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Last chance: Gift free Hilton elite status to your family or friends for a limited time

Jan. 28, 2021
5 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.

Hilton Honors allows anyone who spends 60 or more nights with the chain in a calendar year to gift elite status to another Honors member. However, Hilton has expanded this benefit to all of its highest elites for a limited time, regardless of how you earned your status. But you'll have to act fast.

Through Jan. 31, 2021, Hilton Diamond and Lifetime Diamond members can gift elite status for one year to a family member or friend. Diamond members can gift mid-tier Gold status, while Lifetime Diamond members can gift top-tier Diamond status.

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Gifting Hilton Honors elite status

In December, Hilton Honors is surprised its Diamond members with a special gift. Through Jan. 31, 2021, Hilton allows Diamond members to gift Hilton Honors Gold to a person of their choosing and Lifetime Diamond members to gift Diamond status.

This limited-time perk is available to all Diamond members, regardless of how many nights you completed this year. So, you'll still be able to take advantage of this even if you got your status for free as a Hilton credit cardholder, which is quite generous. Also, this promotion is in addition to Hilton's usual elite status gifting program. Members who completed 60 or 100 qualifying nights this year can still gift Gold or Diamond status to another individual, respectively.

(Photo courtesy of Hilton Honors)

Instructions on how to redeem this gift have been sent via email. Recipients will need to head to this link to redeem their gifted Gold status or this link for Diamond status and then enter their custom claim code.

If you have not received the status gift email, it could be because you have opted out of Hilton marketing emails. In that case, you can request your personalized gift code by calling Hilton or emailing priorityletter@hilton.com.

Gifted status is good for 365 days from the gift date — it doesn’t follow the program year. Once the status has been gifted, you can’t make any changes to the recipient, so choose wisely.

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Related: Your guide to Hilton Honors lifetime elite status

Hilton Grand Naniola Hawaii (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

What is Hilton elite status worth?

Assuming you travel enough to get full use from them, Gold and Diamond status are worth $1,255 and $3,025, respectively. However, even if you're not traveling too much these days, you can still get decent value from them.

Mid-tier Gold status is typically earned after 20 stays or 40 nights or by earning 75,000 base points in a calendar year (which equates to $7,500 in spending), but for the 2021 qualification year, Hilton has cut those requirements in half. It's one of the best mid-tier hotel statuses out there, getting you perks like an 80% points bonus, a fifth night free on award stays, space-available upgrades, late check-out and even free breakfast.

Top-tier Diamond status requires 30 stays or 60 nights or 120,000 base points ($12,000 in spending) — or half of that in 2021. It takes things up a notch by offering suite-upgrades, guaranteed lounge access and a 100% points bonus.

Related: All of the elite qualification changes you need to know about for 2021

Hilton Gold and Diamond members get complimentary breakfast. (Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

That being said, it's important to remember that there are other ways to fast-track Hilton elite status as well. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card come with Gold status and the ability to upgrade to Diamond status by spending $40,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year. Meanwhile, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers automatic Diamond status. You can also unlock complimentary Hilton Gold status with The Platinum Card® from American Express.

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.

Related: Why Hilton should add a new elite tier above Diamond

Bottom line

Hilton Honors has done a great job keeping its members engaged throughout the pandemic, and this new benefit for Diamond members is just the cherry on top. Moves like being the first hotel chain to extend elite status and then significantly reducing qualification criteria for 2021 helped Hilton win the Best Hotel Loyalty Program title in this year's TPG Awards. However, time will tell whether making status so attainable will ultimately devalue the program.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/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 premium travel card for value
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

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more