Skip to content

Hilton snaps back to pre-pandemic elite status requirements for 2023

Oct. 12, 2022
5 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Party (and stay) like it’s basically pre-pandemic times when it comes to Hilton’s road map to earning elite status next year.

This week, the hotel giant rolled out refreshed guidelines for earning Hilton Honors status, and it feels like a return to normal.

Reduced elite requirements? We hardly knew ye. It’s time to get back out there and get your head in a bed at any of Hilton’s wide array of brands, from Waldorf Astoria to Tru or the Hilton Cancun (pictured above).

On the bright side, there is one big win for members regarding points-expiration timelines, but our big takeaway is that it’s probably easier to earn Hilton elite status by just opening a credit card. Let's take a closer look.

Better points expiration policy

Hilton suspended points expiration earlier in the pandemic through the end of last year. Previously, Hilton Honor points expired if there wasn't any account activity for 15 consecutive months. This means you had to earn or redeem points at least once during this time period to keep your points active.

But that's just changed for the better. Now, Hilton points will expire after 24 months of no activity in a member’s account. This gives you nine extra months to keep your points active. The news was first reported by View From The Wing.

Related: How to keep your points and miles from expiring

A return to normal qualification limits

The Drake Hotel in Chicago. HILTON

Hilton cut elite qualification thresholds by as much as half during the pandemic; however, things are largely back to normal for next year.

Here's a look at how many nights or base points you'll need for each Hilton status tier:

Sign up for our daily newsletter
  • 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.

That’s up from this year’s qualification levels, which had Silver at seven nights, Gold at 28 nights and Diamond at 42 nights.

Just a quick rundown: Silver is, as you might guess, the entry point for Hilton elite status. Silver members get things like free bottled water at check-in, 20% bonus points on stays and elite rollover nights to count toward status qualification the following calendar year.

Gold has added benefits like an 80% points bonus on stays, space-available room upgrades and daily food and beverage credit at U.S. hotels or continental breakfast at non-U.S. hotels. Meanwhile, Diamond status includes additional benefits like a 100% points-earning bonus on stays and executive lounge access.

Related: Hilton Honors program overview

Open a credit card

You can earn Hilton elite status with a variety of American Express cards. THE POINTS GUY

The return to pre-pandemic qualification thresholds for Hilton Honor puts even more value in just going the credit card route to attaining status.

The Hilton Honors FAQ page notes that points earned with a Hilton cobranded credit card will continue to count toward elite status qualification and Lifetime Diamond status, as it has since the pandemic began. This means that charging your Hilton stays to a cobranded credit card is a great way to inch closer to elite status since some cards earn up to 14 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties.

Additionally, many American Express-issued cards include automatic elite status, with one offering top-tier Diamond status. This means you'll have Hilton status regardless of how many nights you stay so long as your credit card is open and in good standing.

Here's a look at all the Amex cards that include Hilton elite status:

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.

If you don’t think you’ll hit the stay or point requirements next year to count toward Hilton Honors status, going the credit card route may be the right fit for your Hilton loyalty strategy.

Related: 6 amazing benefits that make Hilton Diamond status worthwhile

Bottom line

Hilton is the latest travel company to bring pre-pandemic elite status requirements back for 2023. It joins Marriott, Hyatt, IHG and nearly all the major airlines that brought these back for the 2022 elite status year. But on the bright side, infrequent travelers now have 24 months of no account activity before their Hilton points expire, and credit card spending will count toward status qualification.

Featured image 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.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

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
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
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

60,000 bonus points
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.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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

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
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