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Hilton Honors tightens up its status match – but it is still generous

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Hilton Honors has changed the requirements for its status match programme.  Not necessarily worse – although it will be harder for the majority of people – but different.

It still remains a good offer, in my view, and something you should seriously consider at the right time.  “The right time” being a time when you know you can meet the qualifying requirements and would benefit from the guaranteed lounge access and decent upgrades that Diamond status brings.

I did this match myself in 2017 so I know how valuable it can be.

What changed yesterday?

I will outline how the status match works below.  However, to summarise the changes:

irrespective of your current status, you now ‘only’ get Gold for the 90 day trial period – there is no 90 day trial of Diamond

your 90-day target to keep Gold or Diamond into 2021 is now nights-based instead of stays-based – some people will find this easier to hit, others will find it harder

Hilton Diamond status match

How do I get a Hilton Honors status match?

Via this link, you can match your existing status with another hotel loyalty programme into Hilton Honors.  You must be at least ‘mid tier’ although Hilton will define at its discretion what counts from each particular scheme.

They definitely accept all of the major programmes shown in the dropdown menu on that page.  If you have status with a smaller scheme it may or may not be accepted.  I seem to remember that Wyndham Rewards is not accepted for some reason but don’t quote me on that.

The match rules are simple:

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

To keep Gold until March 2021, you need to complete 10 nights (cash, not reward) within the 90 days

To be upgraded to Diamond until March 2021, you need to complete 18 nights (cash, not reward) within the 90 days

For comparison, the previous targets were four stays for Gold and eight stays for Diamond.

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 IHG Rewards Club Platinum status via the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard, you would also need to show evidence of an IHG stay in order to be matched.

How do you get a Hilton Honors status match?

Is a Hilton Honors status match worth doing?

Potentially, yes.

Hilton Gold is generally seen as the best mid-tier hotel status because it gets you free breakfast.  You don’t get free breakfast with IHG Rewards Club even if you are a top tier Spire Elite member!

Hilton Diamond comes with guaranteed lounge access, where the hotel has a lounge.  Again, good luck with that as an IHG elite member.

Timing is key, of course.

Once you are accepted, you get the benefits of Gold status for 90 days.  This could save you a LOT of money on breakfast if you are heading to a Hilton property this Autumn.

If you are planning to do the full 10 or 18 nights (note Hilton now wants nights, not stays) in order to retain status until March 2021, you also need to be confident that you can squeeze them in.

(You might want to do the maths on a mattress run – booking a local hotel, checking in and immediately leaving without telling anyone – to get the extra nights you need.  Would you get enough value by March 2021 to justify spending £200-£300 on mattress run nights?  You might want to wait until Hilton unveils its new Autumn promotion in early September to see how many bonus points a mattress run would also earn.)

If you have specific hotels in mind, you should also research how they treat Gold or Diamond members.

Imagine you were planning to stay at Conrad New York next year for example.  This is unlikely to offer you much if you booked 18 nights this Autumn to guarantee yourself Diamond status for 2020:

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

You would get breakfast – breakfast is a la carte and you can choose from a small selection – but New York is not short of options

In this scenario, you may prefer to trigger your status match another time when you know you will get better value.

You can request your Hilton Honors status match here.

PS.  Remember that free Hilton Honors Gold status is a benefit of the The Platinum Card from American Express.

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 later cancel your Platinum card, you should retain your Hilton status until March 2020 and possible even March 2021.

You will also receive status in Melia Rewards, Shangri-La Golden Circle, Marriott Bonvoy and Radisson Rewards.  My review of Amex Platinum is here.

Hilton Gold status match

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. The Great Shoestring says:
  2. Anyone has successfully gotten Hilton Honours Gold with Marriott Bonvoy Gold?

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