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- What is Hilton Honors?
- Hilton Hotel brands
- How to join Hilton Honors
- The benefits of being a Hilton Honors member
- The Hilton Honors tiers, their benefits and how to earn Hilton elite status
- Hilton Honors elite status benefits explained
- How much are Hilton points worth?
- How much is Hilton status worth?
- Credit cards that give you Hilton status
- Status match with Hilton Honors
- Hilton Honors lifetime status
- Does using points count toward Hilton status?
- Do Hilton points expire?
- Final thoughts
Hilton hasn't changed its loyalty program much over the years, and for good reason. It's still one of the most popular hotel rewards programs out there, offering valuable benefits and accessible locations
Between free breakfast, room upgrades, executive lounge access and bonus points galore, it's certainly worth pursuing elite status—and thanks to Hilton's co-branded credit cards, it's easier to obtain than you might assume. Read on to learn everything you need to know about Hilton status, how you can earn it and what it's worth.
What is Hilton Honors™?
Hilton Honors is the Hilton Hotels rewards program. Once you join the program, you can start earning benefits. With each stay you complete at a Hilton hotel, you'll accumulate points you can cash in for a free night.
Hilton Hotel brands
There are a number of hotel brands within the Hilton portfolio. Staying with any of these hotels will help you earn points and benefits, and you can exchange your points for a free night at any of these hotels.
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
- Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Upper upscale hotels:
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts
- Curio Collection by Hilton
- Embassy Suites by Hilton
- Canopy by Hilton
- DoubleTree by Hilton
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Signia Hotels by Hilton (coming soon)
- Hampton by Hilton
- Tru by Hilton
- Motto by Hilton (coming soon)
Extended stay hotels:
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- Home2 Suites by Hilton
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Tapestry Collection by Hilton
How to join Hilton Honors
Joining Hilton Honors is easy and free. Go to the Hilton Honors website and click "Join" in the top right corner.
In order to sign up for Hilton Honors, you'll need to fill out a brief form with your name, email address and mailing address. It can be completed in minutes.
Once you've signed up for the Hilton Honors program, you can start taking advantage of new benefits and tracking your progress toward higher status levels and free night awards. When you log in to your account, you'll be able to view past stays, upcoming reservations, the number of points you have and the number of points you still need to earn in order to reach the next membership status level.
You can also check in digitally from your Hilton Honors account and select your room for any upcoming stay.
Hilton Honors app
In addition to navigating your Hilton Honors account from the Hilton Honors website, you can also use the Hilton Honors mobile app. The app allows you to digitally check in and select your room as well as digitally check out, and you can even use it to unlock your door with Hilton's new digital key feature.
If you have any special requests for your stay, such as extra pillows or a bottle of sparkling wine, these can be ordered through the Hilton Honors app. Finally, you can book upcoming stays through the app just like you would through the website.
The benefits of being a Hilton Honors member
Becoming a Hilton Honors member comes with several immediate benefits. All Hilton Honors members can take advantage of these perks—no need to advance in status first.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Points toward free nights
- Digital check-in
- Choose your room
The Hilton Honors tiers and how to earn Hilton elite status
The Hilton Honors program has four membership tiers, and members enjoy additional benefits as they move up through the tiers. The membership tiers are as follows, from lowest to highest:
Once you earn an elite status tier, which includes Silver, Gold and Diamond, you'll become a member of that tier for the remainder of the calendar year as well as the full following calendar year. In order to maintain that status level, you'll need to earn it again the following year.
Hilton Honors elite status tiers come with pretty generous benefits, even when compared to other popular hotel loyalty programs. The various benefits are easy to understand and generally apply the same across all properties. It's also easy to figure out how to achieve each status tier.
Unlike Marriott, Hilton still bases your status on nights stayed or stays completed rather than how much money you spend on each stay. This means folks who tend to choose the cheapest Hilton hotel in the area will have pretty much the same shot at achieving elite status as folks who usually stay at luxury properties.
Here are the different status tiers with their accompanying benefits and requirements.
