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When you grow up in a world where Motel 8 is considered fancy, it can feel a little pretentious to walk into a place like Conrad London St. James and declare you have Diamond Status. But, the complimentary afternoon teas with an unlimited supply of scones, clotted cream, and jam are persuasive. Once the posh atmosphere envelops you, you kind of get over it.
I could take pages of this article to tell you all about my wonderful experiences as a Hilton Diamond member, and I may throw in a few stories here and there, but this article is really about you. This is about you dipping your toes into the world of loyalty programs that make your travels so much more inviting. I want this article to focus on the facts that will help you decide which loyalty program has the perks you want.
To assist you with your decision, I will present the benefits of having a Hilton Diamond Status and teach you how to get Hilton Diamond Status. I will also give a few recommendations for how to take advantage of the perks attached to your status. Keep reading if you’re ready to travel in comfort and style.
Bottom Line Up Front
Reading about Diamond Status can take some time, and I understand if yours is limited at the moment. For this reason, I have created this brief summary of what I explain in great detail throughout the rest of the article. Read through this summary today and mull it over until you have the time to read the rest of the article. There’s no reason to rush or pressure yourself; after all, this should be a fun decision.
The best way to sum up the method for earning Hilton Diamond Status is to know yourself, your travel desires, and your financial situation. You’ll need to understand what you want to get out of your travels and if Hilton meets those wants.
If Hilton does meet the mark, you’ll need to decide the best method for earning Diamond Status. Either you will need to earn points or sign up for a credit card. The choice is up to you.
It’s All about the Little Stuff
I can spend all day telling you that mini scones topped with clotted cream and jam make Diamond Status worth it to me, but is that really a selling point for you? Before you hop onto the Hilton Diamond Status bandwagon, you need to decide if its offers are attractive to you. I recommend that you consider the following details before joining:
Location, Location, Location
Hilton brand has plenty of hotels all over the world. It’s an accepted fact that they are strategically located, but they aren’t everywhere. If Hilton doesn’t have a hotel located in a place you frequent or intend to visit, you may want to find a different loyalty program.
Alongside researching Hilton hotel locations, you may want to look into the type of hotels available at each location. Some Hilton hotels are considered luxury types, while others are not. If your travel tastes are luxurious but Hilton does not offer this type of hotel in an area you frequently visit, you may need to find a different loyalty program. The reverse of this is true too.
Perks, Points, and Status
This loyalty program has a lot to offer, but it may not be what you want or need when you travel. Before you sign on the dotted line, check Hilton’s list of Diamond Status benefits and confirm they will satisfy your travel needs. To acquire Diamond Status, you will need to earn points and/or sign up for a credit card.
This means you will need to stay at Hilton hotels to accumulate points that will help to bring your status to the next level. Or, this means you will need to risk the quality of your credit score to open another credit card. If you cannot pursue either of these methods, then you may want to reconsider signing up for a loyalty program.
The Benefits of Status
I think you need to know exactly why you are getting into a loyalty program before you join one. After all, these aren’t just clubs you join for the fun of it. Sure, they are fun, but it’s what they offer their members that makes them so.
Before you decide to run after Hilton Diamond Status, take a look at what it can do for you. While you’re at it, look at all the other status options Hilton offers. Perhaps, one of the other status levels is just what you need.
Disclaimer: In this section of the article, I am going to talk about earning points by staying at Hilton hotels. However, it must be understood that not all Hilton properties offer the same amount of points per stay. For example, Tru & Home2 usually offers fewer points per stay than other Hilton properties. Also, the points offered are sometimes based on region as well.
I recommend that you check with the specific hotel you are interested in visiting before determining how many points you will accrue during your stay. You will be looking for the base points earned per stay based on your status with Hilton, the property you are staying at, and the region where the property is located.
