Qualifying for Hilton Honors Status Will Be Relatively Easy in 2021, But Here’s Why I’m Still not Tempted

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

Back in October, 2020, Hilton Honors announced its plans for 2021. They are very generous…

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.”

Earning Gold Or Diamond Status In 2021

The easiest way to qualify for elite status with Hilton is often via the stay method, especially for those who can or must move between hotels every night. A stay is defined as one or more continuous nights at the same hotel, irrespective of the number of separate reservations you might have. So… one night –> one stay.  In addition, one day use room –> one stay (something you might want to try at least once to earn 10,000 bonus points – click here for details). So, in principle you can achieve Diamond status from 15 hotel nights, which doesn’t feel particularly difficult…

As a result, in 2021 you will be able to:

  • Reach Silver with 2 stays (only useful for unlocking fifth night free award bookings)
  • Reach Gold with 10 stays
  • Reach Diamond with 15 stays

If you prefer longer stays, and/or have some nights rolled over from 2020, you might still be inclined to qualify for elite status via the nights method, which requires:

  • 20 nights for Gold
  • 30 nights for Diamond

But Because Hilton Honors Has Been So Generous…

When Hilton Honors first announced its extension of elite status – back in March 2020 (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 held at the end of 2020 – 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.

My 2020 with Hilton…

… I Feel Confident That I’ll Get Another Free Extension

January has passed by… without a hotel stay for many of us. Lockdown is threatened until Easter, or beyond…  Although vaccination is progressing well in the United Kingdom, my age cohort is still months away from its turn to be vaccinated. Other countries are well behind the pace, impacting on their willingness to reopen to tourists (and Brexit has taken away the automatic right to travel within the EU). I hope to be able to travel a bit in the summertime, but am I booking anything? Not a chance!  I don’t doubt that hotels are seeing low advance bookings – many hotels aren’t even open.

With other hotel chains, I don’t know for sure whether they will extend my elite status further, or insist upon the relaxed qualification requirements under the assumption that July to December (and/or a double elite status promotion) is sufficient to meet a halved requirement for elite status. But Hilton has been so generous… that I expect that they will extend everybody’s status yet again.

And so even though 15 stays to Diamond seems easily achievable with a few weekend getaways and the occasional staycation, my Gold status is good enough for me, and I’m willing to take the chance that it will be extended. If not, perhaps I’ll just “travel hack” whatever attractive promotions come along in summer or autumn 2021.

What about you? Are you aiming for Diamond status in 2021? Or just taking a wait-and-see approach as well? Let us know in the comments section…

Leave a Reply

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