Hilton Honors Status Match & Challenge [2019]

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Since mid-2016, Hilton Honors has been offering a status challenge program (prior to that they offered outright status matches).

I wanted to provide an update on the current status of the challenge, for anyone who is considering one in the new year (either because you’re tired of other hotel loyalty programs, or because Hilton just fits your stay profile well).

Hilton Honors status challenge 2019

While Hilton Honors doesn’t offer status matches, they continue to offer a status challenge, which works as follows:

  • You’ll be matched to Gold or Diamond status for a period of 90 days
  • If you want your status extended through March 31, 2020, you have to complete the following stays at Hilton-affiliated properties within 90 days:
    • 4 stays for Honors Gold status
    • 8 stays for Honors Diamond status

Hilton Honors status challenge validity

If you complete the challenge, your status will be valid through March 2020, so you’ll get over a year of value out of the status.

Note that historically if you match in June of a given year or later, you also get status for the entire following year. In other words, if you did a status challenge in June 2019, your status would likely be good through March 2021. At least that has been the case historically, though there’s no guarantee that will be the case again this year.

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 Diamond challenge.

You can only complete the status challenge through stays and not through nights, which I find a bit odd. In other words, someone who completes eight stays of one night each would earn Diamond status, while someone who completes seven stays of five nights each wouldn’t get Diamond status.

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? Yes, award nights, cash nights, and even mixed points and cash stays all qualify.
  • Can you check into the same hotel back-to-back every night to complete multiple stays? No, multiple back-to-back nights at a single property will automatically be consolidated into one stay. You’d either need to leave a one night gap between stays at the same hotel, or switch to a different hotel every night.
  • How long does it take to start a Hilton status challenge? There are mixed reports as to how quickly the status challenge starts after requesting it. I’ve seen some say they heard back from Hilton within a few days, while others say it takes up to 10 days.

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.

The following cards let you earn Hilton Honors Gold status:

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

Bottom line

While personally I think credit cards are the easiest way to earn Hilton Honors status (assuming you’re eligible for US cards), Hilton also offers a decent status challenge. If you start the challenge now, it will be valid through March 2020.

If you want to wait, chances are that if you start the challenge in June or later, the status will be valid through March 2021.

Have you completed a Hilton status challenge? If so, what was your experience like?

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  1. If we match from Marriott Gold to Hilton, can we request being matched to Diamond if we already have Hilton Gold? Thanks

  2. I did the status challenge with IHG Platinum once before about 2 years ago and I am currently participating again. I did not change my HHonors number or IHG member number. My guess is that there needs to be some time between the challenges, although I can’t say how much.

  3. I tried this last year about this time and ended up one short of completing a Diamond challenge (got dates mixed up). How long do I have to wait to try again?

  4. When everyone is diamond nobody is diamond. Between this and the aspire card you gotta figure status isnt that valuable.

  5. Hello Lucky,

    I got burned because i thought reward stays counts toward status match promotion and was one night short by end of the period.

    They dont count towards status match promotion and i have confirmed that with them, if you want i can forward you the email.

    Here is what they said upon my inquiry:-

    “Thank you for your inquiry regarding Honors promotion. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.

    Please be informed that you need to complete 1 more stay within 30th November as the reward stays are not counted as an eligible stay.

    I’m happy to clear up any confusion regarding our reward stay policies.

    Members earn 10 base points per dollar spent on room rate only for eligible rate stays at these hotels. Reward stays are not eligible to earn Points at Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home 2 Suites by Hilton, Hampton Inn, or Hampton Inn and Suites hotels. At Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Conrad, and Waldorf Astoria Collection hotels, members may earn credit for incidental charges incurred and reward stays are not eligible to count as a stay for status match program.

    For further assistance, please call Hilton Customer Service at 1-800-548-8690 and a representative will be happy to assist you.”

    So please fix point one in faq as i searched everywhere on blogs and mostly found this info but unfortunately that doesnt count toward status match program.

    Hopefully that will help others.


  6. Bill’s right and the airlines have proved it. UA has so many other 1K’s that I have to buy first to fly first.

  7. @charlie
    I did the status challenge in March/April last year and using both points stays and points and cash… the p&c stays triggered a qualifying night as cash portion accounts for qualifying spend. With the points only stays you need to have a spend associated with the stay, I just had a coffee … so minimal cost added to folio and in this case triggers the qualifying stay.
    You must have a qualifying spend on Points Only stay. Found this info through Boarding Area backfiles…. before I started the challenge.
    Anyway it works…and was granted Diamond Status until 2020.

  8. Hilton is telling me I checked in for my 8th stay on day 90 and you must check out by day 90. I have screen shots of customer service telling me must complete stays by 2 days later. Still trying to dispute this.

  9. Have spent the last 2 weeks trying to sign up for this status match to gold against my marriott gold. I have submitted the requested documentation 3 times and keep getting form replies thanking me for my interest and asking me to submit documenting to verify my marriott status. The last time I was told that my name somehow doesn’t match. I think I’lk just avoid Hilton the rest of the year.

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