Hilton is offering to match its members’ elite status with other hotel chains, although the exact specifics remain unclear. I’ve purposely held off on promoting the offer until now because there were no further details. However, I did submit a request on Wednesday and look forward to the response. Given that Hilton’s Gold elite tier is already so easy to obtain with a variety of credit cards, it seems likely to me that the match will include giving people Diamond status with Hilton if they have a comparable top-tier status in another program.
To request the status match, include the following information in an email addressed to HHonorMyStatus@hilton.com, and submit it by January 11, 2016:
- Evidence of your current elite tier in a competing program (e.g., a screenshot of your account summary).
- Your Hilton HHonors account number.
If approved, your new status will be honored through March 2017 (HT to FlyerTalk).
Most of the perks of Diamond status are soft benefits. Things like free breakfast, bottled water, and a preferred room are already provided to Gold members. Diamond members will see an increase from 25% to 50% bonus points on paid stays, as well as the introduction of guaranteed availability when making reservations at least 48 hours in advance. As I understand the program, things like suite upgrades are still up to the discretion of the hotel, but you can certainly expect higher priority. Diamond status normally requires 60 elite qualifying nights or 30 qualifying stays. Personally, I view it as being slightly better than Marriott’s Platinum tier.
Hyatt kicked off the current hotel elite status match frenzy when it began soliciting members on Twitter. The timing seems to coincide with the announcement of Starwood’s acquisition by Marriott — something that will likely turn out badly for SPG’s current elite members. Hyatt is still a relatively small program and thus remains motivated to provide a strongly competitive elite program that will attract customers.
However, some have argued that Hyatt bungled its promotion by not disclosing the terms openly, changing the terms partway through the promotion, annoying its current elite members, and generally being untimely or unresponsive in addressing people’s questions. All this shows that there can be significant drawbacks if handled poorly. Hilton isn’t sharing a lot of details up front, but maybe it’s been paying attention and hopes that it can ride on Hyatt’s coattails while learning from the experience.
I’ll be sure to update you if I hear back from my request.