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Chasing Elite Status: The Upgraded Points Team’s Mid-year 2023 Update

Carissa Rawson's image
Carissa Rawson

Carissa Rawson

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 51U.S. States Visited: 36

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business ...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
& Stella Shon

Stella Shon

Compliance Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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We’re all about points and miles here at Upgraded Points, which is why you’ll see an absolute deluge of guides instructing you how to make the best redemptions, find the best hotels, and book the best flights. But points and miles aren’t all that exists in the world of loyalty travel. Elite status tends to go hand-in-hand with earning points and includes benefits such as flight upgrades, complimentary breakfast, late checkout, airport lounge access, and more.

It makes sense, then, that many of us at Upgraded Points are also chasing elite status — whether that’s with hotels or airlines. Let’s take a look at how it’s going halfway through 2023.

Carissa Rawson, Senior Content Contributor

This has been an interesting year. I spent much of last year chasing various types of elite status, which meant I ended up with United MileagePlus Premier 1K, Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold, American AAdvantage Gold, World of Hyatt Globalist, and a handful of other hotel elite statuses.

However, this year I haven’t done much of anything for status chasing, other than making sure my Hyatt status is up to par. Sitting down to write this has gotten me thinking, though … and there are a few statuses I’d like to keep if possible.

World of Hyatt — Globalist

Image Credit: Hyatt

I’ve been a World of Hyatt Globalist for going on 3 years now, ever since the reduced requirements meant I could climb aboard the train.

I’ll admit — I was immediately hooked. Hyatt is famous for its treatment of elite members, and after experiencing it for myself, I’ll never go back. There’s just something about guaranteed upgrades and no-fuss lavish breakfasts that really does it for me.

As it stands, I currently have 38 nights already credited to Hyatt this year. This is thanks to a number of stays, including plenty of cheap nights in Las Vegas. I also have 17 more nights booked for the year, which brings me up to a total of 55 nights through 2023.

This is 5 short of the 60 I’ll need to maintain my Globalist status, but I’m always on the go and expect I’ll be able to find those 5 nights sometime before the end of December.

Hilton Honors — Diamond

Hilton Diamond status got me an upgrade to an overwater villa on a 7-night stay in Bora Bora. Image Credit: Carissa Rawson

Hilton continues to be my backup hotel chain of choice if I can’t find a Hyatt, mostly because I have its top-tier elite status. This is thanks to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which gives me complimentary Diamond status as long as I hold the card.

Although it boasts an expensive $450 annual fee, I always make use of the resort credit of up to $250 it offers, as well as the airline fee credit of up to $250. Together these 2 make up the annual fee; the rest is just gravy.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Marriott Bonvoy — Gold Elite

I slipped from Platinum Elite down to Gold Elite this year as Marriott Bonvoy finally ended its status extensions. I have complimentary Gold Elite status thanks to The Platinum Card® from American Express, though I almost never stay at Marriott unless it’s to redeem one of my 2 annual free night certificates. I get these each year thanks to my Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card and my Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card.

IHG One Rewards — Platinum Elite/Ambassador

Unlike the rest of the world, I made a mistake and didn’t get in on IHG’s lucrative Diamond Elite status match promotion. Instead, I remain a lowly Platinum Elite status holder courtesy of my IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card.

However, I usually find myself staying at an InterContinental property once or twice per year, which means I always renew my Ambassador status. This costs me $200 and gives me great benefits when staying at InterContinental, including room upgrades and an annual free night certificate.

United MileagePlus — Premier 1K

United has chosen to up the requirements to earn elite status this year, which may mean I fall short of my goal for 1K. However, I’ve held the status since 2019 and it’s so painful to see it go. I never fly enough to earn status with a combination of Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs), which means I’ll need to earn a total of 24,000 PQPs to keep 1K. I’m nowhere near that number.

Image Credit: United

However, last year I had no plans to become a United Premier 1K until the end of December when my flights to Antarctica went belly-up and I was forced to purchase last-minute tickets that pushed me over the edge. Maybe I’ll do the same again this year.

After all, United PlusPoints are one of my favorite currencies, and I’ve had great success over the years using them for upgrades on long-haul international business class flights.

American AAdvantage — Gold

I earned Gold status last year by virtue of some flying, a lot of SimplyMiles purchases, and a few Rocketmiles hotel stays. Why? Because I wanted to take advantage of the dual earn between Hyatt and American. I stay at Hyatt often enough that it makes sense to have my stays count for status elsewhere, too.

Image Credit: American Airlines

I’ll likely do the same this year, crediting hotel stays to earn tons of Loyalty Points while making absolutely absurd purchases of wine via SimplyMiles.

Christine Krzyszton, Senior Finance Contributor

Earning airline status this year will be quite different compared to last year. All the stars aligned in 2022 and I was able to reach the elite trifecta of Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion, United MileagePlus 1K, and American AAdvantage Executive Platinum.

Delta SkyMiles — Diamond Medallion

This year, I’ll make Delta Diamond again utilizing points to purchase business class tickets on partner airlines. I did this last year with Aeromexico and Air France — both airlines credit 40% of the distance flown toward MQD requirements.

Image Credit: Delta

American AAdvantage — Platinum

For American Airlines I’ll shoot for Platinum. American is the easiest for securing status as credit card spending on my American Airlines-branded card earns Loyalty Points that count toward elite status. Otherwise, I’m hoping to get Gold status with United Airlines, though I’m not certain about that yet.  

Marriott Bonvoy — Titanium Elite

I will reach Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite this year as I have 65 nights toward the 75 needed. Most of my Elite Night Credits come from having the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (25 nights) and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (15 nights).

