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Hyatt kicked off a bit of a status match frenzy a few weeks back, when they initially began status matching just about anyone with any status with a competitor to their top tier Diamond status. Given the volume of status match requests they eventually began limiting the promotion to those with SPG Platinum status, which makes perfect sense, given that they were originally targeting those who were worried about the merger between Marriott & Starwood.
Surprisingly Hilton responded by also beginning offering status matches to other top tier elites. I was impressed by how clearly they published the terms of the status match promotion. The promotion is valid for status match requests through January 11, 2016, and matched status is valid through March 2017.
Originally I decided I wouldn’t match to Hilton Diamond status. But I changed my mind.
Why did I decide to match to Hilton Diamond?
Originally there were a few reasons I was hesitant to match to Hilton Diamond status:
- Status matches are typically “once in a lifetime,” and since I don’t plan on staying at Hilton properties all that much, it didn’t seem worth it
- I’ve been Hilton HHonors Gold for years just thanks to having the Platinum Card® from American Express and Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, which gets me the basic elite perks I value most, like complimentary breakfast
- I was Hilton Diamond for a while, and didn’t notice much of a difference in the experience vs. being a Hilton Gold member
So why did I change my mind?
- While status matches are “once in a lifetime,” this is the first time I recall Hilton status matching, and the promotion ends in a few weeks; I’m not convinced they’ll offer it again anytime soon, and with the rate of consolidation in the hotel industry, who knows how much longer this program will be completely independent
- My post yesterday about the supposed “secret” to Hilton Diamond suite upgrades has me wanting to try my luck with Hilton once again
- While I’m primarily loyal to Hyatt and Starwood, they don’t have properties everywhere; I’m planning some upcoming travel where the two brands don’t have any properties, and I’ll end up staying at Hiltons (like in New Zealand)
- If I do find there to be more value in Hilton Diamond this time around, it’s not that tough to qualify — $40,000 of spend on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card will do the trick
My only ever suite upgrade as an HHonors Diamond, at the Hilton Budapest
What was my status match experience like?
My status match experience was super easy. I emailed Hilton a screenshot of my SPG account profile, which indicated the number of elite qualifying nights and stays I had for the year.
30 minutes later I received an automated email confirming my request, which read as follows:
We’re on it!
We’re excited to honor your status and offer our elite benefits to even more members like you. If you have not already done so, please reply to this email with the following information:
- Your Hilton HHonors account number. If you’re not yet a member, you’ll need to sign up first.
- Proof of status with another hotel loyalty program. This can be a screenshot of your current account status or your membership card. We accept jpg files, word documents & PDFs.
Please do NOT send us any personal information (including your phone number, address, social security number, date of birth, user name, passwords, or credit card information).
Then two hours later I received a personalized email confirming I was matched to Hilton HHonors Diamond status:
Dear Mr. Schlappig,
Congratulations! Your HHonors account has been upgraded to Diamond status. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of your new card. Your status will be active until March 31, 2017.
If there is anything else we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact us. For immediate assistance, please click on the link below for the contact number of the Hilton Worldwide Service Center location nearest you.
Around the same time I received a separate automated email confirming that I was upgraded to HHonors Diamond elite status.
I’m impressed by how quickly and professionally Hilton handled the status match, and in general I’ve been impressed by the way the program has been run over the past year.
Do I plan on switching from Hyatt and Starwood in the coming year? Nope. But the status will be useful for the stays I do have to make with Hilton, as I’ll likely spend at least a dozen nights with them next year even if I try to avoid them (they have properties everywhere, so you can’t really argue with that). If I’m impressed by the experience, I’ll find a way to put $40,000 of spend on my Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card in order to requalify. Also, with the uncertainty between Marriott and Starwood, it’s nice to have a backup.
Did you status match to Hilton Diamond? And am I crazy for requesting a match?