Nick’s end-of-year status push strategy


Earlier this week, Greg published a post as a form of self-therapy in deciding which credit cards to open next. Today, I’m going to use that same technique of taking you on the journey as I consider how to “finish strong” and end the year with the elite statuses I want or need to push toward.

a man in glasses looking at chess pieces

World of Hyatt Globalist

a room with a couch and chairs

For me, 2023 has been a year with more hotel nights than is typical, though my Hyatt Globalist status was fueled by the temporary Bilt fast track to Globalist status along with an unexpectedly long stay in Las Vegas when my kids got sick en route to a planned trip to Fiji and the prevalence of very cheap MGM stays made possible by my MGM Gold status (and thanks to the partnership with World of Hyatt, which ended on 9/30/23).

As I write this sentence, I have 43 elite nights this year, with a 3-night stay at a Hyatt property planned this week and 2 more nights at a Hyatt later this month. Then I have 4 more Hyatt nights planned later this year where plans are firm. That will put me at 53 nights. I expect to get one more: I had several spring and summer MGM stays that didn’t post automatically on the Hyatt side (it was inconsistent: some posted, others didn’t). Over the summer, I ran across a Flyertalk thread where people noted that calling or emailing MGM had worked in getting manually credited for missing stays.

I tested that over the summer by sending an email to memberservices at mgmresorts dot com. Here’s the basic template:


I am writing about my stay from [MMM X-Y, 2023] under confirmation number [XXXXXX] at [Property]. I never received World of Hyatt credit or points for the stay despite my accounts being linked. Can you assist me in getting this reported to the Hyatt side?
I very much appreciate your time and assistance!

Much to my surprise, I got an email a few days later indicating that they submitted a request for manual credit! And sure enough, at some point reasonably soon thereafter, I did indeed get the retroactive credit. Even more surprisingly, I got automatic retroactive credit for a Hyatt promotion at the time whereby one could have earned 3K bonus points for every 2 nights! Even though the promotion had been long over by the time I reached out to MGM for the Hyatt credit, Hyatt still correctly and automatically recognized that the stay had taken place during a promotion and gave me the points. That was awesome!

I sent one final missing stay request right at the end of September. Given MGM’s technological meltdown of late, I wasn’t confident that anyone would be able to handle that request (and I knew it would take a few days for a response, so I knew that by the time I got a response it would already be October, after the end of the partnership). Much to my surprise again, I have already received confirmation that they would submit the stay for manual credit.

I expect to only get one more elite night out of that last stay, so that will put me at a total 54 expected nights this year. That’s six nights short of full Globalist with a My Hyatt Concierge and the milestone rewards earned at 60 nights (which include both two suite upgrades which can each be used for a stay of up to 7 nights and a Category 1-7 free night certificate).

I already have a six-night mattress run booked late in the year at a Category 1 off-peak hotel, so in the worst case it will cost me 21,000 points to get to Globalist. I’ll gladly trade 21K points for the two suite upgrades and a Cat 1-7 free night cert (which can be used up to Category 7 and even during peak times, so it could save me as many as 35K points). I will have no trouble getting at least ~25K points worth of value out of the certificate since I tend to stay at Category 6 properties that cost 25K points per night several times per year. That alone represents a small win over the 21K points it will cost me to pursue 60 nights — the My Hyatt Concierge and suite upgrades are sort of the cherries on top.

But then there’s my wife: She currently has 35 elite nights with Hyatt. I messed up her Bilt challenge and she ended up 1 night short of Globalist at that time (big mistake on my part as I simply forgot to Guest of Honor her for a booking where I meant to do so!). She will also have 3 nights this week (we’re traveling for a family event so we have rooms for a couple of family members, one of which is in her name) and she has 4 more during the rest of the year (times when we’re on a family trip and need 2 rooms so we’ll have a room in each of our names). That will put her at 42 nights. She is also a few hundred dollars short of $15K spend on her World of Hyatt credit card, which will give her a free night certificate — and two more elite night credits (for completing $5K spend). That will put her at 44 nights. Is it worth a 6-night mattress run for two suite upgrades that she could get as a 50-night milestone? I could book her a mattress run at the same hotel as my mattress run, which would cost us 21,000 points.

