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Hilton Honors Status: What It's Worth in 2022

Hilton Honors Status: What It's Worth in 2022

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Hilton Honors status can be extremely valuable for travelers who frequently stay at Hilton, ranging from $47 to $4,040 in value depending on the status level.

Quick facts:

  • Value of elite status: Hilton Honors status is worth between $47 and $4,040.
  • Qualifying nights: Earn between seven and 42 qualifying nights, or three to 21 stays, or 17,500 to 84,000 base points.
  • Hotel locations: Stay at any of Hilton's 6,500+ properties in 119 countries to earn elite status.

Is Hilton Honors status worth it?

One of the top hotel loyalty programs, Hilton Honors status offers travelers perks ranging from free nights to room upgrades, which can definitely be worth it for frequent travelers.

The Hilton Honors program offers some very valuable benefits, but only you can decide if Hilton Honors status is worth it to you. There are three levels of Hilton Honors status, Silver Elite, Gold Elite and Diamond Elite. Each of these tiers have their own set of benefits and each level includes all the benefits of the level below it. The value you will get out of each status tier depends quite a bit on how much you travel and what percentage of the time you choose Hilton hotel brands.

You may want to review the specific perks offered at each tier and think about how important they are to you personally. For example, if you love a big breakfast, that perk alone could make Hilton status worth it. But if you always skip the first meal of the day, you might need to look at other perks, such as upgrades or the fifth night free on reward stays, to determine if status is worth it to you.

How much are Hilton points worth?

We typically value Hilton Honors points around $0.005 per point. If you determine your hotel stay is worth around $0.005 per point, it will probably be worth it to use your points.

To calculate the value of Hilton Honors points, use the following equation:

Cash price (including taxes and fees) ÷ Number of points needed for hotel stay = Points value for that specific reservation

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What is Hilton Honors status worth?

Hilton elite status is worth between $47 and $4,040 depending on the status level.

These values will vary, however, depending on how often you use these benefits and which benefits you use. Members who use more benefits will get more value from their status.

Silver: $47

Value (based on seven nights):

  • 20% bonus on base points earned: $11
  • Fifth night free on reward stays: $15
  • Elite rollover nights: Value undetermined
  • Free bottled water: $21

Gold: $1,108

Value (based on 28 nights):

  • 80% bonus on base points earned: $168
  • Fifth night free on reward stays: $100
  • Room upgrades up to Executive room type (dependent on availability): $210
  • Daily food and beverage credit (U.S. hotels only) or continental breakfast (non-U.S. hotels): $630

Diamond: $4,040

Value (based on 42 nights):

  • 100% bonus on base points earned: $315
  • 5th night free on reward stays: $150
  • Elite rollover nights: Value undetermined
  • Room upgrades up to one-bedroom suite room type (depending on availability): $1,050
  • Daily food and beverage credit (U.S. hotels only) or continental breakfast (non-U.S. hotels): $945
  • Milestone bonus: $100
  • Executive lounge access: $150
  • Diamond status extension: $192
  • Premium Wi-Fi: $10
  • 48-hour room guarantee: $20
  • Elite status gifting: $1,108

How we calculate the value for each status level:

  • Nights required to reach status level x $150 = Annual spend
  • Annual spend x base points bonus (depends on status level) = Bonus points earned on stays
  • Bonus points earned on stays x $0.005 = Value of bonus points

Assumptions based on our Hilton Honors calculations:

  • 1 point = $0.005
  • Basic Hilton members earn 10 base points per $1
  • You complete just enough nights to qualify for each tier. That means seven nights for Silver elite, 28 nights for Gold elite, 42 nights for Diamond elite.
  • On average, your stays consist of two and a half nights.
  • You spend an average of $150 per night.

Bonus points

Value of saving 20% to 100% bonus points on stays: $11 to $315

One of the most valuable benefits of Hilton elite status is the bonus points offered by each status level.

  • Silver Elite members earn 20% bonus points (2 extra points per $1 spent). Using our assumptions of seven nights and an average of $150 per night, we estimate a Silver Elite member would spend $1,050 in a year. Hilton Honors members earn a base of 10 points per dollar at most properties. This member would earn 2,100 additional points. At $0.005 per point, that’s only around $11 worth of points.
  • Gold Elite members earn 80% bonus points (8 extra points per $1 spent). At 28 nights per year, we estimate a Gold Elite member would spend about $4,200. This member would earn 33,600 additional points, worth around $168.
  • Diamond Elite members earn 100% bonus points (10 extra points per $1 spent). At 42 nights per year, we estimate a Diamond Elite member would spend about $6,300. This member would earn 63,000 additional points, worth around $315.

