Hotel loyalty programs are imperative to those of us who wish to travel on a budget. Whether you are booking on points or paying cash rates (or even booking travel agent rates), these loyalty programs play an important part in ensuring you are stretching your travel dollar. Oftentimes, Marriott Bonvoy is the go-to program in Canada, simply due to how easy it is to earn points courtesy of co-branded credit cards welcome bonuses.
However, if you have entered the US credit card game and received your first US credit card, you will shortly realize that Hilton Honors is absolutely a hotel loyalty program that you want to be collecting points in. With that in mind, elite status with Hilton is worth pursuing as it comes with many perks, which we will cover below.
Let’s look at the multitude of ways you can earn Hilton diamond status.
What is Hilton Diamond Status?
The Hilton Honors program has four elite status levels for members to work through: member, silver, gold, and diamond. Diamond is the highest status level in the program, and as is expected, comes with the most benefits for members to enjoy.
Hilton Honors Members are able to earn Hilton diamond through a variety of ways, which we will cover below. In fact, you do not necessarily need to ever step foot in a Hilton hotel in order to earn the highest elite status level!
Diamond Status Benefits
Hilton Diamond members all benefits of the previous status levels, in addition to diamond-specific benefits. This means that they are still eligible for the daily food & beverage credit (U.S. hotels only) or continental breakfast (non-U.S. hotels) that Hilton gold members receive.
One of the most notable Hilton Diamond benefits is executive lounge access (at applicable properties). These lounges vary in what they offer, but typically all day refreshments are available and there may be cocktail hours with appetizers in the evening.
To determine if a Hilton property has an executive lounge available, you can filter based on “Executive Lounge” on the Hilton website. If you are curious as to what a specific property’s executive lounge offers diamond members, I would recommend looking up the property on the Flyertalk forums or reaching out to the hotel directly.
As a diamond member, you are also eligible to receive space-available room upgrades, same as gold members. However, those with diamond status should receive more frequent upgrades when staying at Hilton hotels.
However, this is such a “your mileage may vary” status perk as it depends on the property if you see any success. Some are great and proactive in upgrading diamond members, whereas for others it can feel like you are pulling teeth to get the smallest upgrade. I would not rely on this perk for any sort of guaranteed upgrade, just keep it in your back pocket as something that you can potentially leverage into an upgrade.
Other Hilton diamond status benefits include 100% bonus points on all stays, premium WiFi at all properties, a 48-hour room guarantee, and elite status gifting (if you earned Diamond from hotel stays and not one of the other methods listed below).
How to Earn Hilton Diamond Status
There are five ways to earn diamond elite status with Hilton: staying at Hilton properties, holding the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card, completing a Hilton status challenge, spending on Hilton credit cards, or receiving gifted status.
Stay at Hilton Properties
As with any hotel loyalty program, the most understood and straightforward route to status is by spending nights at hotels within the chain.
As a result of the disrupted period of travel we encountered over the last few years, Hilton Honors has reduced its status level requirements by 30% for 2022. This means that in order to earn diamond status through hotel stays, you must meet one of the following requirements within a calendar year:
- 42 nights (paid or award stays)
- 21 stays (paid or award stays)
- Earn 84,000 base points
If you stay at Hilton hotels a lot for business or personal travel, it is entirely possible that you will be able to reach diamond simply from staying.
Hold the American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card
If you are okay with paying a $450 USD annual fee and have access to US credit cards, the American Express Hilton Aspire card offers automatic Hilton diamond status upon approval which will continue for as long as you hold the card.
The American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card earns Hilton Honors points and offers cardholders an annual $250 Hilton Resort credit, a $200 airline fee credit, instant Hilton Diamond Elite status, an annual free night, and more.
150,000 Hilton Honors
Earning the highest status in a loyalty program simply from holding one credit card is frankly insane, and worth taking advantage of if you plan to stay at Hilton hotels in the foreseeable future.
