Status Match Merry Go Round
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IMPORTANT NOTE:

The Status Match Merry Go Round’s primary on-ramp, Wyndham Rewards, is not currently accepting new status matches. Read more here. Do not follow the below instructions as they pertain to matching any statuses to Wyndham until further notice.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

There is, however, one new option!

Bookmark this page and it will be updated when Wyndham resumes status matching.  


The Status Match Merry Go Round

I’ve written a number of times in the past about what I call the Status Match Merry Go Round. For those that have never read any of my posts about this before, the Status Match Merry Go Round is a series of status matching opportunities that, by the time all is said and done, will have grant you status in half a dozen programs, many of which you’ll be able to keep year after year.

The Merry Go Round at Encore Boston Harbor (Sadly, not part of the Status Match Merry Go Round)

Here are a few of the posts I’ve written going all the way back to July of 2018:

Without question, these have been some of the most popular and widely shared articles I’ve written. In the MilesTalk Facebook group, I love when people post pictures of their various successes. Makes my day.

YourBestCreditCards

The phrase Status Match Merry Go Round comes from the fact that (at least as it stands now) you simply need to find a way onto the Merry Go Round and then, once there, it keeps going and going for you.

I’ve gotten some feedback that some people have lost track of how this all works, as my info has been spread across various posts. So, I’m bringing this “full circle” today with a start to finish guide.

status match casino cards
My statuses after the match. Note that Ocean matched to their Black level in 2018 but now matches to Platinum

Why Should You Care About the Status Match Merry Go Round?

In short, because it will confer a variety of statuses on you for relatively little effort and much is repeatable year after year once you get on the Merry Go Round.

I’ll summarize all the programs and tiers involved:

What are the Primary Benefits of Each Status in the Status Match Merry Go Round?

Wyndham Diamond

Wyndham doesn’t really have a super exciting footprint nor program, but you will be entitled to early check in, late check out, and suite upgrades when you stay at a Wyndham property. I list this first, however, because it’s the primary “on ramp” to the Status Match Merry Go Round.

wyndham diamond
Wyndham Diamond – the Star of the Show

Caesars Diamond

While some people report better room offers at Caesars casino properties, that’s not a reliable benefit. Nor are upgrades. But what is reliable is this:

Free Parking at Caesars casinos/hotels

Skip the Line at most restaurants (I’ve saved hours on line with this perk)

A free four night stay at Atlantis (Also see:Free Atlantis Stay via Caesars Total Rewards Diamond: What To Expect with Room Fees, Food Costs, and More)

 A free $100 “Celebration Dinner” each year including status renewals

– Free monthly show tickets.

– Waived resort fees

– Diamond Lounge access (requires $10 in comps per person)

– Taxi Queue line cut

Mlife Gold

Free parking (including valet) at Mlife resorts, priority checkin, priority buffet seating,
potentially better room offers. Most important for matching to Hyatt. If you have
never had Mlife before and match at Borgata, you’ll get a free night as well.

Hyatt Explorist

Upgraded rooms (not suites) and late checkout. American Airlines Fast Track offers to Elite Status.

Hard Rock Atlantic City Rock Royalty

Priority access to beach chairs, Rock Royalty lounge access for a $10pp fee (in comp dollars), free self or valet parking, priority line at buffet. Priority checkin and 12pm check out. Free car wash once per month at Rocktane. Your first time new member match should include a free night as well. New members also get two free nights, a buffet for two and $75 or $100 slot dollars.

Read more: Hard Rock Atlantic City: Rock Royalty Trip Review

Ocean Atlantic City Platinum

Access to the Player’s Lounge ($10 comp dollars per person), free parking (including valet). If you’re curious, I reviewed the Black card benefits last year, though you only get matched to Platinum now. This first time match for a new member includes $100 slot dollars. (They have discontinued the free nights.)

Read More: Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City Review of “Black Card” Benefits

One Thing to Note about the MLife Match:

You can do some of these matches online, but you will need to visit, in person, one of three MLife properties:

  • The Borgata in Atlantic City
  • MGM Springfield in Massachusetts
  • MGM Grand in Las Vegas (May not be year round – enquire first. On Aug 13, 2019, I received a report that MGM Grand may  have stopped matching as of Aug 9. Would like more data points. Safe to assume you should not rely on Vegas to match.)

