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Last-minute strategies for earning Hilton Honors elite status

Nov. 03, 2022
8 min read
Hilton Mauritius Resort and Spa
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With less than two months left in 2022, now is a good time for Hilton Honors members to determine what they need to do to qualify or requalify for elite status.

If you spend a lot of time on the road, you may have seen how valuable hotel elite status can be. From premium Wi-Fi to room upgrades, there are benefits to having hotel elite status with hotel chains. And as you'd expect, Hilton is no exception.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to earn Hilton Honors status, including staying at hotels, earning base points and having a cobranded credit card. Today’s post will focus on what you can do before the end of the year to earn your desired Hilton Honors status.

Hilton Honors status

Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico. BENJI STAWSKI/THE POINTS GUY

You can earn elite status with Hilton by reaching specific thresholds for nights, stays or base points each calendar year.

Hilton elite members can get benefits like bonus points and space-available room upgrades. HILTON.COM

The Hilton Honors loyalty program has a base-level member tier and Silver, Gold and Diamond elite tiers.

You can earn Hilton elite status by accruing qualifying nights, qualifying stays or qualifying points. For reference, here's a look at how many nights, stays or base points you typically need for each Hilton status tier:

  • Silver: 10 nights or four stays or 25,000 base points.
  • Gold: 40 nights or 20 stays or 75,000 base points.
  • Diamond: 60 nights or 30 stays or 120,000 base points.

In 2022, you can earn Hilton Silver after seven nights, Gold after 28 nights and Diamond after 42 nights. But next year, Hilton will return to its standard elite-qualification requirements.

You earn Hilton base points at a rate of 10 points per dollar at most Hilton hotels. You can earn base points on up to four rooms per stay. Stays and nights booked with points or free night rewards also count toward elite qualification.

Hilton uses a calendar year as its qualification period, so you have from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each year to qualify for your desired elite membership tier. Your status is then valid through the end of the following calendar year.

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Related: Which hotels count award stays toward elite status?

Hilton Diamond extension

Zemi Beach House, part of Hilton's LXR Hotels & Resorts, in Anguilla. BENJI STAWSKI/THE POINTS GUY

If you already have Hilton Diamond status, you could use the Diamond Status Extension program at the start of 2023 to extend your status for another year. However, the terms are quite restrictive. To qualify, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Currently a Hilton Diamond member with status that will expire on March 31, 2023.
  • Held Diamond status for at least three years (years do not have to be consecutive, but years in which you used a status match to achieve Diamond Status don't count).
  • Stayed at least 250 nights with Hilton (paid and reward nights are both eligible) or earned at least 500,000 base points since joining Hilton Honors (points earned via bonuses, promotions and cobranded credit cards don't count).

Note that you can only use the Diamond Status Extension once in a lifetime.

Related: This is what I'd like to see from a Hilton Diamond+ elite tier

Hilton promotions

Hilton frequently offers promotions that may help you earn elite status and bonus points.

HILTON.COM

For example, Hilton is currently offering a Double Your Nights promotion. With this promotion, you can earn double elite-qualifying nights when you stay from Oct. 11 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Every night during this promotion will count as two nights toward Milestone Bonuses and rollover nights. As such, this promotion could also help you qualify for Hilton status next year.

HILTON.COM

Related: 8 tips to help you upgrade your hotel room for free

Status match

You can request a status match if you are currently an entry-level Hilton member or have Silver status.

All you need to do is submit your proof of a recent stay and proof of status in another competitor's loyalty program through Hilton's dedicated status match page. If Hilton approves your status match, it will upgrade your status to Gold for 90 days.

HILTONHONORS.COM

You can keep Gold status through March 31, 2024, if you stay seven nights within your 90-day trial period. And you can snag top-tier Diamond status through March 31, 2024, if you stay 12 nights within your 90-day trial period.

This is a great opportunity to quickly earn Gold or Diamond status with Hilton if you have planned upcoming travel and aren’t looking to sign up for a Hilton credit card that provides elite status as a cardmember perk.

However, note that reward stays do not count toward achieving the status match requirements. And you can only do a status match with Hilton once in a lifetime, so be sure to time your status match carefully.

Related: 8 ways to maximize Hilton Honors redemptions

Open a cobranded credit card

WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

Finally, Hilton Honors status is easy to earn with a Hilton Honors credit card. Here's a quick look at your options.

Diamond status

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is spectacular because you can snag top-tier Hilton Diamond status just by having the card. Sure, you have to pay the $450 annual fee (see rates and fees), but that’s significantly less than paying for hotel stays outright.

The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Top-tier Hilton Diamond status with the Hilton Aspire card provides a lot of value. For example, Hilton Diamond status offers suite upgrades, daily food and beverage credit (or continental breakfast outside the U.S.) for you and a guest and executive lounge access.

Gold status

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offer complimentary Hilton Gold Status as a cardmember perk.

Both cards also let you spend your way to Hilton Diamond status. You can get Hilton Diamond status through the end of the following calendar year when you spend $40,000 on your card in a calendar year. However, I recommend getting the Hilton Aspire card if your goal is Diamond status.

It's also worth noting that cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express get complimentary Hilton Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status as cardmember perks. However, you must enroll in these perks.

Related: 6 reasons to get the Hilton Honors Amex Surpass card

Silver status

Lastly, you could apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card if you want Hilton Silver status.

Bottom line

With the end of the year nearing, now is a good idea to consider your Hilton Honors elite status plans. After all, Hilton elite status is generally quite valuable, especially internationally.

Although you can stay your way to earning Hilton Honors status, opening a credit card that provides Hilton status is usually faster and easier. Best of all, you can maintain Hilton status without needing to requalify each calendar year if you have a credit card that provides the status you want as a perk.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire Card, click here.

Featured image by VICTORIA WALKER/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
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Rewards

3 - 4X points
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There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees