Hilton HHonors Status Match Now Valid Until March 2019

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One of the most popular travel hacks is getting elite status with a major hotel chain without meeting the usual requirements for that status, preferably without actually meeting the usual requirements for top level elite status at ANY hotel chain. The team at InsideFlyer have written frequently about the Hilton HHonors status match. Its most recent iteration was written about by Tom in the summer of 2016.

hhonors status match

This version of the status match remains in place, and publicly available through this website. The calendar has ticked over to 2017, however, and this means that any matched status will be valid for the rest of the calendar year, as well as the next. So… 2017 and 2018 in short.  And, as this soon-to-be former HHonors Diamond member can attest, your status doesn’t drop on 1 January  (assuming you didn’t requalify), but carries through to 31 March.

As a result, if you are granted the status match now and complete the stay requirements, your status should be valid until 31 March, 2019!  (even though the website has not been updated to reflect this, Loyalty Lobby is reporting that a reader recently requested the match and was approved through 31 March, 2019)

How it Works

As a reminder of the offer, you need to start out with elite status from one of Hilton‘s competitors. They list the usual suspects, but will definitely consider many other chains such as Best Western or Club Carlson.

hhonors status match

In general, HHonors will match the competition’s top level status to HHonors Diamond (i.e. Diamond, Globalist, Spire, Platinum, etc.) If the competing chain has a relevant mid-tier status, such as Marriott Gold, then this can occasionally be matched to HHonors Diamond, but you might only be matched to Gold.

If approved, HHonors members will enjoy their matched status for a period of exactly 90 days. This can be extended until 31 March, 2019 by completing:

  • 4 stays for Gold status
  • 8 stays for Diamond status 

hhonors status match

The process of requesting a status challenge is simple. You must fill in the online form with your first name, last name, email address, HHonors account number, and the status you’re hoping to match. You must also upload proof of your competing status, as well as proof of a stay within the past 12 months with that hotel chain.

Apparently people have been caught photo-shopping proofs of competing status and stays, with their HHonors account shut down and any points balance confiscated, so I don’t recommend doing that!

Meeting the Requirements

Eight stays within ninety days is quite ambitious, but is obviously based on the fact that regular Diamond qualification requires 30 stays in a year (so 8/90 is roughly one quarter of the stays in one quarter of the year). This works out well for those who can accumulate many one-night stays, but is quite difficult for those who have less frequent, but longer hotel stays.

I know that many people recommend using HHonors points to meet the stay requirements. There are several Category 2 hotels in the United Kingdom costing 10,000 points per night. (the Hampton in Newport, Wales was moved up on 11 January, 2017) Londoners can easily find rates of £40-50 per night at the Hilton in Croydon, which can be reached with a combination of train and local bus.

Personally I think it’s worth considering paid rates instead of points. HHonors points have value (I use 0.5 cents / 0.4p) and, if you’re going to do 8 mattress runs, it tends to focus the mind to consider whether spending £300-500 for Diamond status is actually worth it for your travel patterns (which obviously isn’t enough to reach 30 stays per year or else you’d already be Diamond). Of course, you would also earn points on whatever you spend, as well as 2,000 bonus points per night between 1 February and 30 April, 2017. Each stay as a Diamond member will also earn you 1,000 welcome amenity points at a full service property or 250 points at a Hampton.

Two Final Words of Warning

First, don’t apply for a status match just because you can. HHonors specifically points out that this is a once-in-a-member’s-lifetime opportunity. If you aren’t likely to manage eight stays within 90 days, or have no realistic plans to visit one of the nicer HHonors properties – where Diamond status might actually make a notable difference – then perhaps it is best to wait until a more appropriate time.