Hilton Honors — Diamond

Like Carissa, I have Hilton Diamond status via my Hilton Aspire card.

Hot Tip:

If you’re trying to shortcut your way to elite status, check out our guides on the best credit cards for earning airline elite status and the best credit cards for complimentary hotel elite status.

James Larounis, Senior Content Contributor

You’ll probably notice a theme here. These are all the same statuses I went for in 2022, which means I succeeded last year. I intend to do the same this year — after all, I know what I like!

World of Hyatt — Globalist

I’ve been a Hyatt loyalist for a long time now, which means it’s always on my list for requalification. I tend to travel a lot, so cheap mattress runs aren’t really my thing. Instead, I’m taking advantage of regular paid stays and award redemptions to maximize my Globalist status.

Marriott Bonvoy — Titanium Elite

I qualified for Titanium Elite status in 2022 and intend to do so again. Although I always start with 30 Elite Night Credits per year thanks to the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card (15 Elite Nights) and the Marriott Bonvoy Business card (15 Elite Nights), the rest of my stays are paid.

American AAdvantage — Executive Platinum

American Airlines may have switched to Loyalty Points for earnings, but I still use butt-in-seat miles to get all the way to Executive Platinum status. Rather than relying solely on American Airlines flights, however, I leverage its excellent partnership with Alaska Airlines to earn status. Alaska is one of the last U.S. airlines that’ll credit you based on how far you’ve flown rather than how much you’ve paid.

Nick Ellis, Editor and Content Contributor

I made big plans for this year but they didn’t quite pan out as I planned. There’s always next year!

Delta SkyMiles — Silver Medallion

After (very sadly) dropping out of the ranks of Delta Diamond Medallion members at the start of this year, I’m looking to achieve Platinum Medallion status or higher, but not until 2024.

This is because Delta awards rollover Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) each year, which means you will receive any excess MQMs over the level of status you achieved in the previous year as a head start to qualifying for status.

Image Credit: Delta

I’ve already reached Silver Medallion status for next year, and I don’t have all that much paid flying left this year, so I’ll keep my Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) earnings under the threshold for Gold Medallion (8,000 MQDs) and my MQM level around where it’s at now (~105,000).

This way, I’ll start next year with around 80,000 MQMs and get to work on leveraging Delta’s partner-earning chart to quickly requalify for Platinum Medallion status or higher in the first half of the year.

If you fly with a Delta partner, you’ll earn MQDs according to your fare class and the distance flown. And thankfully, some Delta partners offer very attractive business class fares. The goal is to find the cheapest premium fare(s) that will take me as far as possible so I can earn a large number of MQDs from a single trip. Depending on the exact fares I find, I could requalify for Platinum Medallion status with just 2 or 3 of these trips.

And finally, since Medallion status is valid from when you earn it through the next year, if I earn it through this strategy in early 2024, I’ll also have the status through 2025!

Marriott Bonvoy — Platinum Elite

My path to requalify for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status has been much more straightforward. I hold The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants), which awards 15 Elite Night Credits each year.

Thanks to several out-of-town weddings that required hotel stays — and a generous double-elite-nights promotion — I’ve already netted an additional 28 Elite Night Credits, leaving me at 43 Elite Night Credits in total. With the travel I have planned through the rest of the year, I’ll have no problem reaching Platinum Elite status once again.

Hilton Honors — Diamond

This is a common refrain, which just attests to how valuable the Hilton Aspire card can be. Like others on our team, I have Hilton Diamond status thanks to my credit card.

Hot Tip:

Check out some of the best perks of the Hilton Aspire card with our detailed guide.

World of Hyatt — Explorist

I tend to put my loyalty with Marriott, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the occasional Hyatt stay (and free nights!). I keep The World of Hyatt Credit Card on hand, which gives me automatic Explorist status for as long as I hold the card.

Stella Shon, Editor and Content Contributor

I have a lot of travel this year, which makes it easier for me to earn elite status. That being said, I’m really focusing my efforts on just 2 statuses.

Delta SkyMiles — Platinum Medallion

While I’ve already completed my MQM requirement to reach Platinum Medallion status, I’m way behind on the MQD requirement. I’m torn between opening another co-branded Delta card and spending $25,000 to get the MQD waiver or just shooting for the 12,000 MQD requirement with my travels.

I’m eyeing the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card and will likely open that as several of the Delta co-branded cards currently have elevated welcome offers.

MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights. Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at

World of Hyatt — Globalist

In terms of hotels, I’m in the midst of chasing Hyatt Globalist status with the limited-time Bilt challenge. I need to stay 20 nights before July 16, and I’ve lined up my nights to hit this requirement during my travels in cities like Tokyo, Los Angeles, and London.

The iconic Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of the best places to experience Globalist status. Image Credit: Hyatt

I’ve never had Globalist status before and have always bummed off my generous Globalist friends as a Guest of Honor, so I’m excited to have this status of my own until February 2025.

Final Thoughts

We’re halfway through the year and looking forward to meeting our elite status goals, whether they’re top-tier airline status or the ever-popular Hyatt Globalist status. Check back in with us at year-end to see how our strategies work out!

The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.

About Carissa Rawson

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.


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July 12, 2022

For Plat or Dia DL status, fly Aeromexico biz for easy mqm’s & meet the credit card spend waiver. Example: I just flew one way SEA-MEX-CUN in I for $600. Flew CUN-SEA back for 9k miles on DL, which also earned mqm’s. The earn rates on even +econ on AE are great (I is better) if credited to DL. Added benefit of easy & quick turns. Cheap I fares are frequent on AE.

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