Hilton HHonors Makes It Easier To Qualify For Lifetime Diamond Status

Filed Under: Hilton
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In early 2015, Hilton HHonors introduced lifetime Diamond status. Prior to that they didn’t offer any sort of lifetime Diamond status opportunity, which seemed a bit odd, given that Hilton is one of the hotel groups that makes it easiest to earn top tier status (you can earn it by spending $40,000 per year on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, for example).

When Hilton first introduced lifetime Diamond, the requirements for earning it were 10 years of Diamond status plus 1,000 paid nights.

Well, Hilton is making some positive changes to HHonors lifetime Diamond status qualification as of January 2017.

Diamond members receive complimentary breakfast at most hotels

So what’s changing?

  • The 1,000 nights needed to earn lifetime Diamond can be any sort of qualifying nights, and not just paid nights — in other words, reward stays now count towards that total as well
  • In lieu of 1,000 nights you can now qualify based on two million base points earned since joining the HHonors program (you typically earn 10 base points per dollar spent, meaning that equates to $200,000 of spend — in other words, if your average nightly spend is over $200 per night, this is an easier way to qualify); if you qualify using this method, you still need to be a Diamond member for 10 years

This coming February an email notification will go out to members who have qualified for lifetime Diamond as of December 31, 2016. In the meantime you can call the Diamond desk to see if you’d qualify under the new requirements.

The beautiful Conrad Koh Samui

This is definitely a positive improvement. As a point of comparison, here’s how lifetime top tier status works at the other major hotel chains:

  • Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond: $200,000 of spend (one million base points at five points per dollar)
  • Marriott Rewards Platinum: 750 nights plus 2 million points
  • SPG Platinum: 500 nights plus 10 years as Platinum

Will these changes in qualification criteria help anyone earn HHonors Diamond status?

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  1. Is this an either or qualification or do you still need 1000 nights plus being diamond for 10 years? And does Hilton have a way of tracking lifetime status qualification?

    I am wondering as often you can qualify for lifetime status with many companies without ever holding top status, I.e you can qualify for UA Million Miler status (lifetime gold) buy flying 40k miles a year for 25 years and never being gold.

  2. Except for two or three years, I have been a Diamond member going back to the introduction of the AMX Hilton Optima Card (at least 30+ years). Will they count all my nights for the 1,000 nights needed to qualify even if some of those nights were earned when I was Gold?

  3. do CC points count towards base points? recall, in old days, AA lifetime status allowed for credit card miles.

  4. Anytime I see a post by Lucky regarding Hilton, I know there’s a good chance of a picture for the Conrad Koh Samui (as I’ve been there twice)… Oh if Hilton only had more aspirational properties to check off bucket list.

  5. Wow, this is great news. From my calculations, this would get me over the line based on 2,ooo,ooo base points since I joined in 1996. It’s really difficult for Australian residents to get this unless we spend a lot of time travelling in the USA, Asia or Europe. But since I hit the road full-time 4 years ago, I live in Hilton’s when available everywhre I go. Good stuff and thanks for the update.

  6. I just used the online chat option on my Hilton account to see if I could find out my progress towards lifetime Diamond. The agent told me my status to Diamond for next year, which was wrong, then told me the criteria for Lifetime Diamond, and then told me again my progress towards Diamond for next year, but at least got it right that time. So, after 3 tries I gave up and ended the chat. Totally ridiculous.

  7. This is great news for me. Joined Hhonors in the late 90’s and have been a Diamond since approx. 2000. When I enquired a few years ago I discovered that reward stays did not count, which was not good. I also discovered that points +cash stays did not count as well – this was a real downer as that is one of the better ways to use points when you are not saving for a special event.

    Just spent 760,000 points for 10 nights in the Maldives Conrad Rangali Island (our 4th or 5th visit since when it was a Hilton) so it is great to know that 30 or more nights will be added to our total. (This is definitely an aspirational destination as well as the Conrad Bali and Conrad Hong Kong)

    I ‘may’ become a DFL before I am 90 yet 😉

    However – given how poorly the HHonors program records points and stays I have faith whatsoever that my proper number of stays or expenditure will have been properly recorded. I have been fighting since April to get the correct number of nights, stays and points recorded for two three night stays at the Conrad Bali this April! Still not correct but closer today than before.

  8. Whoops – that is “NO FAITH WHATSOEVER” that HHonors will be able to properly calculate the total number of stays, nights, points and expenditures for the last 20 odd years!