However, I don’t think I’m going to mattress run her to the 50-night milestone benefits. While we do highly value Hyatt suite upgrades, the problem is that my wife won’t make it to Globalist status, so we would not have Globalist benefits on stays we booked with her suite upgrade awards. Furthermore, suite upgrade awards can not be applied to Guest of Honor bookings. Sure, she could book us a suite, but we wouldn’t get free breakfast or free parking. For her to be able to take advantage of those benefits, I would have to book her stay as a Guest of Honor stay. Since we can’t apply the upgrades to a Guest of Honor booking, I won’t have her mattress run to 50 nights and she’ll just end the year at 44 nights (taking the 5,000 points for her 40-night milestone benefit).

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum

a balcony with a view of a grass field and a sunset

I currently have 42 Marriott elite nights in 2023. That puts me 8 nights short of Platinum status for next year…..and that’s a problem. Hyatt is definitely my preferred hotel chain, but they aren’t everywhere I want to be. Furthermore, I have a Ritz card and another Chase Marriott Rewards card and an Amex Marriott Business card, so I get a few free night certificates each year and would like to have Platinum benefits when I use them.

Further complicating things is that I currently have 8 years as Platinum elite or higher and 451 nights stayed with Marriott. That puts me just 2 years and 149 nights short of Lifetime Platinum status. Given that I get 30 nights per year for having one business and one consumer Marriott card, I’ll inch 30 nights closer each of the next couple of years without even stepping foot in a hotel at all, but I do need to get two more years of Platinum status (which means that I’ll need to get myself to 50 nights this year and next year).

If I can close out this year’s qualification for Platinum status, and I can requalify with 50 nights again next year (30 from credit cards and 20 from actual stays), I’ll have met the 10 year requirement. By the end of 2024, I’ll just be 100 nights short of Lifetime Platinum status. In that scenario, I’d still have Platinum status in 2025 and I’d get 30 nights automatically from the credit cards again, so I’ll be Platinum and just 70 nights short of Lifetime status from the get-go in 2025. I should therefore hit Lifetime status by 2027 at the latest (and perhaps sooner if I end up with more Marriott stays than expected). Maybe the new Marriott-MGM partnership will make it even easier to get there quicker.

At any rate, I don’t think I can afford not to get myself to 50, but neither do I have any holes that I can fill with Marriott stays right now. I could book an 8-night mattress run for about 80K points, but I don’t feel good about that. Alternatively, I have plans to visit and stay with family at the holidays and I guess we could stay in a hotel. As I type this paragraph, it occurs to me that maybe I could find a timeshare presentation offer where we could earn points that help offset the cost of picking up a few elite nights. I think I’ve seen some Marriott timeshare offers that include 4 nights and some points for a greatly-reduced rate. That might be better than paying for all 8 nights….we’ll see what I can find. Earlier this year, I was able to do a Bluegreen Vacations timeshare presentation through Choice Privileges where I got them to put me up in a Marriott and I earned the elite night credit, so I won’t limit myself to a Marriott timeshare deal.

IHG One Rewards: dropping to Platinum

a room with a bed and a desk and a window

I currently have IHG One Rewards Diamond status. I got my status last year via a short-term opportunity for a status fast track and then I bought IHG Ambassador status, which automatically extended my IHG Diamond status to the end of this year. There have been multiple recent data points indicating that renewing IHG Ambassador has not extended IHG status again, though we have had at least one contrary data point in our Facebook group.

My guess is that the old IHG Ambassador renewal trick may still work for folks who qualified for IHG Diamond status on stays at some point, whereas those of us freeloading off of a status fast track promo may be coming to the end of the road.

I think that IHG has made great improvements to its program overall, but I’m not interested in chasing IHG status mostly because I’m generally not excited about IHG hotels. I’ll maintain IHG Platinum status thanks to my IHG credit card and I’ll be happy with my annual free night certificate and buying IHG points on sale now and then to leverage toward good redemptions.

American Airlines Platinum Pro

a chair in a plane

Say hello to a Platinum Pro! I intended to wait a few more days to take up American Airlines on the Instant Status Pass being offered to World of Hyatt elites, but I needed to make a purchase where the American Airlines shopping portal would get me 1,000 points, so I figured that I might as well register for the Instant Status Pass and let those Loyalty Points count toward the 42K I need to keep Platinum Pro status for four months beyond the trial.