That’s it.

How Does One Take The First Step in the Status Match Merry Go Round?

Right. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? To find out how this all works.

When I did my first ride on the Status Match Merry Go Round, I did everything I’m sharing with one exception. Before Wyndham was status matching to Diamond, you needed to find a way to acquire Wyndham Diamond or Caesars Diamond on your own. That was much hard than it is now which I’ll share in a second. Back then, a Founders Card membership was the easiest way. Not wanting to pay for Founders Card as I didn’t (and still don’t) see value in it, I won my Wyndham Diamond in a charity auction for about $250. It’s been well worth it.

But now, it’s so much easier. 

Status Match Merry Go Round Flow Chart

I created this flowchart to make things easier to follow and reference. The post itself provides much greater context, however.

Status Match Merry Go Round Flowchart
Status Match Merry Go Round Flowchart

Step 1: Wyndham Diamond

It all begins with matching something  – anything – to Wyndham Diamond. 

You’ll do that at this page: Status Match to Wyndham

You will need one of the following statuses (note, some are really low to mid tier statuses and easy to obtain):

Marriott: Gold or higher

Hilton: Gold or higher

Choice: Diamond

Best Western: Diamond Select

IHG: Platinum or Spire Elite

Radisson: Gold or Platinum

Omni: Black

Hyatt: Globalist (Note: If have have Globalist, you can skip many steps. I’ll outline this at the end of this section.)

To be clear, a lot of these make no sense. Hyatt Globalist is incredibly hard to earn. Marriott Gold and Hilton Gold are easy as pie to get. But whatever, let’s roll with it.

If you have ANY of the above, head over to the Status Match to Wyndham page and have at it and skip to Step 2 below.

If you don’t, let’s get you there.

The absolute easiest way, by far, to get on the status match merry go round from scratch is one of five credit cards:

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express ($95 annual fee) which grants Hilton Gold.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 annual fee) which grants Hilton Gold.

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card ($89 annual fee) which grants IHG Platinum.

The Platinum Card from American Express ($550 annual fee) which grants Hilton Gold.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card ($450 annual fee) which grants Marriott Gold.

There are more cards that will get you there as well, but these are the easiest. The first two, with a mere $95 annual fee, are the easiest by far.

Once you have your card activated and your Gold status granted, you can proceed with the match to Wyndham Diamond outlined above and once you see Wyndham Diamond in your account, proceed to Step 2.

** Note: If you are already Hyatt Globalist, most of this may not be needed. You can match your Globalist straight to MLife Gold online and take that to a Caesars property to match that to Caesars Diamond when Caesars is running a status match promotion, which they often do but not always.  Otherwise, just continue with the steps as outlined here.**

Step 2: Caesars Rewards

Status Match Merry Go Round CaesarsNow that you have a nice shiny Wyndham Diamond card, you are entitled to an automatic match to Caesars Rewards Diamond.  You can do this online here.  Wait for your account to update at Caesars. It could be the next day or it could take a week.

You’ll be automatically eligible for that Atlantis stay now and the $100 Celebration Dinner credit is in your account to redeem in person.

Step 3: Mlife

It’s getting easier now, right?

You’ve got your Wyndham Diamond status and your Caesars Diamond status.

But now, for the first time, you have to take a walk (or a drive or a train or a flight).

You’ll need to get yourself to a Caesars Entertainment casino to pick up your Diamond card. No, they won’t mail it to you. And then you will need to take it to one of the Mlife casinos I mentioned before:

  • The Borgata in Atlantic City
  • MGM Springfield in Massachusetts
  • MGM Grand in Las Vegas (Not year round; enquire first; see notes above; don’t rely on this one)
  • NOTE: As of right now, through Dec. 31, 2020, you can match at any MGM casino in the country.

If you can get to Atlantic City, you can ALSO and separately take your Caesars Diamond card to the Ocean Casino Resort and the Hard Rock Atlantic City for your Ocean Platinum and Hard Rock Rock Royalty statuses. These are really a diversion on the Merry Go Round as you don’t need nor can you use these two casino cards for much else, although you will get the free nights at each.

