One of the more interesting benefits from the new Hilton Honors program is an opportunity to place your elite status on hold. We’ve all had situations that arise, like having a child or changing jobs, that make it difficult to re-qualify under normal terms.
Many programs do have unofficial policies for these situations. Sometimes you can buy up if you fall short by a little, or request a challenge to more quickly attain your status all over again when life gets back to normal. But Hilton’s policy is one of the few that makes pausing status an explicit option. It’s a great way to show that loyalty is a long-term commitment — and a two-way street.
Hilton has made clear that you can request a pause on your Diamond status for any reason. But there are a few conditions:
- Must currently be a Diamond member, and must have earned Diamond status for at least three years (need not be consecutive years)
- Either (1) have completed at least 250 paid or reward nights or (2) have accumulated at least 500,000 base points.
I have a request out for more information on how members can find their progress toward the lifetime nights and base points online. Until then, I recommend you check by calling Hilton Honors or enrolling online.
There’s no similar program for pausing Hilton Honors Gold or Silver status. However, this is relatively easy to acquire with certain credit cards. The ability to pause your Diamond status is much more valuable given the greater difficulty in qualifying.
I can tell you that I haven’t had Diamond status long enough to qualify for this particular benefit, so my Diamond status is likely not going to start back up once I graduate from business school. (My elite status in many airline and hotel programs has expired since I’ve started traveling less.) But if you decide you’re going to take advantage I’d appreciate hearing how difficult it was to file your request.