to another person at the following Loyalty Point milestones through Loyalty Point Rewards:

  • 175,000 Loyalty Points: You get one choice at this milestone and can choose two gifts of AAdvantage Gold status.
  • 250,000 Loyalty Points: You get two choices at this milestone and can choose two gifts of AAdvantage Gold status per choice.
  • 400,000, 550,000 and 750,000 Loyalty Points: You get two choices at each of these milestones and can choose one gift of AAdvantage Platinum status per choice at each of these milestones.
  • 1 million Loyalty Points: You get one choice at this milestone and can choose one gift of AAdvantage Platinum Pro status.
  • 3 million and 5 million Loyalty Points: You get one choice at each of these milestones and can choose one gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum status at each of these milestones.

Related: What is American Airlines elite status worth?

Delta Air Lines

Upon achieving Platinum Medallion or Diamond Medallion status in the Delta SkyMiles program, you can select Delta Choice Benefits as a token of your accomplishment. While many individuals opt for Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates, other rewards are available, including the ability to gift status. Platinum Medallion members have the opportunity to gift Silver Medallion status, while Diamond Medallion members can gift Gold Medallion status.

Related: Delta Medallion status: What it is and how to earn it

Hilton

A room at the Hilton Niseko Village in Japan. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

By staying with Hilton Honors for 60 or more eligible nights within a calendar year, you can gift Gold status to another member. Similarly, if you stay for 100 or more nights within a calendar year, that gift is upgraded to Diamond status. Once you meet the required number of nights in a calendar year, you will receive an email containing a code that can be used to gift status to another member.

If you didn’t stay the required nights, your friends and family could still enjoy Hilton Honors status. After all, Hilton Honors status comes as a benefit of the following cards:

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex 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.

Related: What is Hilton Honors elite status worth?

Hyatt

While World of Hyatt does not provide the option to directly gift status, it offers a unique alternative that may be even more valuable through its Guest of Honor program. The Guest of Honor perk will become tied to Hyatt Milestone Rewards in 2024, with Hyatt loyalists earning their first Guest of Honor award each calendar year after 40 nights or 65,000 base points.

The Guest of Honor recipient — who can be a different person each time — will receive all the in-hotel benefits typically enjoyed by Globalist members during their Guest of Honor stay.

Related: The ultimate guide to redeeming your World of Hyatt points

Marriott

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge in Kenya. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Once you reach the 50 and 75 elite night milestones in a calendar year with Marriott Bonvoy, you’re eligible for annual Choice Benefits. Although Suite Night Awards (to be replaced with Nightly Upgrade Awards in 2024) tend to be the most popular pick at these milestones, an alternate choice is to gift status to another member.

After reaching 50 elite nights, you could choose to gift Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status as your Choice Benefit. After hitting the 75-night threshold, you could gift Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status as your Choice Benefit. However, as you can easily earn Marriott Bonvoy elite status through credit cards, choosing other Choice Benefit options is usually a better idea.

Related: Last-minute strategies for Marriott elite status

Bottom line

With elite status, it’s only natural to want to extend the perks to others. Sharing the benefits of elite status can make a wonderful gift to friends and family who frequently travel. However, it’s important to carefully consider your options before selecting the gift of status instead of other perks to ensure you don’t miss out on choices that offer even greater value.



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