1. Hilton Member Status
Hilton Member status benefits include:
- A discounted, changeable and refundable rate
- Digital check-in
- Complimentary internet access
- Late checkout
How to earn Hilton Member status
All you have to do is sign up online for the Hilton Honors program. You don't need to complete any stays or earn any points.
Hilton Member status is the first level of the Hilton Honors program and only requires enrolling online. The benefits are minimal at this level, but it allows you to start earning toward higher statuses.
2. Hilton Silver status
Hilton Silver status benefits include:
- All Member benefits
- 20% bonus on base points earned
- Fifth standard reward night free
- Two complimentary water bottles per stay
- Elite tier rollover nights
How to earn Hilton Silver status
To earn Silver status with Hilton, you'll need to do at least one of the following:
Hilton Silver status is the second level of the Hilton Honors program and the first elite status tier. The jump in benefits with Silver status as compared to Member status isn't enough to greatly improve your stays, as extra water is the only perk in that regard. However, you'll earn points a little quicker, and you'll get every fifth night free when you book with points.
It's also incredibly easy to earn Silver status, even if you travel just a few times per year. Folks who don't want to wait until they've completed enough stays to earn Silver status can also open the Hilton Honors Card and move to that status for free.
3. Hilton Gold status
Hilton Gold status benefits include:
- All Silver benefits
- 80% bonus on base points earned
- Room upgrades up to Executive room type (depending on availability)
- Complimentary breakfast at all hotels
- Unlimited milestone bonuses
How to earn Hilton Gold status
To earn Gold status with Hilton, you'll need to do at least one of the following:
- Complete 20 stays in a calendar year
- Stay 40 nights in a calendar year
- Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year
- Open the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card ($95 annual fee — (See Rates & Fees))
- Open the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 annual fee — (See Rates & Fees))
- Open The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee — (See Rates & Fees))
Hilton Gold status is the third level of the Hilton Honors program and the second elite status tier. Gold is where you really start earning valuable rewards and feeling the perks during your stays. It's the status tier that gives you the most bang for your buck within the Hilton Honors program, but also when compared across other hotel loyalty programs.
The room upgrades and free breakfast really stand out as money-saving perks you can use regularly. When it comes to earning points faster, not only do you get an 80% bonus on the base points you earn during your stays, but you also get milestone bonuses, which award you additional bonus points for completing a certain number of nights per year.
The jump from Silver to Gold is the largest gap between status tiers in the Hilton Honors program. Gold status requires you to stay with Hilton almost four times as often as Silver. That being said, anyone who travels regularly for business shouldn't have a problem reaching this tier, and there are three different rewards credit cards that will get you Hilton Honors Gold status automatically.
4. Hilton Diamond status
Hilton Diamond status benefit include:
- All Gold benefits
- 100% bonus on base points earned
- Free premium Wi-Fi
- Room upgrades up to a one-bedroom suite (depending on availability)
- Executive lounge access
- Diamond status extension
- 48-hour room guarantee
- Elite status gifting
How to earn Hilton Diamond status
To earn Diamond status with Hilton, you'll need to do at least one of the following:
Hilton Diamond status is the highest tier achievable in the Hilton Honors program. The benefits offered at this tier can be quite lucrative for frequent travelers, although this tier would be even more attractive if it included suite night awards like both Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt do.
The 100% points bonus is one of the highest of any program, and the suite upgrade with Diamond status can get you an even higher room type than Gold status. Executive lounge access is valuable if you travel to hotels that have lounges. For last-minute travelers, being able to guarantee a room at just about any Hilton hotel just 48 hours in advance is a lifesaver. You'll also get the ability to gift a friend Gold status with Hilton.
Achieving Diamond status isn't easy, but it's definitely possible for frequent travelers. In fact, of all hotel loyalty programs, Hilton Honors makes its highest-status tier one of the easiest to achieve. It's the only major hotel loyalty program that lets you "buy" its highest tier by opening a credit card, which is handy for folks who can't achieve this status through stays.
Hilton Honors elite status benefits explained
Here are some details on the hotel program's less-straightforward benefits.
