Did Hilton Renew Your Diamond Status For Free?

In late 2015, Hilton HHonors began offering outright matches to Diamond status. This represented a pretty big departure from their previous policy of only offering status challenges. They really went from one extreme to another, as they matched just about all top tier statuses to Diamond, as long as you could show at least some stay activity. I was one of those people who matched to Hilton HHonors Diamond, and have certainly gotten value out of the program.

Hilton-Queenstown - 11
I got a suite upgrade as a Diamond member at the Hilton Queenstown

In July 2016, Hilton discontinued offering status matches, and is instead now offering a more streamlined status challenge.

Is Hilton extending some peoples’ Diamond status for free?

Monkey Miles writes about how he noticed something curious on the Hilton website, and I see the same thing. If you look at the Diamond tracker, it seems to say “to maintain Diamond status in 2018, you need X more nights.”

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Monkey Miles found this confusing since he hadn’t qualified for 2017 status, so figured it should say what’s needed for 2017 status. I’m not sure I interpret it the same way, since any status you’d earn in 2017 is also valid through 2018, which is why I think it’s phrased that way.

However, this is where it gets interesting, and where he may be onto something. Monkey Miles indicated that he used the “chat” feature on the Hilton HHonors website (just go to your account summary page, and you should see the option on the right), and the person he was chatting with told him his status is valid through March 31, 2018, even though he didn’t requalify. Many commenters report the same.

I don’t seem to have the same luck. While my status progress page shows the same thing about what’s needed to requalify for status in 2018, the person I chatted with told me my status expires on March 31, 2017.

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So ultimately I’m not sure if some representatives are just misinformed in what they’re telling people, or if Hilton is actually extending Diamond status for some people through the entire 2017 program year.

Regardless, it might be worth messaging an HHonors rep and finding out.

Did Hilton extend your Diamond status through March 31, 2018?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Same as ‘Monkey Miles’. 1 stay in 2016, Diamond Status extended until 31 March 2018. Chat representative confirm that.

  2. Same here–didn’t even get close to requalifying (10 nights) for Diamond but extended another year.

  3. I saw Monkey Miles’ post earlier today, and my acct too showed a “60 nights to retain status in 2018”, same as MonkeyM. However, when I tried to clarify using the chat facility, they specifically confirmed HH Diamond valid only till 31 Mar 2017.

  4. I believe there were two status match opportunities with Hilton during 2016. The first one, very early in the year, stated that Diamond status was valid through March 2017. Then the second which wasn’t too long after that stated that status was valid through March 2018. I think you wrote an article about it on April 12th.

  5. So many people seem to have forgotten that the HHonors status match was incredibly generous. It was valid through March 2018.

  6. Received this from a Chat rep:

    Please be advised that Diamond extension are targeted promotions for long time Diamond members. To request extension, you may contact Diamond desk at 877-444-9847 or send an email to diamond@hilton.com

  7. Ready to chat…
    3:34 pm.
    Vladd,
    Thank you for visiting the Hilton website. My name is Vladd, how may I help you today?
    .
    You
    ,Hi Vladd, could you tell me when is my diamond status expiring ? 31 march 2017 or 2018 ?
    .
    Vladd,
    Sure. Let me check on that.
    .
    Upon checking, you Diamond status will expire on March 31, 2017.
    .
    You
    ,Thank you, because it wasn’t clear on my account overview.
    .
    Vladd,
    I apologize for that.
    .
    You
    ,Current status is diamond,
    To maintain Diamond status in 2018, you need 60 more nights.
    3:40 pm.
    Vladd,
    Yes, that’s correct. You will need 30 eligible stays or 60 eligible nights.

  8. @Craig — indeed, this is not news, it was clearly stated that the status match opportunity was valid through early 2018.

  9. It’s amusing how Hilton is incentivizing you not to stay at their properties by just giving status away like this

  10. I had the same luck as you @lucky when I chatted up a Hilton rep. Can’t complain about “only” getting one year of matched status, but I wouldn’t have minded another!

  11. I too found the original post you reference and have the exact same indicator that seems to show I have Diamond through 2017, but chat confirmed that I do not. Diamond Desk confirmed the same.

    I get that programs do status matches, but I find it deeply frustrating that Hilton is willing to give away what I have spent years working for (5 years as Diamond). I am set to go back to Silver because we had a baby this year, and no one at Hilton seems to care (about anything except getting new folks into the program and diluting my space-available benefits).