5th night free on reward stays

Value of 5th night free: $15 to $150 per year

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 are more likely to use this benefit, so we give this benefit a value of $100 for Gold members and $150 for Diamond members.

This lucrative Hilton Honors benefit, offered to all Hilton members with elite status, gives you a free night when you book a standard room reward stay of five consecutive nights or longer. You can use the fifth night free benefit on as many stays as you wish every year.

For longer stays, you can get up to four free fifth nights on stays of 20 nights or longer. In that case, you'd get a free stay for your fifth, 10th, 15th and 20th nights. The fifth night free benefit can't be used with paid stays or with Hilton's Points & Money rewards stays.

Elite tier rollover nights

Value of elite tier rollover nights: undetermined

Silver, Gold and Diamond members are all eligible for elite rollover nights. At the end of the calendar year, any extra qualifying nights you've earned beyond the requirement to meet your current status tier can be rolled over toward earning status the following year.

For example, you need seven qualifying nights to get Silver status. Let's say you stay 10 nights in a calendar year — you'd start the following year with three qualifying nights that rolled over from the previous year. While this is a very valuable benefit for those trying to continue their status into the next year, it's difficult to value, so we've omitted a dollar amount for this benefit.

Room upgrades

Value of room upgrades: $210 to $1,050 per year

Hilton has a reputation among some travelers of 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 $210 for Gold members (seven nights at a value of $30 per night) and $1,050 for Diamond members (10.5 nights at a value of $100 per night).

One of the best ways to get a hotel room upgrade is to earn the perk as part of your elite status with a hotel loyalty program. The Hilton Honors preferred room upgrade benefit is available to Gold and Diamond members. These members may be given upgrades to preferred rooms when available at certain hotels. These upgrades are given based on availability at the time of arrival, vary by property and may include rooms with desirable amenities or views. Upgrades are given only for one room for the member, even if the member reserved and is paying for additional rooms.

Diamond members may be upgraded to junior, standard or one-bedroom suites. However, upgrades exclude executive suites, villas and specialty floors or towers as determined by each hotel.

Daily food and beverage credit or continental breakfast

Value of Daily food and beverage credit/continental breakfast: $630 to $945/year

Hilton now offers its Gold and Diamond elite members a daily food and beverage credit, or continental breakfast depending on if your property is domestic or international. You and up to one additional guest registered to your same room will each receive a daily $15 credit.

For Gold members traveling with a guest for half of their 28 nights and alone for the other half, this comes out to $630 per year. For Diamond members spending half of their 42 nights with a guest and the other half alone, this comes out to $945 per year.

Milestone bonuses

Value of milestone bonuses: $100/year

Milestone bonuses allow members to earn bonus points by staying a certain number of nights during a calendar year.

The following milestone bonuses are available to Gold and Diamond members:

  • In 2022, members can earn 10,000 bonus points at 30 eligible nights and 10,000 Hilton Honors bonus points for every 10 additional eligible nights. After Dec. 31, 2022, members will earn 10,000 bonus points at 40 eligible nights and 10,000 bonus points for every 10 additional eligible nights.
  • Earn an extra 30,000 Hilton Honors bonus points when you reach 60 eligible nights during the year. This is in addition to the 10,000 bonus points you get when you hit that milestone.
  • The maximum number of night stays in a calendar year is 365, meaning you can earn a maximum of 370,000 milestone bonus points in 2022, and 360,000 in following years.

At the current levels, a Diamond member who stayed 42 nights would earn 20,000 points, worth $100.

Executive lounge access

Value of executive lounge access: $150/year

Executive lounge access gets members free appetizers and refreshments. If you travel abroad frequently, lounges usually include complimentary alcoholic beverages, though 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.

Executive lounges are only available at select Hilton hotels, and you'll get access to them if you're a Diamond status member. Lounges tend to be in the Hilton, Conrad and DoubleTree 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 a printing station as well as televisions and seating areas. Some even offer fantastic views of their location.