Elite tier bonus points
You'll earn 10 base points per $1 spent at any Hilton brand hotel, except Tru and Home2, where you'll earn 5 base points per $1 spent. You can increase the number of points you earn, based on a percentage of the base points set by each tier:
- Silver: 20%
- Gold: 80%
- Diamond: 100%
So rather than earning 10 points per $1 spent, each tier earns this number of points per $1 spent at most Hilton brand hotels:
- Silver: 12 points per $1
- Gold: 18 points per $1
- Diamond: 20 points per $1
Hilton Honors free breakfast
A number of Hilton brand hotels offer free breakfast for all guests. These include:
- Canopy by Hilton
- Embassy Suites
- Hampton by Hilton
- Homewood Suites
- Home2 Suites
However, for the most part, the rest of the Hilton brand hotels charge for breakfast, and that cost is usually around $12 after taxes at properties like Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree. At luxury properties like Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, breakfast can be very expensive. Regardless of the property, Gold and Diamond status Hilton Honors members get free breakfast at Hilton brand hotels.
Elite tier rollover nights
Silver, Gold and Diamond members are all eligible for elite tier rollover nights. At the end of the calendar year, any extra qualifying nights you've earned in addition to your current status can be rolled over and put toward earning status the following year.
For example, you need 10 qualifying nights to get Silver status. Let's say you stay 14 nights in a calendar year. You'd start the following year with four qualifying nights that rolled over from the previous year.
Milestone bonuses are available to Gold and Diamond members. You'll earn extra points when you hit the following milestones:
- When you hit 40 nights in a calendar year, you'll get 10,000 bonus points, and then an additional 10,000 bonus points for every additional 10 nights after that.
- When you hit 60 nights in a calendar year, you'll get 30,000 bonus points.
Executive lounge access
Executive lounges are only available at select Hilton hotels, and you'll get access to them if you're a Diamond status member. They tend to be in the DoubleTree, Hilton, Conrad and Waldorf properties, which attract a lot of business travelers.
These are exclusive lounge spaces that offer complimentary breakfast in the morning and a range of drinks and appetizers in the afternoon and evening, sometimes including hot food and alcoholic beverages. These lounges usually have a business center complete with computers and a printing station as well as televisions and seating areas. Some even offer fantastic top-floor views.
Diamond status extension
This unique perk gives Diamond members a one-time chance to extend their Diamond status for one additional year without meeting any requirements. This could come in handy if you take a break from traveling heavily for one year but want to maintain your Diamond status.
MyWay hotel benefits
This benefit allows Hilton Honors members to choose between earning Hilton bonus points or airline miles with almost all major airlines or rail miles with Amtrak in addition to the base points they earn on qualifying spending. Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members can also choose between a welcome gift of bonus points, complimentary snacks and refreshments, vouchers for complimentary breakfast, or a room upgrade. Welcome gift options vary by property.
How to change your MyWay hotel benefits
If you prefer to earn airline miles over bonus points, you can make this selection by logging in to your Hilton Honors account and clicking "Edit Preferences."
How much are Hilton points worth?
We value Hilton points at 0.5 cent (half of 1 cent) each on average. It's possible to squeeze more value out of your points at a number of international properties, and redemptions abroad typically range in value from 0.4 cent to 0.8 cent per point. However, when redeeming in the U.S., you'll find that most reward nights will get you 0.3 cent to 0.5 cent per point with a pretty consistent average value of 0.4 cent per point.
How much is Hilton Honors status worth?
Giving a valuation to each Hilton Honors status level is a subjective matter. The value you actually get out of Hilton status will depend on how often you stay at Hilton hotels, the properties you stay at and your travel preferences.
For the purposes of developing a generic valuation, we'll assume you've completed just enough stays to reach each tier. In other words, for the Silver tier, you've completed either four stays or 10 nights in a year. Folks who travel more often and those who tend to stay in luxury properties will get a lot more value out of each status tier than those who don't.
We'll also use a value of 0.5 cent per point for bonus points and the following values for the other main benefits.
Value of complimentary breakfast: $15/night
Breakfast is free at Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Canopy, Home2 and Tru properties. At a DoubleTree or Hilton Garden Inn, breakfast is typically around $12 to $15. At luxury properties such as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, the cost of breakfast can easily reach $40 per person. Assuming you stay at a mix of different properties, we average the value of free breakfast at $15/night.
