REMINDER: Hilton still offering a generous status match, including Diamond

It is a few months since I last mentioned this, so I thought it was worth another plug today as I wouldn’t want readers to miss out.  This is a match that I did myself earlier in the year.

Hilton Honors is currently offering a generous status match opportunity.

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

The key metric is stays, not nights.

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  If, for example, you have Accor Platinum via your American Express Platinum charge card (this benefit is now withdrawn for new cardholders), you cannot use that to match to Hilton Diamond unless you also have one recent Accor stay on file.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 have some Hilton Group stays coming up.  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 for 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.

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

If you have specific hotels in mind, you should also research how they treat Diamond members.   I was at the Conrad New York in June, for example.  This does not offer much to 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 – all I got was a room on the ‘preferred’ side with a view of the Hudson River

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.  I did this match, to Diamond, before our trip to Asia at Easter:

At the Conrad Tokyo (review here), my status got us executive lounge access for free, although not a room upgrade as the hotel was full (it was peak cherry blossom season)

Waldorf-Astoria Beijing (review here) voluntarily gives free breakfast to Diamond members even though it is not an official benefit at this brand.  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.

After our Asia trip, I did another six stays at Hilton properties before my 90 day status trial was up.  This means that I now have Diamond status until March 2019.  It cost me about £200 in mattress run stays to hit the target, as I didn’t quite have six stays planned, but I should easily recoup this in upgrades and lounge access over the next 20 months.

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 recently 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.

Now earn 1,000 Avios with every No 1 Lounges booking!
Bits: Lloyds Avios card bonus gone, City Airport winners, Iberia / Groupon 1p Avios deal back
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Comments

  1. Jean Paul says:

    Do reward stays count towards the 8 stays?

    • Jean Paul says:

      Sorry, this is clear a “yes” from rereading the article. This is what happens when I try to read the blog from my phone!

  2. I submitted a match request over a week ago now and not heard anything yet, anyone know the turnaround?

    • Have you checked your account? I never got an actual response, I was just matched! It took just over a week (that’s when I noticed it, anyway).

      • Same happened to me too( i went from gold to diamond and no idea what date) , I’ve had about 6 stays since the email, and have another two stays, , booked around the time my 90 days is up, so I’m not sure if I need to do a mattress run ‍♂️In between?

        • Odd. I got an email when I was matched and that clearly stated the end date of the 90 days.

          • Yes, I got the email too.
            Rob – Once challenge is completed, is the date of Diamomd validity updated currently on your profile ? I still see the older validity although chat have confirmed that it is valid till Mar 2019.

          • Hilton validity will never show past the end of the current membership year – i.e. 31/3/18 for the current one

          • No but I was emailed after the last stay to say ‘well done, you’re sorted to 3/19’.

      • Nothing on my account (Still Gold) Submitted on 27th July so will do some chasing now!

    • I applied a few weeks ago. After waiting the 5 working days stated in t&cs I contacted them via chat as I had upcoming stays I wanted to count. Unfortunately they did not have access to the application records but recommended that if the 5 days had passed reapply. I did and a couple of days later I got the email confirmation that I had been matched.

  3. I got IHG gold matched to Hilton gold about a month ago. Was expecting it to get rejected but was pleasantly surprised.

    • Aside from the free breakfast and welcome drinks, the gold status proved useful last month at HI Perth (Aus) when i was upgraded from a King deluxe to a King suite.

  4. John O'Sullivan says:

    As a leisure traveler who stays in a hotel around once per month the status match from the IHG credit card has been great. H gold until March 2018 having been platinum earlier in the year with e.g. exec lounge access in the Reykjavik Nordica. In a Hilton today, upgraded reward night room, two glasses of wine yesterday and full English this morning. My wife gets a IHG card next March then it starts again.

  5. With Amex members becoming Gold, is this a one off or will they remain gold for as long as they have an Amex. Same with the other chains?

    • As long as have the Amex. When the statuses naturally expire, complete the online form again to get the statuses.

  6. I have a Hilton stay booked through BA holidays – what are the chances of my status being recognised, i.e. free breakfast etc?

    • The Original Nick. says:

      None in afraid.

      • Wouldn’t say none. BA Holidays appears, at times, to book hotels directly (ie not at wholesale rates) and they do occasionally earn points and get benefits. You definitely can’t rely on it though, best to treat it as a bonus if you get anything.

        • So should I contact the hotel/Honors ahead of my stay to link my booking to my account?

          • Yes, worth doing. Even if rate not eligible for stay/points credit you may be lucky and find hotel still honours elite benefits for you.

          • Yes, does no harm.

