Hilton is one of the world’s largest hotel chains globally and its loyalty program, Hilton Honors, is one of the most well-known in the world.
Within Hilton Honors, there are different tiers of status that allow you to enjoy benefits when staying at Hilton properties worldwide — the highest of these is called Diamond.
One of the biggest reasons to stick to Hilton Honors is that it’s much, much easier than other hotel chains to enjoy top-tier elite status.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how to get Hilton Diamond status easily, as well as the different perks you get with it.
Let’s get started!
How Do You Get Diamond Status With Hilton Honors?
In general, there are 2 main ways to get Hilton Honors Diamond status:
- Through credit cards
- Through hotel stays
As you’ll soon find out, one of these methods is far easier than the other.
Earning Hilton Honors Diamond Status With Credit Cards
Hilton partners exclusively with American Express to offer a collection of co-branded Hilton Honors credit cards that help you earn elite status.
If you have either the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, you can earn Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a calendar year!
Hot Tip: The Hilton Surpass card and Hilton Business Amex card both confer mid-tier Hilton Honors Gold status without any spending requirements.
But if you have the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you will get Diamond status just for holding the card — no spending required!
In addition, the Hilton Aspire card boasts an array of high-value benefits:
- Up to 14x points per $1 spent on purchases
- $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
- $250 airline fee credit
- 1 Free Weekend Night Award for each cardmember anniversary
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
If you’re able to maximize the benefits of the Hilton Aspire card, you’ll have no problem getting back the annual fee and more in value every year.
Earning Hilton Honors Diamond Status With Stays
The other major way to earn Hilton Diamond status is by booking enough stays, spending enough nights, or earning a certain number of base points every year.
Typically, you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status if you:
- Stay at least 60 nights
- Have at least 30 stays
- Earn at least 120,000 base points
For 2022, however, Hilton Honors has reduced the requirements for earning Hilton Honors Diamond status:
- Stay at least 42 nights
- Have at least 21 stays
- Earn at least 84,000 base points
Stays booked with points or cash both count towards elite qualification, as long as you book directly through Hilton’s website.
The 14 Benefits of Hilton Diamond Status
Now, let’s take a deep dive into all the top benefits associated with Hilton Diamond status, starting with the most valuable perks (as generally accepted by travelers).
1. Complimentary Continental Breakfast or Daily Food and Beverage Credit
In general, Hilton Honors Diamond members are entitled to complimentary continental breakfast when staying at properties around the world.
U.S. hotels are temporarily offering daily food and beverage credits of around $10 to $25 per person per night. The dollar amount is dependent on the property — stays at a Hilton Garden Inn would get you up to $20 per day (for 2 guests), while stays at a Waldorf Astoria would get you up to $50 per day (for 2 guests).
|Hotel Brand (U.S. Properties Only)||Breakfast Credit Benefit for 1 Guest||Maximum Breakfast Credit Benefit (For 2 or More Guests)|
|Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, and Conrad Hotels & Resorts||$25 per day||$50 per day|
|Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Motto by Hilton, Signia by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton||$15 per day ($18 per day in select markets)||$30 per day ($36 per day in select markets)|
|Hilton Garden Inn||$10 per day||$20 per day|
The select markets listed above include Boston, Chicago, Hawaii (the entire state), Key Largo, Key West, Los Angeles County, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
However, if you’re visiting an international property, you’ll often find that you’re entitled to a full breakfast — this includes opulent resort properties like the Conrad Maldives and Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
2. Executive Lounge Access
A good number of Hilton properties have executive lounges. These are separate, exclusive spaces that certain elite members and those who book qualifying room rates have access to.
Even if you don’t get upgraded to an executive-level room, you would still have access to the property’s executive lounge if you have Diamond status.
Many executive lounges offer complimentary breakfast, evening canapés, a cocktail hour, all-day snacks, business centers, and a dedicated check-in area.
In general, though, executive lounges in the U.S. pale in comparison to those in international properties (especially in Asia).
3. Room Upgrades When Available, Including Standard Suites
One of the best benefits of Hilton Honors Diamond status is that members are entitled to room upgrades that include standard suites, though the final decision falls under the discretion of the hotel.
This policy is different from World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy, which state that upgrades are subject to availability.
