Basic Guide to Hilton Honors Status

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I’m a big fan of the Hilton Honors Rewards program which is the loyalty program for Hilton Hotels. It’s free to join and comes with some great perks as you level up. Some of my favorite Hilton Honors perks include complimentary breakfast, executive lounge access, and late check-out. Learn more about the ins and outs of the Hilton Honors Loyalty program in this Basic Guide. You can also check out our basic guides for earning, and redeeming Hilton Honor points.

In this Basic Guide:

  • What is the Hilton Honors Rewards Program
  • Hilton Honors Status Levels
    • Member
    • Silver
    • Gold
    • Diamond
  • Top Three Hilton Honors Status Perks
    • 5th Night Free
    • Complimentary Breakfast
    • Executive Lounge Access
  • How to Earn Hilton Honors Status without Staying at a Hotel

What is the Hilton Honors Rewards Program

The Hilton Honors Program is a FREE rewards program that is open to anyone. First, you simply create an account and a Hilton Honors Rewards Member number will be assigned. After creating the account, all Hilton Hotel stays going forward will earn the rewards member Hilton Honors Points. There was a time in my life when I DID NOT bother creating these accounts when I traveled. I totally regret it. Every point counts when you’re a Basic Traveler!

Photo of the Join Hilton Honors Webpage

Basic Pro Tip ~ There are many ways to earn Hilton Honors Points outside of Hotel Stays. Learn the ins and outs of earning in our Basic Guide to Earning Hilton Honors Points!

Hilton Honors Status Levels

There are four distinct levels of the Hilton Honors Program: Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. All new account holders will automatically be deemed, Members. So, let’s break down how to earn each status level and what the perks are!

Hilton Honors Member

Courtesy of Hilton.com

This is the base level of the Hilton Honors Loyalty Program. Despite it being the easiest level to obtain simply by signing up for a free membership, it comes with some great perks.

  • Guaranteed member discounts on Room Rates
  • Points toward free nights
  • No resort fees on reward stays
  • Digital Check-in
  • Digital Key
  • Free WiFi
  • The second guest stays free
  • Late check-out
  • Free Points transfer and pooling

Hilton Honors Silver Status

Photo of the Join Hilton Honors Webpage

The Silver Status is the first Hilton Level that needs to be actually acquired. A member can earn Silver Status by either completing four stays, staying ten nights, or earning 25,000 Hilton Honors Base Points. Silver Status comes with five additional perks which include all of the member perks listed above. You can also get Hilton Honors Silver status with the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

  • 20% Points earning Bonus on stays
  • Fifth standard reward night free
    • Your fifth night is free when you book a standard room stay with 100% Points.
    • This Perk is HUGE!
  • Two free bottles of water included (At most hotels)
  • Elite Rollover Nights

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Earn 80,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. No annual fee. (Rates & Fees). Terms Apply.

We love this card to top off your Hilton Honors account.

Learn More Here.


Hilton Honors Gold Status

Photo of the Join Hilton Honors Webpage

Hilton Honors Gold status is one of the best value hotel status in the industry. This is based on what is offered and how it can be earned. To earn the Hilton Honors Gold status, a member can complete 20 stays, 40 nights, or earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points. In addition, the co-branded Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card provides the cardholder with automatic Gold status.

Hilton Gold Status comes with an additional four benefits including the Silver and Member benefits listed above.

  • Free continental breakfast (See update for a temporary change to this benefit in 2021)
    • This can be a HUGE money-saving perk for travelers!
  • 80% Points earning Bonus on Stays
  • Space-available room upgrades
    • If we have a better room available, it’s yours – up to Executive Floor room types.
  • Milestone Bonuses
    • Earn 10,000 Bonus Points every 10 nights after you’ve stayed 20 nights in a calendar year.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Earn a 130,000 Welcome Bonus once you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. $95 annual fee. (Rates & Fees). Terms apply.

Learn More Here.


