With airline and hotel loyalty programmes rushing to extend your status automatically for next year, a problem has emerged.
Once your status is assured for next year, what is the benefit of continuing to give your business to that airline or hotel? (Apart, of course, from the obvious one – that you have status and should be treated better!)
We saw this with the Star Alliance Gold status match being run by TAP Portugal. This got a lot of British Airways flyers very excited, because British Airways has already rolled over their status by 12 months. Executive Club members can experiment with Star Alliance via TAP’s Gold status match (which is also offered to BA Silver members, who get Star Alliance Gold) knowing that they are not risking their British Airways status.
Hilton has an answer ……
Hilton Honors has announced that it will roll over ALL of your 2020 elite nights into 2021. This means that there is a BIG incentive to keep staying with Hilton in 2020, especially if you expect that your travel will also be below average in 2021.
On 1st January 2021, your elite nights will not reset to zero. They will keep on going.
This means that you effectively have TWO years to earn Hilton Honors status. Top tier Hilton Honors Diamond status could be in reach, even if you assumed you’d never manage it.
How many nights do I need for Hilton Honors status?
This is how the nights and benefits stack up.
You can see the full list of elite benefits by tier on this page of the Hilton website.
Silver (10 nights) – gets you 20% base points bonus
Gold (40 nights) – gets you 80% base points bonus, free breakfast, upgrade of some sort
Diamond (60 nights) – gets you 100% base points bonus, executive lounge access, free breakfast, upgrade of some sort
60 nights is a lot. Spread over the whole of 2020 and 2021 ….. perhaps not so much.
Remember that reward nights also count towards status.
Don’t forget the American Express Platinum route though
It is always worth mentioning, when discussing Hilton Honors status, that you receive Hilton Honors Gold status if you have the American Express Platinum charge card.
(You also receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Jade and MeliaRewards Gold status.)
The Platinum card also comes with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, which converts into 60,000 Hilton Honors points.
Our full American Express Platinum review is here. At present, you have six months rather than the usual three months to hit the spending target to receive the bonus.
What else has Hilton Honors done to help?
As a reminder, Hilton has already put the following policies in place:
- 2019 Status Extension: All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on 31st March 2020 received an extension to 31st March 2021
- 2020 Status Extension: Your 2020 member status has been extended to 31st March 2022
- Points Extension: Points expiry has been suspended until 31st December 2020
This is a smart move by Hilton, reflecting the fact that travel will remain subdued well into 2021.
With all of the major hotel groups dominated by the US market, we can expect further concessions if the coronavirus situation in the US continues on its current track.
You can find out more about Hilton’s ‘carry forward’ nights and other coronavirus policies on this page of the Hilton website.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (August 2022)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)