Hilton has introduced a status promotion that’s so valuable, it makes their extremely valuable credit card less so. Here’s why.
Hilton’s Latest Promotion
Hilton Honors latest promotion has layers that make it unmissable. There are two key components that make it a rare promotion.
- All 2020 Stays count double from early September through the end of the year.
- Requirements for status qualification have been halved for next year.
Instead of 30 stays or 60 nights for Hilton Honors Diamond status, just 15 stays or 30 nights are enough. More than that, award nights count too, at least for status qualification. That leaves 61 days to find 15 very inexpensive nights for either cash or points to achieve top tier status or just 10 stays, 20 nights for Gold status – the most valuable mid-tier in the hotel business.
Key Benefit of Hilton Credit Card, Unnecessary
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is an expensive credit card ($450) but it more than overcomes its cost due to some key benefits. In addition to free night certificates, a copious amount of points available in the sign-up bonus, and expedited points earnings (among others) the card comes with Hilton Honors Diamond status.
With Honors Diamond status now so easily attained, the biggest benefit of the credit card is diminished and that’s hard to do. If members don’t have the card yet it might still be worth it due to the high value of the sign up bonus and the other benefits. For cardholders that already have the card, however, it’s not nearly the slam dunk the card was before.
While I’d prefer to be hotel hopping between the Conrad Cartagena and the Hilton Cartagena to achieve status through early 2023, I have a few needed hotel stays before the end of the year. Mattress running (especially using points) may be cheaper than getting the card. Then again, starting from scratch would require $60 nightly rates on 15 one-night stays – including taxes and fees – to remain cheaper than $450/year for two years.
Smart, Smart, Smart
Not only is 2021 going to be the year of extended status and the year of the status match, but it’s also going to be the year of the land grab and Hilton is giving themselves a two-month head start. By giving Honors members a reason to divert their end of year stays to the brand they may steal some business from the competition. In fact, I am certain they already have.
Admittedly, Hyatt is usually my first priority program when it comes to status and with so little confirmed travel in the next year, that’s where I intended to focus especially early on. This Honors promotion has my attention and my business through the end of the year. I will focus on qualifying for Hilton first because the prize is so large and the commitment so small.
I also don’t know what next year will hold and how long things will remain as they are today. If travel is even more limited next year than it is right now (hard to imagine but ask anyone in France and Germany if it’s possible…), Hilton will have at least earned my business through the end of this year. I will also remain more likely to try to finish what I started if I am unable to complete the 15 stays by the end of this year as I have already made progress for next year.
Credit card holders that earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through their cards have good reason to see less value in the product, but perhaps not enough reason to entirely abandon it. Casual travelers should seriously consider a switch to Hilton at least through the end of the year and, at minimum, qualify for some level of status with the chain next year.
What do you think? Does Hilton’s promotion diminish the value of status earned through its credit card? Does this promotion have the potential to steal your business away from other properties if you weren’t a Hilton Honors Diamond member already?