          • Definitely tell them. I booked a Hilton via Kaligo on my last trip and told them at reception to add it to my account, mostly for bar bills etc. Got the total cost of the room in points somehow :-)

  7. I attempted to get diamond with Marriott gold but they only matched to gold which I already was from amex plat

  8. Hi, my situation is I earned Diamond status last year and this year, but this year am unlikely to make enough stays to retain Diamond for next year. Assuming it isn’t withdrawn, could I plan on asking for a match next January (I will have IHG Spire Elite and Best Western Diamond status still then) ?
    To phrase this another way – having actually earned Diamond before, does that preclude me from a status match ?
    Thanks, Chris

  9. My match came through last night, used Accor Platinum and a stay at the Heathrow Sofitel last Friday to get it. Not stayed at Hilton much as a brand before and thinking of booking the doubletree in Toronto in October to try them out (as long as the costs are reasonable). Have checked and there is no lounge sadly but what other specific Doubletree benefits should I get on top of the free breakfast?

    • 1,000pts, upgrade if available – DT/Conrad/Hilton basically offer the same benefits

    • We stayed at Hilton Toronto two years ago. Lounge was very poor as was lounge in Seattle this year. You are expected to have breakfast in lounge which is a poor shadow of restaurant breakfast.
      Next year I will probably stay in HGI in Toronto unless Marriott have something better.
      Unlike to get much of an upgrade in HGI, but pot luck anyway.

      • Thanks, so if there is no lounge I assume you get your free breakfast in the main hotel restaurant? Sounds like I’m not missing much by there not being one!

        • Yep, if no lounge then restaurant breakfast. Many hotels are flexible (esp for Diamonds) and allow choice anyway, but it’s easy if no lounge. The FlyerTalk Hilton Breakfast thread is your friend – covers vast majority of properties and tells you what to likely expect.

  10. In the Tokyo Hilton I got upgraded to an executive room with lounge access as a Gold member. They seemed very set on upgrading us (we were happy to take another room that was ready quicker), so it sounds like they go out of their way to upgrade golds. At the Conrad Tokyo we got ‘upgraded’ to a bay view room from a city view room. When we were booking they were priced the same and we told them we’d prefer the city view room we’d booked. Unfortunately they then told us they only had bay view available. My guess is that the Conrad have lots of status holders so you need Platinum to get a decent upgrade.

    • If you didn’t get what you booked maybe worth complaining?

    • In the Tokyo Hilton they initially downgraded me from the room type I’d booked, and I’m Diamond (earned the hard way with stays too!). Had to have a lengthy discussion with them about why I wouldn’t pay the rate for the room type I’d actually booked if I was staying in a lower level of room. Gave them the choice of putting me in the right room type of lowering my rate. They did sort it eventually to the right room type but put me off that hotel and I’ve stayed in the Tokyo Conrad since.

  11. Had hubby’s ihg gold matched to Hilton diamond – got suite upgrades at Asia trips. Used Hilton visa to charge mineral water at 4 free reward asia stays (including Tokyo with Hilton cert), also got very good amount of Hilton points back. Hilton gold sorted now till march 19

  12. Amanda Hayes says:

    Do you get many benefits at Intercontinental? I’m staying at IC Phnom Penn later in the year and need a late check out. Wondering whether it’s worth taking out the IHG credit card before then.

    • Sometimes some token gesture but really you need (paid for) Ambassador at ICs to get proper benefits.

    • Technically you don’t get any – you need to pay for Ambassador – but many hotels give something. Need to look at reviews.

  13. Nick Burch says:

    OT But Hilton Honors – I managed to get registered for the Iberia up-to-10k promotion via the Hilton Diamond desk, having already max’d out the BA version. Stayed at a UK-based Hilton hotel on Wednesday night, post-registration. Checking my Hilton account today, the first Iberia 2k avios have posted!

    So, for anyone else who’s already got all the BA promotion bonus avios, who still has stays to go before the Iberia promotion ends, it’s worth pushing the Hilton Honors phone/email team to get yourself registered

  14. As a Hilton Gold I used this to get diamond by asking Best Western to match my gold Hilton to diamond. I then stayed at a best western once then asked Hilton to match my best western diamond to Hilton diamond.

    I had a trip to the Waldorf in Rome coming up so it saved me a lot on pool side lounger fees (20 euro per person!)

    • Mark LLL says:

      Nice work, Tom.

      My own status matching fun has been less impressive than your own:

      Joined Best Western when entry level was gold. One month later the scheme changed so I was promoted to second tier status (entry became blue).
      Asked Hilton to match me to BW gold.
      Earned Best Western platinum from stays (all my stays were in BW’s -sorry about that Hilton)
      Asked BW for a status match on my Hilton gold, BW gave me diamond.

      The most ironic thing perhaps is that my first stay at what has become my regular BW was booked through booking dot com and was supposed to be a standard room. The hotel gave me a massive upgrade. (I did wonder at the time why the receptionist wanted to shake my hand so much. Later realised he was expecting a tip. He deserved one too and I slipped him a fiver. Worth every penny).
      Have stayed many times since in the same place, (as platinum, later as diamond) and tipped every time but without exception never again been allocated such a good room, this despite always reserving a superior rather than standard room.