Not to mention, the Hilton Honors Aspire card just oozes value. A few notable benefits of this card include:
- An annual free night worth up to 95,000 Hilton Honors points
- A $250 statement credit for Hilton resorts is available each cardmember year
- A $250 statement credit for airline incidentals each calendar year
The complimentary Hilton diamond status, when coupled with the annual free night, statement credits, and bonus points from a new sign-up definitely make paying the high annual fee on the Aspire card worth it.
Hilton Status Match Challenge
Hilton Honors offers a status match challenge for those who hold elite status with other hotel loyalty programs. If you are a base or silver Hilton Honors member, you are able to submit a status match request, which if granted, will provide you with 90 days of Hilton gold elite status.
From there, members can maintain gold status through March 31, 2024, by staying 7 nights during the 90-day period. However, if status match challengers are able to stay 12 nights during the 90-day period, they will receive Hilton diamond status through March 31, 2024.
Members can only take advantage of the status match challenge once in their lifetime, so ensure you are fully ready to take advantage of the challenge before enrolling. Click here to submit your status match request to start your challenge.
Spend on Hilton Credit Cards
Two of the Hilton Honors American Express cards give cardholders the opportunity to earn diamond status through a significant spending requirement.
The American Express Hilton Surpass credit card offers cardholders instant Hilton gold status, with the opportunity to earn Hilton Honors diamond status. In order to earn diamond status, cardholders must spend $40,000 in a calendar year. If the spend is completed, cardholders will earn diamond status through the end of the following calendar year.
The American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card earns Hilton Honors points and offers cardholders benefits such as instant Hilton Gold elite status and ten complimentary airport lounge passes per year.
130,000 Hilton Honors
The American Express Hilton Business credit card has the same offer and requirements as the Surpass card mentioned above.
The American Express Hilton Honors Business card earns Hilton Honors points and offers cardholders benefits such as instant Hilton Gold elite status and ten complimentary airport lounge passes per year.
130,000 Hilton Honors
As a result of the large spending requirement, I would advise against using this method to acquire Hilton diamond status unless you were able to organically generate a serious level of spend. Even then, you might find that there are other credit cards that have a more valuable welcome bonus to take advantage of as opposed to solely chasing Hilton diamond status.
Receive Gifted Status
If you know a Hilton Honors member who has stayed 70 nights in 2022, they will receive the ability to gift diamond status to another member. The eligible member will receive a code for diamond status and will be able to direct their friend or family member to a page where they can enter the code to redeem Hilton diamond status for themselves.
If you are gifted diamond status, this status will remain on your Hilton Honors account for 365 days from the day of the gift. Members are eligible to receive gifted status once per year and from the same person year-over-year.
Hilton Honors diamond status is absolutely worth pursuing if you don’t have to put too much effort into it. There are not many easy opportunities to earn top-tier status in a hotel loyalty program, so I recommend taking advantage where possible.
If it seems like reaching diamond status would be a stretch to reach, I recommend aiming for Hilton Honors Gold status since that still comes with many desirable perks, such as room upgrades and daily free breakfast. Hilton Gold status is also much easier to attain, thanks to it being a perk on many credit cards, such as the American Express Platinum card.
Either way, if you plan on staying at the Hilton chain of hotels in the future, take the time to “earn” either gold or diamond status so you can reap the benefits on your next stay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest way to earn Hilton diamond status?
The absolute easiest way to earn instant Hilton diamond status is to be approved for the American Express Hilton Aspire credit card. Cardholders who hold the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card will receive Hilton diamond status for as long as they hold the card. Note that this is a US-based credit card.
While the Amex Hilton Aspire has a $450 USD annual fee, the card comes with an annual night free at a Hilton property and a plethora of statement credits making it incredibly valuable.
How can I earn lifetime Hilton diamond status?
There are two components to earning lifetime diamond status. First of all, a Hilton Honors member must retain diamond elite status for 10 years (does not have to be consecutive). Secondly, one of the following requirements must be met: 1,000 total nights stayed at Hilton properties or earn 2,000,000 base Honors points.