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Hilton offering free Gold status after three stays – open to everyone

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Hilton HHonors has launched a new ‘fast track to Gold’ promotion in association with airberlin.

Unlike many similar promotions run by Hilton, this one is open to everyone.  It is even being openly promoted on airberlin.com – click on ‘topbonus’ and ‘news and special offers’..

(In theory, you need to be a member of their topbonus frequent flyer scheme, but you can join for free via the airberlin site.)

You are directed to this special Hilton HHonors registration page to register.

Hilton Gold 350

Here are the rules – read them carefully:

You need to complete THREE Hilton stays, across any brand, within 90  days of registering – so think carefully about what date you should register

You must register by 31st December 2015 (EDIT: the rules changed after I published this article and you must now register by September 30th)

Reward stays or ‘cash and points’ stays WILL count

Your Hilton HHonors Gold status will run until March 2017

If you credit your stays to airberlin topbonus, you will also receive bonus miles – double on your second stay, triple on your third stay and quadruple on your fourth stay.  The rules do NOT say that you must credit the three qualifying stays to airberlin – it appears OK to take ‘100% points’ instead of some points and some miles.  You could also choose to take some points and take some miles in Iberia Plus or British Airways Executive Club (Iberia is more generous).

What is good about Hilton HHonors Gold?

Hilton Gold is probably the best mid-tier status of any hotel chain.

The key benefit is free breakfast, except at Waldorf-Astoria properties.  You should also receive some sort of upgrade (Hilton is very good at upgrading, unlike some other chains) and a late check-out on request.

On my two Hilton stays last week, I was upgraded on one and got a 2pm late check-out on both, as well as free breakfast.  At Syon Park I also received 2 x £10 free drink vouchers per room.

You will also receive bonus base points on every stay.  If your employer pays for your breakfast, you can – at some brands – choose to receive 1,000 bonus points instead.

Full details of Hilton HHonors Gold benefits can be found here.

If you think you can squeeze in three Hilton Group stays within 90 days – and remember that includes Hampton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria etc – then this is definitely worth a look.

Remember that you MUST register via this page – and that the 90 days starts counting from the day you register.

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

Comments (85)

  • Bruce says:

    How have people confirmed that points and certificate stays count? Their actual promotion states “qualified stays.” That link takes you to Hilton’s definition of a stay which specifically excludes reward stays. (Not sure about cash & points.)

    The official rules appear to exclude rewards stays. Can someone explain why this may work anyway or if they have been given status for their reward stays?

    • Rob says:

      Read further: ‘For purposes of counting stays and nights for Elite tier qualification (as explained below), Reward Stays will count towards the number of overall stays and nights’

  • Barry Stanley says:

    Sorry to be pedantic but this is a great offer and I don’t want to be disappointed;

    So just to confirm that the following in the story is a typo? “Irrespective of when you register, all three stays must be completed by 31st December 2015”

    Should have been “register by 31st Dec, complete stays within 90-days”, i.e. end March 2016 (confused because January was referred to several times above)

    • Rob says:

      Yes, I made a mistake in the original article but then changed it after readers spotted it. The T&C’s on the Hilton website are, of course, the binding ones anyway!

  • Danksy says:

    Interesting… just got an email from Etihad Guest inviting me to stay 3 times prior to 31 Oct 2015 for gold status !

    • Alan says:

      I’m really hoping lots of these offers hang about next year! Currently Diamond but no hope of re qualifying for that or Gold this year and not looking forward to dropping right down to zilch next year!

  • Ileach says:

    Wow! This thread is a goldmine of information (pun intended).

    Here’s a possible solution to the multi nights versus “stay” definition – would it work?

    I’m due to spend 7 nights, let’s say Sunday to Saturday (inclusive) at the Singapore Hilton.

    Let’s suppose that I:-

    1. Book the first night (Sunday) direct through Hilton’s website (thus qualifying as the first stay and Topbonus miles), and using their Best Price Guarantee if necessary, since third party websites are almost certainly cheaper.

    2. Book the next night (Monday) with a booking agency such as http://www.Booking.com or http://www.hoteltraveleasy.com at the same Hilton, accepting that this earns no rewards. (you won’t regret joining traveleasy for the extra 10% Gold discount – open to all)

    3. Book the following night (Tuesday) through Hilton (thus qualifying as the second stay (and double Topbonus miles).

    4. Book Wednesday night through an external agency as per 2. above (no rewards).

    5. Book Thursday through Hilton (thus qualifying as a third stay and hence qualifying for Gold (and triple Topbonus miles).

