Unsurprisingly, I get asked a lot of obscure miles and points questions. One of the most common, however, is one that you would expect to be fairly easy to find the answer to via official channels: unfortunately, it’s not.
The question is this: when, having qualified for it, does Hilton HHonors elite status actually begin, and (assuming you do not then re-qualify) when does it end? The answer is surprisingly simple, if not entirely straightforward.
Depending on your exact circumstances, the position can also be quite generous.
Having earned it, when does Hilton elite status (Hilton HHonors Silver, Gold or Diamond) actually start?
The elite status will begin as soon as you have hit the qualification threshold. This can be a little confusing based on the notoriously inaccurate Hilton “Elite Status Progress” bar in your online account, but it’s absolutely the case. This is also true whether you qualify for elite status the “proper” way, or do it through a status challenge.
When does Hilton elite status end?
This is the trickier bit, but it’s still straightforward. You get Hilton elite status from the moment you earn it, and then:
- for the rest of the calendar year in which you earned it;
- for all of the subsequent calendar year;
- until 31 March of the year subsequent to that full calendar year.
By way of a practical example, if I make Hilton Gold elite status in November 2015, then I will get that status for the rest of 2015, all of 2016 and until 31 March 2017.
So is there a way to “game” this?
Yes, there is a fairly easy way. While it is, of course, more difficult, the key is to try and make sure that you qualify for Hilton elite status as early as possible in the calendar year. The best way to do that is to locate a fast track offer and combine it with a winter sale. A few weekend nights in January/February and you’re there.
The rest of the year + full year + 31 March timescale can sometimes lead to Hilton elite status seemingly lasting for years, and it potentially does. If you hit the threshold for elite status in January, for example, you will hold that elite status for a guaranteed 26 months.
Can you get me a fast track to Hilton elite status?
Yes. A fast track to HHonors Gold is available here. It will get you gold in just four stays.
Any other ways to get easy status?
Yes. UK-based readers can get instant free Hilton HHonors Silver status by signing up to the free Hilton HHonors Visa credit card. You will also get Gold status when you spend £10,000 on the card in a year, and a free weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun) night at any Hilton Worldwide property (i.e. including Waldorf Astoria, Conrad etc) when you spend £750 on the card in the first 90 days.
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