I’ll repeat the benefits from above:

Hard Rock Atlantic City Rock Royalty

Priority access to beach chairs, Rock Royalty lounge access for a $10pp fee (in comp dollars), free self or valet parking, priority line at buffet. Priority checkin and 12pm check out. Free car wash once per month at Rocktane. Your first time new member match should include two free nights and $100 slot dollars as well.

Read more: Hard Rock Atlantic City: Rock Royalty Trip Review

Ocean Atlantic City Platinum

Access to the Player’s Lounge ($10 comp dollars per person), free parking (including valet). If you’re curious, I reviewed the Black card benefits last year, though you only get matched to Platinum now. This first time match for a new member includes and $75 or $100 slot dollars. (No free nights)

Read more: Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City Review of “Black Card” Benefits

Borgata allows you to match year after year, however you’ll only get a complimentary night the first time you match.

I’ll also take a moment here to mention that IF you plan to actually gamble for comps, your first trip to a casino plays heavily into the comps you’ll initially receive, so play wisely and read this article from TravelZork before you go…

If you cannot get to Borgata, MGM Springfield, or MGM Grand Las Vegas (when applicable), you’ve hit the end of the road. But I have faith that you can, at some point, get to one of these. And so, let’s continue….

Your Best Credit Cards

Step 4: Hyatt Explorist

You now have, at minimum, 4 statuses now. You have the one you started out with plus Wyndham Diamond, Caesars Diamond and MLife Gold. Now, my friend, you can match to Hyatt Explorist as well. And this is, happily, an online match as well. Just hit the OPT IN button here. Note, if that doesn’t work, try going to this page on the MGM Website and logging in. Look for the OPT-IN button on that page.

Step 5: Bonus Match to American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status

Bonus Round: Thanks to the new Hyatt and American Airlines partnership, you can get a 3 month status trial and fast track challenge to AAdvantage Gold by linking those accounts.

Step 6: Round and Round it Goes

In January and February, you have homework. Come January, your Wyndham will drop to Blue Level. But you have your Caesars Rewards Diamond that you matched online. Login and check your Caesars Rewards. Still Diamond, right?

Now go ahead and go back to the Wyndham page and match. This will re-up your Wyndham Diamond status.

Then make a note for a few days into February. Your Caesars status will lapse Feb 1. But you can go back to the Caesars page then and re-up for another year!

Lastly, when your Mlife status expires, you can head back to Borgata with your Caesars card and reup for another year there as well.

See Why I call it the Status Match Merry Go Round?

I’m sure you do…

Did you do the Status Match Merry Go Round?

MilesTalk Facebook group members love to post pics of all their new shiny cards and I’d love for you to let me know how it went for you as well. You can let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private group.

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.


I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

36 COMMENTS

  1. […] I’ve personally just plunked down 480,000 points for 5 nights there (in a villa going for $1,500++ a night) and then have a 6th night reserved for 120,000 points which I plan to swap out with a free weekend night certificate I hope to earn from my Hilton Honors American Express Business Card for spending $15,000 in a calendar year.  When used that way, you can be getting up to 120,000 points in value for that “free weekend night.” Now, the WA Maldives is the only 120,000 point hotel currently in the system, but a great many are 95,000. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to say you are getting essentially 225,000 points (or, in my one WA Maldives case, 250,000 points) in value from this sign up offer (although, to be clear, it’s 130,000 points and a free weekend night). The card has a $95 annual fee and will confer Gold Status on you – good enough to get you going on the Status Match Merry Go Round. […]

  2. […] I’ve personally just plunked down 480,000 points for 5 nights there (in a villa going for $1,500++ a night) and then have a 6th night reserved for 120,000 points which I plan to swap out with a free weekend night certificate I hope to earn from my Hilton Honors American Express Business Card for spending $15,000 in a calendar year.  When used that way, you can be getting up to 120,000 points in value for that “free weekend night.” Now, the WA Maldives is the only 120,000 point hotel currently in the system, but a great many are 95,000. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to say you are getting essentially 225,000 points (or, in my one WA Maldives case, 250,000 points) in value from this sign up offer (although, to be clear, it’s 130,000 points and a free weekend night). The card has a $95 annual fee and will confer Gold Status on you – good enough to get you going on the Status Match Merry Go Round. […]

  3. Hi Dave! Thanks for this article. Very helpful and informative. Have you come across anymore data points on the Mlife Gold match working at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas? I’ve seen 2 comments in another article in the last month saying the MGM Grand no longer works…

    Thank you for your time.