Value of room upgrades: $10 to $20/night
Hilton is notorious for infrequently offering room upgrades or only upgrading guests to the next best room. Upgrades can be worth anywhere from $30 to more than $100 if you get a suite, but suite upgrades are pretty unlikely, even for Diamond members. We'll assume you get a room upgrade about 25% of the time. This makes the room upgrade benefit worth an average of $10/night for Gold members and $20/night for Diamond members.
Value of executive lounge access: $150
Aside from complimentary breakfast, which we've already included in our calculations, executive lounge access gets you free appetizers and refreshments. If you travel abroad frequently, lounges usually include complimentary alcoholic beverages, although this perk is rare at U.S. properties. Executive lounges are only available at select properties, so we'll assume you get to take advantage of this benefit a handful of times each year and give it an annual value of $150.
5th night free on reward stays: $15 to $150
If you're a Silver member, you likely won't accumulate enough points to book a five-night stay unless you book 5,000-point hotels or use a Hilton co-branded credit card to earn points, so we only value the benefit at $15. Gold and Diamond members will be more likely to use this benefit, so we give this benefit a value of $100 for Gold members and $150 for Diamond members.
Silver status value: $36
- 20% bonus on base points earned: $15
- Fifth night free on reward stays: $15
- Two complimentary water bottles per stay: $6
Gold status value: $1,480
- 80% bonus on base points earned: $300
- Fifth night free on reward stays: $100
- Two complimentary water bottles per stay: $30
- Room upgrades up to Executive room type (dependent on availability): $400
- Complimentary breakfast at all hotels: $600
- Unlimited milestone bonuses: $50
Diamond status value: $3,230
- 100% bonus on base points earned: $480
- Fifth night free on reward stays: $150
- Two complimentary water bottles per stay: $50
- Room upgrades up to one-bedroom suite room type (depending on availability): $1,200
- Complimentary breakfast at all hotels: $900
- Unlimited milestone bonuses: $300
- Executive lounge access: $150
These are rather conservative estimates, as they assume you just barely meet the threshold for each status tier. We also didn't include a valuation for two Diamond benefits: 48-hour room guarantee and elite status gifting.
While the 48-hour room guarantee might come in handy once in a while, there are a lot of exclusions and prices can be extremely high, so most people won't be able to take advantage of this benefit in a way that saves them a lot of money.
Elite status gifting, on the other hand, is a very valuable benefit, but hard to quantify. It's hard to argue that the ability to gift Gold status to one person is worth the $1,480 that Gold status is worth, because you're not actually saving money and enjoying extra benefits yourself. However, you do get the joy of giving this benefit. We'll let you decide how much that's worth.
Credit cards that give you Hilton status
Hilton's elite statuses are easier to obtain than those at other loyalty programs because you can essentially "buy" them by opening one of several Hilton co-branded credit cards or The Platinum Card® from American Express. For frequent international travelers, it's worth noting that none of these cards have foreign transaction fees. Here are the best credit cards for earning automatic elite status with Hilton.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
- Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
- Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
- Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
- No Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
The Hilton Honors American Express Card gives you Silver status automatically and can also help you reach Gold status. It's one of the best rewards credit cards with $0 annual fee, and the sign-up bonus and rewards rate are generous (considering the card is free). It's also one of the few no-annual-fee credit cards that also has no foreign transaction fees.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
This one comes with an annual fee, but you'll get automatic Gold status and the chance to earn Diamond status. It's also easy to recoup the fee if you spend more than $1,000 at Hilton hotels per year. In addition to the high earning rate on Hilton spending, it comes with a lucrative sign-up bonus. You'll also get some valuable perks like the chance to earn a free weekend night and a Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you 10 free airport lounge visits at more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click See Rates & Fees.
This credit card gets you automatic Diamond status without completing a single stay. It comes with a hefty annual fee, but if you're a frequent traveler who regularly stays with Hilton, you'll likely recoup that fee many times over. Staying at Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Hilton Resort properties will give you the chance to make up for most of the fee with statement credits. Then there's the Priority Pass benefit, which is worth $429 all on its own.
