Hilton Honors has offered a status challenge program for years, letting you match your elite status from Marriott Bonvoy, IHG Rewards Club etc for Hilton Gold or Diamond.
Hilton has now reduced the status challenge requirements, effectively cutting the required number of nights in half.
You can now get Hilton Honors Diamond Elite with just nine nights (or day rooms) or Gold Elite for five nights (or day rooms).
Hilton has also extended the validity of the status you receive by a year to March 2023.
Clearly most of us won’t be stepping into a hotel for a couple of months at least, but it is worth keeping in mind for when you do start travelling again. There is no cut-off date for applications.
Day rooms will also count as nights for the purposes of this match. If you cannot work from home at the moment, you can book day rooms relatively cheaply via hilton.com. Simply select the same day for check-in and check-out.
How to get a Hilton Honors status match
If you have considered switching your hotel stays to Hilton but don’t want to go ‘cold turkey’ because you have status with your main chain, Hilton has a solution.
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.
You can definitely match from the following programmes:
- Accor Live Limitless
- Best Western Rewards
- Choice Privileges
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Radisson Rewards
- World of Hyatt
- Wyndham Rewards
It is not clear if other schemes are still accepted. Hilton recently changed the terms and conditions to say:
“Only elite statuses from another hotel loyalty program that are listed in the status dropdown menu are eligible for status matching.”
….. but the dropdown menu still includes an ‘Other’ option!
How does the Hilton Honors status match work?
The match rules are simple:
- You will receive Hilton Honors Gold Elite status for 90 days from the date of acceptance (usually 5-7 days after you email your request)
- To keep Gold Elite until March 2023, you need to complete 5 nights (or days) for cash within 90 days
- To be upgraded to Diamond Elite until March 2023, you need to complete 9 nights (or days) for cash within 90 days
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.
The match is only available for Hilton Silver Elite or base members. You cannot use it to get Diamond if you are already Gold.
Is a Hilton Honors status match worth doing?
Hilton Gold Elite 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 Elite comes with guaranteed lounge access, when 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. There is no point triggering this match now unless you are staying in hotels for work or other essential purposes.
Given the fairly quick turn-around time, your best bet is to trigger the challenge when you can be more certain of completing the required stays.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (September 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 (10,000 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.)