I’ve already written about how I intend to pull this one off and I am officially off to the races with it.

Next up is my wife. She doesn’t have American Airlines elite status and doesn’t care about American Airlines elite status. However, we have a trip booked on United next year that I booked with Turkish Miles & Smiles. I’d love to be able to get my wife United Gold status so that we could get extra legroom seats on United! I know this can work because I participated in a United status match earlier this year and was able to get us extra legroom seating on a United flight booked with Turkish miles thanks to my status.

The problem is that my wife has no airline elite status to match to United. She does, however, have Hyatt Explorist status.

Some Hyatt Explorists currently have a targeted promotion if they have their Hyatt and American Airlines accounts linked whereby Explorists can get an Instant Status Pass to American Airlines Platinum. United offers a status match challenge where they match American Airlines Platinum members to United Gold.

I don’t know whether United would match the Instant Status Pass Platinum status, but I imagine that if my wife qualifies to extend her American Airlines Platinum status (or is able to bump it up to Platinum Pro status), maybe they will.

The problem is that I hadn’t previously linked her American Airlines and World of Hyatt accounts, so I helped her do that in the American Airlines app a couple of days ago. She hasn’t yet received the Instant Status Pass offer, but I’m hoping that it will show up at some point soon so we can set that plan in motion. If we near the expiration date of the offer and she hasn’t been automatically targeted, I might have her call and see if she can get fast tracked.

I would also love to get matched to JetBlue because we have a trip booked on JetBlue next year and I’d love the free bags and Even More Space seats that I used to enjoy with American Airlines elite status. Until recently, JetBlue hadn’t offered a status match. However, with the launch of the match for disgruntled Delta elites, I’m hopeful that they may at some point offer a more broadly available status match.

Southwest Airlines: Companion Pass secured through 2024

a blue airplane stuffed toy on a counter

We don’t ever chase elite status with Southwest Airlines, but we already have a Companion Pass secured for 2024. My wife picked up a number of referrals earlier this year and completed some spend on her Southwest cards to top things off and ended up with a Companion Pass valid through the end of 2024, so we’re all set on this front for now. I may consider a Southwest credit card of my own to double up with two Companion Passes since we have a family of four, but I haven’t yet pursued that strategy.

Plenty of other elite statuses are automatic

Between my wife and I, we have plenty of other elite statuses that are automatic and ongoing, like:

  • Hilton Diamond status courtesy of the Amex Hilton Aspire card
  • IHG Platinum (courtesy of the IHG Rewards Classic card)
  • National Executive Elite (we get “Executive” status from Visa Infinite cards, but got Executive Elite through Amex years ago and it just keeps getting extended)
  • Hertz President’s Circle (courtesy of our Venture X card)
  • Wyndham Diamond (from the Wyndham Earner Business credit card)
  • Caesars Diamond (from Wyndham Diamond)

We’ll likely maintain all of the above because none of it requires any effort and/or the benefits come with credit cards that we are already very likely to keep because of other, more valuable benefits.

Bottom Line

In 2024, between my wife and I, we should have a mid-tier airline elite status each and several hotel elite statuses. On our most recent podcast episode, Greg and I came to the conclusion that most people don’t need hotel elite status (and on the episode before that, we more or less determined the same for airline elite status). If those things are true, how do I justify this chase for elite status?

In my case, it is a matter of benefits (mostly) outweighing the costs incurred at the margins. That is to say that I would have naturally been close to Hyatt and Marriott elite status this year based on natural stay activity, so I’ll be bridging relatively small gaps where I expect to get outsized value. On the Hyatt side, I’ll reap most of that value from suite upgrades. With Marriott, I expect the very near-term to be a net loss. Much of the value of chasing Marriott status for me is expected to be reaped in future years spent with Lifetime Platinum status. The chase for Marriott status is definitely the piece of the puzzle about which I am least confident, but it’s a long-game play. I don’t love that it relies on Marriott continuing to make the Platinum tier valuable, but here’s hoping that they do.