Diamond status extension

Value of Diamond status extension: $192

This unique perk gives select 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.

To qualify for this elite perk, you need to have been a Diamond member for at least three years (they don't have to be consecutive) and have stayed at least 250 nights or have earned at least 500,000 base points since joining the program. Assuming an elite member uses this benefit once in a 20-year period, we value it at $192 (1/20th the value of Diamond elite status).

Premium Wi-Fi

Value of premium Wi-Fi: $10

Diamond members have access to premium Wi-Fi, which is considered to be an upgrade from the regular Wi-Fi available to other guests. Premium Wi-Fi is defined as the fastest Wi-Fi in the hotel. However, all Hilton Honors members have access to free Wi-Fi, so we don't consider this benefit to be of particularly high value. We'll give this a value of $10.

48-hour room guarantee

Value of 48-hour room guarantee: $20

Hilton Diamond members also get a 48-hour room guarantee. This means that even if a particular hotel is booked, you can still get a room there as long as you make a reservation at least 48 hours before your planned arrival.

However, this perk doesn't mean you're 100% guaranteed to get a room. For example, the guarantee can't be used when a hotel is overbooked by 10% or more (2% or more in some properties), or when there's a special event like a convention or festival that causes "extraordinary demand." The perk also doesn't apply if you're paying for your room with Hilton Honors points or a free night certificate. Because this perk comes with so many limitations, we'll assume members rarely take advantage of it, and value this benefit at $20.

Elite status gifting

Value of elite status gifting: $1,108

Diamond members who reach 40 nights in a year may gift Gold elite status to another Hilton Honors member. Elite rollover nights do not count toward the nights required to make an elite status gift.

When you gift Gold elite status, it lasts 365 days. If you gift Gold elite status and then reach 70 nights during that year, the gift is automatically upgraded to Diamond status. We assume that the giftee uses all the perks of Gold elite status at the same rate, and grant it a value of $1,108.

Hilton Honors levels

Benefit
Member
Silver
Gold
Diamond
Status requirements0-6 nights7 nights, 3 stays or 17,500 base points28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 base points42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points
Guaranteed Hilton Honors discount rate
Points toward free nights, travel partners and more
Show All Rows

How to earn it: Three qualifying hotel stays or 7 qualifying hotel nights or 17,500 base points in a year; a Hilton Honors American Express Card membership (enrollment required)

Points earned: 12 points/$1 (or 6 points/$1 at Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton)

Key benefits: Fifth night free on standard room reward stays, two free bottles of water at some hotels, elite rollover nights, 20% points bonus

Verdict: It's very easy to earn Silver status, which can improve your stays a bit and help you earn points a little faster than if you didn't have elite status. However, there's a huge jump in value between Silver and Gold status. If you travel and stay at Hilton hotels more than just a few times a year, it may be worthwhile to go for Gold status.

How to earn it: 28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 base points; a Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card membership (enrollment required)

Points earned: 18 points/$1 (or 9 points/$1 at Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton)

Key benefits: Space-available room upgrades, daily food and beverage credit (U.S. hotels only) or continental breakfast (non-U.S. hotels), unlimited milestone bonuses, fifth night free on award stays, 80% points bonus

Verdict: Gold membership is a sweet spot for all but the most frequent and loyal Hilton travelers, though it's easy to get Gold status by paying an annual fee for a credit card that offers it as a benefit. This tier gives you a rich range of benefits that can make your hotel stays more pleasant and allow you to earn free stays faster.

How to earn it: 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points in a year; a Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express membership (or spending $40,000 in a year in qualifying purchases on a Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card) (enrollment required)

Points earned: 20 points/$1 (or 10 points/$1 at Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton)

Key benefits: Executive lounge access, guaranteed reservations when booking at least 48 hours in advance, a one-time option to extend Diamond status for a year, ability to gift elite status to another Hilton Honors member, space-available room upgrades, 100% points bonus

Verdict: If you value room upgrades, exclusive executive lounge access and other such luxury perks, you can certainly benefit from Hilton Diamond status. Diamond status is worth more than double the dollar value of Gold status but it's quite a bit harder (or more expensive) to earn. The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express offers automatic Diamond status among its benefits and charges a $450 annual fee (enrollment required). As a result, this level of status is probably only worth earning for the most frequent and loyal Hilton travelers.

