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Hilton Honors slashes status earning requirements for 2021

Hilton is also extending all current elite members’ status until March 2022

Hilton earlier this week announced a further enhancement for its Hilton Honors loyalty members, extending all current elite members’ status until March 2022, and reducing the requirements to earn status next year.

Second extension in the year

Hilton Honors has earlier in March 2020 offered a one-year extension for all members with status. That means those who originally earned status in 2018 to enjoy up to March 2020 would have had their status extended through March 2021, while those who earned status in 2019 with expiry in March 2021 had them extended through March 2022.

With the global pandemic not letting up anytime soon, Hilton Honors has made a further extension. Effectively, anyone with current status – Silver, Gold or Diamond – will only have them expire in March 2022.

This means for those who earned status in 2018 and failed to requalify in 2019, Hilton has extended their status for a full two years right up to March 2022!

Very generous of Hilton Honors, I must say.

Points won’t expire before end of 2021

This is a small but important point: all Hilton Honors points will be extended till at least 31 Dec 2021. Normally the points expire after 12 months of no activity, but Hilton is aware that spending on a hotel may not be possible for some members in the near term.

50% reduction in requirements to earn Hilton Honors status in 2021

Hilton Honors has also halved the usual requirement for 2021, making it a lot easier for members to earn or keep their status for the following year.

At the top of the tier, Diamond members typically need to clock 30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 points in a year. In 2021, a member only need to clock 30 nights, 15 stays or 60,000 points to achieve or keep their Diamond status.

To achieve Gold and Silver status in 2021, you will need:

  • Gold – 20 nights, 10 stays or 37,500 points
  • Silver – 5 nights, 2 stays or 12,500 points

This comes on top of Hilton Honor’s previously announced Elite Rollover Nights enhancement, where all nights earned this year will roll over to 2021 and count towards status qualification next year.

So that means, if you have already completed 30 nights this year (in spite of Covid-19, lucky you), all 30 nights will roll over to 2021, and you will instantly qualify for Diamond status through March 2023.

So for example:

  • Shane is a Gold member, so his status is extended till March 2022.
  • Shane has stayed at Hilton properties 30 nights this year (2020).
  • All 30 nights will roll over to 2021.
  • Since Shane needs 30 nights to qualify for Diamond in 2021, he will be upgraded to Diamond from 1 January 2021, since he already has the 30 nights required for Diamond. His new Diamond status will expire in March 2023.

A note about Rollover Nights: Note that only nights roll over to 2021. If you usually qualify by the number of stays (rather than nights), note that the number of stays don’t roll over to next year, so you might want to hold off your mattress runs until 2021.

Nights rolled over from 2020 to 2021 also do not count towards Milestone Bonuses (more on this later).

Milestone bonuses will start lower at 20 nights in 2021

One distinct feature of Hilton Honors is the Milestone Bonuses feature, giving members additional loyalty bonuses for every 10 nights you’ve stayed in a calendar year, starting from the 40th night.

For 2021, you’ll earn the first Milestone Bonus after just 20 nights, rather than after 40 nights. You will continue to earn 10,000 points for every 10 nights thereafter, and a whooping 40,000 points when you reach 60 nights in a year.

Note that the rolled over nights earned in 2020 do not count towards Milestone Bonuses in 2021 – only those earned in 2021 count.

Hilton Honors Diamond members can gift a status at 30 nights in 2021

Another key feature for Hilton Honors is the ability for Diamond members to gift a Gold status to another member when they earn 60 nights in a year. If the member hit 100 nights, the gift will be a Diamond status instead of Gold.

For 2021, Hilton Honors has lowered these requirements to 30 and 60 nights for a gift Gold and Diamond status respectively.

Note that you don’t actually end up giving two gift statuses to two separate people – if you have nominated someone for the Gold status upon reaching the lower threshold, that person will automatically become Diamond when you achieve the higher requirement.

Final thoughts

Even during the earlier extension exercise earlier in 2020 when Covid-19 was unfolding, Hilton Honors has shown leadership in providing these concessions for their members. And now again, Hilton continues to lead the way in making it easier for members to not only retain their status, but to earn status next year.

While the group may not have the best property portfolio, select properties are excellent and is well worth the effort to chase after status.

So if you have never been Hilton Honors elite member – maybe it’s time to start considering.

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