My chase after American Airlines elite status is 100% frivolous and for the thrill of the game. That said, I am earning valuable American Airlines miles in the pursuit of status. I’ve found myself using AA miles more and more over the past couple of years, so I am happy to accumulate miles and entertain myself with the game toward elite status at the same time. And if I’m able to parlay the game into United Gold status for my wife, that could become very useful for our trip next year.

I feel pretty confident about my plans apart from the need for the Marriott mattress runs. What do you think? Should I mattress sun those eight nights? Which statuses are you pursuing for 2024?

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Hotel-Points finds the cheapest dates/hotels in any area to reach your status; sort by either cash or points.

Also remember that promotions (such as the current Bonus Journeys for Hyatt) can help reduce the cost of your mattress run.

Last edited 6 months ago by Hotel-Points

Might want to double check the math for WOH Globalist:

43 + 3 + 2 + 4 = 52, not 53

Dave Hanson

Nick, you and Ms. Nick still don’t have the Chase Hyatt personal CC, correct?

Given your devotion to Hyatt, this seems well worth acquiring in lieu of the mattress runs you’re suggesting. Get the card, spend $15k before end of year, and in addition to the 60k+ in Hyatt points earned (maxing out the tepid 45k SUB), you’d rack up 11 elite nights AND a cat 1-4 free night.

Biggie F

Well, she does:

She is also a few hundred dollars short of $15K spend on her World of Hyatt credit card, which will give her a free night certificate — and two more elite night credits (for completing $5K spend). 

But, yes, the Chase Hyatt Visa is indeed the keystone to Globalist status.

Dave Hanson

Thanks for the correction Biggie F, apologies to fellow readers for missing that.

So that’s a lot more MS for Ms. Nick to get to globalist. It seems like a more viable and interesting potential solution for Nick if it isn’t pre-empted by 5/24 issues.


Your article made me evaluate my own status.

Hyatt: Currently Glob. Will not qualify for 2024.
Marriott: Already Plat. Easy to get with 2 cards and timeshare stays. Already have my 10 Platinum years but about 220 nights short of lifetime.
IHG: Currently Diamond Amb. Not gonna bother for 2024.

Alaska: MVP for 2024
United: Lifetime Gold
Southwest: Wife working on Companion pass.

I will miss Globalist but we don’t have a bunch of luxury Hyatt stays planned. I have points in Hilton and Marriott TS systems and that will be our mode of travel next year.


Nick, do the mattress runs in November during Hyatt promotion for extra 6k points for 6 nights, if you can. Marriott also has promotion too but only for cash paid nights.


Are there any data points for people who have earned IHG Diamond through CC spend being able to extend that status with the Ambassador trick?

Summit Hotwani

Maybe consider the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant? Gets you platinum status with 10 extra nights, helping with the lifetime platinum.
But since you have the Ritz card, you won’t be able to get the Brilliant. If I remember correctly, you mentioned in one of the episodes that you’ve the grandfathered $395 AF for Ritz card, which is awesome. Meaning you’d never be eligible for the Brilliant card (unless something changes on the bountiful bevy of brules). In this current situation, I’d get the Brilliant (without a welcome bonus) as it’d help reaching Lifetime Platinum faster with the extra 85k cert. Eventually closing the card couple years later to avoid paying fees.

As for me, I’ve
Hyatt Globalist (78 nights with 8 more nights to go till EOY) (till 02/25),
AA Platinum Pro (till 03/24) currently qualified for Gold, might push for Platinum if there’s good shopping portal deals,
Hilton Diamond (Thanks to Amex Aspire)
Marriott Platinum (Thanks to Bonvoy Brilliant)

Last edited 6 months ago by Summit Hotwani

Rather than pay 80k for Marriott couldn’t you just upgrade to the $650/yr card and get automatic status + 10 more nights?

Last edited 6 months ago by Usernamechuck

Also, if Plat status from the Amex card would last into next year, would that also get you Plat for one more year – for purposes of lifetime status?


Regarding United status for your wife, they have stopped status matches as of September, noting that all current status match re-qualifications must be complete by the end of the year. Presumably this is in anticipation of program “enhancements”. Are you assuming that matches will re-start after the program updates, and that you’ll still want to pursue status under whatever the new program looks like? I’m surprised they aren’t even considering status matches right now in light of Delta elites running for cover, but to date they haven’t publicly re-opened the program.