Second, don’t apply for this status match if you already have HHonors Diamond status. I was quite amused by a Flyertalk thread of late 2016. Somebody (hopefully not an InsideFlyer reader) had already received a status match, back in late 2015 when there were no stay requirements. This match was good until March 2018. However, this person incorrectly assumed that his status would drop in March 2017, since he didn’t meet the usual requirements. Therefore, he decided to be clever and apply for this updated version of the status match, which is really a challenge. The expiry date of his Diamond status was then shortened to February 2017, with the requirement to do eight stays to extend it to March 2018, which he actually already had. HHonors were unsympathetic, but after some mocking from forum readers, he has not updated us on the final outcome…

Long story short… don’t apply for this status match/challenge whilst you are already Diamond! I will become a lowly Silver on 1 April, and hopefully this opportunity will still be available then, but I won’t be silly enough to “travel hack” my HHonors account until then…

Conclusion

If you think it quite generous to offer 2+ years of status, you’re right, although it’s actually not much different from standard elite status qualification and therefore a bit more sustainable than it might first appear. If you are starting from nothing and do 20/30 stays, you will be immediately upgraded to Gold/Diamond for the remainder of 2017. Since you reached the re-qualification hurdle, your status would be valid for 2018. And, if you don’t re-qualify in 2018, until 31 March, 2019.  So, this status challenge opportunity doesn’t diverge substantially from that. You are unquestionably getting 90 days status for free, then a short-cut to re-qualification that is proportionally the same as the regular rules. Just make sure to visit a nice Conrad hotel in Asia with your new Diamond status!

 

 

Comments

  1. Ben says

    My account was recently been granted gold until March 2019 after a status match. However I didn’t even have the required stays for the status match. Instead, I got Gold during the match period by taking the Hilton Visa card and spending £10k. Cool hack!

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Nice one. Perhaps you should have skipped the status match and just done the credit card. Who knows if you might have wanted to aim for a Diamond match in the future. (i.e. the next time somebody offers to match HHonors Gold to its top tier, you grab that, then status match back to HHonors Diamond with it…)

      But basically the concept of the credit card status is the same. If you get upgraded status during 2017, then it is assumed that you managed the re-qualification criteria and therefore keep the status for 2018 and the first three months of 2019.

      What I find a bit amusing is that HHonors make clear that the matched status is valid until 31 March, which is legally quite true. But that is also indirectly suggesting that you are not expected to re-qualify the usual way…

  2. Somchai says

    Ref the FT article I was status matched in Dec 15 to HHD but the confirmation email stated that it was valid until 31/3/17 so I am surprised that someone had the validity until 2018.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      If you matched during calendar year 2015, then you might have only received the rest of 2015 and all of 2016 + 3 months of 2017. (although I seem to recall that Hhonors were offering until March 2018 at the time)

      If you had delayed your status match request until early Jan 16, you should have gotten the rest of 2016 and all of 2017. (which might be the reason for my foggy recollection of that amazing offer)

      Hope you managed the eight stays to keep Diamond through 31 March 2018.

  3. Mark_L says

    Last month I moved some soon-to-expire Qatar Q Miles to Le Club Accor. The exchange rate was not great but at least those Qatar points were not wasted. A bonus was that Accor gave me silver status with expiry at end 2018 and they said I could rise to gold status with another 3,000 Accor status points.
    Then I spoilt everything by transferring-in some more points. That was only to bring my Accor balance to a nice round multiple of 2,000 ‘s to redeem for a hotel stay. Unfortunately my silver expiry is now reset to expire end 2017 and I now need 7,000 status points to reach gold.
    Maybe that will teach me to leave well alone 🙂

  4. Ian says

    Slightly off topic but does anyone know what fast track Gold challenges are current? I have used MVP and Air Berlin in the past to get Gold to March ’18

    I don’t do many stays now as I am semi retired but could fit in 4 by May. I would prefer not to use a challenge that was connected to a certain employer or needed a particular booking agent

  5. Ian says

    Sorry I have just seen that Tom gave a fulsome answer to a similar question I made on another thread. Many thanks for taking the time to do so. I am now considering the options outlined.

  6. Joel says

    I just tried the status match with BW Diamond. WARNING! BW Diamond matches to HHonors Gold (which I already had).

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