Through engaging with the Hilton Honors loyalty program, you can earn elite status and enjoy perks and benefits during your hotel stays.
Hilton has some of the easiest routes to earning elite status in the game, particularly through hotel activity and by holding and using the right credit cards.
In this guide, we’ll take a thorough look at the Hilton Honors elite status program, including how to qualify and the benefits at each tier.
In This Post
- How Does Hilton Honors Elite Status Work?
- Hilton Honors Status Tiers
- How to Earn Hilton Honors Lifetime Elite Status
How Does Hilton Honors Elite Status Work?
Beyond general membership, Hilton Honors has three elite tiers: Silver, Gold, and Diamond.
You can earn Hilton Honors elite status through qualifying hotel activity, as a perk offered on Canadian and US-issued credit cards, and by other means.
Earning Status with Hotel Stays
Through qualifying hotel activity, you can earn elite status by reaching the required number of nights, stays, or base points earned per calendar year.
To qualify for Hilton Honors elite status, you’ll need one of the following to access each associated tier:
- Silver: 10 nights, 4 stays, or 25,000 base points
- Gold: 40 nights, 20 stays, or 75,000 base points
- Diamond: 60 nights, 30 stays, or 120,000 base points
It’s important to note that stays booked with third-party providers, such as online travel agencies, don’t usually count towards elite qualifying nights or stays. Therefore, be sure to book directly with Hilton to ensure you’re credited for the nights from your stay.
Additionally, a “stay” is defined by Hilton Honors as any consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of the number of nights in that stay. This means it’s possible to earn Diamond status on only 30 qualifying nights, as long as no two qualifying nights were at the same hotel on consecutive nights.
You’re also able to earn elite status by accumulating base points, which are earned at a rate of 10 base points per $1 (all figures in USD) spent on a room rate or other eligible room charges in almost all of Hilton’s hotels.
At this earning rate, you’ll need to spend $2,500 to earn Silver status, $7,500 to earn Gold status, and $12,500 to earn Diamond status.
The two brand exceptions to the abovementioned earning rates are Home2 Suites by Hilton and Tru by Hilton. Within these brands, you’ll earn 5 base points per US dollar spent on your room rate, instead of the 10 base points per US dollar spent at all other Hilton brands.
Your Hilton Honors elite status is valid for the entire year in which you earn the status plus the entire following year and all the way until March 31 of the year after that.
For example, if you earn Gold elite status in April 2024, you’ll enjoy that status level until March 31, 2026.
Status with Credit Cards
Another way to fast-track to one of the above status levels is by simply holding the right credit card from American Express, or by reaching a specific spending threshold on your card each year.
In Canada and the United States, you can earn Hilton Gold status by being a cardholder of the American Express Platinum Card (Canada), the American Express US Platinum Card, the Business Platinum Card from American Express (Canada), and the Business Platinum Card from American Express US.
You’ll need to register for the status, but as long as you’re an eligible cardholder, you’ll enjoy Gold status without ever having to stay in hotels.
With the four US-issued co-branded American Express credit cards issued in the United States, you’ll have instant access to Hilton Honors elite status at the following tiers:
- Hilton Honors Card: Automatic Silver status, or Gold status upon spending $20,000 per year
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card: Automatic Gold status, or Diamond status upon spending $40,000 per year
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Automatic Diamond status
- Hilton Honors Business Card: Automatic Gold status, or Diamond status upon spending $40,000 per year
You can also have elite status gifted to you by other Hilton Honors members.
In this case, if a Hilton Honors member reaches 60 qualifying nights, they can gift a friend Gold status, and if they reach 100 qualifying nights, they can gift a friend Diamond status.
However, it’s important to be aware that gifted status will only last for 365 days from the day it was gifted.
Elite Rollover Nights
To help you reach your next elite status a bit quicker, Hilton also has a program called Elite Rollover Nights.
With this program, at the end of each year, if you were a Silver elite member or higher, any qualifying nights above those necessary to earn your current status tier are counted towards your status tier for the following year.
For example, if you earned 38 qualifying nights in a calendar year, you’d have reached the requirement for Silver status (10 nights), but you’d still be two nights short of the requirement for Gold status.
With the Elite Rollover Nights program, come January 1st, 28 of those qualifying nights (38 minus the 10 that got you Silver status) are automatically applied to your account, helping you get a jumpstart on next year’s elite status.
If you have elite status with a competing hotel loyalty program, and you’re currently a basic or a Silver elite member with Hilton Honors, you can take advantage of Hilton’s Elite Status Match offer.
This program provides a once-per-membership opportunity to upgrade your Hilton Honors status quickly, and you can easily register for the status match online with Hilton directly.
Once approved, you’ll automatically receive Hilton Gold status for 90 days. If you stay eight nights during this time, you’ll be able to keep your Gold status until the end of March two years from the year you applied for the status match.
For example, if you’re approved for a status match in 2024, and complete the qualifying requirements, you’ll enjoy Hilton Gold status through to March 31, 2026.
Additionally, if you stay 14 nights in the 90-day Gold status period, you’ll be upgraded to Diamond status, which will also be yours to enjoy until the end of March two years from when you completed your qualifying nights.
Hilton Honors Status Tiers
The Hilton Honors program has three elite tiers: Silver, Gold, and Diamond. As you move up in status, you’ll enjoy incremental perks and benefits, as outlined below.
The Silver level is Hilton’s lowest tier of elite status. You can reach Silver status by staying at a Hilton property for 10 nights or 4 stays, or by earning 25,000 base points (spending $2,500 USD) in a calendar year.