  15. I’m back from the US and earned a shed load of pts at hiltons. Was treated much better than at IHG. Never stay at a double tree in Manhattan!

  16. I have Diamond to March 2018 but won’t be able to retain it. I currently have the Platinum Amex card and sent off the hotel status info to each of the hotels including Hilton. Will this give me Gold beyond March 2018 to 2019? Or will they have ingnored my request and I’ll need to apply again next year when the Diamond runs out? Not sure how it all works.

    • Pretty sure it’ll be ignored at present. Can’t see myself retaining Diamond either as far fewer trips to London recently – will plan to activate Gold via Amex Plat next year.

    • You may need to re-up in April but Hilton processes quickly.

    • I had the same query for maintaining my SPG gold. Re-applied about 2 months back but have not heard anything yet so assuming its been ignored.

      • I topped up SPG Gold middle of July when we had Amex Plat. Mrs G and I have now received SPG cards saying status will expire in 2019.

  17. OT: I had Accor Platinum when I got my Amex Platinum a few years ago, it expires in December. Is there anyway of keeping it without obviously staying to make the status points?

    • No. I am sure I will lose mine. Transfers from Finnair or Qatar may count for status (probably don’t) but would be a waste anyway.

      • Thanks Rob, IHG and Hilton it is then. Should make Spire Elite by mid Sept, then I’ll status match back from Hilton Gold to Diamond before our trip to Sorrento next June. A night at the airport either side will make 3, a few days in Aug and a could of mattress runs should get the 8.

        • I’m about 5k status points from retaining my Accor Platinum. Agreed with my friends that I’d coordinate all bookings for Oktoberfest this year… Hopefully that combined with a Madrid visit in November and Krakow in December should get me over the 14k threshold.

  18. Hardestadt says:

    OT: Citi UAE is currently running a 1:5 ThankYou points to HH points transfer promo. The usual transfer rate is 1:2. Sounds like a decent deal, even if one does not usually stay at Hiltons. Does it make sense to convert a bunch for potential redemption at Conrad Maldives/Tokyo? Thanks.

  19. Alessandro Behling says:

    Are there any other hotel chains offering status match to Hilton?

  20. OT but Hilton related, we stayed at a Hampton last night and this morning they’ ran out of many breakfasts items – even cutlery! A lot of people complained. The chap behind the desk said they’d had a lot of guests in and hadn’t been able to cover everyone. However he then said they weren’t obliged to provide the missing breakfasts because it was complimentary? Has this happened to anyone before?

    • Hampton seem to advertise a “free” breakfast. I’m sure IHG had to substitute the word “free” for “inclusive” for HIX a few years ago since it was not possible to book a package that didn’t have breakfast excluded. I’d complain and then look at doing a S75 if no luck.

    • Sussex bantam says:

      Sounds like they’ve been to the BA PR school !

    • What's the Point says:

      We stayed in a Hampton Inn in the US this year and they ran out of knives and forks at breakfast
      People were using spoons to eat pancakes and spread peanut butter onto bagels (give it a try). When I asked the staff if they had anymore, they just said no and shrugged their shoulders.
      Clearly operating a Just In Time process line with disposable utensils is Hampton Inn policy!

      • Alas we couldn’t have pancakes because they ran out of mixture and milk, which also stopped us eating the cereal. To be fair though there was a plentiful supply of butter pats available; probably because there was no bread.

    • Mark LLL says:

      Stayed in a Hampton last month (Liverpool) breakfast was really good. Four nights: I was last minute for one breakfast, very early for one and peak-time for two breakfasts – all good quality food and no apparent shortages each day. Hotel was rammed full too. I’d definitely stay again.

      • Mark LLL says:

        By the way, evening meals have limited menu options in Hampton LPL. We sneaked next door to eat in the Ibis.

        PS
        Just remembered a Fawlty Towers-like incident in a Doubletree:

        Dined first evening in hotel restaurant. They made us wait in the bar for ninety minutes to get a table (hadn’t booked ahead) after waiting was astonished to find restaurant deserted. However, did enjoy the hake.
        Dined again on last night of stay. Ordered the hake again. Order taken for two hake. Later told kitchen could only supply one hake, agreed substitute sea bass. Some time elapsed and was told they could not supply any hake, agreed on two sea bass. Finally told (by a very apologetic waiter) only one sea bass. I sarcastically suggested they prepare me a fishfinger sandwhich (Forgive me, Reader, my patience was wearing thin) but settled for haddock.
        The haddock was good.

        • Agree Mark LLL the menu is limited however the food is tasty and nicely presented.

          • Mark LLL says:

            Agreed, Cate. The LPL Hampton is excellent.
            Unfortunately last month there were construction sites on two sides of the hotel so potential for some noise in mornings, but we found that it hardly disturbed us at all.

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