  9. After my disastrous online chat experience I called HHonors to get my progress. The Diamond agent had no idea the program had changed, I had to tell her about the new rules. She was able to tell me how many years I’ve been Diamond and how many stays I have, but not how many points. She filled out a ticket and said someone would probably have to go back and add it up manually, if they even had the info because she couldn’t even access all of my point activity since I joined in 2005. Doesn’t give me much hope that they will be able to determine how many base points anyone has, but we’ll see what happens.

  10. I received my email letting me know I made lifetime diamond this year and it is due to the change! I have 12 years diamond status with only 986 paid nights, but including reward nights put me well over the required 1000 nights. Thanks Hhonors!

  11. Well after 33 years field service,17 of those in the USA staying with Hilton or Hampton, I was told last week I’m diamond for life, nice but it also means that I have had no work life balance. Never mind I’m also retiring in July so at least I’ll have something to take with me into retirement a lifetime of Hilton upgrades. Cool

  12. I believe I qualify in both ways but my inquiry only got me a response of what the criteria is to qualify. I then replied that I believe I qualify in both ways. They say they have opened a case but have heard nothing. Odd… my last stay which got me over the nights sent me a congrats package on reaching DFL.

  13. Hi
    How does Hilton qualify a year counted towards Diamond lifetime status?
    For example I gained diamond in Oct 09.
    So does that year count as a Diamond Lifetime year ?
    Or will I only get 3 months diamond of that year?

    Will I then also receive the 12 months in 2010 towards DLT?
    The reason why is one department told us they count months which seems ridiculous.
    But we cannot find any such detail on Hilton website.
    Please let us know.

  14. Hilton isn’t totally honest about this program. I have been a Diamond Member since 11/2006 and have spent over 2,400 paid nights at Hilton properties. I called in Aug 2016 for a reservation and agent said that I should qualify for the Lifetime Diamond status on 1/1/17 because of my years as a Diamond and the # of paid nights I’ve spent. I said great and waited. In the 2nd week of January I called and was told I did qualify but that the change status at the end of the 1st quarter so April 1st it should go through. So I waited again. I called the second week of April and agent looked at my record and said again I did qualify and that somehow I was missed. He said that he would put a note in the system to that department to get my status changed online at least. He said that Hilton only send out the packets “Once” a year. This means that I probably won’t get my card or packet until 2018. I said as long as my account shows it that was fine. I then called back 10 days later and the agent said that my packet was in processing and should be mailed shortly and that my account should show the change soon. DID HAPPEN! I then called back for the 5th time and this agent put me on hold again as always and then came back and that I hadn’t qualified until Feb 2017 even though the 4 previous agents said I did. I asked for a person from this department to contact me and was told that I didn’t stay in Hilton properties for 2 months in 2010 (was going through cancer treatment) so I didn’t qualify until Feb 2017 and that I wouldn’t be given Lifetime status until April 2018. I guess staying over 2X the amount of night required means anything. Let’s See that would be $150/night average cost X 2.400 nights = $360,000. Guess I haven’t spent enough money for Hilton? Marriott here I come!

  15. Lifetime diamond membership is a fraud. It sounds nice but it’s just a ploy to rope you in. They can grant it or end it at Hiltons sole discretion. I live in hotels and I had this status but after a couple of my consultants complained. I confirmed the Hiltons definition of lifetime. They can give it or take it at anytime. I was so disgusted I checked out of my Hilton Suite that I had for a little over 3 years in downtown Indianapolis. The Hilton did actually strip me of my lifetime Diamond status after a few years – exercising their discretion rights. I may have lost their “fake” status but they lost a good customer. After checking out of the Hilton, I checked into the Residence Inn for the next 4 years and then moved to the Omni for these past 2 years. I also removed the Hilton from the preferred lodging and decline any meetings requested by local Hilton hotels (all brands) to negotiate a project rate and get back on our preferred list. With as low as 150 up to 200+ consultants traveling in each week, the Marriott and Omni hotels are delivering on their programs and treating our consultants very well. They don’t promise and take away when they choose. I actually think the Omni’s Black Status has no competition. Good luck with your fake promises and program but I prefer those that deliver on their promises.

    Lifetime Diamond Status is granted at the discretion of Hilton Honors Worldwide, LLC and may be ended, or amended with or without notice or compensation, at Hilton Honors’ sole discretion.

  16. Becoming a lifetime diamond member is tough.
    I still like Hilton best but lifetime is only my fantasy.

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