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Everything you need to know about Hilton Honors lifetime elite status

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest information.

It’s currently easy to earn and keep top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond status since it’s a benefit of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. You can also earn Hilton Diamond status through the end of the next year in any calendar year you spend $40,000 on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

But, if you’ve ever wondered what it would take to lock in your Hilton elite status for life and never have to worry about requalifying again, you’ve come to the right spot.

Unlike some programs, Hilton only offers one lifetime status tier: Diamond. So, let’s look at how to qualify for lifetime Diamond status with Hilton Honors.

Requirements for lifetime Hilton elite status

Hilton Pasadena Entry

Although it may not be as valuable as other top-tier hotel statuses, Hilton Diamond status offers an array of perks. Benefits vary depending on the Hilton brand and region but may include a 100% points bonus, space-available upgrades, lounge access and a daily food and beverage credit or continental breakfast.

You can lock in Hilton Honors top-tier Diamond elite status for life by earning Hilton Diamond status for 10 (nonconsecutive) years and completing one of the following:

  • Stay with Hilton for 1,000 nights (paid and reward nights count).
  • Earn 2 million base points.

Related: Reflecting on my 1st year as a Hilton Honors Diamond member

Does Diamond status from credit cards count?

Hilton Queenstown
The Hilton Queenstown in New Zealand. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Hilton Diamond status that you earn as a credit card perk counts toward the 10-year requirement for lifetime status. As mentioned, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card provides Diamond status as a benefit of the card. As long as you keep the card open, the primary cardholder enjoys Hilton Diamond status.

Likewise, if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card or Hilton Honors American Express Business Card in a calendar year, the primary cardholder will earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.

The card benefits and lifetime status policies could change. But as the loyalty program is currently laid out, you’re working toward the 10-year Diamond status requirement even if you hold Diamond status as a credit card perk.

Related: How to choose the best Hilton credit card for you

How to hit the 2nd set of requirements

Conrad Tulum balcony and beach
A view from the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya in Mexico. CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

The second set of requirements — 1,000 nights with Hilton or 2 million base points — may be more difficult for some travelers.

Even though paid and award stays count, 1,000 lifetime nights with Hilton is a lot. Let’s assume you earn Diamond status by staying with Hilton 60 nights per year. In this case, it would take you almost 17 years to reach 1,000 lifetime nights with Hilton. Even if you’re a frequent traveler staying 100 nights with Hilton each year, it will still take you a full decade to accrue 1,000 lifetime nights.

Unfortunately, earning 2 million base points isn’t any easier for most travelers. You earn 10 base points per dollar when staying at most Hilton brands. But you can’t earn base points through other means, such as points transfers, milestone bonuses, elite multipliers and credit card spending. As such, earning 2 million base points would require you to spend at least $200,000 on Hilton stays.

Related: 12 ways to earn more Hilton Honors points

Bottom line

Don’t expect to earn Hilton lifetime status without spending significant time and money with the Hilton Honors program. With a requirement of 10 years as a Diamond member and 1,000 Hilton nights or 2 million base points, earning lifetime Hilton Diamond status is out of reach for most travelers.

If you’re fiercely loyal to Hilton and show that with your wallet, you may eventually snag lifetime Hilton Diamond elite status. Until then, you can enjoy all the same benefits of Hilton Diamond status for a fraction of the cost by simply opening the Hilton Aspire card. If you’re loyal enough to Hilton to be thinking about lifetime status, this premium credit card deserves a place in your wallet.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong and Kyle Olsen.