Stay 15 Nights Before the End of 2020 and You Will Become a Hilton Honors Diamond until March 2023

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

Hilton Honors has announced a substantial loosening in the requirements for obtaining elite status during the 2021 calendar year. Here’s the press release:

Extending Points Expiration so that no Points will expire until December 31, 2021.

Reducing Status Qualification Requirements by 50 percent across all tiers, including stays, nights and Base Points in 2021, to allow members to achieve status in half the time. For example, this means to earn Gold status, a member must complete 20 nights, 10 stays or 37,500 Points instead of 40 nights, 20 stays or 75,000 points. And, as previously announced, all 2020 nights will automatically roll over to the 2021 calendar year to help Hilton Honors members upgrade their tier status even faster.

Lowering Milestone Bonus Night Threshold to begin at 20 nights in 2021 (was previously 40 nights) to align with new Gold status qualification and allow members to earn rewards faster. Gold members will earn 10,000 Bonus Points for 20 nights stayed and will continue earning the additional 10,000 Bonus Points every 10 nights above that level in a calendar year. At 60 nights, a member would still earn the additional Milestone Bonus of 30,000 Bonus Points.

Extending Status to March 31, 2022 for Silver, Gold and Diamond members that were set to downgrade in 2020 or 2021. This means members can keep their status longer and continue to enjoy their benefits.

Reducing Gifting Status Night Threshold to the new Diamond status night qualification. Diamond members who stay 30 nights in 2021 will be able to gift Gold status (was previously 60 nights) or 60 nights to upgrade the gift to Diamond status (was previously 100 nights).

“We’re really pleased to announce these industry-leading adjustments to our loyalty programme, giving our guests even more flexibility as they look ahead to next year”, said Heather Laverne, Vice President for Loyalty in Europe. “We want to continue to show our appreciation and support for our loyal Hilton Honors members by making it as easy as possible for them to travel, as soon as they are ready to make new travel memories again.”

What are the implications?

Easy Diamond status based on 2020 activity

You might be aware that Hilton Honors is currently running a double elite nights promotion, with all of those nights rolling over to 2021. This promotion is so interesting that I wrote a post wondering whether it might even be worth “mattress running” for.

But with Hilton’s announcement for 2021 qualification levels, the following should occur:

  • Stay 15 nights before 31 December, 2020 (including any nights you may have accumulated since the 8 September start date for the promotion) –> 30 elite night credits for 2020 (this might actually only earn you Silver status at the moment)
  • On 1 January, 2021 (or shortly thereafter) those 30 elite nights will roll over to 2021
  • Since you will only require 30 elite nights to qualify for Diamond status in 2021, your account will immediately be upgraded to Diamond status
  • You will enjoy Diamond status until 31 March, 2023

Or you can do nothing…

When Hilton Honors first announced its extension of elite status – back in March (click here) – the luckiest members were those whose status was due to be downgraded on 31 March, 2020. These members – despite having not reached the re-qualification criteria from pre-COVID travel – received a reprieve until 31 March, 2021.

These same members are again in luck. Whatever status you hold today – Silver, Gold or Diamond – will remain valid until 31 March, 2022.

So, despite my handful of nights in 2019 and zero nights in 2020, I will hang on to my Gold status until March 2022.

This, of course, costs Hilton nothing, since I’m not actually staying at Hilton hotels. But it is definitely appreciated and avoids me walking away from Hilton for good…

…Because 2021 will be easy via the “stay” method

It’s tempting to want to stack the current “double night + rollover” promotion with today’s announcement. But Hilton’s relaxation of the 2021 elite status qualification criteria also applies to stays. As a result, in 2021 you will be able to:

  • Reach Silver with 2 stays
  • Reach Gold with 10 stays
  • Reach Diamond with 15 stays

There’s no need to rush out and mattress run 15 nights in November and December, if you are confident of finding 15 1+ night stays in 2021 that you actually require. (even if they are just weekend getaways / staycations)

The Bottom Line

Hilton Honors has always been the hotel chain most willing to provide short cuts to elite status. I like the strategy – you aren’t necessarily going to be blown away by how Hilton treats its elite guests, but the free breakfast, lounge access, etc. benefits are always delivered reliably. This makes Hilton Honors the favourite hotel chain of a few InsideFlyer UK contributors, past and present.

To be honest, though, this announcement is most exciting for me because it might push Marriott, Hyatt and IHG to do something similar… What about you? What do you think of this news?


  1. Mous says

    Interesting article. Do reward night count? I have 10 nights booked with Hilton points and currently I am a gold member.

  2. Joe Deeney says

    Great move by Hilton – ahead of the curve again like they were back in March.

    As you say, despite just 1 stay this year, I’ll keep Diamond until March 2022 (when it was originally due to expire March 2020). That keeps me tied into Hilton for any stays next year (if/when travel does return), partly to enjoy the (solid) benefits, but also because I can requalify with just 15 1-night stays. Even if I don’t really travel much until after next summer, I’d still likely hit that pretty easily.

    The fact award nights are included just makes things even easier

    It’ll be genuinely fascinating to see how the other programmes respond. I’m pretty sceptical about how much sales/bonus point offers move the dial in most of the world right now, so tying in frequent travellers for the longer term is one of the few smart (and low cost) things that programmes can do.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Yes… the Hyatt promo would definitely get me to stay, except I can’t get close to any hotels that are open! So running juicy promos doesn’t move the needle as much as normal.

  3. Pangolin says

    I’ve already done 20 nights during the Double Rewards period, so that’s converted into 40 nights which will roll over into 2021 and means I’ve made Diamond till 2023 already.

    I was originally going to do another 10 nights to lock in Diamond but now that’s no longer necessary.
    I might still do it anyway though – with 60 nights you can now gift someone Diamond instead of Gold.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Careful. Rollover nights won’t count for the 2021 milestone bonuses or gifting of status in 2021. They are only good for the basic qualification for elite status.

      • Pangolin says

        Thanks, that’s useful to know. So basically there’s no particular need for me to do those remaining 10 nights before Dec 31.

        I can now concentrate on getting the remaining nights in Marriott to secure Titanium 🙂

        • Craig Sowerby says

          Unless you particularly want the 2020 milestone bonus points or need a Diamond “year” for lifetime Diamond (or the 1-year extension), I can’t think of many reasons to hit 60 nights in 2020 now.

  4. The Jetset Boyz says

    This was absolutely fantastic news to wake up to this morning (we’re now living in Bali) 🎉🎉🎉 and really good of Hilton Honors to be on the front foot now in October rather than leaving it until January. 🙏🙏

    It’ll be interesting to see what other travel loyalty programs come up with. We’re especially interested in finding out what Marriot Bonvoy and British Airways Executive Club will be offering.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Bali!! The perfect place to pick up Hilton nights at the 5k per night airport Hilton Garden Inn. Diamond status for 60,000 Hilton points…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *