Many co-branded credit cards offer elite status in various frequent flyer and rewards programs for airline, hotel, rail, and rental car travel providers. Sometimes, card holders receive elite status simply for being a card member…this is especially true for co-branded hotel credit cards. In other instances, spending on the co-branded credit card get you elite credit/nights/miles in a given program at specified thresholds or ratios.
Jump ahead to table.
For travelers who want to experience the benefits that elite status has to offer, but who do not travel enough, or split up their travel too much, to earn elite status “the hard way,” co-branded credit credit cards can be a cost-effective way of obtaining elite status without having to put in the miles or nights.
Check out the table below for a comprehensive overview of which credit cards provide elite status and annual spending requirements.
Credit Cards with Automatic or Spending-Based Elite Status
The cards referenced in the table below refer to the personal versions and not the business versions of the card (if applicable). Nevertheless, the business versions of the card generally carry the same benefits with regards to earning elite status.
|Related:||Calculator: How much are my points or miles worth?|
Co-branded cards that do not offer any elite status qualification benefits are not included in the table below, unless they are the only card for a given rewards program.
A few high-end cards, like the Platinum Card from American Express, are not co-branded but do come with automatic elite status…the Platinum Card gives automatic Gold with both Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest.
If you are unsure what a particular column in the table below represents, click on the column’s header for the definition.
If the name of the travel provider is hyperlinked, the link will take you to a benefits overview and valuation of the elite status levels for the provider’s rewards program.
|Rewards Program||Type||Credit Card||Annual Fee||Automatic Elite Status with Card||Highest Automatic Elite Status with Spend Requirement||Highest Automatic Elite Status Annual Spend Requirement||Elite Crediting Rate||Elite Crediting Annual Maximum||Comments|
|Alaska Mileage Plan||Airline||Alaska Airlines Visa Signature||$75||n/a||No elite credit for card spend|
|American AAdvantage||Airline||Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Silver MasterCard||$195||$20,000 = 5,000 Elite Qualifying Miles||$40,000 = 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles||$25,000 = 3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars; maximum of 6,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars annually|
|American AAdvantage||Airline||Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard||$450||$40,000 = 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles||$40,000 = 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles|
|Delta SkyMiles||Airline||Delta Reserve from American Express||$450||Silver||$60,000||$30,000 = 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles||$60,000 = 30,000 Medallion Qualification Miles||Medallion Qualification Dollars requirement waived with $25,000+ annual spend|
|Delta SkyMiles||Airline||Platinum Delta SkyMiles from American Express||$195||$25,000 = 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles||$50,000 = 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles||Medallion Qualification Dollars requirement waived with $25,000+ annual spend|
|Delta SkyMiles||Airline||American Express Centurion Card||$2,500||Platinum (limited)||n/a||Some, but not all, Platinum benefits; this “Black Card” is invitation-only|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||Airline||JetBlue Plus||$99||Mosaic||$50,000||n/a|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||Airline||Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa||$99||$10,000 = 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points||$100,000 = 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points|
|United MileagePlus||Airline||United MileagePlus Presidential Plus||$450||$5,000 = 1,000 Premier Qualifying Miles||$375,000 = 75,000 Premier Qualifying Miles||No longer accepting new applications; Premier Qualifying Dollars requirement waived with $25,000+ annual spend|
|Virgin America Elevate||Airline||Virgin America Premium Visa Signature||$149||$10,000 = 5,000 Status Points||$30,000 = 15,000 Status Points|
|Avis Preferred||Car Rental||World Elite MasterCard (any)||Varies||Avis Preferred Plus||n/a||Includes: Citi Prestige / AAdvantage Executive / ThankYou Premier, Barclaycard Arrival Plus|
|Enterprise Plus||Car Rental||NO CREDIT CARD|
|Hertz Gold Plus Rewards||Car Rental||United MileagePlus Club||$450||President’s Circle||n/a||United Platinum matches to President’s Circle; United Silver or Gold matches to Five Star|
