The status extensions are stretching into early 2023 … even among the major hotel chains.
On Wednesday, Hilton began letting members know that it is extending all current Hilton Honors elite status all the way through March 31, 2023. At the same time, Hilton is pausing the expiration window for all Hilton Honors points until at least Dec. 31, 2022.
This is the third such status extension for Hilton. As travel ground to a halt way back in March 2020, Hilton was the first major hotel chain to give elite members relief by extending status through March 2021. Later that year, the hotel chain extended status again through March 31, 2022.
Hilton's move sets the bar very high for competing hotel programs like Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG, which haven't yet weighed in with how they'll treat elite members with status on the line for next year. It also speaks volumes about how Hilton and other travel companies (like Delta, which extended Medallion Status through early 2023 as well) feel about the slow rebound in travel: Clearly, they're not expecting it to return to normal within the next year.
Here's a look at what Hilton is doing for all Hilton Silver, Gold, and Diamond members.
Hilton Honors Updates for 2022
- Extending status through March 31, 2023, so members can maintain their status perks and benefits longer.
- Pausing the expiration of Hilton Honors Points until Dec. 31, 2022. Hilton points typically expire within 12 months with no account activity.
- Continuing flexibility of certain benefits for U.S. Hilton Honors American Express Card Members through Dec. 31, 2022.
- Free Weekend Night Certificates, including those issued in 2022, can continue to be used any night of the week – not just on weekends.
- Hilton Honors Bonus Points earned from eligible purchases on any Hilton Honors American Express Card will continue to count as Base Points toward Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond status through Dec. 31, 2022.
- Making it Easier to Earn Hilton Status Next Year. In 2022, Hilton Honors is lowering the threshold for earning status. Members will earn the following:
- Status Tier Requirements
- Silver status at seven nights, three stays, or 17,500 Base Points. Typically, Silver is earned from 10 nights, four stays, or 25,000 base points.
- Gold status at 28 nights, 14 stays, or 52,500 Base Points. Typically, Gold is earned from 40 nights, 20 stays, or 75,000 base points.
- Diamond status at 42 nights, 21 stays, or 84,000 Base Points. Typically, Diamond is earned from 60 nights, 30 stays or 120,000 base points.
- Milestone Bonuses
- 10,000 Bonus Points at 30 nights.
- 10,000 Bonus Points for every 10 additional nights (after 30 nights).
- One-time 30,000 Bonus Points at 60 nights.
- Elite Status Gifting
- A one-time gift of Gold status for a friend or family member at 40 nights, which can be upgraded to Diamond status at 70 nights.
- Status Tier Requirements
- Extending Rollover Nights for members of every status level, so all completed 2021 nights automatically roll over and count toward 2022 tier qualifications.
These are big moves as Hilton is the first hotel chain to roll out a plan for its elite members for 2022. It's an incredibly consumer-friendly expansion at a time when travel is still on shaky ground for many as the country battles the Delta variant of COVID-19. This announcement likely indicates that Hilton is nowhere close to their pre-pandemic occupancy rates – especially among its elite members.
But considering how easy Hilton's status is to earn just from holding select credit cards, the most exciting piece of this news is the points expiration pause. And the continued flexibility of using weekend free night certificates issued from cards like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is great, too.
While going out of the way to earn hotel or airline status rarely makes sense for the average traveler, there's no denying Hilton status can be valuable. The free breakfast you get with Hilton Gold status at almost any property makes it the most valuable mid-tier hotel status out there if you ask us.
It will be interesting to see how other loyalty programs from the major hotel programs respond to this news.
Hilton continues to lead the way in the hotel industry when it comes to providing flexibility with its elite status program. Hilton Honors elite status for all members has been extended through March 31, 2023. Additionally, Hilton has paused points expiration until Dec. 31, 2022.