If your hotel elite status gives you a room upgrade but you're not booking a hotel room, do you really have elite status? While the question might not have the philosophical weight of a tree falling in a forest, it still needs to be asked.
For years, a cottage industry of miles and points blogs has capitalized on pushing a single message: earn elite status via credit card rewards and you'll have champagne wishes and caviar dreams on a beer and anchovy budget.
Enter COVID-19. The entire travel industry has collapsed, with 75% of hotel rooms being vacant in April 2020 and 67% in May 2020. If you have elite status chances are high that in a normal year one of those rooms would have been occupied by you.
Elite status has precisely zero value if you're not traveling. Even when you start traveling again, you may travel very differently than you used to. It's time to take off the titanium glasses and take another look at hotel loyalty.