Having hotel status is one of the best and easiest ways to bring your vacation to the next level. Hilton is the second-largest hotel chain in the world and having status with them could be huge for your travels. Their membership program is called Hilton Honors and having elite status is very lucrative program for many travelers.
A certain other blog that shall remain nameless has similar posts that assume values for hotel statuses from different chains. But because everyone’s mileage may vary, it’s inherently unfair to peg values for each level. Therefore, this post is going to simply explain what you can get at each level.
This is where everyone starts out when creating their Hilton account. There are no spend or stay requirements and anyone over 18 can join. Members get a nice suite of perks just for joining:
Regular members receive 10 Hilton Honors (HH) points for every dollar they spend at Hilton hotels. These points don’t include any earned from a Hilton credit card.
No Resort Fees on Reward Stays
You won’t pay any crazy resort fees when you book with points or redeem a free night. This perk could save you upwards of $100 depending on the hotel you stay at.
Hilton Honors App
You can check in through the Hilton Honors mobile app and avoiding the line at the front desk. Room selection can be done 24 hours before you arrive at the hotel. This is a nice feature that can save you time, especially if you’re tired from traveling.
You can also use the app to access your room and other places that require a key.
You will have access to free Wi-Fi in your room and in the lobby at select Hilton brands.
Second Guest Stays Free
Members can bring along a second person for no additional cost.
Late Check Out
Hilton members can request a late check out time with the front desk. Unlike other hotel brands, there is no set time for late check out. I wish Hilton would change this by implementing one late check out time across the board.
Free Points Transfer & Pooling
You can transfer and pool points between family members with Hilton accounts.
This is the first earned level of status with Hilton. You must stay 10 nights or four times to achieve this level organically. Alternatively, you can apply for the standard Hilton Honors credit card which offers Silver Status as a perk. The card has no annual fee and a sign-up bonus worth 100,000 points.
I personally view Hilton Silver as being a member with a few extra perks. There is not much additional benefit to obtaining this level. You will receive all the perks of having no status plus the following:
Silver members will receive a 20% points bonus on Base Points earned while staying at Hilton hotel. The bonus increases the 10 points per dollar earned at Hilton to 12 points.
5th Reward Night Free
This perk gives you a free night if you use points to redeem for four nights. For example, if I redeemed 100,000 HH points for four nights, Hilton would give me a fifth night for free with Silver Status. That’s like saving 20% in points on your Hilton stay.
Bottles of Water
You will receive two complimentary bottles of water per stay. However, I recommend buying a case of water at a local convenience store for your room if possible. I have done this with my family while on vacation and it made the trip that much nicer.
Gold is where the perks start to become more serious. You must earn 75,000 HH points, stay 40 nights, or stay 20 times to achieve this level organically.
Alternatively, you can apply for the Hilton Ascend, its business counterpart, or any variant of the American Express Platinum Card. Any of these cards offer Gold Status as a perk. However, the two Hilton cards are best for Hilton loyalists. Both cards have affordable $95 annual fees and six-figure sign-up bonuses.
Personally, Gold Status is the lowest level that Hilton loyalists should strive to achieve. This is where they will start to see significant perks and derive significant value. With Gold Status, you will receive all the perks of Silver status plus the following:
Gold members will receive a nice 80% points bonus on Base Points earned while staying at Hilton hotels. The bonus increases the 10 points per dollar earned at Hilton to 18 points.
Hilton introduced these opportunities to earn more points in 2018. Gold Status lets member earn an extra 10,000 points on every 10th night upon reaching 40 nights per calendar year.
Gold Status gives you opportunities to upgrade to a preferred room. Suites are not included, but Executive Floor rooms are. These upgrades are a great way to save money and receive tons of value from your Hilton membership.
You could receive access to Hilton’s Executive Lounges if you stay in an Executive Floor room. This is normally a perk for those with Diamond Status. But Gold members could get in on the basis of your room.
You and one guest will receive free continental breakfast for each day you stay. Not all Hilton hotel brands offer breakfast to general members. However, having Gold Status changes that.
My Way Membership Benefits
This perk will net you bonus points and room upgrades at different brands within the Hilton family. The amount of points and significance of the upgrade will depend on the brand you choose.
Diamond is the top level of Hilton Elite Status. You must earn 120,000 HH points, stay 60 nights, or stay 30 times to achieve this level organically. Alternatively, you can apply for the Hilton Aspire card, which offers Diamond Status as a perk. This card has a $450 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and a sky-high 150,000-point sign-up bonus.
This level is the cream of the crop for good reason. It’s where you will experience the pinnacle of what Hilton has to offer, especially at more luxury properties. With Diamond Status, you will receive all the perks of Gold status plus the following:
Diamond members will receive a fantastic 100% points bonus on Base Points earned while staying at Hilton hotel. The bonus doubles the 10 points per dollar earned at Hilton to 20 points.
Hilton introduced these opportunities to earn more points in 2018. You will receive the 10,000-point bonuses earned from Gold Status. But Diamond Status also earns members an extra 30,000 points on every 10th night upon reaching 60 nights per calendar year.
Diamond Status gives you opportunities to upgrade to a suite for no extra cost. These upgrades are a great way to save money and receive tons of value from your Hilton membership.
Executive Lounge Access
Diamond members gain access to Hilton’s Executive Lounges even if you aren’t upgraded to an Executive Level room. Not all properties have these special lounges. The lounges serve breakfast in the morning, as well as alcohol and appetizers in the evening.
Diamond Status Extension
This perk lets you extend your Diamond Status if you don’t re-qualify based on stays, nights, or earned Base Points. Eligibility requirements include the following:
- Three non-consecutive total years at Diamond status
- At least 250 nights (paid or reward) OR at least 500,000 earned Base Points since joining Hilton Honors
48-Hour Room Guarantee
This feature guarantees your room 48 hours before you check in. You must book the room with the hotel directly, on a hotel Website, through Hilton Reservations and Customer Care, or through the Diamond Special Services Department.
Elite Status Gifting
Like Hyatt Diamond’s Guest of Honor perk, this perk lets you gift Gold status to a family member. Gold is the next best thing to having Diamond, making this perk could be a great gift for a loved one.
Diamond Status gives guests faster Wi-Fi at no additional costs relative to regular members.
Hilton Honors Elite Status is a nice way to enhance your Hilton stay regardless of your level. Members could derive hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in value from the chain’s benefits. Applying for any of the Hilton credit cards makes earning status that much easier as well. You will receive not only the perks of having status, but also perks from having your card of choice.
Consider how often you’re traveling and how loyal you are to any hotel chain before deciding to go for a higher status. Your mileage may vary.