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The Hilton Honors program has undergone significant changes in the last few years, including a name change and the addition of a number of new features like the ability to pool points with friends and family. While Hilton’s new variable award pricing raised the cost of many properties and reduced the overall value of the Hilton Honors program, there’s still one group of customers who can count on exceptional treatment: Diamond elites. The top members of Hilton’s loyalty program continue to enjoy some incredible perks that enhance both the value and comfort of their stays.
Earning Diamond Status
Hilton Diamond Status is possibly the easiest top-tier hotel elite status to earn, and it can be obtained in a number of different ways. Frequent travelers earn Diamond status after 30 stays or 60 nights in a calendar year, or after earning 120,000 base points in a year (base points are the 10 points per dollar earned at most Hilton properties and exclude elite bonus points).
Those who travel less but still want to enjoy luxury perks also have a number of options for earning Diamond status. Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express cardholders automatically receive Hilton Gold status, and can upgrade to Diamond by spending $40,000 a year on the card. Meanwhile the new Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express offers complimentary Diamond status, which is one way it takes the sting out of its $450 annual fee.
Whatever path you take to get there, you’ll enjoy being a Diamond member. Here are six of the best benefits available to Hilton’s top elites.
1. Room Upgrades
There aren’t many sweeter (suiter?) feelings in the world than booking the cheapest room at a luxury hotel yet staying in one of the most expensive ones. Diamond members enjoy space-available upgrades at Hilton properties around the world, but unlike for lower-tier elites, the terms and conditions explicitly include suites. The rate difference between a standard room and a suite at higher-end properties can often be hundreds of dollars a night, making this one of the most valuable benefits.
2. Bonus Points
Diamond members can rest assured that if they end up paying cash instead of redeeming points for their stay they’ll at least get something back in return. Diamonds get a 50% points bonus, which works out to 5 extra points per dollar at most full-service properties. Counting the base points they earn, this adds up to a nice 15 points per dollar spent. TPG values Hilton points at 0.6 cents each, so this works out to a generous 9% return on cash bookings.
3. Executive Floor Lounge Access
In addition to complimentary breakfast for you and one guest, Diamond members receive access to the Executive Floor Lounge (where applicable) even if they aren’t upgraded to an Executive Floor room. While not every property has a lounge, those that do often provide multiple food and drink offerings a day, including breakfast, hors d’oeuvres and evening cocktails.
4. Welcome Amenity
Sometimes the smallest personal touches are the ones that make the largest impact, and Hilton goes out of its way to make Diamond members feel welcome all around the world. While the exact benefits vary by property, Diamond members will receive a welcome amenity at check-in. This might be bonus points, complimentary drinks, or a tasty snack like the one TPG Contributor Eric Rosen found in his room at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.
5. Fifth Night Free on Award Stays
While this benefit is available to all Hilton elites (with a minimum of Silver status), frequent travelers with Diamond status are sure to get the most value out of it. When booking award stays using all points, Diamond members will receive every fifth night free on stays up to 20 nights. This means that if you max out the bonus, you can get up to four free nights per stay. If you’re traveling to a faraway destination like the Conrad Maldives (shown below) but don’t quite have enough points to extend your stay, the fifth night free benefit could come in really handy.
6. Diamond Status Extension
This is by far the most unique benefit offered to Diamond members and one not matched by other hotel chains. Current Diamond elites who’ve held Diamond status for at least three years (not necessarily consecutive) and have at least 250 lifetime paid and award nights or at least 500,000 lifetime base points get one chance to extend their Diamond status by a year. If you’re just not traveling as much as you used to, remember that “life changes, but your status shouldn’t have to.” Just don’t forget this perk can only be used one time so make it count.
Featured image courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Park City.
- Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 7X Hilton Honors Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. Supermarkets, U.S. Gas Stations, Eligible Airfare, Eligible Car Rentals, and U.S. Restaurants.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Enjoy one weekend night reward with your new Card and every year after renewal. Plus, earn an additional night after you spend $60,000 on your Card in a calendar year.
- Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
- Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
- $450 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees