Sriram provided an excellent review of the changes coming to the Hilton Honors program earlier this morning. To follow up, remember that one new feature for some members is the ability to extend your Diamond status for an extra year. This is intended to put your status on pause if life gets in the way and you expect you won’t be able to requalify the normal way. Examples include a drop in business travel, a new baby, or moving across the country.
March 31 is your last chance to extend your Diamond status in 2018, and it will last until March 31, 2019. It could take up to five days after you submit your request to be processed. If you miss tomorrow’s deadline then you will not get another chance to use this benefit this year. More information is available on Hilton’s website.
There are, however, several caveats. Not just anyone can put their status on pause.
- You may only use this Diamond Status Extension benefit one time.
- You must be a current Diamond member.
- You must have had at least three total years with Diamond status, but they do not need to be consecutive.
- You must have at least 250 nights (paid or reward) -OR- 500,000 earned base points since joining Hilton Honors.
This perk is similar to another program Alaska Airline offers to extend your status by a year if you have a new child. However, Alaska’s policy is specific to new children and doesn’t have a one-time use condition.
Either way, it’s good to see more programs offering some kind of understanding for people whose travel plans change. Losing status can often cause customers to re-evaluate their needs and expectations. If you’re going to have to work your way back anyway, you might consider changing preferred providers. Extending status helps travelers and companies alike.
But if you are worried about losing Hilton Honors Diamond status, you might just consider getting one of their new credit cards instead. Hilton has long offered complimentary Gold status with its the Hilton Honors Ascend card from American Express, and you can even buy Diamond status with the Hilton Honors Aspire card. With all the other benefits these cards include, I think it makes sense even for frequent travelers able to earn their status the hard way.