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Does Elite Status Matter Anymore?

Does Elite Status Matter Anymore?

Old May 5, 21, 1:36 pm
  #1  
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Does Elite Status Matter Anymore?

As a Hilton diamond I think it's lost it's luster as the only benefit I've used were the lounges and they are all covid closed not for the foreseeable future. Designated parking spots for diamonds are always full and later check outs are almost impossible past 1 pm. Since earning Diamond status is pretty easy for anyone to obtain perhaps it's time to Kayak my future stays.

Last edited by Canarsie; May 5, 21 at 6:11 pm Reason: Consolidation.
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Old May 5, 21, 2:17 pm
  #2  
 
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You earn more points per stay with Diamond. You get free breakfast with Diamond (such as it is). You get neither with Kayak. I guess it depends on what you are looking for.
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Old May 5, 21, 2:51 pm
  #3  
 
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When everybody is elite, nobody is...

Whether you choose to be happy about the guaranteed bonuses or focus on the downside of everybody being Diamond is up to you...

You certainly won't be a VIP at Kayak, but if you are a frequent guest at an independent hotel you will probably be treated quite well.
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Old May 5, 21, 2:53 pm
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Extra points and free breakfasts. I have also had a few welcome amenities this year including wine, cake, fruit and drinks vouchers. And two suite upgrades.

Admittedly, I find the benefits minimal in US.
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Old May 5, 21, 5:42 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
As a Hilton diamond I think it's lost it's luster as the only benefit I've used were the lounges and they are all covid closed not for the foreseeable future. Designated parking spots for diamonds are always full and later check outs are almost impossible past 1 pm. Since earning Diamond status is pretty easy for anyone to obtain perhaps it's time to Kayak my future stays.
I haven't noticed late checkouts being impossible at Hilton as a newly minted Diamond for 2020, or parking spots. I like getting $500 in airfare rebates and hotel rooms on a $450 annual fee credit card, especially since in 2021, that's also $220 in dining out, takeout and delivery (plus in 2020 it was $250 in dining out, takeout and delivery instead of resort hotel rooms)... before I get to the sign up bonus, free hotel room good anywhere in the system.

I've always found most hotel executive lounges overrated, and the ones that aren't generally have room rates to match the quality of the lounge.

But, you know, you do you. Goodbye cruel hotel chain. I don't particularly have chain loyalty myself. I'm more interested in the pocketbook/service level/location all aligning up the way I'd like (to be honest HGIs/Hyatt Houses/Hyatt Places/Homewood Suites/Candlewood Suites can suit me just fine at the right price/location, and then I get a nice meal with my savings over a full service joint).
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Old May 5, 21, 8:28 pm
  #6  
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It’s worth it if you’ve got to stay at Hiltons anyway for some reason, but I certainly wouldn’t go to much trouble otherwise.
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Old May 5, 21, 9:30 pm
  #7  
 
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Sounds like OP is staying at Hamptons. Diamond status has always been pretty useless at Hamptons and other lower tier brands. There is often nothing to upgrade to, the breakfast is free for everyone, late checkout is almost impossible due to limited housekeeping hours, and practically every HH elite gets the free snack (or did pre-Covid). There is no way to police the Diamond Elite parking spots but for some reason I almost always get one.

Domestic lounges were becoming rarer pre-Covid and those that remained seemed to be getting stingier with their offerings, Diamond has always been more useful overseas, especially in Asia. If those hotels don't eventually reopen and go back to prior service levels then I would agree that the status doesn't matter anymore.
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Old May 6, 21, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by cargueiro View Post
Extra points and free breakfasts. I have also had a few welcome amenities this year including wine, cake, fruit and drinks vouchers. And two suite upgrades.

Admittedly, I find the benefits minimal in US.
That's cuz everyone is an elite...
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Old May 6, 21, 1:07 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Sounds like OP is staying at Hamptons. Diamond status has always been pretty useless at Hamptons and other lower tier brands. There is often nothing to upgrade to, the breakfast is free for everyone, late checkout is almost impossible due to limited housekeeping hours, and practically every HH elite gets the free snack (or did pre-Covid). There is no way to police the Diamond Elite parking spots but for some reason I almost always get one.

Domestic lounges were becoming rarer pre-Covid and those that remained seemed to be getting stingier with their offerings, Diamond has always been more useful overseas, especially in Asia. If those hotels don't eventually reopen and go back to prior service levels then I would agree that the status doesn't matter anymore.
I've gotten late check-out before.