    I am for real happy for those who had their status extended. I just find it ironic and I will have to call in March and as for a “favor” given that I have years of Diamond status earned the hard way.

  12. No renewal here, even though I’ve been Diamond for 10 years and recently switched to Marriott, so I was only Diamond last year on the status match system.

    However, they offered me a fast track to Diamond which is:
    “With the Diamond fast track; if within the next 90 days, from fast track date, you record 21 eligible nights at any participating HHonors hotel, your account will be automatically upgraded to the Diamond tier status through March 31, 2019. Fast track is free and there will be no penalty if not met.”

    I won’t be staying that many nights, but it’s a great deal for 2 extra years of Diamond!

  13. Last year there were two status match opportunities. The first was till 2017, the second till 2018.

    I got matched for the first. But also tried the second and never got a reply.

    Nevertheless I received status till 2018, which is awesome

  14. You can enter the chat on the Hilton website and request a status upgrade “challenge” regardless of your current status. They will give you a challenge to do a certain numbers of stays or nights within a limited period such as 90 days. Make sure you do print screens of the chat while you are there, because the site disables your cut and paste function and if you don’t have proof of the challenge Hilton tends to “forget” about the agreement reached during the chat.

  15. Diamond ends March 2017 for me. But then I have Gold via credit card so it doesn’t really matter to me. Plus I stayed only 4 nights in a Hilton in 2016, I’m not beat up about it. Someone needs to fix the website wording though, it’s misleading to have 2018 listed there…

  16. ^^1 See Bob T’s post. there were two status matches… you could have done both as I did. Hyatt Diamond to Hilton Diamond… and then Hilton Diamond through March 2018.

    Elijah… you can spend or MS $40K your way to Diamond status… would that surprise or bother you that Hilton “gave” Diamond status away in such a manner? If so… they’ve been doing this for years… all of which to say is that they dont value actual loyalty… its something to be bartered or paid for.

  17. And the answer is that people who status-matched for the second 2016 offer essentially got the rest of 2016 for free, then the status they matched for begins in 2017 and ends on March 31, 2018. Something similar happens when one qualifies on a CC, e.g. AMEX Surpass, at the very end of the current year, but AMEX does not report the qualification to HHonors until after the end of the current status year, in which case one gets what appears like a 2-year status extension…

    I requalified for Diamond outright (well, with “just” 13 stays but some 137K base points) and will thus have status until March 31, 2018

  18. I got matched under the first status match in late 2015. I had 55 nights last year, so I was just short of re qualifying. But no such luck on the extension.

  19. I got Starwood Gold status through Amex Platinum. I cancelled my Platinum card about a year and a half ago, but I still have Starwood Gold (presumably through Amex). I have matched Marriott and Hilton gold through Starwood status. I actually stay at Marriotts generally.

  20. Good until Feb 2018. I think a lot of people just didn’t pay attention when they were approved for the match that this was their expiration date. It’s printed on the card they mailed me.

  21. Mine shows 2018 also. I did the chat thing and the agent said it is only through March 2017.

    I’m not too happy really, since unlike most folk (it seems) I got Diamond the old fashioned way (through stays) before they went crazy matching anyone who had ever stayed anywhere before. I fell short of renewing though and will be gold in 2017.

    I was thinking to switch most of my stays to SPG this year anyway tbh. Probably Hilton will match anyone with a pulse again at some point and I’ll just jump on board then.

  22. Same situation. Did the status match in 2015 and had maybe 6 stays at various sub-brand properties of the Hilton Group last year so was not anticipating anything but Silver through 2017 (though have the option to upgrade to Gold through the Amex Platinum benefit). However, my status tracker still shows Diamond and

    ELITE STATUS PROGRESS
    0 Stays | 0 Nights | 0 Base Points
    To maintain Diamond status in 2018, you need 60 more nights

    I never did receive a physical card/Diamond elite kit. Just been using my virtual iPhone Wallet card. There is no expiry on this “card”.

    I do agree this is quite unfair to long time HHonors elites who still had to earn their status the hard way. (Was quite active with Hilton during the 80s and 90s, earning top tier as well as being a member of the international Hilton Club. Travel patterns changed and few Hiltons so drifted from the program in this century.)

