Business class used to be a very limited experience. Now, private jets are the new first class. Even then, you can get access to private-jet like memberships for shuttles between cities, and the next level up is the wide body private jet.
Certain credit cards will get you instant access to “gold” tiers of hotel and rental car agencies, airlines, and airport clubs, etc. There’s a short cut. If the point is to reward loyalty, then these short cuts erode the value of exclusivity. However, there’s likely a larger benefit of increased revenue to brands by co-marketing to those who spend more.
Being gifted “gold” means that the company expects some gold back in return. Treating clients like VIPs is usually worth it.