Savvy traveler tip: The biggest differences between Gold Elite and Diamond Elite is the complimentary executive lounge access and better room upgrades.

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How to get Hilton Honors status

To get Hilton Honors status, members must achieve a certain number of qualifying nights, stays, or base points – which increase with each status level.

You can earn Hilton status by completing a certain number of qualifying stays or qualifying nights during a calendar year.

Silver
Gold
Diamond
Qualifying stays31421
Qualifying nights72842
Base points17,50052,50084,000

It's important to note what counts as a qualifying hotel stay and what is a qualifying night. Here's how these terms are defined by the Hilton Honors program:

  • Qualifying hotel stays — A qualifying stay is a group of consecutive nights spent at the same participating hotel, whether or not the guest checks out and checks back in. A stay purchased with rewards or points plus money counts as a qualifying stay for the purpose of earning status. There are a number of types of stays that are excluded from the definition of an "eligible stay." Stays that do not count include stays that are part of tour operator packages, were bought at travel agency discount rates, were provided at no cost or as part of a barter deal or where reservations were made through third-party booking websites.
  • Qualifying nights — A qualifying night is a single night spent at a participating hotel as part of a qualifying stay. The same exclusions that apply to qualifying stays also apply to qualifying nights.
  • Base points — Points earned on "eligible folio charges" — i.e., room rate, food and beverage, telephone, laundry, pay-per-view movies, entertainment and recreational facilities, and other incidental charges charged to your room during your stay. Expenses that aren't charged to your room don't earn base points. Also, points earned by other methods (e.g., points earned on credit cards, including their sign-up bonuses) do not count as base points.

So remember to book with the hotel, and not through a third-party booking site, if you want your stay to count toward elite status.

Hilton Honors Covid-19 elite status updates

Hilton has adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 by updating and relaxing their policies regarding elite status for 2022.

These are the highlights of the changes you can expect to see in 2022:

Status extended through March 31, 2023

This will enable members to enjoy their status benefits for a longer period of time.

Points expiration paused until Dec. 31, 2022

This means members have more time to use their points without fear of expiration. Hilton is also permanently extending its points expiration policy from 15 to 24 months, which will keep members' accounts active longer.

Easing 2022 qualifications around earning status, milestone bonuses and status gifting from 2019

In 2022, Hilton Honors members will earn the following:

  • Status Tier Requirements
    • Silver status at seven nights, three stays or 17,500 base points.
    • Gold status at 28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 base points.
    • Diamond status at 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points.
  • Milestone Bonuses
    • 10,000 bonus points at 30 nights.
    • 10,000 bonus points for every 10 additional nights (after 30 nights).
    • One-time 30,000 bonus points at 60 nights.
  • Elite Status Gifting
    • Available one time only, Gold status can be gifted to a friend or family member at 40 nights, and can be upgraded to Diamond status at 70 nights.

Extending Rollover Nights for members of every status level

This means all completed 2021 nights automatically roll over and count toward 2022 tier qualifications.

Maintaining flexibility and extending benefits for Hilton Honors American Express Card Members

