Hotel elite status can provide numerous benefits for frequent travelers, and sometimes those perks can be even more valuable for those who don’t travel quite as often. Some chains, for example, will offer free breakfast or club access to elite guests, or an upgrade to a nicer room.
Even better, there are assorted credit cards that can provide those statuses outright, or at least give a nice boost towards elite qualification, so you don’t have to be a road warrior to earn elite status.
Hotel chains will also run promos on occasion whereby you can earn status more quickly by having a certain number of stays in a given time period, but for most of us the credit card status is the easier and more consistent route.
American Express Platinum cards now offer Hilton Gold status
American Express has been testing this benefit over the past few years, and the HHonors Gold benefit is now available to all Platinum cardholders.
Primary cardholders can register and link their accounts online. To do so, simply login to the promotion page:
Then enter your HHonors account details. If you don’t have a Hilton HHonors account, you can enroll in the program first.
The status should update within 72 hours.
The full terms of the offer are as follows:
As a Platinum Card® Member or Business Platinum Card® Member you are eligible to enroll in complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold status. Offer available only to Platinum Card Members and Business Platinum Card Members and is not transferable. Full details of Gold status can be found at hhonors.com/memberbenefits and is subject to change by Hilton.
If you already have Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status, you can maintain the benefit in the future because you do not need to meet any stay requirements. You maintain Gold status without meeting otherwise required criteria only while an eligible Card Member or until American Express notifies you that the benefit is terminated. Hilton HHonors™membership, earning of Points & Miles when booking direct and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions. Visithhonors.com/terms for more details.© 2015 Hilton Worldwide.
What does HHonors Gold get you?
At a minimum, you’ll receive the following when staying within the Hilton portfolio:
- Complimentary in-room and lobby standard internet access
- 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn
- 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more
While there are some slight variances across the various brands, you also generally receive:
- Space-available upgrade to a preferred room (including those with Executive Lounge access)
- Complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
Depending on the hotel and region, these latter benefits can be extremely generous. I’ve been given upgrades and full breakfast on multi-room stays at the Hilton Malta, for example, even though the benefit is technically just for one room.
Other cards offering Hilton HHonors gold status
Ironically, considering that HHonors Gold is the most valuable mid-tier elite status of any hotel chain, it’s also the easiest to secure.
- The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express, which also offers an upgrade to Diamond status when charging $40,000 to your card in a calendar year
For those outside of the United States, there are often promotions and special programs offering Hilton Gold status in addition to the relevant cards in your country. If you’re a Gold or Platinum member of the Virgin Australia Velocity program, for example, you’re eligible for Gold or Diamond status with Hilton, so it pays to check your membership details.
I see this as being particularly useful for business card holders. Being able to offer Gold status to your employees is a nice touch, and if you typically pay a meal per diem the breakfast/club lounge benefit could provide substantial savings over the course of the year.
Given the large global footprint Hilton often has the most convenient properties for short stays, so I anticipate I’ll use this benefit quite a bit, and it certainly adds value to the Platinum Card for me.