Hilton offered a Diamond Status challenge to me and I completely dropped the ball, here’s why and what I intend to do about it.
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Hilton’s Diamond Status Challenge
Hilton Honors offered a Diamond status challenge with just three stays through the end of March to maintain Diamond status for which I did not requalify. I signed up for the challenge immediately to maintain the following benefits without staying the required 30 stays or 60 nights in a calendar year.
- Executive Floor Room, room upgrades including to suite
- Access to the executive lounge (where they still operate)
- Complimentary breakfast outside the US or a variable food & beverage credit within the United States based on brand
- Earning 20 points per dollar spent on hotel stays
- Elite status gifting, the chance to gift gold status to someone else
There’s a current offer to match your status outside of Hilton and reach Diamond with 14 paid stays in 90 days.
Dropping The Ball
I started the initial challenge off in great shape. I had a paid stay for a business trip that got me a third of the way to my three required nights and I chose Hilton over other properties that were less expensive and more convenient, so it worked out for Hilton too.
The challenge was about as low of a bar as possible – just three stays in 30 days. However, what wasn’t stated implicitly was whether award nights would have counted and in the current challenge, award stays do not count. I would have spent points I didn’t need to spend and still fallen short.
In retrospect, I should have used my Diamond year extension when it was clear that I would not make the final two nights but, honestly, life got in the way. It wasn’t on the top of my mind and I failed to use that last tool. What can I say? I’m human and it happens.
What Will I Do Instead
All is not lost. I won’t drop to a basic Hilton Honors member because I still hold an American Express Platinum card which keeps me at Gold status. I lose some key benefits, but not enough to add a brand-specific card like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card that would make me an automatic Diamond member every year I hold the card. Admittedly, I hold two Platinum cards (a personal and a business version) so dropping the personal card and adding the Aspire would cost less and keep me a Diamond but I don’t plan on replacing the Platinum card I am dropping.
I mentioned around the beginning of the year that I had not requalified for Hyatt Globalist nor for Hilton Diamond but projected both programs would try to fill the void of business travelers that have dropped off in the last couple of years. Hilton came out with one right away, then just announced another status match + challenge. Hyatt added one too through Bilt Rewards, a credit card rewards program for a card that I do not hold but does not require one to join. I have no use for the Bilt card but I am glad I have an opportunity to participate in the Hyatt challenge.
There are three reasons why I am pursuing the Hyatt status challenge even though it’s higher than the Hilton Diamond challenge.
- Award nights count – Unlike the Hilton challenge, I can accrue via paid stays and award nights and that is far easier for me to complete.
- Value – I find the Hyatt Globalist top tier elite status to be more valuable than Hilton’s equivalent.
- Irreplacable – Though I could book Privé nights for my paid stays, Globalist gets me most of those benefits on award stays too. If Hyatt released a similar premium card that came with Globalist status, I would be inclined to add it, but as I cannot (and can do so with Hilton), this seems to be the more important action.
I should have completed the challenge, it really was the least Hilton could have offered. The consequence of my inaction is that I drop to Gold status through my American Express Platinum card and move to Hyatt for a focused and much heavier status challenge. I am disappointed I missed two very easy opportunities to extend but I don’t expect the brand to extend me when I couldn’t bother extending myself. I may be more diligent with Hyatt’s challenge.
What do you think? Have you missed a layup opportunity like this before? What did you do about it?
I gave up on hotel status. Just not feasible with my work/life situation. This will be my last year as Hyatt Globalist and then I will keep some other status via credit cards. I travel for business and most places I stay in boutique hotels that are not affiliated to big brands. Same goes into leisure since we mostly go to France, Italy, Spain and Greece and end up staying in local hotels. It is what it is.
Get the Aspire for in essence net free, get top tier indefinitely, move on. Problem solved.
I’m giving up on hotel status. As someone else has stated I plan to stay wherever I choose, never minding what loyalty program I should follow. How freeing this has been. And a much, much better experience too.
The Hilton LIfetime Diamond Challenge is just way too hard. It needs two things – 10 years of diamond status (which is relatively easy) and 1000 nights (which is more difficult). You can also accumulate points to achieve the life time status but that is even more difficult, unless you stay at their top tier brands.
I suppose you can achieve both goals if you were to stay exclusively Hilton for 10 years and stay 100 nights a year. I average about 50 years a night which means 20 years of exclusive Hilton stays. That is just not practical.
Marriott’s life time status are a bit easier to achieve. Not only do reward stays count but also the credit card 15 annual bonus nights count as well.
While I am still trying to achieve the Hilton Life Time Diamond status, I don’t think I will get there as it will take another 10 years of 50 nights on average to get there. I am hoping I won’t be traveling that much in the near future.
If you travel internationally a lot or stay at upper level Hiltons being a diamond is useless. The staff would not even acknowledge you/appreciate you being a diamond. You have to consistently ask for water and the stuff you are entitled at check-in because the staff doesn’t give a crap or not trained.
But all international Hiltons, they will treat you with respect and upgrade you to the highest available suite.
I almost lost my diamond as well. They offered the 3 nights too me as well. I ended up going to Amsterdam and staying at 3 different hotels to maintain the status. Luckily for me I work in aviation, however a lot of the hotels stopped giving us stay credits which is how I was able to maintain my diamond status for the last 4 years. This may be my last year as diamond as I don’t anticipate doing as much travelling this year. Unless I strategically plan on 3 stays a month until the end of the year. However I think it’s crazy to drop someone from DIAMOND to BASIC over 3 nights! We will see what the year holds.