However, upgrades at Hilton Honors properties are much more common than you might expect, whether it’s to a room with a better view, a junior suite, a standard suite, or a premium suite.
Anecdotally, we’ve heard of Diamond members getting upgrades to Presidential and multi-bedroom suites. In fact, in our experience with Hilton Honors Diamond status, we’ve been upgraded more often than not, so it never hurts to ask!
4. Earn 100% Bonus Points on Stays
Hilton Honors makes it incredibly easy to rack up tons of points, which is among the biggest praises of the loyalty program overall.
Sure, Hilton Honors points are worth less than Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt points on average, but if you’re racking up points much faster than the other programs, it’s worth earning Hilton Honors points.
Diamond members are entitled to a 100% points bonus on Hilton stays. Members earn 10 base points per dollar spent, which means Diamond members earn a total of 20 base points per dollar spent.
If you couple this with the ability to earn 14x points on purchases at Hilton with the Hilton Aspire card, you’ll rack up at least 34x points on every stay, which equates to about a 17% return according to our valuations.
And from time to time, Hilton Honors offers amazing promotions called Points Unlimited that allow you to earn triple base points, which means you’ll earn a whopping 54x points on your stays, equal to a return on spending of 27%!
That’s quite an incredible return that’s unparalleled by any other hotel loyalty program!
5. Late Checkout, Subject to Availability
As it turns out, late checkout is a complimentary benefit offered to all Hilton Honors members, including basic-level members with no status.
Late checkout is always subject to availability with Hilton Honors. By comparison, World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy generally offer guaranteed late checkout to their top-tier members.
Still, we’ve found that late checkout is offered to Hilton Honors Diamond members the vast majority of the time, and they generally receive priority over other elites with this benefit. It may be an hour here or there, and it might also be several additional hours.
6. Access to Premium Wi-Fi
At many Hilton properties around the world, both basic Wi-Fi and premium Wi-Fi are offered to guests. And if you’re traveling on business, you’ll understand first-hand the importance of having a speedy, reliable Wi-Fi connection.
Hilton Diamond members get access to premium in-room Wi-Fi and premium lobby Wi-Fi. This is a perk exclusive to Diamond members — Gold members aren’t entitled to this perk.
7. Get Your Fifth Night Free on Reward Redemptions
While this benefit is available to all Hilton Honors members, it’s certainly one that most of us covet. If you book 4 consecutive nights by redeeming Hilton Honors points, you can get the fifth night free, as long as there’s availability.
For example, if you book a consecutive 5-night stay at Conrad Bora Bora Nui, which charges 120,000 points per standard room night, you’d redeem 480,000 points instead of 600,000 points.
8. Gift Elite Status to Someone Else
Another neat perk of Hilton Honors Diamond status is that you can gift Hilton Honors elite status to someone of your choosing.
However, in order to do this, you have to actually meet certain elite night qualifications. Holding the Hilton Aspire card won’t confer this benefit by itself.
If you earn 60 elite nights, you can gift Hilton Honors Gold status to someone else; and if you earn 100 elite nights, you can gift Hilton Honors Diamond status to someone else.
9. No Resort Fees on Award Stays
Hilton Honors waives resort fees on award stays to all members.
Resort fees are a menace to the traveler’s wallet — imagine paying $40 extra per night just so your in-room TV can use Google Chromecast.
These fees plague popular tourist destinations and are essentially just an extra way for hotels to artificially reduce room rates and make up the difference, giving the illusion of a “great deal” when travelers search for rates at these properties.
Luckily, if you book a Hilton room using points, you won’t be charged any resort fees.
10. Hilton Honors MyWay Benefits
Hilton Honors offers a concept of customizing your welcome amenity, which is called MyWay. In essence, every time you visit a property, you’ll get a small number of bonus points.
Here’s what MyWay benefits are by brand:
|Canopy by Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Signia by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts||1,000 points|
|Embassy Suites by Hilton||1,000 points or 3 snacks and/or refreshments|
|Hampton by Hilton||250 points or 1 bottle of water and a snack item|
|Hilton Garden Inn||750 points|
|Hilton Grand Vacations||2,000 points|
|Home2 Suites by Hilton||100 points or 1 bottle of water and a snack item|
|Homewood Suites by Hilton||250 points or 2 bottles of water and a featured snack offering|
|Motto by Hilton||500 points|
|Tru by Hilton||250 points and a Tru Snack and Water|
11. Complimentary Water
Hilton Diamond members (and all other Hilton Honors members) get 2 free bottles of water per stay.
