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Get Hilton Honors Diamond hotel status to March 2023 for just 15 nights

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Hilton Honors has just announced further changes for members, protecting your status and points until 2022.

Changes were initially announced in March this year, when we expected covid to be over by Christmas! With those extensions coming to an end, Hilton has decided to go further.

Due to these changes, there is an amazing opportunity to earn Hilton Diamond Elite status FROM SCRATCH by doing just 15 nights. You would keep your status until March 2023.

Before I explain how you can get Hilton Honors Diamond Elite status in 15 nights, let’s look at all of the changes Hilton has just announced.

Full details are on the Hilton Honors covid website here.

What is Hilton doing about your status due to Covid-19?

Hilton is implementing a range of measures to protect your status and points whilst travel remains subdued.

Status extensions

Any Silver Elite, Gold Elite or Diamond Elite members who were set to be downgraded this year or in 2021 will have their status frozen until March 2022. This was already the case for some members but not all – everyone now has the same cut-off.

Points expiry extensions

No Hilton Honors points will expire before December 2021. This was previously December 2020.

Status qualification reduced by 50%

Here is the big change. Status qualification requirements are being reduced by 50% in 2021.

This is a huge move. The changes apply across the board – including stays, nights and base points. This will let you achieve status in half the time you would normally need.

Previous requirementsRequirements in 2021
Silver10 nights, 4 stays or 25,000 points5 nights, 2 stays or 12,500 points
Gold40 nights, 20 stays or 75,000 points20 nights, 10 stays or 37,500 points
Diamond60 nights, 30 stays or 120,000 points30 nights, 15 stays or 60,000 points

You can read about the different status benefits in our full review of the Hilton Honors programme here.

Lower Milestone Bonus night thresholds

In addition to lowering the status thresholds, the Milestone Bonus threshold is also being reduced. You will now earn 10,000 bonus points after 20 nights (previously 40) as well as an additional 10,000 bonus points for every 10 nights thereafter.

The additional 30,000 points Milestone Bonus at 60 nights remains unchanged.

Note that elite nights rolled over from 2020 do NOT count towards these totals.

Status gifting threshold reduced

Diamond Elite members are able to gift Gold Elite or Diamond Elite status to a friend or relative.

The threshold for this benefit will also be reduced. Any Diamond Elite member who stays 30 nights (previously 60) in 2021 will be able to gift Gold Elite status. Alternatively, stay 60 nights and you can upgrade the gift to Diamond Elite. This was previously set at 100 nights.

Note that elite nights rolled over from 2020 do NOT count towards the 30 or 60 nights required.

Hilton Gatwick South

How can doing 15 nights in 2020 get me Diamond Elite until March 2023?

In itself, halving the qualification requirements for status in 2021 would be an exceptional deal.

However, there is MUCH more. Remember what Hilton has already promised – all 2020 elite nights will automatically roll over into 2021.

This means that anyone who ends 2020 with 30 elite nights will automatically trigger Diamond Elite status in January when the rollover nights hit. This status would be good until March 2023.

But there’s more, which is why this is such a crazy deal ….

At the moment, Hilton is offering double elite night credits via their current promotion – see here – for stays until the end of 2020.

Every night you stay during the current offer counts for TWO elite nights. These elite nights, remember, will roll over in 2021.

What does this mean when you put it all together?

You can earn Diamond Elite until March 2023 with just 15 nights.

Let’s recap why:

If you do 15 nights (nights, not stays) before 31st December, you will end 2020 with 30 elite nights. This is because, under the current Hilton Honors promotion (register here), each night counts double.

In January 2021, Hilton will add your 2020 elite nights to your 2021 total. This means that you will immediately have 30 nights.

Because the Diamond Elite threshold is being reduced to 30 elite nights, you will immediately acheive Diamond Elite. You will have this for the rest of 2021, all of 2022 and until the end of March 2023.

And don’t forget the American Express cashback deals ….

Many Head for Points readers will have been targetted for a Hilton cashback deal as we explained here. Many will receive £50 cashback on £200 of cumulative Hilton spend.

When you factor this in too, it is worth seriously thinking about pushing for Diamond Elite.

Here’s a worked example

Here is an example to show you what an exceptional deal this could be.

Assume that you currently have 16 Hilton Honors elite night credits for 2020. If you can get this up to 30 nights by 31st December, you will earn Diamond Elite status until March 2023 as soon as your 2020 nights are rolled over in January.

As you earn two elite night credits per stay until the year end, as long as you opted in to the ‘Double Rewards’ promotion, you would need (30-16/2) seven additional nights to hit the 30 you need for Diamond Elite.

Outside London, you should be able to get stays for £40 per night if you include a weekend. In Central London, £50-£55 is easily achievable. Let’s assume you do seven nights at £40 = £280. (You don’t need to STAY at the hotel of course – just check in and check out a week later.)

