How To Earn Hilton Honors Lifetime Diamond Status

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels
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Most major hotel programs offer a way to earn lifetime elite status, which is a way for hotel groups to reward those who have been exceptionally loyal over the years. In this post I wanted to take a look at how you can earn lifetime status in the Hilton Honors program.

Hilton Honors’ lifetime status program

While Hilton Honors has three elite tiers — Silver, Gold, and Diamond — the program only offers lifetime Diamond status, meaning there’s no way to earn lifetime Silver or Gold status. Lifetime status is still a relatively new concept to the Hilton Honors program, as it was only introduced back in 2015.

In order to earn Hilton Honors lifetime Diamond status:

  • Members must have maintained Hilton Honors Diamond status for 10 years (the years don’t need to be consecutive)
  • Members must have stayed a total of at least 1,000 nights (either paid or award) OR must have accumulated at least two million base points since joining the Hilton Honors program

As you can see, everyone needs to earn Diamond status for 10 years, and then complete one of the two other requirements. For some context on those requirements:

  • Hilton Honors Diamond status ordinarily requires 60 elite nights per year, so 1,000 nights is the equivalent of earning Diamond status for over 16 years
  • Hilton Honors members earn 10 base points per dollar spent at most hotel brands, meaning earning two million base points is the equivalent of $200,000 in eligible Hilton Honors spending; base points don’t include any sort of points earned through promotions, or points earned through co-branded Hilton Honors cards

Hilton Honors Diamond status is Hilton’s top-tier status, and it includes perks like room upgrades subject to availability, complimentary breakfast and/or executive lounge access, bonus points, premium internet, and much more. Read my full guide to Hilton Honors Diamond status here.

Receive complimentary breakfast as a Hilton Honors Diamond member

Can you earn Hilton Honors lifetime status with credit cards?

One of the things that I love about the Hilton Honors program is how easy it is to earn status with credit cards, including top-tier Diamond status:

Can the Diamond status earned through co-branded credit cards count towards lifetime Diamond status? Yes and no:

  • Diamond status earned through credit cards does count towards the 10 year Diamond status requirement for lifetime status
  • However, you’d still need to rack up either 1,000 nights or two million base points, which is the much bigger hurdle

So yes, credit cards can help with one metric of lifetime status, but not with the biggest hurdle that needs to be overcome.

Credit cards will only get you so far with Hilton Honors lifetime status

Is Hilton Honors lifetime status worth it?

Yes, go check into a Hampton Inn for 1,000 nights, it’s totally worth it. 😉

In all honesty, the answer is much more nuanced than that:

  • Generally speaking I don’t think lifetime status is worth going out of your way for too much, given the extent to which loyalty programs are in control — they can change both the qualification requirements and benefits of status at will
  • I don’t value the concept of lifetime Hilton Honors Diamond status that much, given how easy it is to earn Hilton Honors status otherwise; I can maintain this status every year just by holding onto a fantastic credit card, so there’s nothing I’m really missing out on
  • The one lifetime hotel status that gets me most excited is lifetime World of Hyatt Globalist status, both due to the general perks associated with Globalist status, and also because benefits stack for lifetime Globalist members, which is to say they receive an extra four suite upgrade awards per year, more free night certificates, etc.
  • As a point of comparison, lifetime Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status is much easier to earn, and Marriott Platinum perks are roughly comparable to Hilton Diamond perks, in my opinion

If you happen to find yourself staying at Hiltons a lot then lifetime status is definitely worth keeping in the back of your mind, though it’s not worth doing anything too drastic to earn the lifetime status, in my opinion.

Hilton Honors Diamond members may sometimes receive suite upgrades

Bottom line

The Hilton Honors program only introduced lifetime status back in 2015. It’s possible to earn lifetime Diamond status by qualifying for Diamond status for 10 years, and then earning either 1,000 elite nights or two million base points (equivalent to at least $200,000 in spending at Hilton hotels).

Hilton has some fairly steep lifetime status requirements, especially given how attainable Diamond status is otherwise.

What’s your take on Hilton Honors’ lifetime Diamond status? Are any OMAAT readers lifetime Diamond members?

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Comments
  1. I look at your posting almost daily and enjoy your reviews etc . One of the great things are your pics of cabin interiors and hotel and room pics. It would be great if you could put a small note on all you photos as the what or where the pic are . Just a thought

  2. “What’s your take on Hilton Honors’ lifetime Diamond status?”

    – That it’s automatically available with a $500/year credit card reduces the value for me. If I want this when I turn 65, I can just pay for it for a year. Or for two. Whatever, that’s way better value.

