Free Elite Status With 10 Hotel Loyalty Programmes For Everyone (Ultimate Guide To Free Elite Status, Part 2)

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Last month we wrote about how you can take advantage of hotel loyalty programme status matches to turn elite status with one programme into free elite status with 6 programmes. The Hilton match mentioned in that piece now only gets you status for 90 days (unless you stay 4 times to keep Gold or 8 times to keep Diamond) but the other offers haven’t changed.

COnrad hong kong executive lounge
Conrad Hong Kong Executive Lounge

Status with 6 programmes is good, but we’ve been doing a bit of digging since then and can now show you how to get free elite status (or the sorts of perks that status normally gets you) with 10 hotel loyalty programmes!

What if you don’t already have elite status to match from though?

It’s potentially a big problem – but we (naturally…) have a great workaround.

Scandinavian chain ‘Scandic Hotels’ currently lets you sign up as an elite ‘3rd Floor’ member by using this special link. You can then use that to get the status match ball rolling!

Step 1: Sign up with Scandic Hotels loyalty programme ‘Scandic Friends’ through this link here.

Step 2: Within 48 hours you will be upgraded to ‘3rd Floor’ status (mine was upgraded overnight).

Step 3: Request a status match using your 3rd Floor status to Best Western Diamond here.

Step 4: Use your newly minted Best Western Diamond status to request status matches with any of the hotel loyalty programmes below. If they don’t match Best Western for any reason, just match to Hilton (or another who do match Best Western) first and then use that for the match you want instead!

Which hotel loyalty programmes offer status matches?

hilton gold status

Hilton HHonors

90 days of Gold or Diamond status up front, and keep it until March 2018 by making 4 or 8 stays during that period. All you have to do is go to this page and send them proof of your status with another hotel loyalty programme (and that you have stayed at least one night with that competitor in the last 12 months).


Club Carlson (Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn etc)

We wrote about this in detail a while ago, but to request a Club Carlson status match, simply email [email protected] (put “Status Match” in the subject line) with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Club Carlson membership number
  • Name of other frequent guest program
  • Membership number and tier level of the other frequent guest program
  • Copy of your membership card from the other frequent guest program (PDF or JPG files only)

Club Carlson match up to Gold status (you can’t match to top-tier ‘Concierge’ level).

Best Western

Best Western Rewards

Incredibly simple – just fill in this form (or put the requested details in an email) and send it to [email protected].

They match up to ‘Diamond’ level (possibly up to Diamond Select now?). Best Western Rewards may not be the most exciting loyalty programme in the world, but Diamond status still gets you an upgrade and a welcome gift, as well as bonus points – not bad!

Choice Privileges

Choice Privileges (Ascend Collection, Cambria Hotels, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn etc)

Choice match up to Platinum. The benefits aren’t great to be honest, but I’d still always rather have status than not.

Email [email protected] with the following information:

  1. Full Name
  2. Choice Privileges Member Number
  3. Proof of Elite status in other hotel program:
    1. Screenshot or copy of your other program’s loyalty card (with expiration date)
    2. Or, screenshot or copy of other program’s current statement or account status page

Technically, Choice only match members in the United States – I’m sure you can work out out to get around that should you wish…

Executive Lounge
Executive Lounge at the Conrad Hotel in Seoul – you can access it with Hilton Diamond status!

Lesser known or smaller/regional hotel chains often have loyalty programmes too, and can be very happy to match status. Here are just a couple of examples that I have personal experience with, but do let us know in the comments if you’ve had success with others!

Voila Hotel Rewards

Voila Hotels

Send an email to [email protected] with a scan of your membership card and a screenshot of the account you would like to match from.

Sonesta Travel Pass


I sent off a quick email with a screenshot of my Hilton status and they got back to me straight away agreeing to upgrade my account to their top level ‘Elite’ status. The perks include an upgrade, free breakfast (or lounge access if the hotel has one), late checkout, welcome amenity etc – not bad for a 30 second email!

Leading Hotels of the World

Status matching isn’t the only way to get free status – or at least the sort of benefits normally associated with elite status like free upgrades and free breakfast etc.

Leading Hotels of the World

Leading Hotels of the World are still offering free membership of their ‘Leaders Club’ (usually costs $150.00).


Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Rival group Small Luxury Hotels of the World have a similar offer for instant ‘Loved’ status in their loyalty programme – just use this link.

Both of those offers will get you free upgrades, breakfast, late check out etc – basically most of the good stuff that comes from having status!


Preferred Hotels and Resorts

Preferred Hotels also offer what is comparable to mid-level status just for signing up to their iPrefer loyalty programme.

Landmark Hotel, London
The Landmark Hotel, London – where you can enjoy the perks of Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club membership

Earning status in all these programmes the traditional way (by actually staying) would require an astonishing 185+ nights!

From Rodeway Inns ( “forget about fancy” – brilliantly that is a direct quotation…), to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world – you can now have elite perks wherever you stay!


  1. Adam says

    I joined Scandic using the link in this article 4 days ago and still not upgraded to 3rd floor. Do i need to email CS as i thought the upgrade was applied automatically?

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Adam,

      Mine was updated overnight, so I’d get in touch if it still hasn’t been updated (or just try again with a different email address, if you don’t want to raise any flags maybe).

  2. Remi Follet says

    When you do your Status Match with Best Western, is a screenshot of the dashboard on Scandic Hotels enough?
    Or if I wait, am I going to receive a card? Thanks for the amazing tip!

  3. martin says

    It’s taken me a couple of days to get the Scandic Friends 3rd floor status but you need to keep checking your Scandic account as I did not get a conformation email that it had been done.
    Best Western done the status match within a few hours to Platinum status but say the card will take 4-5 weeks.
    I’m staying at Hiltons T5 next week but only have blue status.
    Any suggestions on how I can get upgraded to gold in the meantime?

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