American Express will give you £50 cashback if you were targetted for their offer, so you pay just £230.

If you currently have no status, £280 of spending will earn you (£280 – 5% VAT = £267 = $340 x 20 points per $1 with ‘Double Rewards’) 6,800 Hilton Honors points. At my valuation of 0.33p, that’s worth £22.

Your net cost to earn Hilton Diamond Elite status until March 2023 would be £280 – £50 Amex cashback – £22 of points = £208. This works out at £7.70 per month for the 27 months that you would be Diamond Elite!

Obviously the numbers will be different for everyone but you can see here how nicely this could work out.

Remember that you MUST register to earn double elite night credits for your 2020 stays. It is not automatic. You can register here.

PS. Don’t forget Hilton’s status match if you already have status elsewhere

There are some excellent opportunities to bump up your status relatively easily here.

It gets even more lucrative if you have a status you are able to match to Hilton via their status challenge. As outlined in this article, you only need NINE nights to achieve Diamond Elite via this route and there is no need to go through the process above. Your status only runs to March 2022 instead of March 2023 however.

PPS. Hilton is still offering a 100% bonus on points purchases until the end of the year if you want to top up your balance.

How to earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards (June 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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted in three Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly via American Express Gold, the American Express Rewards Credit Card and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold and Business Platinum.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors 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.)

Comments (179)

  • CB says:

    What about stays in2020. Will they roll over as well?

    • Ryan says:

      That’s a question I would like answered also. Looking at terms and conditions last night on it’s not abundantly clear. Nights yes, stays ?

    • Ikaz says:

      They typically don’t roll over, only the nights do

    • CB says:

      In my situation, hitting 15 stays is easier than nights…

      • The real John says:

        Then you just have to do all of them in 2020 or 2021. But you could also do something like 10 nights in (the rest of) 2020 and 10 nights in 2021.

        • Ryan says:

          So I have 13 stays in 2020 (all achieved before 23rd March too) but only a solitary reward night since. Are you suggesting i have 13 stays that will carry over and thus only need two in 2021, or indeed the remainder of 2020? I sincerely hope so.

          • The real John says:

            No, stays don’t carry over, but you have at least 13 nights – so you need a max of 9 nights for the remainder of 2020 or 17 nights in 2021, or a mixture of those.

  • Harry T says:

    I don’t really see the advantage of Hilton Diamond over Gold, which is easily obtained from UK credit cards. There’s no point obtaining lounge access when most lounges seem to be closed at present, and the lounges will be stuffed with new Diamonds when covid is controlled. You don’t get a guaranteed late checkout either.

    • Cat says:

      You’ve got a better chance of a decent upgrade as a Diamond…

    • Andrew says:

      A bit like IHG Spire, the only tangible benefit is the extra points you earn and Diamond get 1000 per stay as well as free breakfast, not or. Used to be that having Diamond would give you a much better chance of an upgrade, but with these changes it will effectively be diluted to gold, that said, gold will become even more worthless – so you’re still the top of the tree at Diamond, albeit a very wide tree.

      • Jessiefan says:

        Exactly, promotion like this ruins the whole scheme for loyal Hilton customers that are Diamond through normal channels. People that have already earned diamond through 30 stays etc should be elevated to Super Diamond.

        But one thing is true, it has little value until Executive Lounges re-open, and I have to say in the US – Exec Lounges are pretty useless in most cases, where there is one. So I wouldn’t recommend rushing to spend money just for that.

        • Bazza says:

          “customers that are Diamond through normal channels.” we don’t want to earn it through normal channels. It’s the whole point of visiting this site.

        • Lady London says:

          I can see lots of reward schemes revamping across 2024 and 2025. The shape of future travel should be clear by then to vendors. I’m wondering if useful status will become less democratically available.

          Time and time again though we learn to ‘live for now’ in reward schemes I’d expect a higher level than Diamond to be added once travel moves again to keep the interest of those who do spend and stay more. After that benefits might migrate upwards from Gold. So best to live for now, and grab Diamond while you can.

          Bit cheeky but do I recall Hilton lets reward stays count? If so a 5for4 with a bar bill might add vodka to this mojito.

          Such a pleasure to see a Rewards program managed by a team that knows what a rewards program should bring to the brand and brings out a program that will do the job needed at the time. Other programs in the volume space might not be so bold but Hilton will retain their loyalists.

          @BJ are you happy? 🙂

        • The real John says:

          There is lifetime Diamond to aim for.

          The number of people who made 30 stays this year is probably much lower than the number of people who would usually make 30 stays but haven’t.

          Hilton wants to try and attract back the people who haven’t been staying as often as they would normally. As they are probably losing a lot more money by these people not staying, than they would lose from people who have continued to stay their usual patterns deciding to abandon Hilton out of spite

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        “albeit a very wide tree.” Like a DoubleTree then? I’ll get my coat.

