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This week, Hilton Honors announced yet another extension of elite status for its members – click here for the full details. Due to Hilton’s repeated generosity and the perks and quirks of the programme, it is possible to still enjoy elite status despite not staying at a Hilton hotel since 2017 *. (I’ll explain how at the end and I promise that it doesn’t involve credit cards…)
To a certain extent, Gold status is the “sweetspot” with Hilton Honors. It is easier to obtain than Diamond status, but still provides many of the benefits that you would appreciate. Free breakfast (outside the US) is the most important benefit for many, but you will also find that many hotels are generous with upgrading Gold members. The main difference is that lounge access is GUARANTEED for Diamonds, but subject to the availability of upgrades for Gold members.
You might, therefore, be perfectly happy as a Gold member and thrilled to have your status extended yet again. But 2021 is the year where you might want to aim for Diamond status. Here’s why…
It Will Never be Easier
In 2021, Diamond status can be achieved by reaching 15 stays or 30 nights. If you are paying your own way with staycations, mattress runs, day use rooms, etc. you might be aiming for 15 one-night stays. Which is a perfectly acceptable method of reaching Diamond…
With a combination of cheap day-use rooms – I’ve seen several around the UK in the £30-50 range – and a selective use of your existing Hilton Honors points – I’ve never seen certain London hotels cheaper when using points – you can quite cost effectively reach Diamond status if you wish to.
Your 2021 Nights Will All Roll Over to 2022
The element that most thrilled me about Hilton’s announcement is the roll over of ALL 2021 nights to 2022. So, even if we take the most extreme example above – 15 one-night stays – you will roll over at least 15 nights to 2022.
In 2022, therefore, it will be relatively easy to renew your Diamond status. Instead of the full 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points in 2022, you will only need 27 nights to renew your Diamond status. (stays and base points do not roll over)
The more nights you stay in 2021 – including fifth night free award stays which are explained here – the fewer nights you will actually require in 2022 to renew your Diamond status. (And you won’t have to hotel hop because you’ll be aiming to requalify using the nights method…)
Plus the Diamond Extension…
Hilton Honors also offers a one-off opportunity for Diamond members to extend their Diamond status by a year, despite not meeting the renewal criteria. Due to Hilton’s COVID-related status extensions, this facility hasn’t been needed for several years. But eventually normality will return…
The requirements for a Diamond extension are:
- Three years of Diamond status
- 250 nights (or 500,000 base points) accumulated since joining Hilton Honors
If you have been happily going along as a Gold member for many years, you might struggle with the Diamond years requirement, despite having more than enough nights to qualify. But if you reach Diamond status in 2021, and then renew it in 2022 thanks to the rollover nights, you will accumulate 2 of the Diamond years needed.
The Bottom Line
15 one-night stays in 2021 followed by 27 nights in 2022 –> Hilton Diamond status until 31 March, 2024, and potentially a year beyond… Which is why you might want to consider aiming for Diamond status this year if you can…
* How to Still Enjoy Status Until March 2023 Despite not Staying Since 2017
- 2017 – you accumulated 100+ nights (including any rollover nights from prior years)
- 2018 – no stays, but 40+ nights rolled over from 2017 – allowing for Gold qualification
- 2019 – no stays
- 2020 – first COVID extension provides reprieve for members due to lose their status
- 2021 – second COVID extension