Hilton Honors Diamond Status

Photo of the Join Hilton Honors Webpage

Lastly, the Hilton Honors Diamond Status is the top-tiered status that can be earned in the Hilton loyalty program. To earn Hilton Honors Diamond status, a member can complete 30 stays, 60 nights, or earn 120,000 Hilton Honors Base Points. Similar to the Hilton Honors Gold Status, Diamond can also be earned by holding the co-branded Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. The Hilton Aspire is Lisa’s favorite hotel card. Be sure to check out the 11 reasons why you need this card in your wallet.

Hilton Honors Diamond Member Card

Hilton Diamond Status comes with seven additional benefits on top of the Gold, Silver, and member perks listed above.

  • Executive lounge access
    • My Favorite Diamond Perk! Typically the lounges offer complimentary food and beverages throughout the day.
  • 100% Points earning bonus on stays
  • Space-available room upgrades
    • If we have a better room available, it’s yours – up to a 1-bedroom suite.
  • Premium WiFi
  • 48-hour room guarantee
    • Need that room on an important trip even if the hotel is filled – rest assured you can book that room, if you reach out at least 48 hours before that stay – some restrictions apply.
  • Diamond status extension
    • Enjoy an extra year of Diamond perks with a one-time extension. Available when you have been a Diamond Member for 3 years and stayed 250 lifetime nights or earned 500,000 Base Points.
  • Elite status gifting
    • If you hit 30 nights in the calendar year, you can gift Gold status to any member. If you hit 60 nights then that gift is upgraded to Diamond.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Earn a 150,000 Welcome Bonus once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Hilton Aspire Card includes Complimentary Diamond Status, Annual Free Weekend Night Award, $250 Resort Credit, and a $250 Airline Incidentals Credit. $450 annual fee. (Rates & Fees). Terms Apply. Learn More Here.

All information about Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by basictravelcouple.com


My Three Favorite Perks from the Hilton Honors Program

1) Free 5th Night when using Points (Silver and above)

This Hilton Honors perk is one of my favorite travel tricks. When using Hilton Honors points to book four consecutive nights, the fifth night is FREE! However, this perk can only be used with points. Unfortunately, free night certificates, as well as points and money bookings are not eligible for the 5th-night free perk. 

5th night Free is the ultimate travel strategy when staying in the Maldives!

2) Complimentary Breakfast (Gold and above)

Update – From July 2021 through December 2021 the complimentary breakfast perk has temporarily been replaced with a food and beverage credit. Learn more about this change here.

The Free breakfast perk has saved me a ton of money over the years. Even if you are an early riser or have to catch a flight the hotels will typically pack a bag for you. Our favorite free breakfast to date was the time we booked the Conrad Osaka in Japan with free night certificates.

Complimentary Breakfast at the Conrad Osaka Japan using Hilton Honors Gold Status

3) Executive Lounge Access (Diamond)

I love the executive lounge experience. My favorite one by far was at the Conrad Osaka. This lounge included designated tea times throughout the day, snacks, caffeine/bottled water anytime, and a delicious “dinner” paired with live music. The lounge was located at the top of the modern sky rise hotel and provided many comfortable areas to rest my feet. Highly recommend staying at the Hilton Conrad Osaka and visiting the executive lounge if you have Diamond status.

How to earn Hilton Honors Status without Staying at a Hotel

The easiest way to earn status in my opinion is via the Amex Co-branded credit cards. Each of the four different options provides at least Silver Status and above.

1) Hilton Honors American Express Card ~ Automatic Hilton Honors Silver Status

2) Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card ~ Automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status

3) Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ~ Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond Status

4) The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ~ Automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status


The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Earn up to 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Annual Fee. (Rates & Fees). Terms Apply.

Learn More Here.


Basic Breakdown

The Hilton Honors program is one of my favorite options when it comes to earning and utilizing status. Of course, Marriott and Hyatt both have some fantastic aspects of their own. I personally cannot beat the value that I have received over the years from earning automatic Hilton Status via a co-branded credit card. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue to maximize that benefit for many more years to come!

Let us know!

What is your favorite aspect of the Hilton Honors Program? 

I’d love to hear down in the comments below or over in our 7,100+ Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!

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