On Thursday we told you about the new Hilton Honors promotion for Autumn 2020.
Called ‘Double Rewards’, you will receive double base points AND double elite night credits. This applies to stays between 8th September and 31st December 2020.
How does this help me get Diamond status in 9 nights?
Hilton Honors has been running a long-term status match programme.
It offers you top-tier Diamond status if you complete 18 nights within 90 days of registration, which is fairly tough.
However, whilst ‘Double Rewards’ is running, you earn TWO elite night credits for each night you stay. This means that you will only need nine nights in 90 days to reach Diamond.
Are you sure this works?
Yes, it’s in the terms and conditions for ‘Double Rewards’:
Will the double night credit count towards Milestone Bonuses or rollover nights?
Yes – the double night credit will count towards Milestone Bonuses, fast tracks, and rollover nights.
I did this match myself in 2017 so I know how valuable it can be. My Diamond status is still actually alive. It was meant to expire in March 2019 but as a goodwill gesture it got rolled over as our spend in 2018 year was fairly high. It was then meant to expire in March 2020 but has now been rolled over due to coronavirus.
How does the Hilton Honors status match work?
I will outline how the status match works below. To summarise:
- irrespective of your current status, you receive Gold for a 90 day trial period after you sign up
- to keep Gold or Diamond to March 2022 you need to hit a specific number of nights (note nights, not stays) during the 90 days
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 2022, you need to complete 10 nights (cash, not reward) within the 90 days
To be upgraded to Diamond until March 2022, you need to complete 18 nights (cash, not reward) within the 90 days
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 hotel status via Amex Platinum, you cannot submit a screen shot of an account with no activity.
Is a Hilton Honors status match worth doing?
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 later this year.
It is worth doing this even if you have no intention of completing the full challenge. Free breakfast via Hilton Gold for a couple on a 3-night stay is likely to save close to £100.
If you are planning to do the full 5 (was 10) or 9 (was 18) nights in order to retain status until March 2022, you also need to be confident that you can squeeze them in.
There is a trade off here. Hilton status matches are meant to be ‘once per lifetime’. Whilst it is clearly easier to earn Diamond status, given that you only need nine nights in 90 days, will you get full benefit from it before March 2022?
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. The match is unlikely to benefit you much here:
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 who receive it via the many Hilton credit cards
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 exactly short of options
In this scenario, you may prefer to trigger your status match another time when you know you will get better value.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
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.
The Platinum Card comes with a limited time bonus of 60,000 Amex points (converts to 120,000 Hilton Honors points) until 2nd November 2021.
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 (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(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.)