As for status, this has been discussed so many times and I agree with you. Elite recognition is so good in Asia. I've always been treated well in the Greater China Region.
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Old May 6, 21, 1:10 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
I haven't noticed late checkouts being impossible at Hilton as a newly minted Diamond for 2020, or parking spots. I like getting $500 in airfare rebates and hotel rooms on a $450 annual fee credit card, especially since in 2021, that's also $220 in dining out, takeout and delivery (plus in 2020 it was $250 in dining out, takeout and delivery instead of resort hotel rooms)... before I get to the sign up bonus, free hotel room good anywhere in the system.

I've always found most hotel executive lounges overrated, and the ones that aren't generally have room rates to match the quality of the lounge.

But, you know, you do you. Goodbye cruel hotel chain. I don't particularly have chain loyalty myself. I'm more interested in the pocketbook/service level/location all aligning up the way I'd like (to be honest HGIs/Hyatt Houses/Hyatt Places/Homewood Suites/Candlewood Suites can suit me just fine at the right price/location, and then I get a nice meal with my savings over a full service joint).
How did you get $500 back?

Have you tried the lounges in Asia? It's definitely not overrated over there.
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Old May 6, 21, 1:33 am
  #11  
 
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As was mentioned earlier, I think outside the US Diamond recognition is still pretty good. I just got back from a week in dubai and got the following benefits in addition to full breakfasts
hilton dubai creek : booked lowest level on points, upgraded to 2 room corner suite, plus 3 course meal and wine in sports bar in lieu of lounge
hilton al habtour : upgraded to a massive suite, lounge is shared with v hotel with drinks and decent small bites
waldorf palm : upgraded to Pearl club room (but no lounge access) from entry level room
conrad dubai : upgraded to 2 room suite plus lounge is open with drinks and decent food selection.

in my experience, outside the USA, it is still well worth having diamond status.
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Old May 6, 21, 1:33 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
When everybody is elite, nobody is...

Whether you choose to be happy about the guaranteed bonuses or focus on the downside of everybody being Diamond is up to you...

You certainly won't be a VIP at Kayak, but if you are a frequent guest at an independent hotel you will probably be treated quite well.
I am curious the ratio of diamond in vs outside of US. Anyone any idea? For the total stays in US hilton properties, would one tenth been made by diamond? What about the number of diamond members in US vs outside.

I assume diamond are still rare outside. At least my experiences as diamond was great.

On the contrary, I guess elite stays of Hyatt and Marriott may be higher outside US. There are so many cheap properties that they can run for elite easily.
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Old May 6, 21, 1:36 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Have you tried the lounges in Asia? It's definitely not overrated over there.
The Asia argument is somewhat problematic. Sure, Hiltons in Asia take care of Diamonds. However, basically all chains do take good care of higher-tier elites.

So I don't take issue with your claim per se. It's true Hilton Diamond is not worthless in Asia. But it's not really an argument to concentrate on Hilton. I might just as well book according to price (or promos if my employer is footing the bill) and see with what elite statuses I end up with. As long as I stay frequently enough to make a decent status level in 2-3 programmes, I'm gonna get treated well. Doesn't necessarily have to be the very highest tier, I've had excellent experiences in Asia as Accor Platinum (not Accor Diamond) or at Intercontis as Spire Ambassador (not Royal Ambassador).
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Old May 6, 21, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by hermitw View Post
I am curious the ratio of diamond in vs outside of US. Anyone any idea? For the total stays in US hilton properties, would one tenth been made by diamond? What about the number of diamond members in US vs outside.

I assume diamond are still rare outside. At least my experiences as diamond was great.

On the contrary, I guess elite stays of Hyatt and Marriott may be higher outside US. There are so many cheap properties that they can run for elite easily.
This isn't data that is shared publicly. Which is why FT is so full of discussion, opinion, anecdote, etc. And the FTer in general is far more status-conscious than the general population of hotel guests.

There are also cultural differences that make elite treatment in, say, Asia, far better than North America, irrespective of the numbers of elite guests.
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Old May 6, 21, 3:40 am
  #15  
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For me the main benefit of status with a chain is that I get treated moderately well at hotels that I am staying at for the first time, and may never return to, or not for many years.

I have stayed at over 100 Hiltons but most of them only once. For me travel is about going to new places, not returning to the same place over and over (except for family/business reasons etc). So I'm never going to become a repeat guest at any hotel.

Obviously not every place I go has a Hilton or a convenient Hilton, but out of the chains, Hilton Diamond was the easiest for me to maintain pre-COVID. I don't expect too much, but usually get a better room (occasionally suite) and sometimes extra gifts, than I would if I had no status.

With only 15 stays needed this year Hilton is probably the easiest status to maintain during COVID too, particularly because I am already Diamond and have 0 stays so far. If I wanted to go for another chain I would have to start off statusless or figure out a status match, but this would lead to me losing Hilton status and also being unable to maintain the other chain's status after the second year.
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