The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
15.74% - 24.74% Variable
- Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
- Enjoy complimentary Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
- Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
- Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
- Terms apply.
This card gets you automatic Gold status and the chance to earn Diamond status. It's nearly identical to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card card, but as a business credit card, it's easier to separate your finances. Consider this card over the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card if you run a business.
For rates and fees of the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, please click See Rates & Fees.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
See Pay Over Time APR
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
You'll get automatic Gold status with Hilton, as well as Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy, with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Despite the steep annual fee (See Rates & Fees), this card is a favorite among frequent travelers for its flexible rewards points and extensive airport lounge access. You'll earn Membership Rewards points with this credit card, which are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for various travel purchases. You can also transfer your points to a long list of hotel and airline rewards programs, including Hilton Honors.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Status match with Hilton Honors
Hilton Honors is currently offering status matching through March 2021. If you have elite status with another hotel loyalty program, Hilton Honors will match that status for 90 days so you can consider switching your loyalty to the Hilton program.
During those 90 days, you'll have the chance to earn that status level if you complete enough stays.
- Gold status match: Complete four stays in 90 days to keep your status through March 31, 2021.
- Diamond status match: Complete eight stays in 90 days to keep your status through March 31, 2021.
You can request a status match by filling out the form online. You'll need to provide proof of your status with another hotel loyalty program (a screenshot is sufficient), and proof that you've stayed at one of its hotels at least once in the past 12 months.
Hilton Honors lifetime status
It's possible to earn Diamond status for life with Hilton, but it's not easy. Hilton doesn't offer lifetime status for its Gold or Silver tiers.
In order to earn lifetime Diamond status with Hilton, you'll need to do the following:
- Qualify for Diamond status for at least 10 years (they don't have to be consecutive) AND...
- Complete at least 1,000 paid and reward nights OR...
- Earn at least 2 million base points over the life of your membership
This is difficult for even the most frequent travelers to qualify. However, it is doable for folks who constantly travel and always stay with Hilton. It's worth noting that you can complete the first requirement by simply having the Hilton Aspire Card for 10 years.
Does using points count toward Hilton status?
Reward stays with Hilton still count toward earning elite status. This means even when you book with points, you'll be working toward Silver, Gold and Diamond status.
Do Hilton points expire?
Hilton points expire after 12 months of no account activity. Hilton Honors defines account activity as any of the following actions:
- Staying at a Hilton brand hotel
- Earning any amount of Hilton points
- Purchasing Hilton points
- Donating Hilton points through the Hilton Honors Giving Back Program
The easiest way to keep your points from expiring without completing a stay would be to donate to the Hilton Honors Giving Back Program, which requires a donation minimum of 4,000 points; buy Hilton points, which requires you to purchase at least 1,000 points for $10; or earn Hilton points with a Hilton co-branded credit card.
If your Hilton points expire, you can restore them within 18 months of expiration, but you'll need to pay a flat rate for each point you want to restore.
You can check your eligibility and restore points by logging in to your Hilton Honors account and selecting "Restore Points" from the left sidebar.
The value of Hilton status for frequent travelers is undeniable. While Silver status is mostly forgettable, it paves the way to Gold and Diamond. Gold status, in particular, is one of the best midtier status levels in the game because it strikes the perfect balance between being high-value and still easy to obtain.
In fact, all of Hilton's elite status tiers are relatively easy to obtain compared to other hotel loyalty programs—even more so when you consider that Hilton's various co-branded credit cards give anyone access to Silver, Gold or Diamond status without having to complete a single stay. For those who like having access to premium perks but can't complete enough stays to reach higher status levels, this is a great advantage.
However, many Hilton Honors members see this ease of access as a disadvantage over more exclusive loyalty programs such as Marriott. Executive lounges often fill up, and it's notoriously difficult to get a good room upgrade based on status. As rewards credit cards grow in popularity, the air of exclusivity surrounding Gold and Diamond status has largely disappeared.
While you might have to share your space with a few more elite status members now, loyal Hilton Honors members will still have no problem squeezing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars out of their elite status.