  • Free weekend night rewards issued through June 30, 2020 have been extended and will now expire July 1, 2022, and those issued between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 will expire 24 months from date of issuance.
  • Free weekend night rewards issued between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021 will expire Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Free weekend night rewards issued between Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022 will expire 12 months from the date of issuance.
  • Free weekend night rewards, including those issued in 2022, can continue to be used any night of the week (not just on weekends).
  • Hilton Honors bonus points earned from eligible purchases on any Hilton Honors American Express Card will continue to count as base points toward elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond status through Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card members can now view their free weekend night rewards, including total number of rewards, expiration dates and usage activity, online via HiltonHonors.com. To redeem free night rewards, card members should call Hilton Honors Customer Care at 1-800-446-6677.
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Hilton is also permanently extending its points expiration policy from 15 to 24 months, which will keep members' accounts active longer.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EEasing 2022 qualifications around earning status, milestone bonuses and status gifting from 2019\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EIn 2022, Hilton Honors members will earn the following:\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Status Tier Requirements\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Silver status at seven nights, three stays or 17,500 base points.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Gold status at 28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 base points.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Diamond status at 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Milestone Bonuses\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n 10,000 bonus points at 30 nights.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n 10,000 bonus points for every 10 additional nights (after 30 nights).\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n One-time 30,000 bonus points at 60 nights.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Elite Status Gifting\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Available one time only, Gold status can be gifted to a friend or family member at 40 nights, and can be upgraded to Diamond status at 70 nights.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EExtending Rollover Nights for members of every status level\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThis means all completed 2021 nights automatically roll over and count toward 2022 tier qualifications.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EMaintaining flexibility and extending benefits for \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Hilton Honors Rewards Program: Maximizing the Value of Honors Points\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/hilton-hhonors-rewards-program\"\u003EHilton Honors\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E American Express Card Members\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Free weekend night rewards issued through June 30, 2020 have been extended and will now expire July 1, 2022, and those issued between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 will expire 24 months from date of issuance.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Free weekend night rewards issued between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021 will expire Dec. 31, 2022.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Free weekend night rewards issued between Jan. 1 \u2013 Dec. 31, 2022 will expire 12 months from the date of issuance.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Free weekend night rewards, including those issued in 2022, can continue to be used any night of the week (not just on weekends).\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Hilton Honors bonus points earned from eligible purchases on any Hilton Honors American Express Card will continue to count as base points toward elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond status through Dec. 31, 2022.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Hilton Honors American Express Card members can now view their free weekend night rewards, including total number of rewards, expiration dates and usage activity, online via HiltonHonors.com. To redeem free night rewards, card members should call Hilton Honors Customer Care at 1-800-446-6677.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Fast tracks to higher levels of Hilton status

While the primary way to earn Hilton elite status is through hotel stays, there are several ways to fast track your elite status. These include things like signing up for a credit card that offers automatic elite status, requesting a status match and more.

1. Signing up for co-branded Hilton Honors credit cards

Need help deciding which Hilton Honors card is right for you? Check out our guide to the best Hilton credit cards and choose the one that fits your spending and travel patterns.

The best hotel credit cards offer elite status to cardholders. The good news is, you can essentially "buy" Hilton status by opening one of several Hilton co-branded credit cards or The Platinum Card® from American Express and paying the annual fee along with enrolling in the Hilton Honors program.

One American Express credit card offers Silver status for a $0 annual fee, three Amex cards offer Gold status (with one offering the chance to earn Diamond status based on your yearly spending) and one Amex card offers Diamond status. Note, enrollment is required before you can earn status. For frequent international travelers, it's worth noting that none of these cards have foreign transaction fees.

Here are the Amex credit cards that earn you automatic elite status with Hilton once you enroll in the program:

Credit card
Status benefits
Annual fee
Hilton Honors American Express Card
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Hilton Honors Silver Status*$0
Show All Rows

*enrollment required

A status match is a Hilton Honors offer that allows members of other hotel loyalty programs to try out the corresponding level of Hilton status for free for 90 days. If you complete enough Hilton stays during your trial period, you earn Hilton Honors status and may even get an upgrade.

HH Status Match

To find current offers, go to the Hilton status match page. As of February 2022, these are the status match offers from Hilton Honors:

  • Gold status match: Stay seven nights in 90 days to keep your status through March 31, 2024.
  • Diamond status upgrade: Stay 12 nights in 90 days to get your status upgraded to Diamond through March 31, 2024.

You can request a status match by filling out a form online. You'll need to provide proof of your status with another hotel loyalty program and show that you've stayed at one of its hotels at least once in the past 12 months. Screenshots are acceptable as proof.

Diamond members who reach 40 nights in a year may gift Gold elite status to another Hilton Honors member. Elite rollover nights do not count toward the nights required to make an elite status gift.

When you gift Gold elite status, it lasts 365 days. If you gift Gold elite status and then reach 70 nights during that year, the gift is automatically upgraded to Diamond status.

Do you work for a large company? You may qualify for a fast track to Hilton status through your employer. Hilton has instant status offers for employees of Bayer, Dell, IBM and other big companies.

The easiest way to find out if your employer has a program is to do an online search for your employer name and Hilton Honors to look for a sign-up landing page. You'll need to enter your work email address to sign up.

If you qualify for employer status, you could get instant Silver status and be able to earn Gold status by staying eight nights or Diamond status by staying 16 nights within 90 days after you register.

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:

  1. Qualify for Diamond status for at least 10 years (they don't have to be consecutive) AND...
  2. Complete at least 1,000 paid or reward nights OR...
  3. 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 Honors Aspire Card from American Express for 10 years.