The benefits of being a Hilton member include:
- 10 points for every dollar spent on a stay at a Hilton hotel (refer to the disclaimer above)
- Access to exclusive experiences offered by Hilton Honors
- Digital check-in and check-out and room key
- Exemption from resort fees when using reward points
- Free WiFi
- Hilton Honors discount rate
- The ability to choose your room
As you can see, these rewards are nice but very basic. Trying out a hotel membership is a great way to dip your toes into loyalty programs before diving all in. Beginning with a basic membership may alleviate some of the frustrations of learning about hotel loyalty programs and the process of earning and spending points. It’s just a chance to experience some perks without spending a lot of your time and money.
The benefits of Silver Status include everything the basic membership offers plus:
- 12 points for every dollar spent on a stay at a Hilton hotel (refer to the disclaimer above)
- 15% off Hilton spas
- A free night after paying for four nights with points
- The ability to use extra nights stayed during one calendar year to acquire status on the next calendar year
Obviously, this status level offers slightly more than the basic membership. If it has everything you need for your travels, you may opt to stop at this level. But if it doesn’t, you may want to continue onward and upward.
The benefits of Gold Status include everything offered by Silver Status plus:
- 18 points for every dollar spent on a stay at a Hilton hotel (refer to the disclaimer above)
- Credit for breakfast at U.S. hotels
- Free Continental breakfast at non-U.S. hotels
- Room upgrades when space is available (Executive Floor room types and above are excluded)
- The ability to earn 10,000 bonus points for every 10 nights at a Hilton hotel after staying 30 nights within a calendar year
Gold Status is an awesome place to find yourself. It gives you plenty of benefits to work with and will make any stay at a Hilton hotel more enjoyable.
The benefits of Diamond Status include everything offered by Gold Status plus:
- 20 points for every dollar spent on a stay at a Hilton hotel (refer to the disclaimer above)
- Access to the hotel’s Executive lounge (this is where I found the scones in London)
- Access to premium WiFi
- Room guarantee when the hotel is contacted at least 48 hours before you need it (obviously, there are restrictions to this benefit, but it is nice to have access to it)
- Room upgrades when space is available (This includes all room types up to a 1-bedroom suite)
- The ability to enjoy your Diamond status perks for another year once you have kept this status for three years and either stayed a minimum number of nights at a Hilton hotel or accrued a minimum number of points
- The ability to gift Gold or Diamond status to another Hilton member after staying at Hilton hotels for a minimum number of nights in a calendar year
This is the top tier, and its benefits aren’t too shabby. If you do a lot of traveling, you really should consider pursuing Hilton Diamond Status. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Working through the Process
Now it is time to talk about how you can earn Hilton Diamond Status. To get to this status, you have two options. I will walk you through each option in detail so that you will be able to decide which is the best process for your situation. So, without further ado:
Option #1 – Baby Steps
With this option, you will work through a slow and methodical process that will allow you to naturally accrue points. Once you accumulate enough points, you will naturally earn Hilton Diamond Status. Let me break down this process a bit more for you.
Before you hit Diamond Status, you will go through Member, Silver, and Gold Statuses. Initially, you will sign up for the very basic level as a Hilton member. You can move to the next level by staying at a Hilton hotel for a certain number of nights and/or stays to earn the next status level.
Let’s look at each status individually so you can visualize what is required to earn Diamond Status through a natural process.
To earn this status, you will simply need to sign up for a Hilton membership.
To earn this status through the natural process, you will first need to join the Hilton loyalty program as a basic member. Once you have become a member, you can earn Silver Status by doing one of the following:
- Stay at a Hilton hotel for 7 nights
- Stay at a Hilton hotel for 3 stays
- Earn 17,500 points
To earn this status through the natural process, you will first need to reach Silver Status. Once you have earned Silver Status, you can pursue Gold Status by completing one of the following tasks:
- Stay at a Hilton hotel for 28 nights
- Stay at a Hilton hotel for 14 stays
- Earn 52,500 points
To earn this status through the natural process, you will first need to reach Gold Status. Once you have earned Gold Status, you can proceed to Diamond Status by fulfilling one of the following tasks:
- Stay at a Hilton hotel for 42 nights
- Stay at a Hilton hotel for 21 stays
- Earn 84,000 points
Option #2 – Expedited Jump:
With this option, you will leap ahead in the process to the very peak. There are no minimum stays or points earned, so there’s no stressing over which hotel will give you the better deal. The only thing you need for this is a good credit score.
