Hotel status can save you money, offer otherwise out-of-reach benefits, and maximize the value you get from award redemptions and paid stays. In this guide, let’s look at Hilton Honors Gold and Hilton Diamond status to understand what’s included at each level, how to earn that status, and which one makes the most sense for your travel goals.
Hilton Honors Gold vs. Hilton Diamond Status
The Hilton Honors program comes with 4 tiers of status, Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. In order to see the value in both Hilton Gold and Hilton Diamond, let’s quickly look at what you’ll get for the lower 2 tiers.
Upon signing up for Hilton Honors, you’re given Member status. This comes with basic perks like
- member-only refundable room rates,
- 10x the points earned per dollar spent for a paid Hilton stay,
- free lobby and in-room standard Hilton Honors wifi,
- streamlined check-in and check-out,
- late check-out,
- and a free 2nd guest.
After completing 4 stays or 10 nights in a calendar year, you’ll move up to Hilton Silver status. This includes
- all of the Hilton Honors benefits above,
- a 20% bonus (12 pts.) on the base points earned per dollar spent for a paid Hilton stay, and
- the Hilton 5th night free benefit kicks in on award stays booked entirely with points.
And, as an added extra, those with Hilton Honors silver status get 2 free bottles of water for each stay at select hotel brands.
Now, it’s always beneficial to join hotel loyalty programs regardless of how often you stay with a particular brand. In the case of Hilton, even having just Member status can save a little money over non-members.
But, the real value starts to add up in cold, hard dollars once you’ve achieved Hilton Honors Gold status or become a Hilton Honors Diamond member. Let’s take a look at the benefits and compare.
Hilton Honors Gold Benefits
It’s important to remember each Hilton Honors tier gets all the benefits of the tiers below it. So, members with Hilton Gold status get all of the above perks. In addition, you’ll get
- an 80% bonus (18 pts.) on the base points earned per dollar spent for a paid Hilton stay,
- free breakfast at Waldorf, Conrad, Hilton, DoubleTree, and Curio for you and a guest staying with you, and
- room upgrades (space permitting) to preferred rooms at Waldorf, Conrad, Curio, Hilton, and DoubleTree.
Additionally, Hilton properties offer Gold members the choice between breakfast, snacks and/or non-alcoholic drinks and bonus points per stay. So if you’re at the Waldorf and you opt out of the free breakfast, you’ll get 1k bonus points. Guests with Gold status at a Homewood Suites can choose between 2 bottles of water and a sweet treat per stay or 250 bonus points.
How to Earn Hilton Gold Status
You can earn Hilton Honors Gold for 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75k Hilton base points in a calendar year.
For most of us who are not road warriors traveling for business all the time, 20 stays or 40 nights is pretty near impossible. Even for myself as a teacher with summers off, that would be quite the feat to achieve, not to mention the expense!
Luckily, there’s a simpler way to reach Gold status with Hilton.
American Express offers 4 co-branded Hilton credit cards, 3 personal and 1 business card. Of these cards, 2 of them give instant Gold status.
- Hilton Honors Ascend
- Hilton Honors American Express Business
Both earn up to 100k Hilton points after meeting minimum spending tiers. The annual fee is $95 on each card.
Depending on the card, there are generous bonus categories on things like groceries, gas, restaurants, and cell phone costs, not to mention the ability to earn Hilton points at a rate of 12x the points for every dollar spent. This would be in addition to the base and bonus points you’d earn for your status.
Having an American Express Platinum also comes with Hilton Gold status. Further down in this guide, you’ll find more about earning Gold status with Hilton.
Hilton Diamond Status Benefits
Hilton’s most premium status tier, Diamond, comes with all of the member benefits discussed above. On top of that, a Hilton Diamond member gets:
- a 100% bonus (20 pts.) on the base points earned per dollar spent for a paid Hilton stay,
- in-room and lobby premium wifi,
- Diamond status extension for an additional year for any reason, and
- a 48-hour room guarantee for any last-minute bookings.
In addition and depending on the property, Hilton Diamond members get access to the Executive Lounge floor and bonus points per stay as well as the free breakfast instead of either or.
How to Earn Hilton Diamond Status
If earning Hilton Gold naturally was tough, earning Diamond status would be an all-out Houdini magic trick for the average traveler.
You can reach Diamond from 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120k Hilton base points.
Fortunately, American Express has a co-branded Hilton credit card which comes with instant Diamond status.
- Hilton Honors Aspire
This is a premium card with a premium annual fee of $450 in exchange for $250 Hilton resort and airline credits, Priority Pass Select membership, a free night certificate, a $100 on-property Hilton credit for eligible stays, and more.
After meeting the minimum spend, you’ll earn 100k Hilton points. The card has bonus categories like earning 7x the points for restaurants and specific travel expenses and 14x the points for paid Hilton stays.
Why not just get the Hilton Honors Aspire for Diamond Status?
If you’re someone who stays looks to stay at Hilton properties or even a traveler who is targeting stays at a few Hilton brands in the coming 6-12 months, it makes total sense to go for Diamond via the Aspire card.
Not only is it easier, it’s much more cost-effective than reaching Diamond status naturally (unless you’re a business traveler staying on the company’s dime) or even through a status match challenge where you’ll still have to complete a number of stays within a specific period of time.
Assuming you make use of the perks, the free breakfasts, 5th night free, and space permitting upgrades are worth the premium annual fee. This doesn’t even include the benefits that come with the card like the $250 airline credit which could save on things like bag fees or the supercharged Hilton points earning potential.
Hilton has a big presence around the globe with over 5k hotels in more than 100 countries. Their mid to upper category hotels can be a great deal when booked with Hilton points and cash. Add to that the perks that come with Hilton Diamond status and the return value is clear.
Is Hilton Gold Worth it?
Absolutely. There’s great value in the free breakfasts alone. If you stay at Hilton’s once in a while or are a traveler who will choose a Hilton hotel only if the price is right compared to other hotels nearby, Gold status is a good alternative. What good are the souped-up Diamond benefits if you’re not staying at a Hilton, right?
Plus, there are more ways to earn Hilton Gold status than from a co-branded credit card.
If you have the Amex Platinum card, Hilton Gold status is one of the benefits. There’s also a Hilton status match challenge which makes achieving Gold status possible if you have an equivalent status with another hotel loyalty program like, for example, Marriott or IHG. This is especially good news for anyone still under or trying to get under Chase’s 5/24.
There’s no doubt having Hilton Gold or Diamond status comes with benefits that’ll help you get the most from your Hilton stays. It’s important to think about your travel goals to determine which level of status makes the most sense for you.
Do you have or are you trying to get Hilton Gold or Diamond status?
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