    I’m still pursuing Hyatt Globalist LT, though I have concerns about hotel chain viability and/or reach. The fact that most full service hotels have cut lounges and breakfast (or turned it into a 500-point benefit) really rubs me the wrong way.

  3. Is there a way to track LT Hilton status progress? I thought they were going to implement it, but I think the pandemic hit and it got pushed to the back burner.

  4. The best way to achieve lifetime Diamond status is to keep the Aspire in your sock drawer for the rest of your life.

  5. All bonus CC spend on the Aspire card (maybe others too) in 2021counts towards the lifetime base points. Sure 2 million is still a lot but might be enough to get some people who are close enough get over that hurdle.

  6. I have Marriott lifetime Titanium status and can say first hand it is for the most part well worth it. Great to be off the “ferris wheel” of status chasing for airline and hotel status.

  7. It’s worth noting that from May 2020 through December 2021, what would usually be bonus points (sign-up bonuses excluded, though the spend towards those bonuses would earn base points) from the Hilton Amex cards (NAF, Surpass, Business, and Aspire) are posting on the Hilton side as base points, which will count towards LT Diamond.

  8. I am in Dallas TX and 25 nights short of lifetime Hilton Diamond, have been Diamond for over 13 years straight.
    What advice to you have for me to get those 25 nights?
    How do I find cheap (e.g. $40/nite? 50? 60? etc. ) Hilton family hotels in the Dallas TX area that I can go get 25 nights and be done with it
    or
    (2) in anywhere in the country or world that I can check in virtually and not have to physically travel to and get credit for the 25 nights
    or
    (3) using points still counts towards nights, so as the alternative currency, I have over one million unused points right now, the same question applies, which hotels would have the lowest point usage in Dallas TX or anywhere in the world,
    or
    (4) what other strategies would you suggest? Spending $70,80,90,100, etc. is the easy option, I wouldn’t need your advice on that. You are a savvy group, so that is why I am asking you.

  9. @Carlos
    Do it naturally with no rush, plenty of time. Use the poins if the value is lower. No need to spend extra money, zero advantage.

  10. ^ Carlos if you want to earn points but not actually turn up at the hotel check in via the HH app. I’ve done that twice when I’ve had non-cancellable reservations, selecting my room and checking in and on both occasions received the points.

  11. An ex co-worker claimed he had higher status than Diamond, VIP I think. I thought he was bullshitting me and the hotel manager when he was trying to get me the same rate he got. The manager nicely told him he was full of shit, and her tude changed once the desk clerk brought up his reservation. End result I got his rate and maybe there is higher than Diamond. The guy lived literally lived in Hiltons.

  12. I hit Lifetime Diamond in 2016. Almost all stays paid for through company travel. While people may not see the value in it, I retired in 2018 and the benefits are great for use on international travel. Hilton has a decent footprint in Europe and Asia. I have had some fantastic upgrades and treated very well during my stays. In Lisbon at check in, the front desk asked me to wait one minute. She made a quick call and the GM came out with his assistant presenting me with a gift box or port and olive oil and my wife was given flowers. The room had a bottle of wine and another small bottle of port with chocolates. There have been many other similar experiences.

    The treatment is great and I do like that the benefits don’t end just because my business travel has ended. The global footprint of Hilton is why I chose the brand and program knowing my business trips were 1-3 nights at a time so free breakfast meant little and a suite upgrade to me had less value since I wasn’t really using the room much. For me, the benefits are more valuable now that I can really enjoy them.

  13. I have the 10 years but only about 860 nights. Nowhere close on points, too many Homewood Suites stays :). I wish they were a little less tight and made it 800 nights, or have a lifetime Gold level. I already have Marriott LT Platinum (but stayed there much less) and Hyatt LT Globalist via the credit card (one of the lucky few to get it through an errant one day offer years ago).

  14. @Carlos

    I am also in the Dallas area (Frisco) and have Marriott lifetime Titanium and UA Lifetime 1-K so I do not chase status too hard anymore. I am not close to Hilton lifetime so I “buy Diamond” by keeping the Aspire card.

    My suggestion to you, assuming you are still traveling, is to spring for the Aspire card for $450.00 and get your lifetime perks immediately. You should be able to earn 25 more nights via travel you would have done anyway, award or paid. Then, you can downgrade the Hilton card and enjoy your lifetime Diamond for Free. Good luck!!

  15. @Ghostwriter5048

    I am also Lifetime Titanium. I do find the treatment as Titanium a cut above Platinum even though the benefits are similar. Like any hotel frequency program, the experience varies by the property, day of the week and whether you ask for your bennies, particularly if you check inventory first so you know what availability really looks like. Last a smile at check in goes a long way.

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