Hilton has formalized its status match offer with an online website where you can submit your current elite credentials. This offer runs only through January 11, 2016, but a successful status match should last through March 31, 2017.
I already wrote about my hesitation regarding needless status matches. If you think you’ll only stay at Hilton once or twice, you don’t need Diamond status. Such matches are often once-in-a-lifetime, and you could be shooting yourself in the foot. I went ahead anyway for the following reasons:
Hilton matches to its top Diamond tier very rarely. This is an opportunity to try it out with limited upfront investment.
I’ve had difficulty maintaining my Hyatt Diamond status due to the limited footprint, and I’m not interested in maintaining status with Starwood given the pending acquisition by Marriott.
In a worst case scenario, I fail to maintain my Hilton Diamond status, but I can continue to rely on “free” Gold status with a Hilton credit card. It already provides most of what I’m looking for.
Once-in-a-lifetime matches are less of a concern when it’s possible to earn Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a year on that same credit card.
These are pretty broad excuses that could apply to almost anyone. If you want to go ahead and request a match, it’s probably not a bad idea. My dad continues his endless search for the perfect hotel near SFO, where he spends the night often (he works nearby but lives three hours away). I’m proud that he worked all year to earn Hyatt Diamond status, but now it seems he’ll give Hilton a try.
To use the online form, just enter your current contact and account information with Hilton, provide the name and status of the program you’re already with, and upload a supporting document. A screenshot of my Hyatt account page was sufficient, though I had to convert it to JPG from the original PNG. According to Hilton:
Acceptable forms of validation include a screenshot of your current account status or your membership card. We accept jpg files only. 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).
At the time I made the request by email, I got an auto-reply message saying that I should submit my documentation if I hadn’t already. It’s just a form response. If you did everything right, you can ignore this message. The match came through in about a week.
Although Hilton has a list of specific programs it will match from, it also includes a field for “other.” You can list any program and any elite tier as long as you have documentation to support it. Not everyone will get Diamond status, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you have top-tier status with someone.
Diamond is really the goal here. If you would be satisfied with Gold status, just get a credit card — the Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, and Amex Platinum Card all include this perk.