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We may only be less than a month into the new year, but most travel providers have already realized that 2021 will be much like 2020 (as far a people’s travel patterns go). That’s why we’re seeing various loyalty programs cutting their elite status requirements, giving status boosts, and coming up with other incentives to keep their members engaged.
Hilton Honors has been one of the more active loyalty programs when it comes to keeping its members happy with confirmation that elite statuses have been extended through March 2022, confirmation that points expirations have been paused through December 2021, and that elite status requirements for 2021 have been slashed by 50%. As if that wasn’t enough, Hilton has also now made it incredibly easy to earn its top-tier Diamond status.
If you have access to the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire credit card, that still offers the most economical path to top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond status (it’s a standard benefit that the $450/year card offers), but for everyone else Hilton’s current status match promotion may be one of the easiest ways, ever, to get all the best benefits of the Hilton Honors program.
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 select 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. 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 to them (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, ordinarily, have 90 days in which to do one of the following:
- Stay 10 nights at Hilton properties worldwide to retain Hilton Honors Gold status
- Stay 18 nights at Hilton properties worldwide to earn Hilton Honors Diamond status.
For 2021, however, Hilton has dropped these requirements by 50% and has boosted the length of time for which elite status is being granted. For the rest of this year, it is possible to earn the following:
- Hilton Gold Status through 31 March 2023 by staying 5 nights in a 90 day period
- Hilton Diamond Status through 31 March 2023 by staying 9 nights in a 90 day period
Note: Award bookings do not count for the purposes of a Hilton status match challenge.
This is an incredibly good offer for anyone who doesn’t have access to the Hilton Honors Aspire card and although Hilton Diamond Status can often be a little underwhelming when used at properties in the US, in Europe the benefits can be very good and in Asia they can be stellar.
Personally, I hold Hilton Honors Gold status courtesy of my American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card (review) and that’s more than good enough for me as most of my stays are with Marriott and Hyatt. If, however, you’re a fan of Hilton but never seem to be able to put together enough stays to earn top-tier status, this status challenge may be your best chance to see what you’ve been missing out on and to enjoy top-tier status for over two years.
For 2021, Hilton has dropped the requirements of its status match program by 50% and is now offering Gold and Diamond status to anyone who spends 5 or 9 nights (respectively) at any of its properties within a 90-day period. Award bookings don’t count towards the status match targets but as the nights required don’t all have to be earned in one stay, this should be a relatively easy status challenge for most people to complete.
Will you be going for a status match with Hilton?