Which Hotel Cards Give You the Best Perks Like Room Upgrades & Late Check-Out?

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.  Hotel credit cards offer great benefits like sign-up bonus points and anniversary nights.  This means free or discounted hotel stays!

Many cards also offer automatic elite status with a hotel chain.  So, you can get extra perks, like room upgrades, late check-out, and free breakfast!  And who doesn’t like a free breakfast? 🙂

Which Hotel Cards Give You The Best Perks Like Room Upgrades Late Check Out
Automatic Platinum Status With the Chase Hyatt Card Could Get You a Late Check-Out and Extra Time at the Infinity Pool at the Park Hyatt Maldives!

Even with hotel elite status, you’re not guaranteed to earn the extra benefits.

So, let’s look at which hotel cards with automatic elite status offer the best perks!

5 Hotel Credit Cards With Elite Status & Great Perks

Link:   How to Find Out Which Hotel Card Is Right for You!

The always changing airline loyalty programs and fierce competition can make it hard to stick with one company.

But, with hotels, many folks stay loyal to brands because of consistent quality, amenities, and great locations.  Or if you’re a business traveler, you might find yourself at the same hotel brands to get company rates.

Combine your brand loyalty with automatic elite status from these 5 hotel credit cards to get the most out of your hotel stays!

1.   Ritz-Carlton

Link:   Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card 

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card gives you automatic Gold status at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton first year you have the card.  After that, you’ll need to spend $10,000 per year on the card to keep the status.

Marriott and Ritz-Carlton are essentially the same hotel loyalty programs (just with different branding and marketing), so you can use your Marriott points to stay at Ritz-Carlton hotels and vice versa.

Earning Gold status usually requires you stay 50 nights in a calendar year!   So getting it automatically can be a great deal!

With Gold status you get:

  • 10% discount at Marriott gift shops
  • 25% bonus points on stays
  • 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out at most Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels   
  • Free breakfast and lounge access at participating executive lounges
  • Room upgrades (if available)

A guaranteed check-out at 4:00 pm means you can make plans for most of the day.  And still have time to go back to the hotel to shower and pack!

Which Hotel Cards Give You The Best Perks Like Room Upgrades Late Check Out
Use Automatic Gold Status for a Room Upgrade and Guaranteed Late Check-Out at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
Marriott hotels include:

2.   IHG 

Link:   IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card gives you automatic Platinum Elite status.  You’ll get:

  • 50% bonus points on stays
  • Late check-out (if available)
  • Room upgrades (if available)

The bonus points are the best perk for IHG Platinum status.  Because IHG points can add up quickly with hotel stays and IHG Promotions.

And you can use the points to get great deals at IHG hotels using the Points & Cash Trick or at IHG PointBreaks hotels.

Getting automatic Platinum status with the Chase IHG Rewards card is great because you’d normally need to stay 40 nights in a calendar year.

IHG hotels include Candlewood SuitesCrowne PlazaEVEN HotelsHoliday InnHoliday Inn Club VacationsHoliday Inn ExpressHoliday Inn ResortsHotel IndigoIntercontinental Hotels & Resorts, and Staybridge Suites brand hotels.

3.   Hilton 

Link:   Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

Link:   Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

There are 2 hotel cards that give you Hilton Gold status including:

With Hilton Gold status you’ll get

  • 25% bonus Hilton points on stays
  • Free breakfast at most Hilton hotels
  • Free internet
  • Late check-out (if available)
  • Room upgrades (if available)
  • 5th night free on award stays

I like the free breakfast at Hilton Garden Inn hotels because it’s made when you order.  So you can customize your omelette or get french toast.  Yummy!

Which Hotel Cards Give You The Best Perks Like Room Upgrades Late Check Out
Heading to Wine Country? Enjoy Free Breakfast With Hilton Gold Status at the Hilton Garden Inn Napa Valley

Remember you don’t need a hotel credit card to earn Hilton Gold status.  You can get it automatically with the The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Hilton hotels include ConradCanopyCurioDoubleTreeEmbassy SuitesHampton InnHiltonHilton Garden InnHilton Grand VacationsHome2SuitesHomewood SuitesTru, and Waldorf Astoria brand hotels.

4.   Hyatt  

Link:   Chase Hyatt

You’ll earn automatic Platinum status with the Chase Hyatt card.  You’ll also get:

  • 15% bonus points on stays
  • 2:00 pm late check-out (if available)
  • Room upgrade (if available)

With the automatic Platinum status, Million Mile Secrets team member Scott got a free upgrade to an ocean view room at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun.  And, he got late check-out, which meant extra hours to use the room’s jacuzzi and balcony hammock!

Which Hotel Cards Give You The Best Perks Like Room Upgrades Late Check Out
Earn an Upgrade With Hyatt Platinum Status and Watch a Beautiful Sunset in an Ocean View Room at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun

If you don’t have the Chase Hyatt card, you can still earn Hyatt Platinum status with just 5 stays in a calendar year.

Hyatt hotels include AndazGrand HyattHyattHyatt CentricHyatt PlaceHyatt RegencyHyatt ResortsHyatt House, and Park Hyatt brand hotels.

5.   Starwood

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

When you have an AMEX Platinum personal card, Mercedes-Benz card or small business card, you can request a complimentary upgrade to Starwood Gold elite status, which gets you:

  • 3 Starwood points for every $1 spent on eligible stays
  • 4:00 pm late check-out (if available)
  • Room upgrade at check-in (if available)
  • Welcome gift at check-in.  Includes bonus Starwood points, free premium internet, or a free beverage

My friends stay at Starwood hotels all the time.  And they can usually get the 4:00 pm late check-out without a problem!

Starwood brands include AloftDesign HotelsElementFour PointsLe MeridienSheratonSt RegisThe Luxury CollectionTribute PortfolioWestin, and W.

Bottom Line

Earning automatic elite status from a hotel credit card can be a terrific way to get extra bonus points, free breakfast, room upgrades, and late check-outs.

Some hotel brands require you to stay 40 or 50 nights to earn elite status.  So, getting it automatically with a credit card can be a great deal.

If you don’t have elite status with a hotel, it never hurts to ask for a room upgrade or late check-out.

Which card do you like most for hotel perks?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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