There aren’t many worthwhile benefits at this level, but we’ll look at a few worth noting below.
The best benefit at the Silver elite level is Fifth Night Free on reward stays. This perk is not available to general members, and is only unlocked once you’ve reached Silver status or higher in the Hilton Honors ecosystem.
When redeeming Hilton Honors points, members with Silver, Gold, and Diamond elite status can get the fifth night free when booking five or more consecutive nights at the same hotel. This essentially cuts the required number of points for this stay by as much as one-fifth.
For example, if you have a five-night stay booked, and each night costs 100,000 points, you’d wind up paying just 400,000 points with the Fifth Night Free benefit, instead of 500,000 points.
The Elite Rollover Nights benefit, described above, also begins at the Silver level, which can help you reach higher elite statuses in future years.
Additionally, as a Silver member, you’ll also enjoy a 20% earning bonus on paid stays, which comes on top of your base rate earnings.
The easiest route to Silver elite status is by simply holding the Hilton Honors Card, as you’ll receive Silver status automatically upon enrolment. And since the card has no annual fee, you can enjoy it year after year at no cost.
Hilton’s Gold status is where the benefits start to get noticeably better. You’ll enjoy all of the perks that general members and Silver Elite status holders receive, plus a whole lot more.
With Gold elite status, you’ll receive free breakfast, which comes in the form of a daily food and beverage credit or continental breakfast, depending on the brand and region.
You’ll also be eligible for room upgrades (subject to availability) and 80% bonus points on top of your base rate earnings.
Gold status can be earned by staying at a Hilton property for 40 nights or 20 stays, or by earning 75,000 base points (spending $7,500 USD) in a calendar year.
You can also unlock Hilton’s Gold status by holding the Canadian- or US-issued Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cards, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, the Hilton Honors Business Card, or by spending $20,000 (USD) on the Hilton Honors Card in a calendar year.
Diamond is Hilton’s highest status level, and it can be reached by staying at a Hilton property for 60 nights or 30 stays, or by earning 120,000 base points (spending $12,000 USD) in a calendar year.
With Diamond status, in addition to the benefits offered at the Silver and Gold tiers, you’ll also receive lounge access, better room upgrades (including one-bedroom suites), 100% bonus points, and a room-guarantee benefit.
It’s worth noting that lounge access is only available in the participating hotels and resorts that have a lounge. However, if you do stay at a hotel that has a lounge, you’ll usually have access to snacks and food throughout the day, including lunch and evening hors d’oeuvres.
Furthermore, room upgrades are still subject to availability, but you’re eligible for upgrades up to a one-bedroom suite. If you aren’t proactively upgraded, you can always try your best at “suite-talking” upon check-in.
At the Diamond level, you’ll receive a 100% bonus points on eligible stays.
If you also happen to have the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you can earn up to 34 points per US dollar spent at eligible Hilton properties:
- 10 base points per US dollar spent as a Hilton Honors member
- 10 bonus points per US dollar spent as a Hilton Diamond member
- 14 points per US dollar spent by paying with the Aspire card
These numbers increase even further with any promotions that may be happening during your stay.
When it comes to the 48-hour room guarantee, it means that even if a hotel is at capacity when you arrive, as long as your booking was made at least 48 hours before your stay, the hotel will have a room ready for you (subject to certain restrictions).
Lastly, Hilton Honors offers a unique benefit to Diamond members with the Diamond status extension.
With this feature, if you’ve been a Diamond member for at least three years at any point in the past, and you’ve stayed 250 lifetime nights or earned 500,000 base points (spending $50,000 USD), you can request a one-time Diamond status extension.
In order to be eligible for this extension, you must currently be a Diamond elite member whose status isn’t going to renew at its upcoming expiry date.
You can only request a Diamond status extension once in your life, so it’s best to use it wisely.
In addition to earning status through stays and spend, Diamond status can also be earned by holding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, or by spending $40,000 (USD) in a calendar year on either the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card or the Hilton Honors Business Card.
Notably, the Hilton Honors loyalty program is the only program that allows members to enjoy the highest possible elite status just by holding a certain credit card.
How to Earn Hilton Honors Lifetime Elite Status
Hilton Honors gives members the chance to earn Lifetime Diamond status. Currently, it’s not possible to earn Lifetime Silver or Gold status.
In order to earn Lifetime Diamond status, you’ll need to hold Diamond status for 10 years, and either stay with Hilton for a total of 1,000 nights, or earn 2,000,000 base points (spending $200,000 USD).
It’s worth noting that to help make this option more accessible, the 10-year requirement doesn’t have to be consecutive years, and you can also count the status you’ve earned through holding specific credit cards. Both cash and award nights count towards the tally.
Therefore, the easiest way to earn Lifetime Diamond status might be to hold the Hilton Honors Aspire American Express Card for a total of ten years to satisfy the first part of the requirement.
Then, you’d need to hustle to earn the 1,000 nights to fulfill the second part of the requirement. While this isn’t an easy task, you’ll be rewarded with status for the rest of your life once you hit the milestone.
Hilton has one of the largest hotel and resort footprints worldwide, and offers one of the easiest programs with which to earn elite status.
You can earn Silver, Gold, and even Diamond elite status by simply holding the right American Express Platinum, Business Platinum, or co-branded Hilton Honors credit card, or by meeting the required number of nights, stays, or base points earned.
The Hilton Honors status program offers a variety of benefits – particularly at its upper levels. If you enjoy Hilton’s hotel portfolio, consider taking advantage of the loyalty program’s accessibility to enjoy added perks during your stays.