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Hilton Honors elite status: What it is and how to earn it

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If you’ve ever been a road warrior, chances are you’ve experienced firsthand how valuable hotel elite status is, thanks to the variety of on-property perks it conveys to frequent guests. However, it can be challenging to understand the value of these benefits, especially considering the time and expense you may need to invest to earn them.

Fortunately, the Hilton Honors loyalty program has various shortcuts to start enjoying benefits immediately.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into Hilton’s loyalty program to help you determine how to earn elite status — through stays, spending and the right credit card — and if it is worth pursuing.

What is Hilton Honors status?


Hilton Honors is the loyalty program of Hilton, with more than 7,000 properties in 124 countries. The program includes brands like Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Canopy and Curio Collection. You can join for free online as an entry-level “Member.”

Hilton rewards its most loyal customers in the Hilton Honors program with the following elite status levels:

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Diamond
  • Lifetime Diamond

How to qualify for Hilton Honors status


Here’s a look at what you’ll need to qualify for Hilton status every calendar year:

  • Silver: Stay 10 nights, four separate stays, or earn 25,000 base points
  • Gold: Stay 40 nights, 20 separate stays, or earn 75,000 base points
  • Diamond: Stay 60 nights, 30 separate stays, or earn 120,000 base points

Lifetime Diamond status in the Hilton Honors program is given to any member who has held Diamond status for 10 years (the years do not need to be consecutive) and has reached at least one of the following milestones:

  • Completed 1,000 nights in Hilton properties (these can be a mix of paid and reward nights)
  • Earned at least 2 million base points

Hilton Honors status levels and benefits

Canopy by Hilton Cannes

Here’s a look at the benefits you’ll receive when you reach each elite status level in the Hilton Honors program.


The lowest Hilton Honors elite tier offers:

  • Bonus points: Earn 20% more points than a regular member, which equals 2 extra points per dollar (12 points total) spent at most properties or 1 extra point at Home2 Suites and Tru brands.
  • Fifth night free on award stays: Whenever a Silver member redeems Hilton Honors points for stays of up to 20 nights, they will receive every fifth night for free (up to four free nights).
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay: Offered at most properties (Hampton, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites and Tru are excluded).
  • Elite rollover nights: When a Silver member completes more than the minimum 10 stays or four nights required for Silver status, the excess nights can roll over to the following year’s status qualification, giving them a head start on the next year.
  • 15% discount at an all-inclusive spa


The next tier of the Hilton Honors program is Gold status, which offers all of the Silver status benefits, plus:

  • 80% points bonus: Earn an 80% bonus on paid stays, resulting in an additional 8 points per dollar spent (18 points total) or 4 extra points at Home2 Suites and Tru brands.
  • Room upgrades: Gold members are eligible for space-available upgrades to preferred rooms (up to Executive Floor room types) at most brands. Suite upgrades are not allowed, though they can still happen. Brands that do not offer complimentary upgrades are Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, Hilton Grand Vacations and Motto.
  • Food and beverage credit/breakfast: Gold members and one additional registered guest will enjoy a complimentary food and beverage credit at most brands in the United States or a continental breakfast abroad.
  • Milestone bonus: After reaching 40 eligible nights in a calendar year, Gold members earn 10,000 bonus points for every 10 nights.


The top tier in the Hilton Honors program is Diamond, which provides all of the Gold benefits, as well as:

  • 100% points bonus: Diamond members earn a 100% bonus on all stays, taking home 10 extra points per dollar spent (20 points total) or 5 additional points at the Home2 Suites brand.
  • Room upgrades: Diamond members enjoy similar upgrade perks as Gold members, but the terms and conditions specifically include suites (“junior,” “standard” or “one-bedroom”).
  • Executive Lounge access: Diamond members are guaranteed Executive Lounge access at applicable properties, even when they aren’t upgraded to an Executive Level room.
  • 48-hour room guarantee: Hilton Honors also provides guaranteed availability for top-tier Diamond members with 48 hours’ notice.
  • Complimentary premium internet: Hilton Honors provides complimentary internet to all members of its loyalty program, but Diamond members can access premium networks during their stays.
  • Elite status gifting: When a Diamond member stays 60 nights in a calendar year, they can gift Gold status to another member. After staying 100 nights in a year, they can gift Diamond status.
  • Diamond status extension: Enjoy a one-time status extension for an extra year. This perk is only available to those who have been Diamond members for three years and have stayed 250 lifetime nights or earned 500,000 base points.

Can a credit card help earn Hilton Honors status?


Hilton Honors status is easy to earn with a Hilton credit card. Enrollment is required.

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.

This means you can hold top-tier status without any stay or spending requirement in a Hilton property, which is rare for a hotel loyalty program. However, so many cards offering Hilton elite status also mean many elite members are out there. This can make upgrades more competitive and other benefits harder to achieve.

Related: Can a loyalty program have too many elite members?

Is Hilton Honors status worth it?


When deciding on a hotel loyalty program, make sure it has properties where you travel the most. Thankfully, Hilton has thousands of properties in the U.S. and abroad. You’ll find these properties everywhere, from in large cities to alongside expressways, so in most cases, there’s a Hilton wherever you are. Compared with smaller programs like World of Hyatt, there is more likely to be a Hilton Honors property in the destination you are staying in. Regardless, it’s best to double-check the properties you travel to most and where you’d like to travel.

You’ll walk away with a solid stash of Hilton Honors points whether you’re earning status organically or through a credit card. So, you should ensure you value Hilton Honors points before chasing Hilton elite status — otherwise, you could be left with a stash of points you can’t use.


Remember, Hilton prices award nights dynamically. This means the price of a hotel stay can vary based on demand, cash pricing or other factors. Because of this, we’ve seen Hilton awards range from very reasonable prices to astronomically high, like a one-night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi that costs well over 1 million points per night.

Hilton is one of the easiest hotel programs to earn elite status with, given it comes as a perk of multiple credit cards. This is, however, a double-edged sword because it means there are many Hilton elite members out there. If you are staying at a property in the United States, dozens of other Gold and Diamond members could stay there simultaneously, meaning upgrades are rarer, and early check-in or late checkout is harder to get. Don’t expect a jaw-dropping suite upgrade as a Diamond member in the United States, though these are much more likely at properties in Asia and the Middle East.

That being said, Gold status is probably the best mid-tier hotel status you can hold, given it comes with either a food or beverage credit in the United States or a continental breakfast in other countries (though a full hot breakfast is usually offered, no questions asked). Gold status is worth having if you value a free drink at the bar in the evening or a proper breakfast the next morning. Diamond status is especially valuable if you regularly stay at properties outside of the United States, where fewer Diamonds exist to compete with.

Bottom line

Earning elite status with a hotel program is a great way to maximize your stays, and the Hilton Honors program offers some nice perks for its loyal customers. And it makes earning easy since it hands out top-tier status with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card.

Though Hilton points are not the most valuable hotel points you can earn, and elite status is not the most valuable top-tier hotel status available, Hilton properties are everywhere. Points are easy to earn and redeem (though some redemption rates are very high), and status benefits are clearly outlined.

Holding elite status in the Hilton program is a great way to maximize your travel, especially for the Gold food and beverage or breakfast credit and for Diamonds staying outside the United States.

 For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card Card, click here.