12. Diamond Status Extension (and Earn Towards Lifetime Diamond Status)
If you find yourself in danger of losing your Diamond status the next year, you have 1 opportunity to use a Diamond status extension to qualify for the next year.
Keep in mind that you can’t leverage this perk if you received Diamond status through a credit card. It only applies if you earned it through elite nights, elite stays, or base points.
To access Diamond status extension, you need to have at least 3 total years of Diamond status (not necessarily consecutive years) and at least 250 lifetime elite nights or 500,000 lifetime base points.
13. Guaranteed Room Availability
Hilton Honors Diamond also offers a benefit known as guaranteed room availability. This applies exclusively to reservations paid for using cash (all reward redemptions are subject to availability and have inventory controls).
It sounds like a great benefit in theory, but in practice, it’s not as useful as you might think.
Simply put, Diamond members can access exclusive, guaranteed room availability (including standard rooms) when booking at least 48 hours in advance.
Unfortunately, there are exceptions to this, which begs the question: “Why offer a guarantee if there’s going to be all these exceptions?”
In any case, this guarantee isn’t valid during major events or conventions, like the Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, and so on.
And finally, rooms may be guaranteed but will be priced at the highest flexible rate, which can nullify the value of this benefit.
14. Access to Exclusive Hilton Honors Experiences
Hilton Honors Experiences is a collection of bookable experiences offered at events and Hilton properties around the world using points.
You can bid for these experiences or just book them outright using points. Some experiences include the McLaren VIP Experience, Harry Styles concerts, gin tastings in Prague, Sunday brunches in Singapore, and much more.
Hilton Honors Diamond vs. Hilton Honors Gold
To figure out whether Hilton Honors Diamond is worth pursuing over Hilton Honors Gold (which is a step below), you need to look at the benefits that Diamond members are entitled to that Gold members are not (we have a great comparison table in our guide to the benefits and perks of Hilton Honors elite status).
To start, Diamond members can access upgrades that include standard suites, while Gold members can’t.
Also, Diamond members are entitled to executive lounge access even if they’re staying in the base-level room — Gold members can only access the executive lounge if they’re actually staying in an executive-level room.
Furthermore, Diamond members are entitled to premium Wi-Fi in-room and in the lobby.
On paper, these are the major benefits Diamond members get beyond what Gold members get.
However, the “soft” benefits can be much more meaningful — whether you’re requesting late checkout, early check-in, or other benefits, Diamond members generally enjoy higher priority than Gold members, which can go a long way.
Increasingly, Gold status is the de facto status that many Hilton Honors members have, so anything that sets you apart from the pack could mean a world of difference.
Bottom Line: The differences between Hilton Diamond and Hilton Gold are much smaller at U.S. properties — but when you stay at properties abroad, you’ll immediately notice a tremendous difference.
Is Hilton Honors Diamond Elite Status Worth It?
So the big question is: Is Hilton Honors Diamond elite status worth it?
The answer is: it’s undoubtedly worth it if you get Diamond status just by having the Hilton Aspire card.
Hilton Honors Diamond status is probably not worth pursuing from scratch; but if you can get it with just 1 credit card, there’s very little downside, since the Hilton Aspire card offers up to $500 in statement credits, a free night certificate (which could be worth more than $2,000), and much more.
But if you’re going to be pursuing elite status from zero, both World of Hyatt Globalist and Marriott Bonvoy Titanium probably offer superior overall value.
Diamond is the highest tier in the Hilton Honors program. With benefits like free breakfast or a food and beverage credit, access to executive lounges, suite upgrades, a 100% points bonus, and premium Wi-Fi, there’s a lot to love about Hilton Diamond.
While some benefits aren’t guaranteed, you have so much more sway when asking for benefits like late checkout or early check-in if you’re a top-tier Diamond member.
Best of all, this status is one of the easiest to earn — you can get it just by holding the Hilton Aspire card!
Hilton Diamond status probably isn’t worth pursuing if you’re starting with no elite status (without the help of any credit cards), but if you can get it with a reasonably low amount of effort, it’s hard to beat!
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.