|Hertz Gold Plus Rewards||Car Rental||American Express Centurion Card||$2,500||President’s Circle||n/a||This “Black Card” is invitation-only|
|National Car Rental Emerald Club||Car Rental||Platinum Card from American Express||$450||Executive||n/a|
|National Car Rental Emerald Club||Car Rental||Chase Sapphire Reserve||$450||Executive||n/ a|
|National Car Rental Emerald Club||Car Rental||World Elite MasterCard (any)||Varies||Executive||n/a||Includes: Citi Prestige / AAdvantage Executive / ThankYou Premier, Barclaycard Arrival Plus|
|Accor Le Club||Hotel||NO CREDIT CARD|
|Best Western Rewards||Hotel||Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard||$59||Platinum||n/a|
|Best Western Rewards||Hotel||Best Western Rewards MasterCard||$-||Gold||n/a|
|Choice Privileges||Hotel||Choice Privileges Visa Signature||$-||Gold||n/a|
|Club Carlson||Hotel||Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature||$75||Gold||n/a||15 nights credit annually if you already have Gold or higher status|
|Club Carlson||Hotel||Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature||$50||Silver||n/a||10 nights credit annually if you already have Silver or higher status|
|Hilton Honors||Hotel||Honors Surpass from American Express||$75||Gold||Diamond||$40,000||n/a|
|Hilton Honors||Hotel||Honors from American Express||$-||Silver||Gold||$20,000||n/a|
|Hilton Honors||Hotel||Citi Honors Reserve||$95||Gold||Diamond||$40,000||n/a|
|Hilton Honors||Hotel||Citi Honors Visa Signature||$-||Silver||Gold||$20,000||n/a|
|Hilton Honors||Hotel||Platinum Card from American Express||$450||Gold||n/a|
|Hilton Honors||Hotel||American Express Centurion Card||$2,500||Gold||n/a||Upgrade to Diamond with 4 nights or 2 stays annually; this “Black Card” is invitation-only|
|Hyatt, World of||Hotel||Hyatt Credit Card||$75||Discoverist||Explorist||$50,000||n/a|
|Hyatt, World of||Hotel||United MileagePlus Club||$450||Discoverist||n/a||Presumed; may change on/after March 1, 2017|
|IHG Rewards Club||Hotel||IHG Rewards Club Select||$49||Platinum||n/a|
|IHG Rewards Club||Hotel||American Express Centurion Card||$2,500||Platinum||n/a||This “Black Card” is invitation-only|
|Marriott Rewards||Hotel||Marriott Rewards Premier||$85||Silver||Platinum||$180,000||$3,000 = 1 night||No Maximum||Automatic 15 nights credit annually; can match to SPG; Platinum matches to United Silver|
|Ritz-Carlton Rewards||Hotel||Ritz-Carlton Rewards||$450||Platinum||$75,000||n/a||Can match to SPG; Gold with $10,000 annual spend; Platinum matches to United Silver|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||Hotel||Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express||$95||n/a||Automatic 5 nights + 2 stays credit annually; can match to Marriott and Ritz-Carlton|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||Hotel||Platinum Card from American Express||$450||Gold||n/a|
|Wyndham Rewards||Hotel||Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature (fee)||$75||Platinum||n/a|
|Wyndham Rewards||Hotel||Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature (no-fee)||$-||Gold||n/a|
|Amtrak Guest Rewards||Rail||Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard||$79||$5,000 = 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points||$20,000 = 4,000 Tier Qualifying Points|
This is the name of the provider’s rewards or frequent flyer program.
This is the type of travel service that the rewards program’s travel providers offers.
This is the name of the credit card associated with the rewards program.
This is the annual fee for the credit card associated with the rewards program.
Automatic Elite Status with Credit Card
This is the elite status level you receive simply for being a cardholder of the credit card. Not all rewards programs or credit cards offer automatic elite status.
Highest Automatic Elite Status with Spend Requirement
This is the highest possible elite status level you can achieve by meeting a spending requirement on the credit card. The spending requirement may be an annual threshold, annual thresholds with multiple tiers, or a ratio.
Highest Automatic Elite Status Annual Spend Requirement
This is the amount you will have to spend on the credit card to obtain the highest possible elite status level you can achieve with the credit card.
Elite Crediting Rate
The rate (ratio) at which you accrue elite miles/nights/credits based on your spending on the credit card. Not all credit cards have an elite crediting rate; some have a single annual spending requirement threshold or simply come with automatic elite status (no spending requirement).
Elite Crediting Annual Maximum
The maximum number of elite miles/nights/credits you can achieve annually based on your spending on the credit card.