Hotel and airline elite status extensions stretching into 2023 — Full list of extensions and promos
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We’ve seen a lot of airlines and hotel chains adjust their loyalty programs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every major program announced elite status extensions in 2020 and 2021 as well as some reduced qualification requirements. Now, with the pandemic and omicron variant still wreaking havoc on travel, some loyalty programs are going a step further by extending elite status into 2022 and 2023.
Here’s a complete list of all of the elite qualification changes you need to know about. We’ll continue to regularly update this guide as more airlines and hotels announce changes.
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Alaska normally offers two ways to reach MVP elite status: Flying Alaska-operated flights exclusively (with lower qualification thresholds) or taking a combination of Alaska- and partner-operated flights (with higher thresholds).
However, for 2021, Alaska has lowered qualification thresholds for all members.
- MVP: 20,000 elite-qualifying miles or 30 segments
- MVP Gold: 40,000 elite-qualifying miles or 60 segments
- MVP Gold 75K: 75,000 elite-qualifying miles or 90 segments
- MVP Gold 100K: 100,000 elite-qualifying miles or 140 segments (this is a new status level launching next year that was just announced in September)
Although it no longer matters how you earn your miles, you must fly a minimum number of Alaska Airlines segments to earn or retain status: two for MVP, four for MVP Gold, six for MVP Gold 75K and 24 for MVP Gold 100K. Alaska is offering a Fast Track to Status promotion that awards 50% bonus elite qualifying miles on all Alaska-operated flights through Dec. 31, 2021. No registration is required for the promo, but it does not apply to partner flights, even if they’re booked on an Alaska ticket.
The airline has also said that it will extend elite status for those who don’t requalify in 2021. Details are still outstanding on exactly how this will work, but 2020 status will be extended through 30 April 2022, with an opportunity to requalify by flying a minimum number of miles from January 2022 – April 2022.
American was the first U.S. airline to announce elite status updates for 2021. This year, AAdvantage elite status qualification thresholds have been reduced across the board. Any new status earned in 2021 will be valid through 31 March 2023, while existing status is being extended through March 2022.
The airline is reducing elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) required by 20%. Elite-qualifying segments (EQSs) and elite-qualifying dollars (EQDs) are lowered by 20% to 33%. Here’s how the new requirements break down:
- Gold: 20,000 EQMs or 20 EQSs plus $2,000 EQDs
- Platinum: 40,000 EQMs or 45 EQSs, plus $4,500 EQDs
- Platinum Pro: 60,000 EQMs or 70 EQSs, plus $7,000 EQDs
- Executive Platinum: 80,000 EQMs or 95 EQSs, plus $12,000 EQDs
There’s also a new way to get around the EQD requirements. Specifically, you can waive the EQD requirement up to Platinum Pro status by spending £22,717 on any cobranded AAdvantage credit card during the calendar year. American is also offering limited-time opportunities to earn bonus EQMs, EQDs and potentially even purchase some EQMs.
- Every AAdvantage member received bonus EQMs on the first ten segments flown between 3 June and 31 Aug.
- All current elites received a one-time EQD deposit varying based on elite status, ranging from $500 bonus EQDs for Gold members to $3,000 EQDs for Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members.
- Current elites can purchase a package of EQMs for £375, which will earn you $495 EQDs, as well as the following number of EQMs:
- Gold members receive 2,500 EQMs
- Platinum members receive 5,000 EQMs
- Platinum Pro members receive 7,500 EQMs
- Executive Platinum and invite-only Concierge Key members receive 10,000 EQMs
American is also offering extended status for those who earn $2,000 elite-qualifying dollars (EQDs) between 1 Sept and 31 Dec 2021, on American or its partner airlines. This fast-track opportunity is specifically for those who held status on 1 Jan 2021, but excludes those currently enrolled in limited-time status challenges.
Note that American will completely revamp how you earn elite status beginning in 2022. All of the current elite-qualifying metrics will be replaced by a new currency, Loyalty Points.
Amtrak Guest Rewards
Amtrak is extending elite status for all Select, Select Plus and Select Executive members through 28 Feb 2022. In addition, it’s making it easier for members to qualify or requalify by doubling the amount of Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) they earn on Amtrak travel in 2021.
