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Yesterday I wrote about the new promotion that Hilton should be announcing officially in the next few days and which will offer double elite qualifying nights for all stays through the end of the year. That in itself was very good news for anyone looking to earn elite night credits towards elite status in 2022, but it’s also fantastic news for anyone looking to complete a Hilton status match challenge.
The terms and conditions of the upcoming Hilton Honors promotion say that the double elite night credits that will be on offer will “count towards Milestone bonuses, fast tracks, and rollover nights” and fellow Boarding Area blog YouHaveBeenUpgraded has now had confirmation from Hilton that the wording “fast tracks” definitely includes Hilton’s ongoing status match promotion.
What Is A Status Match?
Quite simply, a status match is a tool that loyalty programs use to encourage elite members of other loyalty programs to switch over to them.
Loyalty programs give their elite members benefits (e.g. upgrades, complimentary breakfast, bonus points, etc…) when they book travel with them, and travelers who value these benefits are often less likely to book travel away from a given program if they’re not likely to get similar benefits elsewhere…and that’s where status matches come in. Loyalty programs like Hilton Honors offer travelers immediate but temporary elite status (a status match) to get them to move their business over (the traveler will enjoy elite status benefits as they try the program out), and if the traveler goes on to complete a pre-set “challenge” in a pre-set period of time, they get to keep the status they have been given. If they exceed the basic requirements of the challenge, they may even earn an improved level of elite status.
What Is Hilton’s Status Match?
To be eligible for a Hilton status match you need to be able to demonstrate the following:
- You hold elite status in another hotel loyalty program
- You had at least one stay (of any length) at a property within your existing program in the past 12 months.
If you fulfill the two simple criteria above, Hilton will match a traveler to their mid-tier Gold status level for a period of 90 days (from when the status match is confirmed) and the traveler will then have 90 days in which to do one of the following:
- Stay 10 nights at Hilton properties worldwide to retain Hilton Honors Gold status through 31 March 2022.
- Stay 18 nights at Hilton properties worldwide to earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through 31 March 2022.
Note: Award bookings do not count for the purposes of a Hilton status match challenge.
Earn Top-Tier Status In Just 9 Nights
Thanks to the confirmation from YHBU, we now have confirmation that the double elite nights that Hilton will be offering on all stays between 8 September and 31 December 2020 will count towards Hilton’s status match challenge. Anyone with elite status at another hotel chain can now apply for a Hilton status match and earn Gold status and Diamond status with just half the number of nights normally required. That’s just 5 nights for Gold status and 9 nights for Diamond status.
If you’ve been considering moving more of your stays over to Hilton this is an incredibly good deal and it may be your most economical path to elite status with a new hotel program. With Gold status offering a member (+ a companion in the same room) daily complimentary breakfast at any Hilton property in the world, even the lower status offered by the status match is well worth having.
A Status Match May Not Be For You
If you’re not a legal resident of the United States a status match can be a fantastically economical way of getting yourself on the Hilton elite status ladder without having to “suffer” any stays without any benefits…but a status match may not be right for everyone.
If you have access to US credit cards a status match may not be the most economical way of earning and retaining Hilton elite status as a credit card may offer a far better option:
- The Hilton Honors Surpass credit card from American Express costs just $95/year (rates & fees) and bestows Gold status on a cardholder for as long as the card is active.
- The Hilton Honors Aspire credit card costs $450/year (rates & fees) and, alongside a host of great benefits, it bestows Diamond status on a cardholder for as long as the card is active.
I highly doubt that anyone will be able to book 5 nights (needed for Gold status) for $95 and, even in these economically challenging times, it’s unlikely anyone many people will be able to book 9 nights for under $450. If you have access to these credit cards they almost certainly offer the better deal.
Once the upcoming Hilton promotion goes live on 8 September, travelers will be able to request a Hilton status match and, with just 9 paid nights, be able to earn Hilton Honors Diamond (top-tier) status through March 2022. If you don’t have access to US credit cards this will probably be one of the most economical paths you’ll find to any hotel elite status…and it can be a pretty good status to have too.