Manufacturing Status (wiki)

Let’s do a list of programs that will let you spend for status instead of earning it the hard way…

Southwest companion pass (110k spend on Chase Southwest, partial credit to A-List)
Jetblue Mosaic (50k spend on Barclays card)
United (spend up mid-tier on UA lounge card) Also, match Mariott Plat to UA Silver
Delta (Co-branded Amex cards for MQMs and MQD waiver. First 3 tiers require $25k spend, top tier now requires $250k spend for waiver) Minor elite benefits for SPG Plats
American (limited EQM from spend from various cards)
Alaska (none)

Mariott Plat (75k points on Chase RC card, Match to SPG until programs merge)
SPG Plat (limited nights/stays toward status from spend / Match from Mariott status)
Hyatt (limited nights/stays toward status from spend, accelerated top tier qualification for q4 2017)
Hilton Diamond (40k spend on Amex surpass)
Choice (unknown)
IHG (Chase CoBranded card awards Platinum Elite status, spend earns towards Spire status)
Intercontinental Ambassador - Paid elite program $200/year. Guaranteed room upgrades and one free second weekend night per year.
Carlton (Club Carlson grants Gold status with being a cardholder (USBank))
Wyndham (Wyndham grants Platinum status for being a cardholder (Barclay))


Also, once you have a fistful of statuses, it seems offers to match come up often.

you can manufacture lifetime status @ Marrriott with Marriott card.
earn 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent (75k spending earns 25 nights).

Lifetime Silver Elite
250 nights + 1.2 million points - spend 750k to get 250 nights. Still need another 500k points for lifetime

Lifetime Gold Elite
500 nights + 1.6 million points - spend 1.5 million to get 500 nights. Still need another 100k points for lifetime status

Lifetime Platinum Elite
750 nights + 2 million points - spend 2.25 million to get 750 nights, have enough points for lifetime status.


Club Carlson grants Gold status with being a cardholder (USBank)
Wyndham grants Platinum status for being a cardholder (Barclay)

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I was wondering if something like legacy United card exists anywhere internationally, anyone familiar with anything?

Assuming you receive a $35k credit limit (which is the max they’ve offered me), and assume it takes about a week to use the full $35k, let it post, pay it off, and have payment post…

It will only take 64 weeks to get lifetime platinum.

Each week, in order to spend $35k on $500 gift cards, you’d only need to buy 70 per week.

Who wants to the start the “Marriott Lifetime Platinum Churning Challenge” with me?

It should only take a day or two to cycle 35k if you have the liquidity to pay off your Cc while payments hit. That brings in down to around 6 months.

Tbh I started down this path around 2 years ago. I’m perfectly happy with marriott gold status (via being amex platinum cardholder) and I don’t value marriott points more than 1 cpp, so I stopped.

After the spg marriott merger is finished, if there’s no easy way to get gold, I may pick it up again.

Delta works with their co-branded Amex cards. They have three tiers.

All cards: Spend $25,000 receive MQD waiver for Silver, Gold and Platinum. Spend $250,000 (not a typo, new for 2018) for MQD waiver for Diamond status. All cards receive first bag checked free and tier 1 boarding.

Delta Amex Gold. $95 annual fee, waived first year.

Delta Amex Platinum: Spend $25,000 receive 10k MQM. Spend $50,000 receive an additional 10k MQM (20k MQM total). $195 annual fee. Coach companion ticket.

Delta Amex Reserve: Spend $30,000 receive 15k MQM. Spend $60,000 receive an additional 15k MQM (30k MQM total). $450 annual fee. First class or coach companion ticket. Skyclub access.

Delta tiers: 25k for Silver , 50k for Gold, 75k for Platinum, 125k for Diamond.

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IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) -

Brands: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge, Candlewood, Hotel Indigo, Hualuxe, Even Hotels, Kimpton, Intercontinental*

Chase IHG Co-Branded MasterCard -
$49 annual fee. Annual “free night” award is good at any IHG brand hotel.

Having the card automatically awards IHG Platinum Elite Status:
The main benefit of Platinum Elite is the potential for room upgrades, increases points earned on stays, and potential to book “full” hotels 3 days in advance.

Holding IHG status via the Chase card can be used for status matches when they come around (E.g. match to a mid-tier on Hilton Honors).