In 2021, members earn 4 TQPs per dollar spent on Amtrak travel — double the standard TQPs.
On 31 Jan 2021, Avianca LifeMiles moved from distance-based mileage earning to revenue-based mileage earning. This change affects both how you earn redeemable miles and elite-qualifying miles. You’ll earn a flat five qualifying points per dollar you spend on a flight, meaning you’ll no longer be able to fast-track status by booking inexpensive, long-haul flights.
On the bright side, Avianca lowered elite status requirements for 2021. The temporary change offers up to a 40% reduction on elite status requirements, with more significant reductions being offered on higher status tiers.
- Red Plus: 8,250 qualifying miles (usually 11,000)
- Silver: 11,200 qualifying miles (usually 16,000)
- Gold: 18,850 qualifying miles (usually 29,000)
- Diamond: 28,800 qualifying miles (usually 48,000)
As before, you must earn 80% of your qualifying miles on Avianca-operated flights to qualify for status. You can earn the rest on any Star Alliance partner.
Choice Hotels reduced thresholds for elite status qualification in 2021. Any status you earn this year will be valid through 2022. Here’s how the requirements break down:
- Gold status: Earned after staying seven nights as opposed to 10
- Platinum status: Earned after staying 15 nights as opposed to 20
- Diamond status: Earned after staying 25 nights as opposed to 40
Additionally, the airline made it easier to qualify for higher status and is offering extra perks for those that qualify the “hard way.” Specifically, starting 1 Feb 2022, travellers who earned their status in 2021 will clear for complimentary upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level whose status was extended.
While the airline hasn’t adjusted the qualifying requirements, it is offering a unique fast-track offer. From 1 April through the end of 2021, SkyMiles members can earn up to 75% more elite-qualifying credit on flights marketed and operated by Delta, including award travel. Here’s the breakdown:
- 50% boost: All basic economy and Main Cabin tickets will earn 50% more Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs).
- 75% boost: Premium-cabin fares — Delta One, Delta Premium Select, domestic first class and Delta Comfort+ tickets, including those upgraded after purchase — qualify for an additional 25% bonus, bringing the total qualification boost to 75%.
Further, now through 31 December 2022, travellers will earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) on award tickets. This is the first time a U.S. airline loyalty program offers elite-qualifying credit for award tickets, including Miles + Cash redemptions.
On top of that, Delta will roll over all Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) earned in 2021 (as well as those already rolled over from 2020) to 2022. So, if you took any Delta flights this year or last, you’ve already begun making progress toward earning status in 2022.
Emirates is extending all elite status set to expire between now and February 2022 by 12 months. While it hasn’t adjusted qualification thresholds, it is running a limited-time promotion to help Skywards members fast-track to higher tier status. Members will automatically earn double tier miles on all Emirates and Flydubai flights booked between 1 April to 31 July 2021, for travel between 1 April and 31 December 2021. The bonus applies as per the original ticketed class. Keep in mind that award tickets don’t earn tier miles.
Hawaiian cut Pualani elite qualification for the 2022 status year in half. Plus, members who achieve Pualani Platinum status at the reduced elite qualifications will still receive their two Platinum upgrade certificates.
- Pualani Gold status: 15 segments or 10,000 miles
- Pualani Platinum status: 30 segments or 20,000 miles
However, there’s no word yet whether Hawaiian will continue to follow the reduced requirements next year.
In addition to extending status for current elites, Hertz reduced qualification requirements for new elite members. In 2021, you can earn elite status by meeting the following requirements:
|Status tier||2021 requirements||Normal requirements|
|Five Star||10 rentals||12 rentals or £1,515 spent|
|President’s Circle||15 rentals||20 rentals or £3,030 spent|
Hilton has extended elite status for all members through 31 March 2023. Hilton’s previous status extension was set to expire on Mar. 31, 2022, meaning some travellers will enjoy two years of “free” Hilton status.
