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:
- Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express ($95 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card, registration required
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express ($450 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card, registration required
- Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express ($0 annual fee) — when you spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year
Meanwhile the following cards let you earn Hilton Honors Diamond status:
- Hilton Honors™ Aspire® Card ($450 annual fee) — valid for as long as you have the card
- Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express ($95 annual fee) — when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 annual fee) — when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year
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?
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.