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.
Hilton Honors has offered an occasional status challenge program for years, letting you leverage your elite status from Marriott Bonvoy, IHG Rewards etc for Hilton Gold or Diamond.
The challenge is now back. The number of nights required has gone up from 2022, but your ability to actually hit the number of nights needed should be better in 2023 with most countries now fully open.
Importantly, even mid-tier elites (eg Marriott Bonvoy Gold) get a fast track to Hilton Diamond.
Irrespective of whether your current status is mid tier or top tier, you get Hilton Honors Gold Elite status for 90 days.
You retain your Gold Elite status if you complete eight nights in the 90 days. You will be upgraded to Diamond Elite if you complete 14 nights in the 90 days.
Your status would last until 30th March 2025.
How to 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.
You can definitely match from the following programmes:
- Best Western Rewards
- Choice Privileges
- IHG One Rewards
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
There is also an ‘Other’ box in the dropdown menu.
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 2025, you need to complete eight nights for cash (reward stays do not count) within 90 days
- To be upgraded to Diamond Elite until March 2025, you need to complete 14 nights 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 24 months with that programme.
If, for example, you have Marriott Bonvoy Gold status from American Express Platinum, you would also need to show evidence of a Marriott stay within the last two years in order to be matched.
The match is only available for Hilton Silver Elite or base members. You cannot use it to get Hilton Diamond if you are already Hilton 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. In North America, you get a food and beverage credit instead of breakfast – the good news is that this can be used towards any meal or at the bar, the bad news is that it rarely covers the cost of an actual breakfast.
Hilton Diamond Elite comes with guaranteed lounge access when the hotel has a lounge, which is a good reason to push for it. You will also have a higher priority for upgrades.
Timing is key, of course. Once you are accepted, you get the benefits of Hilton Honors Gold status for 90 days. There is no point triggering this match now unless you a stay coming up late April.
Given the fairly quick turn-around time, your best bet is to trigger the challenge when you have a trip firmed up.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points (45,000 Hilton Honors points) if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 Virgin Points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. 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.)