  4. Hi Billy – unfortunately, no. My understanding is that the match in Vegas comes and goes (it’s of course possible that this has become popular enough that it’s gone for good). Either way, I have not heard of a single positive data point since August. Sorry!

  5. I just tried to read over it as I’m coming up for expiration soon on my Diamond Caesars status, I didn’t make it to any MGM property to try it last year to see if status match is possible at other properties (pretty much never go to A/C though after reading the article was tempted)and am curious if anyone has tried doing this at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS (an MGM property) or the Gold Strike in Tunica, Ms (also MGM property) and if they’ve had any luck? Also, anyone tried the Hard Rock in Biloxi for match?

    Another question: I thought I read last year that this could only be done ONE TIME…just looked and didn’t see anything about it in the rules so I’m excited, did it change?

  6. I just did the Wyndham status match using IHG Platinum and it says; “After you’re matched, stay 14 qualifying nights in 90 days to keep your DIAMOND level. There is no way I will stay 14 days within the next 90 days. Did I miss something in the directions?” Or is this just the stepping stone to get to Caesars status, and it makes no difference if I don’t keep the Diamond after 90 days? Thank you for taking the time to write out all these steps!! That is much appreciated.

  7. I do not gamble, have never been to Vegas. So when I read “Diamond Lounge access (requires $10 in comps per person)” does this mean a $10 co-pay? Thanks!

    • @clyn6: you need to earn $10 in comps from gambling else you won’t be able to access the lounge. Can’t be paid with cash.

  8. I have Caesars Diamond until 1/31/2020 and Wyndham Diamond until 2/1/2020. How and when do I do the status match submissions to qualify for 2020?

  9. I have Wyndham Diamond until 1/31/2020 and Caesars Diamond until 2/1/2020. How and when do I reapply to ensure that I get DIamond for 2020?

  10. Did my match on the second of februari because my diamond status at Caesars expired on 31 januari. Along the website announcement it should take 6 business days to update from gold to diamond. When I’m logging in on my caesars account I’m still gold. What shell I do

  11. Tried matching my Wyndham diamonds (marched from Hilton gold) to caesars twice now, ended up at gold. First was first week in Feb second was about a week ago. Am I SOL?

  12. I have Caesars Diamond thru Founders Card which expires 12/31/2020. My understanding is that once my
    Founders Card ends on Dec 31st, they will reach out to Caesars to drop my Diamond. When should I match my Caesars Diamond to Wyndham Diamond to be able to match back to Caesars Diamond?

    Will I get 90 days of Wyndham Diamond or will Wyndham downgrade me on 12/31/2020 no matter when in 2020 I match my Caesars to Wyndham?

      • As soon as you cancel Founders Card, they reach out to Caesars and cancel your Diamond status within a few days. The fact that my Founders Card expires on 12/31/2020 is making this really frustrating.

        If I match Caesars to Wyndham in December, will my Wyndham downgrade at the end of the year anyway? I thought the match is good for 90 days unless you meet their requirements (staying X nights during the 90 days)? Any thoughts?

        • With a standard status match which Wyndham isn’t currently offering, one gets 90 days, otherwise it does expire Dec 31st. If you’d done that, you could have the 90 days and match to Caesars and then back to Wyndham in January.

          You are not in that situation, though. A match from Caesars is instant and through the end of the program year. However, a variable is that this year they extended all statuses for a year. I’m not sure the impact. If you matched on Dec 31st, you might be good for a day or a full year.

          I’d probably match now and then see when it is set to expire. If it’s this year, then be ready at 12:01am on Jan 1st to match a second time from Caesars.

          • Thanks for the advice Dave. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll match now and check the expiration date hoping for sometime past the end of 2020. If not, I’ll try to do another match on New Years Day first thing and will keep my fingers crossed!

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