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With the announcement of the distinctly impressive Hilton 2X or 3X Hilton Honors points bonus promotion, I thought it worth having a collective look at the various ways you can earn status with Hilton. Note that of the many options below, there’s even two that give you instant Hilton status.
There’s a couple of reasons, in particular, to give serious thought to status with Hilton right now:
- It’s really never been easier to earn Silver, Gold or even Diamond status with the chain
- Hilton Gold is an incredibly generous “mid tier” status, and well worth making an effort for. You’ll always get a free breakfast and, in Europe in particular, upgrades and lounge access are common. I am currently a Diamond member, and there really is not a particularly noticeable difference between the Gold and Diamond statuses.
Note that any Hilton status currently earned, will remain until March 2023.
Ok, so here are the current ways to join the elite…
The Fast Track route
The current Hilton Gold fast track gets you Gold status if you sign up and then complete 4 stays in 90 days.
You can read my fuller analysis of this fast track route (including how to stay within its rules) here.
Unlike the employer route (below), there is no option for Silver or Diamond here. However as I note above, Hilton Gold is a perfectly adequate status, so this needn’t concern you too much if it is your best option.
The Employer route (including instant Hilton status)
This is an interesting one, and involves a bit of trial and error with a URL. In short, employees of certain companies can get instant Hilton Silver status, plus a Gold/Diamond fast-track.
You need to use this URL: https://www.hiltonhonors.com/en_US/HHCM/ibm-ftoffer/landing/
Depending on where you work, you will need to replace the “ibm” in the URL with your employer, e.g. google, microsoft, accenture etc. If your employer is not featured, you can (it seems) still sign up with any old email, but technically you’re in breach of the terms.
Note that if your goal is Gold, the MVP fast track (above) may be a better option as it requires 4 stays, whereas this requires 8 nights. As such, you could get Gold via the MVP in just 4 separate one night stays. However, if your stays are long, the employer option is almost certainly better via the 8 night route. It’s also got the added benefit of the instant Silver and possible Diamond statuses.
The Status Match route
If you already have elite status with a competing hotel loyalty programme, you might want to consider the Hilton Status Match.
It’s based on nights, rather than stays, so doesn’t require hotel-hopping. The other plus is that you can benefit from temporary status while completing the requirements. The downsides are that you need 5 nights for Gold and only cash bookings count, so you can’t use points.
Check out the full details here.
The Credit Card route (instant Hilton status)
Perhaps the simplest way to Hilton Gold is via the American Express Platinum card. A straightforward perk of the card is instant Hilton Gold status for the lifetime of you holding it. You simply need to link your accounts online.
Plus, if you sign up via a referral link before 12 May 2021, you’ll earn 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend £4,000 on the Platinum card in the first 3 months. That’s worth in the region of £500
The Old Fashioned route (still currently easier)
The “old fashioned” route to Hilton status was often mocked by travel hackers looking for short cuts. However, in itself it’s currently a hack of sorts, as Hilton has halved the qualification requirements for status.
However, with the MVP fast-track currently available to you, it would be a bit of an odd choice to swerve that if you’re aiming for Gold status. Similarly, if the Employer route works for you, that’s clearly the far better route to Silver (instantly) and Diamond, where is requires only 16 nights, rather than 30.
Honors Sign Up Bonus – A reminder
It’s also worth reminding you that new Hilton Honors members can receive up to 5,000 additional Honors points when they sign up for Hilton Honors before 31 December, 2021. New Honors members will earn 2,000 bonus Honors points on their first stay and 3,000 bonus Honors points on their second stay within six months of joining the loyalty program.