How to Get Hilton Honors Elite Status [Benefits, How to Qualify, and Free Nights]

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort Spa Pool

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The benefits of Hilton Honors hotel elite status are many. That upgraded room can be luxurious, the free breakfast buffet expansive, and the hotel executive lounge a quiet retreat for complimentary cocktails and culinary delights.

To qualify for hotel elite status and receive these luxury benefits, however, you may have to stay a lot of nights each year. Hotel loyalty programs in general can require 50, 60, or even more nights spent at their hotel properties on an annual basis to qualify.

If you’ve wondered what it takes to claim your own level of elite hotel benefits with Hilton, we’ve got all the information you need right here. Here are the traditional way of qualifying for elite status, but also information about a faster path to elite status with Hilton Honors branded credit cards.

Let’s get started and find out how you can qualify for Hilton Honors rewards elite status and start reaping the benefits.

The Benefits of Elite Status With Hilton

Hilton has 3 levels of elite status, each offering a progressively impressive collection of benefits and perks.

When you sign up as a Hilton Honors loyalty program member, you are immediately eligible for benefits. Meet the annual requirements and you’ll qualify for higher elite status and even greater benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect at each level as a Hilton Honors reward program member.

Member Level Benefits

  • Up to 10 points/$1 spent at most Hilton Properties (Tru and Home2 earn 5 points/$1)
  • Discounted room rate
  • Earn Hilton Honors bonus points
  • No resort fees on award stays
  • Free standard Wi-Fi
  • Late check out
  • Digital check in with room selection
  • Second guest stays free
  • Points pooling

Silver Hilton Honors Level Benefits

As a Silver Hilton Honors member, you will receive all Member benefits plus these additional Silver level benefits:

  • Earn 12 points/$1 spent at most Hilton properties (6 points/$1 spent at Tru and Home2)
  • Book 4 consecutive award nights and receive the 5th standard award night free
  • 2 bottles of water
  • Elite tier rollover nights

Gold Hilton Honors Level Benefits

Gold Hilton Honors members receive all Member and Silver level benefits plus these additional benefits:

  • Earn 18 points/$1 at most Hilton Properties (9 points/$1 at Tru and Home2)
  • Upgrade to an executive-level room (based on availability)
  • Complimentary breakfast at all hotels
  • Earn milestone bonus points after staying 30+ nights
  • Eligible for early upgrade 72 hours in advance

Diamond Hilton Honors Level Benefits

In addition to all Member, Silver, and Gold level benefits, Diamond members receive the following:

  • Earn 20 points/$1 spent at most Hilton properties (10 points/$1 at Tru and Home2)
  • Room upgrade as high as a 1-bedroom suite (based on availability)
  • Executive lounge access
  • Diamond status extension
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • Elite status gifting
  • Eligible for early upgrade 72 hours in advance

Elite status is earned on a calendar year basis and provides benefits immediately on qualification through the remaining calendar year and the entire following calendar year. For example, if you qualify for status in June of 2021, you will retain that elite status for the remainder of 2021 (the year in which you qualified) and throughout 2022.

Bottom Line: If you stay even 1 night at Hilton properties, you should sign up as a member of the Hilton Honors loyalty program. Members receive benefits such as late checkout, free Wi-Fi, room rate discounts, and the ability to earn Hilton Honors rewards points which can be redeemed for free hotel nights and more.  

Hilton Waikoloa Village Hawaii
Enjoy late checkout, free Wi-Fi, upgraded rooms, and much more with Hilton Honors elite status. Image Credit: Hilton

How to Qualify for Elite Status — The Traditional Way

Qualifying for Hilton Honors elite status is simple. Stay the required number of hotel stays, hotel nights, or earn the required amount of base points each calendar year and you will immediately qualify for the corresponding elite level.

  • Member (non-elite) — no annual stay or earning requirement
  • Silver — 4 stays, 10 nights, or 10,000 Hilton Honors base points
  • Gold — 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 Hilton Honors base points
  • Diamond — 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120,000 Hilton Honors base points

For 2021, the qualification requirements have been adjusted by half.

