Hotel loyalty programmes are struggling to attract the most loyal members of other programmes into their fold. The following example is a good proof.
Loyalty programs status match
For those new to the subject, status match is an offer made by a loyalty program to give you the status equivalent to that which you already have with a competing loyalty program.
Status matches are a common practice in loyalty programs, especially hotel programs.
Some programs work case-by-case… while others create real acquisition campaigns with dedicated sites.
Become a Best Western Diamond member with a status match.
Here’s an example from Best Western Rewards, who nicely called their status match: “Status Match No Catch“.
With our Status Match…No Catch® program, we will match your ELITE status in any other hotel loyalty program, FREE of charge. You’ll begin earning Best Western Rewards® points at the Elite level instantly, and watch them add up even faster.
I’ll take my case as an example. Thanks to my American Express Platinum card , I am a Gold member of the Marriott Bonvoy program.
In this case, I found that SPG Gold members generally got Best Western Diamond status. WhileMarriott Bonvoy’s Elite Gold members were more easily awarded the highest status: Diamond Select.
The procedure is described on the Best Western Rewards website. But there is no need to fill out the form indicated.
So, I just sent an email to StatusMatch@bestwestern.com saying:
- My Best Western Rewards membership number
- My Name
- My address (as indicated in the account)
- The competitor loyalty program
- My status with the competitor’s loyalty programme
I added a screenshot of my Marriott Bonvoy account proving that I am indeed a Gold Elite Member.
10 minutes later (!!!!), I got an email validating my new status: Diamond Select!
Within 10 minutes, I went from the lowest status (Blue) to the highest status (Diamond Select) which normally requires staying a minimum of 50 nights in Best Western hotels during the year!
This status allows you to earn 50% bonus points for each stay… and to get back 10% of the points exchanged for a free hotel night (stays in Canada and the United States only)!
If you requested the Best Western Rewards MasterCard and earned 20,000 points, you may be able to redeem some of your points for one or two nights at a hotel!
So with my American Express Platinum card, I’m..:
- Gold member of the Marriott Bonvoy program
- Gold Member of the Hilton Honors Program
- Gold member of the Radisson Rewards program (ex-Club Carlson)
Thanks to various status matches I was able to become:
- Explorist Member of the World of Hyatt Program
- Diamond Select Member of the Best Western Rewards Program
- AccorHotels Platinum Member
- IHG Platinum Member
What is the purpose of this “race” for status? In addition to ensuring that I am always greeted very well in any hotel that is a member of a group, it allows me to achieve the status of another program. And sometimes it even allows you to climb the ladder faster!
Thus, the Diamond Select Best Western Rewards status is known to offer a more direct way to the Diamond status of the Hilton Honors program, which I am much more interested in than the Best Western status!
Other ways to achieve higher status
The next status I wish to have is Marriott Bonvoy Platinum.
Thanks to the status match, this one will allow me to get Marriott Bonvoy Gold.
There is a quicker method to achieve it if you’re already a Marriott Bonvoy Gold member, called “Road to Platinum“. You have to call Marriott Bonvoy and ask for this challenge. To achieve this, you must book 9 stays (which can be 9 one-night stays) in hotels of the group within 3 months. Usually you would have to stay 75 nights in a year!
By applying for this challenge at the beginning of March 2018 and completing it by the end of June 2018, Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status will be valid until the end of February 2020.
When you get hooked on points and miles… you end up getting hooked on hotel and airline status too! They are like treasure chests for… infidels like us! 🙂
N.B.: as Jasmin rightly mentions in his commentary, the programs generally allow a lifetime status match. So prepare your move so you don’t make an unnecessary status match!