*InterContinental branded hotels have their own status program and technically don’t offer upgrade benefits to IHG Platinum status. You can use the free room and book reward nights, however. Intercontinental Ambassador is a paid status program that guarantees a room upgrade and a free second weekend night per year when paying for the first night. The annual fee is $200. A second tier is unadvertised and invite-only. More info here:

Y’all, please update the wiki instead of posting here.

The UA lounge club card still exists, but I don’t think you can spend your way all the way to 1K anymore.

Would you elaborate on this, please? That’s a benefit I haven’t seen discussed.

Re: IHG Platinum Elite status complementary room upgrades.

IHG Rewards Club (info here):

Club Tier: Basic Membership with no requirements, earn points for reward nights
Gold Elite: Normally Requires 10 nights to earn. 10% bonus on reward points. “Priority check in” which may be a separate line at checkin desks at larger hotels.
Platinum Elite: Normally requires 40 nights. In addition to previous tier, 50% bonus on reward points, complimentary room upgrades subject to availability, and guaranteed room availability when booking 72 hours in advance.
Spire Elite: Requires 75 nights. 100% bonus on rewards.

The complementary room upgrades are “subject to availability”. I believe these are usually rooms within the same category but possibly with better views or on higher floors. The consensus is that you’re unlikely to be upgraded from a standard room to a suite.

T&C state:
Hotel Room Upgrades for Platinum Elite and Spire Elite Members: Platinum Elite and Spire Elite members will be offered a complimentary upgrade, as determined by the hotel, which might include rooms on higher floors, corner rooms, newly renovated rooms, or rooms with preferred views. The upgrade will be offered at time of check-in, based on availability, and will only apply to the member’s personal guest room. The hotel is not required to upgrade members to suites or specialty rooms. Upgrade benefits will not apply to rooms booked as a Reward Night reservation.

The elite benefit where they can force you into a sold out hotel isn’t that valuable unless someone else is paying. But it does sometimes work on awards, at least at Hiltons.

True, not available for new applications though.

I think I’m veering back into the MS thread but then how do you cash out the $500 GC for the lowest cost? I’m about 1 million points away from getting wife lifetime gold but not sure of an easy way to cash out GC’s.

How about status with rental car agencies? According to my notes, CSR comes with complimentary National Emerald Club Executive, which should be able to match to Hertz Five Star, then Hertz Five Star to Enterprise Plus Gold.

I don’t rent cars often enough and usually go for the cheapest option, so I haven’t tried it myself.

I think it’s a silly idea. Generally, when you MS, you’re doing it for either a sign up minimum spend required bonus, or on a card that gives cash back like 6% AMEX BCP or 5% Office Spend Chase card.

If you’re spending $1M on Marriott credit cards, buying $500 gift cards at $6 purchase fee each, that’s 2,000 gift cards or $12,000 and at best you’re getting $10,000 worth of Marriott points in those 1M, assuming you are actually using them for travel to hotels. Otherwise, you’re floating $12k cash on the gift card fees alone, which makes the points cost 1.2 cents each. Ignoring time cost of cashing out the cards plus cost of buying money orders. At 70 cents per $1k money order, that adds another 0.07 cents to the cost per Marriott point and you’re at 1.27 cents of costs to manufacture them, ignoring the time and likely adverse action from your bank to depositing $1M in money orders.

I think your better best is to buy 50k Marriott points each year, and possibly have your wife or relative buy them too. Limited to 50k per person per year, and cost of 1.25 cents each which would cost $12,500.

You could also just create 20 fake Marriott reward accounts, each one buys 50k points, and then they all transfer them to your main account. Point transfers reduces the lifetime points of the person who sends them, and increases the lifetime points of the person who receives them. So in theory, this will work, and you just hope they never audit you and suspend your account for fraud.

if you had 9 trusted relatives or friends who each have legitimate, seasoned, and used Marriott accounts, you could do this over the next year, since the 50k period resets on the calendar year. Have each of the 9 people buy 50k points now, and again on Jan 1. Transfer to your account. I’d stagger it slightly. If Marriott calls to investigate, just say that you were so close and your friends/family wanted to help make you lifetime.

You’ve thought a lot about this! :slight_smile: I think that’s awesome… great points, @TripleB!

Just read this (I do agree with the rest of your post, I thought about spending for Marriott status then realized it’s not worth it). point transfers count towards lifetime status? If so, why not transfer back and forth between spouses?