Hilton has announced a raft of positive changes for its Honors members, which make it easier to retain and qualify for status, earn bonus points, and hold on to existing points during this period.
Elite status extended through 2022 for everyone
Back in March 2020, Hilton announced the following elite status extensions:
- 2019 Status Extension. All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020 will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021
- 2020 Status Extension. We are extending your 2020 member status through March 31, 2022
Now, they’ve decided to extend elite status for all members to 31 March 2022. This means that even if you’re carrying status earned in 2018, you’ll hold it all the way till March 2022!
- In 2018, John earns Hilton Diamond status by staying 70 nights
- In 2019, he only stays 30 nights and hence, on March 31 2020, he was supposed to be downgraded to Gold
- However, thanks to Hilton’s first extension, his Diamond status would remain valid till 31 March 2021
- Now, thanks to Hilton’s second extension, his Diamond status will remain valid till 31 March 2022
Elite status requirements for 2021 have been cut in half
On top of this, Hilton is reducing its elite status qualification requirements for 2021 by 50%.
- Silver status: 5 nights/ 2 stays/ 12,500 base points
- Gold status: 20 nights/ 10 stays/ 37,500 base points
- Diamond status: 30 nights/ 15 stays/ 60,000 base points
Remember that all elite nights earned in 2020 will automatically be rolled over to 2021, and all stays from 8 September to 31 December 2020 qualify for double elite nights (registration required). Technically speaking, you could qualify for Diamond status all the way till 31 March 2023 by doing 15 nights in 2020!
In light of the reduced qualification requirements, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be earning at least Hilton Silver status in 2021 (just 2 stays). This is useful not so much for upgrades or free breakfast (it offers neither), but because of the 5th night free benefit on award stays. If you’re planning to buy Hilton points for a stay in the Maldives or some other high cost destination, it’s a simple way to save 20% off.
Milestone Bonus thresholds for 2021 have been cut in half
Hilton offers Milestone Bonuses, which award members a fixed number of bonus points when they hit a certain number of nights per year.
For 2021, members will only need to stay 20 nights (usually: 40) to earn 10,000 bonus points. They’ll subsequently earn a further 10,000 bonus points every 10 additional nights. The 30,000 bonus points for reaching 60 nights remains unchanged (i.e still 60 nights, instead of 30).
In other words:
- 20 nights: +10,000 points
- 30 nights: +10,000 points
- 40 nights: +10,000 points
- 50 nights: + 10,000 points
- 60 nights: +30,000 points
Gifting status requirement for 2021 has been cut in half
Hilton Diamond members who stay 60 nights in a year can gift Gold status to a friend or family member. For 2021, this will be reduced to 30 nights.
To gift Diamond status, the threshold is normally 100 nights. For 2021, this will be reduced to 60 nights.
Points validity extended
Hilton points will not expire until 31 December 2021, at the earliest. The regular policy where points expire after 12 months of inactivity was paused earlier this year.
Hilton is being really aggressive with its attempts to retain elite members, and that’s more than welcome during this period. Of all the major hotel chains, I’d say that they (plus Hyatt) have done the most for elite members during COVID-19.
This may even convince me to switch my stays to Hilton when I travel to Hong Kong to check out the the upcoming leisure travel bubble.