Hotels and airlines offer a top tier elite status to those credit cardholders who frequent them most often. In frequent flyer programs, elite status is a level of benefits reserved for customers who reach a certain mileage threshold within a specified time frame. There are often multiple levels of elite status, with more benefits at each usage level. Privileges may include upgrades, access to airport lounges and preferred boarding and seating. Hotels have similar programs that win frequent guests upgrades and freebies.