Video: How I Get Hotel Upgrades Every Time

Getting free upgrades to better rooms and amazing suites can truly elevate the quality of your hotel stay. And with a little bit of hotel elite status on your side (which you can earn by signing up for a single American Express Platinum Card), you’ll be unlocking these free upgrades in no time.

Just because you’re entitled to these upgrades, however, doesn’t mean you’ll be getting them all the time… unless you explicitly ask for them, which is exactly what you should do.

You’ll recall that I’ve previously shared my experiences in asking for suite upgrades quite a few times here on the blog:

In this video, I delve into the three-step strategy that I use for interacting with the hotel and requesting upgrades before my stay, which results in getting an upgrade to a nicer room or suite 90–95% of the time.

Without further ado, you can watch the video below:


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  1. Gustav Rodricks

    Hi Ricky, As a Hilton Diamond with a trip scheduled in March, I tried your suggestion to chat with the hotel using the Honors app, but I see that for my hotel reservations either there is no Chat or for the hotels where it is present it says chatting can be done only 2 days before my stay, for anything prior use email. Is this a rule with Hilton or am I doing something wrong?

  2. Joe

    Hi Ricky,
    Have you ever encountered error messages when using the Bonvoy app chat? I can’t seem to get through.

  3. Gitte Double

    Suggestions for upgrade requests in Las Vegas(strip) that’s not a Hilton or Marriott? I’ve heard by not booking the least expensive room but the next room grade up improves the chances.

    1. Frank

      I think in Vegas, the sandwich trick is the go-to method.

  4. Laryngospasm

    Hey Ricky, wanted to let you know that based on your advice I’ve gotten the Amex Business Platinum. I then used that for a Mariott Bonvoy Gold Elite. Used this status last weekend on a birthday to stay at the Kananaskis Lodge for a Nordic Spa Getaway. It was to our benefit as the spa was full very early in the morning. Because of the Gold status not only did we get an early 10 am check in but we were also upgraded to a suite. I had emailed the hotel a few days prior asking if an upgrade was available but thought it would be to a better category room not a suite so it was a nice surprise. I believe in asking nicely, be bold but nice, as you state start your stay off nicely.

    One other thing I should mention that has been an added benefit of the Platinum Amex that I had not accounted for is their generous purchase protection. We bought an item worth $250 from IKEA and in the process of a friend assembling it he broke the front mirrors. My friend felt horrible and wanted to pay for it despite his tight budget. We recalled seeing the purchase protection from Amex so applied and received our reimbursement. As far as I’m concerned thus far the credit card fee has saved me $250 and a good friendship. Thanks for the videos and advice keep them coming.

  5. Jeffrey Baker

    wife and I took my daughter to India for first time two years ago (she was 8 years old).

    stayed mostly with Oberoi, for 12 nights on and off, which includes breakfast, two way transfers and various other perks; we paid 425 can per night for the premier rooms.

    first hotel in Delhi- nothing. next hotel in gurgoan- upgrade to suite.

    then to Udaipur- one category upgrate upon arrival. next night- suite with private pool

    then Jaipur- when we arrived- they gave us a choice- first they took us to the top tent room- all laid out with a table full of food of all kinds. then they (they being the GM and several other staff) showed us the best ‘room’ at the resort; full size private pool, three separate structures, living room/dinning room/kitchen, master bed building, then guest bed building.

    entire complex surrounded by walls and entered over a moot.

    after two nights there, off to Agra. when we arrived, the GM took us to the best suite in the hotel- top floor, smack in the middle of hotel, 2500 sqft, with three Terrances.

    finally back to gurgoan; up grated to president suite- private pool and gym, several bedrooms and serval other rooms that we never got a chance to enter.

    1. Ricky YVR

      India strikes me as a place where Platinum/Titanium/Diamond upgrades should be particularly generous. I’m looking forward to taking a similar trip in that region sometime soon!

  6. Tracy Cummings

    I have the Amex Platinum Business card…but not sure how I link it to my Bonvoy account which is still at the lowest level. How do I get that marked as Gold level (as you indicated in this video)?

    1. Ricky YVR

      You should see the option to enroll in Bonvoy Gold Elite under the "Benefits" tab on your Amex dashboard. Otherwise, give them a call and they’ll be able to do it for you easily.

      1. Agatha Bourne

        Does one call Amex or Bonvoy? I also want to link my card. I cannot find a benefits tab on my Amex account and I cannot tell which level I am at on my Bonvoy account; it just says Member.

        1. Ricky YVR

          Amex. They’ll be able to get it done pretty easily.

      2. Jay

        India is the best for outstanding value ;).

  7. Andrew

    I have been having issues with the chat function lately at multiple Marriot properties. An error comes up and says "its not you its us". Others have confirmed having the same issues. Have you had this issue at all and do you know if there is a solution to it?

    1. Ricky YVR

      I’ve only ever seen this when I have a poor internet connection.

  8. Kevin

    Great video – the swinging chair was a nice touch 🙂
    With Bonvoy gold elite status can this method get you lounge access as well as the nicer room?

    1. Ricky YVR

      That would depend on the generosity of the hotel. It doesn’t hurt to ask but I wouldn’t expect it to work, since the terms are pretty clear that only Platinums and above are entitled to lounge access.

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