Update: See how Hilton Honors has adjusted 2021 and 2022 points and status expiration, elite qualification, free night awards, and more in our article: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Hotel Elite Status Extensions, Changes, and Updates.

In addition to annual elite status, members can earn lifetime Diamond status by completing 1,000 award/paid nights or have earned 2,000,000 base points. Having been Diamond for at least 10 years (does not have to be consecutive years) is an additional requirement of lifetime Diamond status.

Enrolling in the Hilton Honors rewards loyalty program is free and there are no annual requirements to receive base member benefits.

Hot Tip: Silver level elite status requires just 4 stays per calendar year. A significant benefit of Silver elite status is receiving the fifth award night free when booking 4 consecutive award nights. 

A Faster Path to Hilton Honors Elite Status

It is possible to receive complimentary hotel elite status, even top status, without the requirement of staying even 1 night at a Hilton property.

Several Hilton branded credit cards grant complimentary elite status that is valid as long as you hold the card and no minimum annual hotel stays or point-earning requirements are required.

Complimentary Elite Status With Hilton Branded Credit Cards

Hilton Credit CardComes With:Spend Your Way to:
  • Silver
  • Gold status after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Gold
  • Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Diamond
  • N/A

Bottom Line: The fastest and easiest way to acquire Hilton Honors elite status is to secure a Hilton Honors branded credit card. 

Waldorf Astoria Park City
Use your free weekend hotel night at the Waldorf Astoria Park City. Image Credit: Hilton

Hot Tip: Elite status matches and challenges are another non-traditional way to earn elite status.

How Hilton Branded Credit Cards Enhance Elite Status

In addition to complimentary elite status, Hilton branded credit cards come with benefits that can make having elite status even better.  The cards offer free hotel nights, elevated earnings, and other travel benefits — having one of them in your wallet is a must if you frequent Hilton hotels often.

Free Hotel Nights

In addition to receiving your 5th consecutive award night free and the ability to redeem points for free hotel nights, these Hilton Honors cards offer more free weekend hotel nights.

  • Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business Card — free weekend hotel night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year.
  • Hilton Aspire — free weekend hotel night shortly after card approval, additional weekend hotel night after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year.


Hilton Honors earning
Double dip on Hilton Honors rewards earnings when you pay for your stay with your Hilton Honors credit card. Image Credit: Hilton Honors

Accelerated Earnings

Having Hilton Honors elite status means you’ll earn more points when staying at Hilton properties. In addition to the points earned for your stay, when you pay with your Hilton Honors branded card you’ll earn even more points.

In fact, you could earn up to 34 Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent at Hilton properties when you pay with your Hilton Honors credit card.

  • Hilton Honors Card — 7 points/$1 spent
  • Hilton Surpass — 12 points/$1 spent
  • Hilton Business American Express — 12 points/$1 spent
  • Hilton Aspire — 14 points/$1 spent

Keep in mind that these points are in addition to the points you earn based on your status tier. So if you’re a Hilton Aspire cardholder, you’re earning 20 points per dollar for your Diamond status, but then another 14 points per dollar for the Aspire card; this totals 34 points per dollar spent!

Additional Benefits

Hilton Honors branded cards are loaded with complimentary additional benefits.

Everything Else You Need to Know

Here are the most current offers for these popular Hilton Honors branded cards.

For more information on earning Hilton Honors points, learn all the ways to earn lots of Hilton Honors points.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that even the infrequent Hilton hotel fan could benefit from elite status with Hilton Honors. Just signing up as a Hilton Honors member brings benefits you can use, but elite status kicks it up a notch with those upgraded rooms, fifth night free, elevated earnings, complimentary breakfast, and even lounge access.

Whether the elite status is worthwhile for you will depend on how frequently you stay at Hilton properties. If you are a Hilton loyalist, your experience may be enhanced, your earnings greater, and you could potentially save travel dollars by securing elite status.