I understand that chasing AA status is enjoyable for Nick but it’s oddly out of character given his views as it pertains to the points & miles “free” aspect. He’s in effect paying to get frivolous AA status given that he’s giving up cashback offers from other portals? Sure, I love AA miles too but I don’t enjoy paying $.02+ for them.


I would strongly recommend reconsidering the push for Marriott Plat. You only have 12 real nights “invested” this year. You’ll get 30 more nights every year from cc’s. Plat isn’t worth much, and you have just as clear of a route to lifetime in the next few years. And this is all assuming Marriott doesn’t hit lifetime statuses with the deval hammer.


You know you’re crazy when you read something like this and know EXACTLY what Nick is talking about. My wife likes the perks but doesn’t want to know how the sausage is made.

Mary Jane

Yes, I have a passive P2 player, as well. Doesn’t want to know the details-just wants to sit in business class lol


Any word on how MGM-Marriott nights will work? Haven’t been able to check with MGM being down. I have enough years as Plat for lifetime status but still need 200 nights (and about 14 this year). I was using Excalibur for Hyatt to get within striking distance of 60. My MGM Gold runs out in January to take off the resort fees but being Vegas-based currently, I can figure out something to do for future years.

Last edited 6 months ago by Amol

Nick, I think this article deserves a follow-up, end-of-year post (or at least a comment on the podcast) about how much quantifiable value (like actual dollars on saved resort and parking fees and maybe the cost of breakfast you can add up) you’ve personally gotten out of Hyatt Globalist status that makes makes mattress running for it again justifiable to you.

I think too many people have unrealistic expectations or understanding about the value of status and don’t consider what the return on their investment to mattress run (or even just to stay loyal to one hotel chain) is verses the opportunity cost over better things they could have done with the points / money and maybe better value they could have gotten by being more of a free agent instead of being loyal to a chain.

Just Saying

When everyone is globalist / fauxbalist, no one is globalist. Also, once mattress running starts, the 2cpp+ everyone hawks is useless given the investment.


I tend to look at status according to the benefits guaranteed to me under the terms and conditions of the program, such as free breakfast or late check out. I do not even consider the possibility of upgrades in my math.
For instance, I pushed for Platinum in 2021 because I had a stay at the St. Regis NY scheduled where I got a very expensive breakfast for free, as well as a 2022 stay at the Renaissance Paris Vendome where I a got a week’s worth breakfast for free. To me, all that was worth mattress running one extra sub-$100 night. In 2022, I was 3 nights short of requalifying for Plat. I strongly considered pushing for Marriott status again, but I had no Marriott plans for this year. I am so glad I didn’t waste the money. I have spent exactly 1 night this year in a Marriott hotel, and I was perfectly happy with the 2PM late checkout with my Gold status. The free breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant would not have been worth what I would have had to pay for it, even in credit card annual fees. I think mattress running is always a case by case situation. Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not. I’d largely agree that too many people stretch for status and get no real benefit from it other than bragging rights, but there can be actual value there under the right circumstances.
Because I only look at status in terms of entitlements explicitly stated, I really couldn’t care less how many other “elites” there are. I would always advise anyone to buy the class of service you want in the first place (airplane seat or hotel room). Never gamble on upgrades if it’s going to significantly change the quality of your vacation. Status-based upgrades should be a nice surprise, not something you rely on.


Nick, I think you are overthinking (and overvalueing!) Marriott Lifetime Platinum. for starters, you can get Platinum by just having the AMEX card (and given how recently it was introduced, I don’t think AMEX is looking to axe that benefit anytime soon). Second, you don’t know if free breakfast benefit will be around in the next 2-3 years as Marriott has the same problem as Delta (too many elites expecting too many freebies). Third, even if the breakfast benefit stays, with so many exclusions, its hard to find real value from it (especially since you prefer to stay at Hyatt anyway). Finally, a big change for your family situation that you may (or may not) have considered is that one of your kid will be starting school soon (if not already started). Our daughter is 7 and we are realizing now that its more difficult to get her to miss the school (for variety of reasons), so our travel is restricted to school holidays. If you end up in similar situation, and with your focus on Hyatt Globalist, I am not sure if Marriott Platinum will even be used enough to justify the time/money spent.