In my experience Hilton Honors Gold Status is a very good, and fairly attainable hotel status. As a new Hilton Gold member in the past year I’ve found that it’s added some decent benefits and perks to my stays – particularly for stays at the luxury end of the scale. So how easy is it to get it in the UK?
Hilton London Paddington:
As per the image below, Gold is the second Hilton status tier, behind Diamond (which is much more challenging to achieve). The real highlight perks for me are:
– Free Breakfast (for 2 guests) at all Hilton brand hotels
– Space available room upgrades
– 80% Hilton Honors points bonus
– Late check-out, where available
Note: An undervalued, but not guaranteed, part of Gold status, is the possibility that some hotels will also throw in perks and extras beyond this. I’ve generally found that top end hotels often do try to go the extra mile when you have gold status and in just my last 10 stays I’ve had:
– A free cocktail making class
– Complimentary lounge access, despite not having an executive room
– An offer of free Breakfast on arrival day when checking in early
– Free spa access (at 2 different properties)
– Upgrade on all three rooms when I made a multiple room booking
Breakfast is an important one for me, I have several mid-tier hotel statuses through credit cards and none of the others offer this. Whilst the benefit is listed as ‘continental breakfast’, I’m yet to find a hotel hotel where this has been limited – even at a Conrad where continental breakfast was priced at £25 and the full buffet at £37.50 (I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as much smoked salmon in my life!!).
The biggest tip I can offer for current gold members is… don’t be afraid to check/ask for benefits on arrival. It’s amazing how often an upgrade becomes available when someone goes to double check for you!
Strictly speaking Gold requires 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 base points (Diamond is 30, 60 or 120,000), so that’s your first, very obvious option to get it(!), however, there are a few other routes to take…
So what are your options:
Note: No matter how keen you are to achieve gold or diamond status, don’t consider buying it on eBay! Typically these auctions use fraudulent information to get a ‘status match’ – however Hilton aren’t completely stupid, and I have read of cases where accounts have been suspended and points lost for breach of T&C’s. I’m all for travel hacking through carefully planned, legitimate use of the offers and cards out there – but I don’t encourage fraud!
Option 1: Potentially Free!
There are three obvious ways to get Gold for free:
1) A status match to an existing hotel scheme
2) A status challenge set by Hilton
3) A gift status from someone with Diamond, who has stayed 60 nights in a year
Hilton status match is fairly straightforward. If you can legitimately evidence equivalent status with another hotel (e.g. Marriott Gold) and show evidence of a recent stay, then you can upload it here, and have it verified by Hilton to obtain immediate status. For Hilton Gold, if you then complete 4 stays in 90 days, this will be extended through to March 2020.
In addition, sometimes Hilton will offer a status challenge, where there’s potential to move up a tier if you complete a certain number of stays. This may be targeted, but sometimes it’s worth just asking – I recently contacted them via Live Chat and was offered a Diamond Status challenge for 10 stays in 90 days. If you’re currently silver, it wouldn’t harm to ask for a gold challenge.
You might have to be fortunate with the third free route – if you know someone with Diamond, who stays more than 60 nights in a year, then be nice to them! Gold can be gifted to a friend by anyone who meets this requirement.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh:
Option 2: Cost £30-ish
This the lowest cost way I can see for getting Gold status immediately, if you can’t do any of the above.
The only card currently offering Gold Status automatically is the American Express Platinum charge card. If you’re only objective was to secure this status, then in theory you could apply for the card, be charged the annual fee of £450, link you Hilton account and wait for it to confirm gold status, and then cancel the card. You’d receive a pro-rata refund on the card fee (let’s estimate 11/12th) and apparently the status would be good for the remainder of the year. As a bonus, you could also get mid-tier status with Marriott & Radisson at the same time! After the initial set up, there doesn’t appear to be a on-going connection between your Platinum card and Hilton Honors account, which is why the status doesn’t change when you cancel the card. This is different to airport lounge access through Priority Pass for example, where the Amex Platinum card is linked to it and so if you cancel the card, the Priority Pass is also cancelled.
Hilton Amsterdam Airport:
Option 3: Cost £112.50 (also gets 70,000 points)
This is my favourite option! Personally, I wouldn’t be so hasty with cancelling that Platinum card. If you’re a new customer and use a referral (find ours here!), then putting £2,000 of your every day spending through the card in 3 months will mean that you’ll get not just gold status, but also 35,000 Amex Membership reward points. As these transfer to Hilton Honors at 1:2, that’s 70,000 Hilton Honors points to go with your status, which (at a value of anything from 0.33p each) is at least £230 in stays – possibly more if you use it wisely.
For me, that’s exceptional value at the equivalent cost of 3 months of the fee (£112.50). And if you really need that gold status, presumably you’re going to be staying at least enough to justify paying that much to earn £230 in stays?
For more on American Express Platinum, see our post here.
Hilton Diagonal Barcelona:
Bonus Option: £Possibly Free – TBC!
You could just wait and see whether a new Hilton Credit Card hits the UK market in 2019.
I’m still using the Hilton Honors Visa Barclaycard, which is now closed to new applicants. This offered a free weekend night stay at almost any property after £750 spend (an amazing benefit!), plus 2 points per £ spent, automatic silver status and upgrade to gold if you spend £10,000 in a calendar year. It closed to new applicants earlier in the year.
In the summer, some card users received some market research emails which highlighted two potential card offers for a new Hilton card, and asked for their preference. Both of these indicated that gold status would be awarded for anyone spending over £10,000 on the card in a calendar year (see below). So if you’re happy to wait, it might be worth seeing what (if any) package emerges in 2019.
Meanwhile, don’t spend too much time looking at the US card offers on the Hilton Honors App… Imagine paying just a $95 fee for Gold Status, 125,000 points after $2,000 spent, Diamond at $40,000 spend and 10 free airport lounge visits!
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