How I Earned Elite Status in 2021

In the past, my travel was determined by the lowest price on any airline as well as the cheapest 4-star hotel on Over the years I have slowly started to see the benefit of travel "loyalty" which has led me to a few elite statuses.

Before the pandemic, I would travel for work and mainly flew American Airlines and stayed in Marriott hotels. In 2018 I attained Marriott Silver through hotel stays before opening the SPG Credit Card from American Express Card/Marriott Amex Bonvoy credit card (no longer available). The card came with 15 elite nights, which coupled with my 12 stays in 2019, pushed me into Gold status (25-night stay requirement).

When the pandemic began in March 2020, Marriott extended members' statuses until 2022, along with awarding them half the nights necessary to maintain the status they held in 2019. With my credit card's 15 elite nights, along with the 13 promotional bonus nights, I met the requirement to maintain Gold for 2021 without having to spend 1 night in a hotel. Marriott has subsequently extended member statuses (again) to February 2023.

In 2020 I held the following status(es):

  • Marriott Gold

In 2021 I held the following statuses:

  • American Airlines Platinum Pro (status challenge)
  • Hertz Five Stars
  • Hilton Gold (credit card)
  • Hyatt Globalist
  • IHG Platinum (gifted)
  • Marriott Gold (a carryover from 2019)
  • Southwest Companion Pass (earned)

How did I do it? A bit of promotion double dipping of airline and hotel promotions. Here how's I earned Hyatt Globalist & AA Platinum Pro.

In 2020 I was interested in trying out Hyatt's "Work From Hyatt" program, which at their all-inclusive Ziva/Zilara's came with an extensive list of extras for around $300 per room per night. Unbeknownst to me, our 18-night stay at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall would put me over halfway towards earning Hyatt Globalist in 2021 under the reduced 30-night stay requirement.

  • Promotion 1: Hyatt reduced the requirement to earn status by 50% (30 nights for Globalist)
  • Promotion 2: Jan - Feb 28, 2021, Bonus Journeys resulting in double elite nights.
    • Nov 2020: 18 nights
    • Feb 2021: 6 nights (counted as 12 nights)

By late February 2021, I was a Hyatt Globalist! With my new elite status, I started planning future 2021 Hyatt stays.

In August 2021, after linking my Hyatt and American Airlines accounts, an offer to fast-track Platinum Pro (for Hyatt Globalists) was in my account. This 90-day promotion required 2k spend (EQD) & 40k miles (EQM). I started looking for transcontinental flights & booked two roundtrip flights to Miami (from LAX). Several other last-minute flights pushed me over the threshold, 60 days into the 90-day challenge.

Excited to head into 2022 & see what other promotions await for elite status.

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