Hilton already slashed 2021 qualification requirements in half, including stays, nights and base points. Here’s how you could earn status starting January 2021:
- Silver: 2 stays, 5 nights, or 12,500 base points
- Gold: 10 stays, 20 nights or 37,500 base points
- Diamond: 15 stays, 30 nights or 60,000 base points
Further, Hilton has already announced that it will continue to offer reduced qualification requirements for members in 2022. In 2022, Hilton Honors members can earn:
- Silver status after seven nights, three stays or 17,500 base points
- Gold status after 28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 base points
- Diamond status after 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points
In addition to reducing requirements, Hilton automatically rolled over all 2020 elite-qualifying nights to 2021, so you could get a big head start on your 2021 qualification based on stays this year. Further, all nights earned in 2021 will be automatically counted toward 2022 status qualifications.
However, keep in mind that you can also get automatic Hilton Honors elite status with a cobranded Hilton card.
Following Hilton’s footsteps, Hyatt announced it would reduce elite status requirements by 50% for the 2021 qualification year. And remember, any status earned in 2021 will be valid all the way through 28 February 2023.
Here’s a look at how the 2021 tier requirements break down:
- Discoverist: Stay five tier-qualifying nights or earn 12,500 base points (£1,893 in spending)
- Explorist: Stay 15 tier-qualifying nights or earn 25,000 base points (£3,786 in spending)
- Globalist: Stay 30 tier-qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points (£7,572 in spending)
These requirements may be even lower if you have a cobranded Hyatt card. Those with the World of Hyatt Credit Card automatically get five qualifying nights each year just for having the card. Additionally, cardholders earn two elite-qualifying nights for every £3,786 spent on the card with new cardholders potentially being eligible to earn nights even faster than that standard offer.
If you currently hold IHG Rewards elite status, it has been automatically extended through February 2023. For those who don’t have status, IHG is reducing the requirements in 2021 by roughly 25%. Here’s what it takes to earn status this year:
- Gold Elite: 7,000 qualifying points or seven nights
- Platinum Elite: 30,000 qualifying points or 30 nights
- Spire Elite: 55,000 qualifying points or 55 nights
Furthermore, all qualifying nights earned by elite members in 2020 have been rolled over to 2021.
In addition to extending status for JAL Mileage Bank members with Fly On elite status, JAL is giving elites bonus Fly On points for a head start in earning status for the following year.
In mid-February 2021, elites were credited the following Fly On points based on their status as of 7 January 2021:
- JMB Diamond members: 40,000 bonus FLY ON Points
- JGC Premier members: 28,000 FLY ON Points
- JMB Sapphire members: 15,000 FLY ON Points
- JMB Crystal members: 8,000 FLY ON Points
Then, in October 2021, elites were credited additional points:
- JMB Diamond members: 35,000 bonus FLY ON Points
- JGC Premier members: 17,000 FLY ON Points
- JMB Sapphire members: 10,000 FLY ON Points
- JMB Crystal members: 4,000 FLY ON Points
In mid-Dec. 2020, JetBlue announced some major changes to its Mosaic elite status program. In addition to extending status for current elites, it will make earning Mosaic status in 2021 easier. It is both reducing thresholds and introducing a new way to qualify altogether.
Here’s how you can earn Mosaic status in 2021:
- 7,500 Mosaic Qualifying points (usually 15,000 points)
- 6,000 Mosaic Qualifying points + 15 segments (usually 12,000 points and 30 segments)
- £37,862 spent on purchases with the JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business Card during the calendar year (as before)
- £22,717 spent on purchases with the JetBlue Plus or JetBlue Business Card + 4,000 Mosaic Qualifying points during the calendar year (new and exclusively for 2021)
- £11,358 spent on purchases with your JetBlue Plus Card between 10/1/2021 and 12/31/2021 (new and exclusively for 2021)
If you go beyond the qualification threshold during 2021, you’ll get extra bonuses and perks, including 10,000 bonus points (worth £98 based on TPG valuations) after 10,000 Mosaic Qualifying points, the opportunity to gift Mosaic status after 20,000 Mosaic Qualifying points and a free round-trip coach flight after 30,000 Mosaic Qualifying points.
