Hilton Honors Adjusts Status Match Program

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels
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Since mid-2016, Hilton Honors has been offering a status challenge program (prior to that they offered outright status matches). All things considered they’re one of the most generous loyalty programs when it comes to giving out status, whether it’s through a credit card or through a status challenge.

Well, Hilton has announced some significant changes to how their challenges work, including it now being more difficult to earn Honors Diamond status through this program.

Hilton Honors’ new status challenge

Hilton Honors has just modified their status challenge program, where you earn status upfront, and then can maintain that status based on staying a certain number of nights within 90 days.

With these changes, you’ll automatically be matched to Gold for a period of 90 days. Then you can maintain status based on how many nights you stay in a 90 day period:

  • Stay 10 nights within your 90 day trial period and you’ll keep Gold status through March 31, 2021
  • Stay 18 nights within your 90 day trial period and you’ll be upgraded to Diamond status through March 31, 2021

What has changed?

As a point of comparison, here’s how the challenge previously worked:

  • You could be be matched to Gold or Diamond status for a period of 90 days
  • If you wanted to extend your status, you had to complete the following number of stays within 90 days:
    • 4 stays for Honors Gold status
    • 8 stays for Honors Diamond status

So what has changed here is that maintaining status is based on how many nights you stay, rather than how many stays you make. Furthermore, you can no longer get Diamond status up front, but rather only based on your stays over the course of 90 days.

How to request a Hilton Honors status challenge

In order to request a status challenge you just have to fill out the online form with your first name, last name, email address, Honors account number, and the status you’re trying to match.

Then you have to also upload proof of your status, as well as proof of a stay with a competing hotel chain in the past 12 months (which prevents you from matching based solely on status obtained through a credit card, status match, etc.).

Do note that while you have to submit proof of a stay, it’s fine if you earned that status through a credit card. For example, if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and have stayed at least one night at an IHG property, you can use your Platinum status to start a Hilton Honors status challenge.

Hilton Honors status challenge FAQs

To answer some of the most frequently asked questions I get regarding Hilton status challenges:

  • Do award nights count towards the Hilton status challenge? In the past they did, though unfortunately they don’t anymore.
  • How often can you participate in a Hilton status challenge? Only once during the lifetime of your account.
  • How long does it take to start a Hilton status challenge? The terms state that it takes five to seven business days for status match requests to be processed. In the event that additional validation is required, it could take an extra five to seven business days.
  • Who is eligible for a status match? Only members who are base or Silver members. Gold or Diamond members aren’t eligible.

Earn Gold & Diamond Honors status with credit cards

While this is a great opportunity for a status challenge, also remember that Hilton makes it pretty easy to earn status through their US credit cards, if you have access to those. These credit cards even let you earn Diamond status automatically, and not just Gold status.

The following cards let you earn Hilton Honors Gold status:

Meanwhile, the following cards let you earn Hilton Honors Diamond status:

Bottom line

Hilton has historically been incredibly generous with status challenges, and that will continue to be the case. However, they’ll no longer give you Diamond status up front, and now maintaining status is based on nights rather than stays.

I’d say that I appreciate that Hilton is perhaps trying to make Diamond status more exclusive, but then again they also give it away with a credit card, so…

What do you make of the changes that have been made to Hilton Honors’ status challenges? Fair, or no?

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  1. Quick Qs

    Am tempoted to book a Hilton for a stay in September as even if it takes 10 days I should get IHG Plat matched to HH Gold

    But should I book the room before or after I get the match or won’t it make a difference?

    Also would being HH Gold exempt me from the ‘resort fee’ or ‘urban destination fee’ I’m seeing on some NYC hotels. Choice of hotels depends on it!

  2. I should say that they don’t give it anymore if you had it previously.
    I had it three times in a row.
    Did apply last week, but…

    “Dear David,

    My apologies, we have confirmed that your account had previously received the Status Match offer on March 8th 2017. This offer is valid only once per member, it cannot be used to extend status already awarded under the offer. We are unable to offer you another Status Match offer. We regret any inconvenience this has caused.”

    Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

  3. I agree that Diamnond is one of the easiest top tier statuses to get. But its also the one where its extremely hard to get an upgrade. Even the terms and conditions say space available suite upgrades but the problem is the space availabe. I am Diamond since 4 years and got exactly 1 suite upgrade. And that was in Shanghai a property which is not Hilton any more. Usually they just laugh at you on at front desk when you ask for an upgrade and say unfortunatelly no rooms available. I often showed them, that in Hilton app there are rooms available but they dont care say its an IT problem with the app. That means they lie in the face of their top tier clients! It happened to me at Auckland, Barcelona, Batumi, Berlin, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kiev, Kuala Lumpur, London, New York, Paris, Reykjavik, Santiago de Chile, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto and Warsaw.