How to become a Hilton member

Joining Hilton Honors is easy and free, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Hilton Honors website and click the blue "Join Hilton Honors" button.
How to join Hilton Honors
  1. Fill out a brief form with your name, email address, phone number and mailing address. It can be completed in minutes.
Hilton Honors Join Page
  1. Start taking advantage of new benefits and tracking your progress toward higher status levels and free night awards. When you log into 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.
Hilton Honors Dashboard

You can also check in digitally from your Hilton Honors account and select your room for any upcoming stay.

Savvy traveler tip: Make life easier by downloading the Hilton Honors App on the Apple App Store or Google Play. The app allows you to book, choose your room, check in and unlock your door with your phone. When it's time to go, you can check out digitally too.

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Hilton Honors elite status FAQs

What is Hilton elite status?

Hilton elite status allows Hilton Honors loyalty program members to get a variety of perks and privileges, from complimentary breakfast to lounge access, and earn greater rewards for staying at Hilton properties. There are three main tiers of Hilton elite status: Silver Elite, Gold Elite and Diamond Elite.

Does using points count toward Hilton status?

Reward stays with Hilton still count toward earning elite status. This means that even when you book with points, you'll be working toward Silver, Gold and Diamond status. Your rewards stay will count toward your status as long as you are a "registered, staying and paying guest" at a participating hotel. That means, if you pay for your reward stay with your own points, it counts toward status.

Do Hilton points expire?

Hilton points do not expire if your account stays active. However, you can lose your points if you're removed from the Hilton Honors program for inactivity on your account for a period of 24 consecutive months. Activity that can keep your account active and prevent you from losing your points includes buying, earning or donating points or staying at a Hilton property. One easy way to keep your account active is to earn points by making a purchase with a Hilton co-branded credit card.

What is Hilton elite status gifting?

Hilton elite status gifting is when Diamond members who have reached 40 nights in a year have the opportunity to gift Gold elite status to another Hilton Honors member. If the Diamond member reaches 70 nights during the year, the gifted status is automatically upgraded to Diamond status.

How do you get Hilton Gold status for free?

The easiest way to get Hilton Gold status for "free" is to open a Hilton Honors credit card that offers the perk. Both the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offer complimentary Gold status (enrollment required) — these cards do come with an annual fee ($95 for both), but the value of the benefits they provide would ideally offset the cost of the fee. Another option: Get into the good graces of a Diamond Elite member and ask if they'd be willing to gift you Gold status.

How many points do you need for Hilton Diamond status?

You need to earn 84,000 base points in a year for Hilton Diamond status. However, earning base points is just one way to reach the highest level of Hilton Honors status. Other options include completing 21 stays or 42 nights in a year or getting the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express (enrollment required) and paying the annual fee.

How do you check for Hilton lifetime status?

You can call Hilton Honors customer service at 800-548-8690 to talk with a representative to check your progress toward lifetime status.

When does Hilton status reset?

Hilton status is earned based on your activity during a calendar year, defined as Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. Once a Hilton Honors member earns an elite status level, they get to keep it for the rest of the calendar year plus 15 months starting on the first day of the following calendar year. Thus, Hilton status normally resets on March 31 of every year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilton is extending the status of elite members. See our section above on Hilton Honors Covid-19 elite status updates for details.

Can you buy Hilton Diamond status?

You can essentially "buy" Diamond status by getting the right Hilton Honors credit card. The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has a $450 annual fee and comes with complimentary Diamond status (enrollment required). The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has an annual fee of $95 and comes with complimentary Gold status — however, if you spend $40,000 in eligible purchases on the card, you get Diamond status the following year (enrollment required).

Do Hilton reward nights count toward status?

Yes, Hilton qualifying reward nights count toward status. Both paid and rewards stays, including Points and Money Rewards stays, count toward status and may be rolled over into the next year with the elite rollover nights benefit available to Silver, Gold and Diamond members.

How do you maintain Hilton status?

There are several ways to maintain Hilton status. You can either earn the same level of status again during the year, or you can keep a Hilton credit card that offers complimentary Hilton status as long as your account is open. If you're a qualifying Diamond member, you can use the Diamond status extension perk one time to keep your status for an extra year.

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

The information related to Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).