      • Harry T says:

        Makes sense, Andrew. Good point about earning more points!

  • NG says:

    Apologies just slightly confused, this article says elite status being extended up until March 2023, but the Hilton website says until March 2022. Am I missing something?

    • Rob says:

      If your status is rolled over, it is rolled until March 2022.

      If you earn it in 2021 – via your rollover nights from 2020 – it will run to March 2023 as per normal rules.

      • Stuart says:

        So a sweet spot may be to end up falling 1 or 2 nights short in 2020 of renewing diamond and then have status and nights rolled over, stay the additional nights in 2021 and get it to March 2023 – is that correct?

        • Dave says:

          Even if you renewed it in 2020 those nights will still carry forward to 2021 giving you Diamond status for the following year.

          • Stuart says:

            Thanks Dave, I was fearful that loop may be closed on a technicality, so was wondering whether to save one stay for 2021 and play safe.

        • Rob says:

          Makes no difference (and only nights roll, not stays).

          • Stuart says:

            Thanks for the reply – I see you are busy with lots of them, so really appreciate your time !

  • Tyra says:

    Hi Rob, I’m currently in a status match with an end date of 4 Dec. I only need 2 more nights to achieve the 9. If I deliberately miss doing these 2 before my end date, I’m assuming I can take advantage of this offer by do the extra 6 nights before 31 Dec and get diamond until March 2023? Thanks

  • Billy says:

    And when everyone is special…no one is special. Expect a massive devaluation. (Mind you, the least of our worries.

  • Tom says:

    I’m not a Diamond member but would be scratching my head reading this if I was. It seems they are succumbing to the Virgin Atlantic effect in massively devaluing the rewards scheme/making it far too accessible. Don’t mean to sound like a snob but if something becomes easily attainable to everyone and their dog then it’s no longer special!

    • Jessiefan says:

      Precisely, by all means extend the status for those who have earned it, but keep out the plebs or there will be no nibbles left at happy hour.

    • Bazza says:

      You should tell Rob to shut down this site. His letting the cat out of the bag all over the place.

      • Rob says:

        “If everyone is a princess, then princesses aren’t special any more.”


    • Alan says:

      That happened years ago with the US credit cards giving points and status away for next to nothing!

      • Rui N. says:

        @Alan, exactly. In the US you can get Diamond by spending $450 in the annual fee of a credit card. Or gold for $95. This is a super-expensive route compared to that.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Not with the right mix of paid and reward nights.

          But somewhat agree.

          • Rui N. says:

            Rewards nights assume that you already have some points – and points have value too. It might be possible to get Gold for £80 in the UK or Platinum for £400, I won’t argue with that. But for the US folks it’s certainly much much easier.

    • memesweeper says:

      Yes, but the number of people who would otherwise fall out of top-tier status would be close to 100% … who’s doing 60 nights at year in Hilton’s this year? Almost no-one in the UK.

      The brands know how few people are qualifying anyway, and will have done the maths on what inflation of numbers (if any) this kind of change might cause.

      Most status is earned from business travel, and all the predictions are this will be *massively* down next year, even if we see an opening up because of a vaccine or a change of public health strategy.

  • meta says:

    It will be like that in 2021. People just can’t be bothered to follow all the rules regarding covid testing, quarantine requirements, etc.

    I’ve done stays at Hilton, Marriott and IHG. IHG has been the most generous with upgrades followed by Hilton then Marriott. Marriott has been the stingiest, but we’ll see if next year if this was due to the fact that I am doing status match challenge.

    I think this lowering the threshold to gain status and extensions are great overall. If you make a bit of effort, you could do well with several loyalty programmes. This will then give you the flexibility to pick and chose whomever you see fit or gives you most benefits. Our household strategy has always been to diversify.

    • meta says:

      This was supposed to be reply to @Harry T on the previous page.

    • Harry T says:

      Agree on diversification. I’m Hilton Gold and IHG Platinum Ambassador. My experience of being Marriott Platinum has been very positive so far but I do specifically (politely and nicely) ask for a suite upgrade in the app messaging service before my stay. I suspect that covid has improved my chances of an upgrade.

      I must say that the IC Amstel Amsterdam is the main reason I am considering renewing Ambassador, as they always give me a generous upgrade to a massive junior suite with a river view. My experience of other IC and IHG hotels has been satisfactory but no decent upgrades have been granted.

      So yes, it may make sense to push for decent status with several companies, especially now it is easier to obtain. However, I think I’ll aim for Bonvoy Titanium rather than Hilton Diamond, as I want to offset the increase in Platinum members due to status matches and US credit card incentives changing this year.

  • Andy says:

    Do award nights count towards stays?

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