Should you do the Hilton status match to get triple points this Summer?

Before I go on, a quick reminder that today is the last day to buy Hilton Honors points with a 100% bonus.  The link is here.  Back to normal programming ….

Last week I wrote about the new Hilton Honors promotion which runs until 31st August.

It is a simple one, and you can register here.

You will receive double Hilton Honors base points on all stays.  If you have Diamond status, you will receive triple base points.

As it happens, Hilton Honors is currently offering a generous status match opportunity.  This would allow you to get Diamond status immediately and therefore earn triple points rather than double points.

Hilton Diamond status match

Via this link, you can match your existing status with another hotel loyalty programme into Hilton Honors.  Mid-tier status will receive Hilton Gold, whilst top tier status will receive Hilton Diamond.

(This is not fixed.  There are some reports of Marriott Gold receiving Hilton Diamond, for example, probably because Marriott Gold requires 50 nights and is harder to get than any other mid-tier status.)

The match rules are simple:

You will receive your new status benefits for 90 days from the date of acceptance (usually 4-5 days after you email your request)

To keep Gold until March 2019, you need to complete four stays (cash or reward) within the 90 days

To keep Diamond until March 2019, you need to complete eight stays (cash or reward) within the 90 days

If you match to Diamond but only manage 4-7 stays then you receive Gold until March 2019

Note that, as well as having status in another programme, you must also have evidence of a stay within the last 12 months with that programme.  If, for example, you have Accor Platinum via your American Express Platinum charge card (this benefit is now withdrawn for new cardholders), you cannot use that to match to Hilton Diamond unless you also have one recent Accor stay on file.

Hilton status match

Is this worth doing?

Potentially, yes:

If you match to Diamond, you will receive triple base points instead of double base points on your stays within the 90 day period

You will receive Gold benefits (the key one is free breakfast except at Waldorf-Astoria) or Diamond benefits (the key one is lounge access where available, plus free breakfast except at Waldorf-Astoria and usually a decent upgrade) for the 90 day period

Timing is therefore key.  You need to have a decent view of your potential stays over the next 90 days, and indeed the next couple of months after that in case you decide to match later.

If you are planning to go the full 4 or 8 stays in order to retain status until March 2019, you also need to be confident that you can squeeze in the required number of nights.

(You might want to do the maths on a mattress run to get the extra nights you need.  Would you get enough value by March 2019 to justify spending £200-£300 on mattress run nights?)

If you have specific hotels in mind, you should also research how they treat Diamond members.   I am at Conrad New York in June, for example.  This is unlikely to offer me much as a Diamond member:

Conrad New York has no executive lounge

American hotels in the Hilton chain tend not to offer good upgrades, because the country is awash with status members

Even the basic rooms are suites (it is an all-suite hotel) so an upgrade isn’t even that important

In other countries you will do better.  Waldorf-Astoria Beijing (review on the way) voluntarily gives free breakfast to Diamond members, for example, even though it is not required.  On the other hand, the hotel has no executive lounge and my upgraded room was not a lot bigger than the standard one given to my kids.

One other thing to think about

Hilton Honors will give you a match even if you have been matched by them before.

However, this is not necessarily always going to be the case.  It is possible, in a couple of years, they offer a similar match but reject anyone who was previously matched.  (I’m not saying they will but many loyalty schemes have a ‘once per lifetime’ status match rule.)

You should therefore consider whether you will get enough use of your 90 day Gold or Diamond trial period, on the chance that Hilton will not allow you to match again.

If you decide to go for it, you can request your Hilton Honors status match here.

PS.  Remember that Hilton Honors Gold status is a benefit of the American Express Platinum charge card.  I upgraded my wife last week and it was processed within 48 hours, with her status valid until March 2019.

You may want to get Amex Platinum for a few months (just long enough to trigger the 30,000 Amex Membership Rewards bonus points, worth 30,000 Avios) and trigger Hilton Gold that way.  If you cancel your Platinum card, you will retain your Hilton status until March 2019.

You will also receive status in Melia Rewards, Shangri-La Golden Circle, Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott Rewards (by matching your Starwood status) and Club Carlson.  My review of Amex Platinum is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: Avios / Caffe Nero deal tweak, Flying Blue / PointsHound bonus, AA hotel bonus
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Comments

  1. If I upgrade Amex gold to plat and then cancel short after, the Hilton Diamond status is valid to March 2019,is that for the other hotel statuses that you get with Plat too?
    TIA

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Plat gets you Gold at Hilton, not Diamond. You can get Diamond via the status challenge without any need for AMEX.

      • I recently applied for the status match and was upgraded to Diamond, even though I am only a lowly Platinum.

    • Genghis says:

      If you upgrade to Amex Plat, you would only get Hilton Gold status. If you did this now, IIRC you would get it till 31 March 2019 – rest of this calendar year, all of next year and till 31 March the year after that.

    • It depends how each programme runs their membership years. In general, yes, you should all of the current year plus all of the following year – but as these are ‘comped’ it is possible that they go back to Amex at the end of each year (apart from Hilton) and check.

      Amex Plat only comes with Hilton Gold, by the way, not Diamond.

      • Sorry, meant Gold, then status match to Diamond.
        Thanks for all replies, so apart from Hilton, other hotel statuses ‘could’ expire by the end of the year? Any experience of status after cancelling the Plat?
        TIA

    • James says:

      Just got my diamond upgrade challenge from my IHG platinum after about 5 days – 2nd time I have had it as just downgraded a few weeks ago :(

      Last time it worked out well as always got upgrade and lounge access etc, So aim to complete the challenge and keep until 2019

  2. Sididdly says:

    Spent £220 in a Hilton last night and forecast points on the invoice are just short of 11000. It should be a points rich quarter for anybody staying in high value hotels.

  3. johnny_c-l says:

    Slightly OT, does anyone have a link for the Amex £50 back when spending £250 offer please?

    • mark2 says:

      it will be in your offers

    • if not on your offers tab online, then search “amex connect uk” and you can register there. Works for non amex issued cards too.

      • mark2 says:

        I think you will find that Amex Connect is only for non amex issued cards

        • I used Amex Connect to get the Hilton offer on the missus supplementary BA Amex which was missing the Hilton offer so it’s for Amex issued too.

  4. Tracy Regan says:

    I made a mistake in Orlando. I booked a five night reward stay before we went. I got a diamond status match and then booked a further four night cash booking at the same hotel thinking it would be two stays. Alas it was only one. I’m really regretting not doing eight stays at different Hiltons which would have given me diamond until March 2019.

  5. A shortcut that worked for me may prove useful, taking out an IHG Rewards Premium CC gives you IHG Platinum Elite status, I did need to book a Holiday Inn stay after getting this as the status match requires a stay, Hilton then matched to Diamond (total cost for CC £99 and HI stay £70).

    As I’m staying at a Hilton for my wedding and also honeymoon have a lot of nights booked should easily retain the Diamond status ’til 2019 and may get a few upgrades thrown in if so it should easily cover the £170 cost.

    • Peter K says:

      Don’t forget the Hilton status challenge is stays, not nights. So 7 nights in a row at one hotel is only 1 stay!

  6. WTF! Hoy! Stop using my name on here!!!! I’ve bagged Daz in upper and lower case.

    • Roger I says:

      Tell me about it. 😀 There’s at least one other Roger as well as a roger and a rog. One problem is one of them posts OT comments, something i don’t do.

      It can be frustrating possibly being confused, but:
      – I know the difference
      – nobody else cares
      Adding my elephant friends helps make a difference.

      Rob has a similar problem and his London logo (forgot the right word) makes it clear which comments are his.