  23. After 15 minutes while they “reviewed my account” (????), I was told that I would expire 3/31/17. I didn’t EVER match status—– They sent me a letter thanking me for many years as a Diamond in 2015, and offered it to me until 2/28/16. It then continued all year until, I guess, this coming March.

    My guess is that they REMOVED my expirations, and perhaps I’ve now gotten them to put a new one in— so beware of doing this if you’re in my position with complimentary unrequested extension….

  24. trick to extending to 2018… so i have 2016-2017 diamond… and they said its expiring march 2017. however, previously i got my diamond and extended it by using my amex plat biz card to request status…. even though its gold… it extended my diamond 1 year!!! try it!!!

  25. So I did the first status status challenge and they confirmed that I’m only good through March of 2017.

    When I inquired about a status challenge, she said there was none at this time (contradicting the experience of some commenters above.

    Here is that part of the conversation which I cut and pasted:

    Jessica,
    As of right now we are not running any sort of promotion regarding status. However every year in February/March we offer people who were unable to meet the requirements the year before a chance to obtain VIP status again. So please keep an eye out in your email for that offer.
    .
    You
    ,I sure will. Thank you for your assistance.

  26. After reading this article, I decided to look at my Hilton account. I had been a Diamond member for several years but fell short this year. When I looked, low and behold, there it was. I am still a diamond. thank you Hilton.

  27. Easier to give out top tier status like candy when there are fewer guarantees at the HH top tier relative to other programs.

    Smells of desperation regardless.

  28. I too received the status match in late 2015. I think I attempted to do it in 2016 also but never heard back. I just chatted with the rep and I was extended until March 2018 as well. I think I had 8-10 stays last year. I’m super excited. Thanks for the info.

  29. HHonors has the size and footprint to absorb more elites, and despite the influx of Diamond members through status-matching, I have not felt any negative effects on my elite status. You won’t hear me bitch that HH is giving away the HH Diamond status while I earn(ed) it the “hard way.” Au contraire, it seems like the whole program has gotten even more energized with the influx of new elites. In fact, considering its size, I do not believe that HHonors has matched that many people to Diamond, something that they seldom did until the demise of SPG; it would have been criminal if they did not or still do not try to attract former SPG loyalists after that program went belly up! It’s just like HGP tried to do but instead a choked badly, while HH pulled off their status-match offer smoothly.

    Lastly, anyone who feels that HHonors is giving away status out “desperation” is stupid and knows little about the program. The program’s philosophy is spelled out in their official Form 10K filing to the SEC:

    “Our Hilton HHonors members represented approximately 52 percent of our systemwide occupancy and contributed hotel-level revenues to us and our hotel owners of over $15 billion during the year ended December 31, 2015. Affiliation with our loyalty programs encourages members to allocate more of their travel spending to our hotels. The percentage of travel spending we capture from loyalty members increases as they move up the tiers of our program.”

    Got that? “The percentage of travel spending we capture from loyalty members increases as they move up the tiers of our program.” In other words, GIVE THEM STATUS AND THEY WILL COME, and, oh, boy, have they have come! That’s what really explains why HHonors has been status matching and why, as a result, it’s been the most vibrant and rewarding program out there: it has put the HH member at the center of its economic model, having realized that HH members are the driver of the company’s profits!

    Any talk of “desperation” about the one program that’s thrived while others (read: SPG, HGP) have gone kaput is pure stupidity.

    G’day from an AUTOMATIC “studio suite” upgrade at Renaissance BKK!

  30. Status matched IHG Executive Platinum Ambassador for Hilton Honors Diamond until April 2018. Tried it out at the Manila Conrad Hotel. Very impressed, I booked the cheapest room, but, was Upgraded to a large suite with a view of the Manila Bay, two bathrooms, three televisions, bedroom, living room, walk in closet, and espresso machine. Access to club level, Great buffet breakfast, canapes, cocktails, in the evening. Diamond was the magic word.

  31. I also got the same date of MM that last day is Mrach 2018 as well.

    But yeah i also got the same confused as many people also because in the account it not really clear state.

    Thxs

  32. In my best Austin Powers voice: Yeah, baby!

    I chatted and confirmed that I have Diamond through March 2018, and I was well short of earning it last year. I have no idea why it was extended, but I’ll gladly take it.

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