  4. “Do award nights count towards the Hilton status challenge? In the past they did, though unfortunately they don’t anymore.”

    : I asked for the challenge in mid-May and just completed my diamond status challenge two days ago, then a few days ago, emailed HHnors to extend the status till Mar 2021. The first agent declined to extend, saying that half of my stays during the challenge are award stays, so not eligible. I thought it’ strange and she was just simply mistaken. Then I emailed to Diamond desk which extended the status. Now I realized they just changed the policy. lol. Personally (as professional Asian expat lady living in the Middle Eastern countries) I am quite satisfied with Hilton Diamond benefits which def. feel different from those of gold, most of my stays in East Asia and the Middle East. At my most recent stay at Waldorf DFIC Duabi, I was upgraded to a suite at check-in without any request/mention.

  5. @Lucky – So if I had already requested it and was in the process of completing the challenge based on the stays total and not the nights total I assume I am still good and there isnt any impact on those in the middle of the challenge? This is just for people signing up now and starting correct?

  6. I have the same question as CR and Emily – I have been upgraded to Gold and in the midst of the challenge window. So I guess I will still be covered by the old rules (i.e 4 and 8 stays for Gold and Diamond respectively)? thanks

  7. Thankfully, I completed my Diamond challenge with Hilton on August 11, after 8 stays. Hilton gave me Diamond status during the challenge. It is sad to know this is changing.

    As Mark stated, upgrade requests for Diamonds elicit a funny look from front desk personnel. The answer is always, “sorry but we are fully booked.”

    My 7 year Platinum Marriott and SPG status has given me lots of upgrades and fantastic treatment.

    Being Diamond seems less impressive to Hilton staff than being Platinum does to IHG, Marriott or SPG staff, even though Platinum is only mid-tier for IHG and Marriott.

  8. @Darren C sez: “As Mark stated, upgrade requests for Diamonds elicit a funny look from front desk personnel. The answer is always, “sorry but we are fully booked.””

    With such a negative attitude one wonders why you even bothered to do the challenge…

    Well, let me see if I can give you some hope. According to your pall, Mark, he’s been “Diamond since 4 years and got exactly 1 suite upgrade. And that was in Shanghai a property which is not Hilton any more.”

    Then he added that he’s been denied suite upgrades even when he knew for sure that suites were available and “It happened to (him) at Auckland, Barcelona, Batumi, Berlin, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kiev, Kuala Lumpur, London, New York, Paris, Reykjavik, Santiago de Chile, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto and Warsaw.”

    Without knowing which properties in those cities he referred to I cannot be sure, but I will just address those in cities that have limited Hilton presence so that I would probably be referring to the same properties.

    Buenos Aires: that would likely be Hilton Buenos Aires. As it turns out I am right now staying at this property. Got in last night for 4-night stay, my 4rh in 8 years, and guess what. I was upgraded to a junior suite effortlessly, so that I am 4 for 4 suite upgrades just at this one property. I made sure to request a 6pm checkout when I checked in and I bet I will be 4 for 4 in getting 6pm check-out requests approved.

    Singapore: Hilton or Conrad. I have stayed only once at the Conrad and got a suite upgrade. I have stayed at the Hilton more times than I can remember and have been upgraded to exec suites (the only type of suite the property has) multiple times; will likely be upgraded this coming December).

    Hong Kong – just one property, the Conrad. I have also stayed at this property more times than I can recall, and I have been upgraded to a suite EVERY SINGLE TIME, and in recent years, without asking

    Anyway, you get the picture, which is that your problem is that you are not making the most of your status, likely because you have drunk too much of the kool-aid about how Hilton Honors is “weak” program, even though it is the only program that has remained rewarding, when every other program is either dead or barely recognizable.

    G’day from my EZE life!

  9. @DCS

    Can’t say that I have had quite the same success as you have but the HH program almost always does well by me. It really helps to have stayed in a property before.

    Recently in Bali the new Hilton did not respect my Diamond status and just gave me a “deluxe” room with Diamond benefits. Stayed a few more nights at the Ritz in a similar room. Then back to my favourite Conrad Bali where we were welcomed with open arms and upgraded to a suite in the Suite Block that has its own restricted pool and is adjacent to the executive lounge and restaurant.

    The Conrad Hong Kong is to die for and we have never been just given a room on the exec floor, always a suite.

    Inside the USA it is a totally different story. Because Diamond comes in every box of cracker jacks, a diamond is a regular customer with a credit card and is treated as such. Beside which, there is no real benefit to being a Diamond since you pay for everything and there are very few executive floors and even these have minimal offerings other than free soft drinks whenever they decide to be open.

    I applaud the new restrictions on becoming Diamond and hope that the numbers are severely restricted which will mean better benefits and recognition for ‘real’ butt-in-bed Diamonds.

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