    6. Book Friday night through an external agency as per 2. above (no rewards)

    7. Book Saturday through Hilton for a fourth stay (quadruple Topbonus miles).

    Although I think this should work if I were using a physically different hotel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, obviously I’d prefer to stay put at the Hilton and not have to move. I think my significant other would draw the line at that!

    In my theoretical scenario, from my point of view the actual stay would be continuous, hopefully in the same room. But there would be seven different bookings of which four are separately booked direct with Hilton with a day’s break in between, and the other three are with an external booking agency or agencies.

    Naturally Hilton Singapore’s reception would fairly quickly work out what is happening and perhaps contact HHonours. Therefore it is critical to know it is all within the rules.

    • Rob says:

      This will probably not work. The hotel will merge your bookings together (this will happen automatically when they link them so that the system does not cancel your key every day).

      It WOULD work if:

      a) you physically checked out every day and

      b) most important, your Hilton HHonors number was NOT in the third party bookings – because Hilton HHonors would automatically link the stays even if the hotel does not. You need to be careful because, for eg, the hotel will have created a profile on you after your first night and may automatically insert your HH number whether you want it or not.

      Far easier just to change hotels. Find something within a few seconds walk of the Hilton. Alternatively, assuming there are 2 Hilton group hotels in Singapore, do this:

      Day 1 – hotel 1
      Day 2 – hotel 2
      Days 3-7 – hotel 1

      • Ileach says:

        Thanks for your swift reply.

        a) is possible ( a pain, but….)

        b) is also possible

        c) changing hotels is not feasible, either because they are out of my price range (Conrad) or too far away (the Double Tree is in Johore Bahru, Malaysia).

        d) In regard to another Hilton wouldn’t it be smarter to continue alternating until Day 7 in order to get the multiple Topbonus points?

        Sadly there are no hotels within my price range that are nearby (it’s the expensive part of town!)

        I might be tempted to check out every morning and check in again a few minutes later on a different booking. I can imagine that Reception staff might find this a bit of a pain unless I explained what was going on.

        • Rob says:

          Yes, you could keep alternating but this option was easier if all you wanted was Gold – I assumed there were multiple Hiltons in Singapore but clearly not!

          • Alan says:

            There’s just the Hilton and the Conrad – love the latter but can be pricey at times. Makes for a great redemption though!

        • JQ says:

          If you’re not by yourself, you could book the 3rd party night in another name?

          • JQ says:

            Oops, didn’t see the follow-up comment!

            I tried this once with first night using my points and second night with wife’s points, all was agreed on the initial check-in, but at 11am the first morning, the cleaning staff neatly packed up all our stuff (must have taken a while) and brought it down to our breakfast table!!!

  • Ileach says:

    Thanks for your comments, guys.

    As a refinement to my plan to check-in on alternate days with a different booking (alternating between single night bookings made direct through Hilton and the others made through an unrelated booking agency without an HHonors number), if the latter are booked and paid for by my wife it reduces the chance of my HHonors number being being linked.

    I’d appreciate some feedback as to whether HHonours are likely to object, should they become aware of it – I can’t find anything in the terms and conditions that overtly says so.

    • Rob says:

      That is fine but, for safety, do a proper check out each day (ie get a bill and pay it). No need to pack as long as hotel understands what you are doing.

  • Deb says:

    I tried using this link before flying to Florida and got a message about registrations being suspended until after 7th. I email HH asking if I could still have the challenge and told no, it’s to encourage new customers. In other words, we value them more than existing ones. On my Florida road trip I’m staying at a number of different hotels, and so far they are making me wonder how we get charged so much for mediocre hotels in the UK……At least thanks to HFP my Hilton stays will be double points, added to the 5k bonus for a recent stay which I would have missed without HFP!

  • Jambuie says:

    Anyone know long before your Hilton Honors ‘Elite Status Progress’ dashboard gets updated on the website with the details of the challenge? I’m looking to get Gold back before heading to the Hilton Malta. I’ve registered using the link and it accepted my details, but there’s nothing on my account to show this.

  • Marco says:

    Hi, would you know when the status is triggered with respect to the third (last) stay?
    I’ve completed two stays already; if my third stay lasts 3 nights, will gold status be triggered upon check-in, ie will I get free breakfast for those 3 nights?
    Alternatively, if I book the middle of these 3 nights under my partner’s name and check out after each night, will I be able to claim free breakfast for the third night (booked under my name and my HHonors number, which should count as my fourth stay at that point)?

    • Rob says:

      It will trigger when the 3rd stay posts to your account, so about 4 days after check-out, so what you suggest won’t work unfortunately.