Further, as of 9 June 2021, base points and flight segments earned on JetBlue Vacations packages and standalone hotels and activity through the new Paisly by JetBlue travel platform count toward Mosaic status.
Lufthansa Miles and More
In addition to extending status for current elites, Lufthansa is making it easier to earn status this year. In 2021, you’ll earn double status miles on all flights operated by Lufthansa Group airlines — Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. Additionally, you’ll earn double the HON Circle miles in business and first class. No registration is required.
Marriott Bonvoy announced that it’s further extending all elite status through February 2023, regardless of when it was earned. Beyond that, it hasn’t made broad adjustments to its qualification requirements. The only change is a reduction in the £15,144 spend threshold for attaining Ambassador Elite status by 30% for 2021.
For current elites looking to move up to a higher level of status, Marriott has deposited 50% of the elite nights needed to qualify for the elite status they held in 2020. It’s unclear if this will happen again in 2022.
Like last year, Southwest is giving all Rapid Rewards members a head-start towards the Companion Pass benefit and A-List elite status. All members with an account opened by 31 December 2020, automatically received 15,000 tier qualifying points (TQPs), 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points (CPQPs), 10 qualifying one-way flight segments towards tier status and 25 qualifying one-way flights towards Companion Pass.
With these boosts, here are the remaining requirements to qualify for status this year:
- A-List Status: 20,000 points or 15 flights
- A-List Preferred Status: 55,000 points or 40 flights
- Companion Pass: 100,000 points or 75 flights
Southwest is also making it easier to qualify for status by offering double tier-qualifying points (TQPs) through a limited-time promotion.
Furthermore, co-branded Southwest credit cardholders can earn an uncapped 1,500 tier-qualifying points for every £7,572 spent using their card from the first day of the billing cycle ending in January 2021 through the last statement of December 2021. In other words, you can spend your way to status without flying.
United is making it easier to qualify for Premier elite status in 2021 (toward 2022 status) and then again in 2022 (toward 2023 status). Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) requirements have been reduced by around 25% to 30% for both years. Unfortunately, only some current elites will automatically get their elite status extended through 2022.
As a reminder, travellers earn one PQP for each eligible dollar spent on tickets issued by United or based on distance and fare class for tickets issued by partners. You’ll also earn one PQF for each eligible flight segment flown.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- Silver: 3,000 PQPs/8 PQFs or 3,500 PQPs
- Gold: 6,000 PQPs/16 PQFs or 7,000 PQPs
- Platinum: 9,000 PQPs/24 PQFs or 10,000 PQPs
- Premier 1K: 13,500 PQPs/36 PQFs or 15,000 PQPs
In addition to the reduced requirements, anyone who held elite status in 2020 automatically received 25% of the PQP-only requirement for 2021 deposited into their accounts. Silver members should expect 875 PQPs, Gold 1,750, Platinum 2,500 and Premier 1K 3,750. Don’t forget that United requires that elites fly a minimum of four segments on United or United Express to qualify for status.
Keep in mind that you can also earn PQPs with cobranded United credit cards, such as the United Explorer Card and the United Club Infinite Card.
In September, Virgin Atlantic announced a fifth round of elite status and Companion Voucher extensions. Gold and Silver elite members had their status extended by an additional six months and will have an additional six three months to requalify for status.
Wyndham Rewards reduced elite status qualifications in 2021 by 40%. Here’s what it will take to earn Wyndham elite status this year:
- Gold: 3 nights
- Platinum: 9 nights
- Diamond: 24 nights
Remember that if you qualify for Wyndham Diamond status, you could match that to Diamond status within the Caesars Hotels and Resorts chain. Caesars Diamond perks include waived resort fees on all stays, complimentary valet and self-parking and a £76 annual celebration dinner at Caesars-owned restaurants.
Many airline and hotel loyalty programs made it easier to earn elite status in 2021 for 2022, while some are already reducing qualifications for the next year. However, as you can see, there still are a few major programs on this list that can do more for their members. More changes will likely be announced in the weeks to come, so be sure to bookmark this guide and check back regularly as we update it with more information.
Featured photo by Virojt Changyencham/Getty Images.
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