For those whose primary brand of choice is Hilton, securing a Hilton Honors branded credit card with complimentary elite status also ensures you’ll have the status you want without the worry of having to re-earn it each calendar year.

The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire 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 Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.

Frequently asked questions

Is Hilton Honors elite status worth it?

Yes, Hilton Honors elite status is worth it. If you stay at Hilton properties, the benefits you receive from having elite status will make your stay more comfortable and save you money.

There are many benefits of the Hilton Honors rewards program and entry-level Silver elite status can be achieved for staying just 4 times per year.

Elite status benefits can include room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, late checkout, complimentary breakfast, free award stays, lounge access, and more.

How do I sign up for Hilton Honors?

You can sign up for a Hilton Honors account by visiting the Hilton Honors website or by calling 800-445-8667.

It is free to register and there are no annual requirements to remain a member.

Even if you stay 1 night a year at a Hilton property, signing up for the Hilton Honors rewards program is worth it.

How many points does it take for a free night at Hilton?

Category 1 properties start at 5,000 Hilton Honors points per night but you will likely pay much more based on your chosen destination and hotel selection.

For example, a sample hotel night in Mexico City in November on a weekend ranges from 10,000 points to 50,000 points.  In Paris, France, the range for the same night was 33,000 to 115,000.

Which is the best Hilton Honors credit card?

The best Hilton Honors credit card for you will depend on if you’re comfortable paying an annual fee, how often you stay at Hilton properties, and the level of benefits you desire.

The Hilton Honors card has no annual fee yet comes with Silver elite status, earns 7 points/$1 spent at Hilton, and offers basic hotel benefits such as free Wi-fi, room discounts, and late checkout.

At the higher end of the scale, the Hilton Aspire card comes with a higher annual fee yet offers top-level Diamond elite status, worldwide airline lounge access, credits to use at Hilton resorts, upgrades to suites, and much more.

How do I earn Hilton Honors base points?

Base points are earned by spending at Hilton properties. These points count towards elite status.

If you have elite status you will also earn bonus points above and beyond base points. Bonus points do not count toward elite status.

For example, you may earn 1,500 base points for your stay but because you have Diamond status, you earn 100% bonus points (another 1,500 points) on top of the points you earned for your stay. Although bonus points do not count toward elite status, they can still be redeemed for free nights the same as base points.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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  1. Javier Alsina November 8, 2019

    I have the lowest level of Hilton Honors (member-non elite) and I reserve a room at a Hilton. But when I go to the hotel (after 2 months) I will already have the Gold level through my Amex Platinum. Can I have the benefits of the Gold level or not, since when I bought the reservation I still didn’t have the Gold level.


    • Hi Javier. If I understand your question, you’re asking if you will receive Gold benefits during your stay even though you were not Gold at the time you made the reservation? If so, the answer is yes. When you receive your Amex Platinum card, go to your account online and register for Hilton Honors Gold under the “Benefits” section. It will not happen automatically; you must register. While you’re on the site, there are several other benefits for which you should register. Here’s an overview :


  2. Something important to add about Hilton Honors benefits (like Gold) is that if you use your credit card points through your credit card website to book the hotel, you are NOT entitled to any of the honors benefits, including the free breakfast, room upgrade, water bottles at check-in, late checkout, etc. You are only entitled to those benefits when you book directly through the Hilton website or reservations number. It’s a pretty big “fine print” problem that we found out the hard way at the Hilton in Monterey, California. Free breakfast and all other hilton gold benefits were refused. We confirmed the policy with Hilton Corporate and feel that it’s a bad policy that needs to be changed. Benefits should apply to gold status members regardless of how the reservation was made.


  3. I have over 320,000 HH points, can I cash in points for Diamond Status? So basically can I buy Diamond by giving up some of my points? I am currently Silver.


    • Hi Steve. Unfortunately, Diamond status is not a redemption option for Hilton Honors points. Just as a side note, however, the Hilton Honors Aspire card does come with complimentary Diamond status.


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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