Yes, you will need to sign up and be approved for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card to avoid the natural process and jump straight into Diamond Status. If you can take this route, I think it is the best method to try. Of course, I want to stress that you should not get a credit card if it’s detrimental to your finances. This is simply information for you to use as you decide what is best for your financial and travel needs.
As a side note, you may find it interesting that credit cards are offered for both the Silver Status and Gold Status as well. If you want to skip to those levels, you will simply need to apply and be approved for one of those cards.
- For Complimentary Silver Status – Hilton Honors Card
- For Complimentary Gold Status – Hilton Honors American Express Surplus Card
If you so choose, you can begin with one of these cards and make purchases to earn points. The points that you earn by using a Hilton Honors credit card can help you earn a higher status, even Diamond Status. This is your decision, but this is my least favorite option for earning Diamond Status. It will take a lot of your time and money to go this route and you could be earning better benefits by pursuing either of the previous methods mentioned.
You’ll have to earn points whether you have Diamond Status or not. This is because you’ll need points to get and keep your status. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Stay at a Hilton hotel as often as you can. Always look for the hotels that will give you the most points per night/stay.
- Use Hilton credit cards. Hilton cards oftentimes have good deals to earn more points per purchase, but you will have to check on current promotions since they can change at any time.
- Link your Hilton Status to your Lyft account. These two businesses currently have a partnership where you can earn Hilton points when you order a Lyft ride.
If you already stay at Hilton hotels or use Lyft or do anything else on the above list, earning points will be a breeze. If you don’t currently do anything on the above list, I think you’ll find they are not too difficult to add to your travel regimen. These are very basic point-earning methods that anyone can try.
Redeeming Your Points
Now comes the fun part. Well, I hope to make it fun anyway. Points and status data can get a little complicated and even I, who loves a good deal, will find my eyes glazing over when someone explains how to get and use hotel points. I intend to avoid that happening to you while you read this article. Just remember, traveling is fun, and learning some tricks of the trade should be too. So, let’s have some fun.
The following are the best ways to use or redeem your Hilton rewards points:
- Redeem your points to pay for a Lyft ride or rent a car
- Redeem your points to buy something from Amazon
- Redeem your points to get VIP access to Hilton-sponsored events and experiences
- Redeem your points for airline miles
- Redeem your points for a free stay at a Hilton hotel
Using Your Status
The first thing to remember about Diamond Status is that you earned it. Whether you walked through the natural process or were approved for a credit card, you spent time and resources to get this status and the points attached to that status. That means, getting the most out of them.
Here are two things I recommend doing every time you use your Diamond Status:
- Stay at a hotel that has an Executive Lounge. If you’re in London, this means clotted cream and scones. Elsewhere, it will mean other lovely things, including a quiet place for work or meals.
- Ask for a room upgrade. This may happen without you asking, but if the front desk doesn’t automatically offer a room upgrade, your Diamond Status gives you the right to at least request one.
Some less important, but beneficial, things you should consider when using your Diamond Status are:
- Check your receipt to ensure that you received the points due you for your stay
- Try to stay a fifth night if you are already staying four nights. Remember, the fifth night is free from Silver Status upward.
- Focus on using your status at non-U.S. hotels so you can get the free continental breakfast.
- Consider gifting status to a friend or family member if you have earned plenty of points throughout a calendar year.
Best Alternative Luxury Hotel Rewards Programs
Now, I love the Hilton rewards program, but it may not seem brilliant to you. If you have read through this article and found that joining the Hilton Honors program will not work for your travel style, but you would like to try a rewards program, do not fear. There are other options out there! Here are two other hotel rewards programs that you might like instead.
World of Hyatt
This program is similar to Hilton Honors. It has four status tiers that are earned via points. Each status offers a different variety of perks and points are redeemed and earned in ways that are reminiscent of Hilton’s program. Here’s a quick overview of the Hyatt program.
Earn Points by:
- Renting a car through Avis
- Flying American Airlines
- Staying at a Hyatt property
- Applying and getting approved for a World of Hyatt Visa credit card
- Hosting a meeting at a Hyatt property
- Dining and relaxing with participating Hyatt restaurants and spas
Redeem Points for:
Member – Join for free to begin earning points and a free night at a Hyatt property.
Discoverist – Join either by earning 25,000 base points, staying 10 nights at a Hyatt property, attending 3 Hyatt sponsored events, or being approved for a World of Hyatt credit card. Members with this status have the opportunity to check-out late and upgrade their rooms (when space is available).
Explorist – Join either by earning 50,000 base points, staying 30 nights at a Hyatt property, or attending 10 Hyatt sponsored events/meetings. Members with this status have the opportunity to receive MGM rewards status match, plus a lot more.
Globalist – Join either by earning 100,000 base points, staying 60 nights at a Hyatt property, or attending 20 Hyatt sponsored events/meetings. Members with this status have the opportunity to enjoy club access or breakfast, free parking, and an American Airlines advantage bonus, plus a lot more.
Here is another rewards program option for you if neither Hilton nor Hyatt work for your travel style. A summary of this program is as follows:
Earn Points by:
- Staying at a Marriott property
- Using a Marriott Bonvoy Visa credit card
- Dining with Marriott Bonvoy
- Hosting events at Marriott properties
- Renting a car through Hertz
- Cruising with Marriott Bonvoy
Redeem Points for:
- Cruises, airline miles, or rental cars
- Gift cards
- Marriott Bonvoy sponsored events and experiences
- Nights at Marriott properties
Member – Join for free to begin earning points.
Silver Elite – Join either by staying 10 nights at a Marriott property in a calendar year or by getting a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa credit card. Members with this status can enjoy late check-outs and members rates on rooms.
Gold Elite – Join either by staying 25 nights at a Marriott property in a calendar year or by getting a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx credit card. Members with this status can enjoy 2p.m. late check-outs and room upgrades when space is available.
Platinum Elite – Join by staying 50 nights at a Marriott property in a calendar year. Members with this status can enjoy 50% more points on eligible hotel rooms and a welcome gift of their choice.
Titanium Elite – Join by staying 75 nights at a Marriott property in a calendar year. Members with this status can enjoy 75% more points on eligible hotel rooms, room upgrades when space is available, and a welcome gift of their choice.
Ambassador Elite – Join by staying 100 nights at a Marriott property in a calendar year and spending $20,000. Members with this status can enjoy 75% more points on eligible hotel rooms, Ambassador service, and the opportunity to stay a full 24 hours in their hotel room.
Question: Does Hilton Offer a Status Match for Other Hotels?
Answer: Yes, Hilton does offer a status match for those who are currently loyal members of a competitor. You have to apply and be approved for a status match.
Question: When Will My Diamond Status Expire?
Answer: Status expiration sounds a bit complicated, but it can be explained with a simple example. If you earn Diamond Status (or any Hilton status for that matter) at any point on the 2022 calendar, you will retain that same status until the end of December 2023. You can continue your status in 2024 only if you earn the appropriate amount of points throughout the 2023 calendar year. If you do not earn enough points throughout 2023, your status will expire in 2024 and you will have to begin the process again.
Question: What Is the Difference Between a Stay and a Night at a Hilton Hotel?
Answer: A night at a Hilton hotel is just that, one night spent at a Hilton hotel. A stay, on the other hand, is when a guest remains at a hotel for several consecutive nights in a row. The guest may or may not check out of the hotel during a stay.
We have come to the end of our discussion concerning Hilton Diamond Status. My hope is that the information within this article has given you some assurances about the decision regarding your future hotel stays. For me, Hilton Diamond Status is indispensable. I use it as often as I travel because I love getting into Executive Lounges and getting posh room upgrades. I recommend this to everyone who travels and I highly recommend it to you today.