Free Hilton Gold Status Offer Still Working

On December 22 I posted an offer for free Hilton HHonors Gold status through May 2013.

Hilton’s offer was that any Visa Infinite cardholder could have the status, and they simply verified whether a member was qualified by asking for the first six digits of the Visa Infinite card, which is the Bank Identification Number.

With that as the test, it was fairly easy for folks to Google, Wikipedia is the first page that would come up, and a bank in Russia was the first Visa Infinite card listed. Apparently folks hit that code pretty hard, or at least it was talked about a lot, and so after a few days it and the others listed most obviously on Wikipedia stopped working.

Folks in the comments to my original thread found that other numbers, however, were still working. Commenter Ernie, for instance, offered up first six digits 442394 which appears to still be functional.

Which means you can still sign up for Gold status, yielding free internet, continental (at least) breakfast, and the occasional upgrade plus bonus points and access to elites-only hotel reward redemptions.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. worked for me. thanks. i have booked a couple of stays on expedia. i will not earn points, of cource. but will I be able to take advantage of the gold benefits like room upgrades. the guy in the call center did not know…

  2. We push the ethics pretty far but this is ridiculous. Just because a targeted promo is easily accessed doesn’t make it right to sign up if you aren’t part of the targeted demographic. They give gold away so many other ways during the year that I’d rather go that route.

  3. Gary, it’s a good time to thank you for all the great posts in 2011! You’re the best!

  4. Worked for me, but I still haven’t seen my status reflect the new gold status – still Silver.

  5. @Erik, pushing the ethics is a generous way to put it. The reality is that it’s a regular feature of this blog. And there are always plenty of posters to rationalize the cheating.

  6. On the ethics question, here’s my take.

    My son came home with a video game I knew he couldn’t afford, so I asked him where he got it. He told me he took it from Mr. Jennings video store when “old man Jennings” was in the back. He said all the kids know that Jennings can’t see the door from his back room, so they just help themselves.

    Can someone please explain to me the distinction between my son’s actions and thought process and that of signing up for Hilton Gold status
    as Gary has suggested (now twice) on his blog?

  7. Mr Jennings is a sole proprietor who probably relies on the video store to support his middle-class amily, while Hilton is part of a corporate empire that supports Paris’ and her family’s opulent and wasteful lifestyle.

  8. it wont let me try again. applied for my wife and she got gold. wonder if it takes time for my status to change from blue to gold?

  9. @Gary – Worked instantly for me, thanks!

    @Sam – A stolen video game is money equal to the retail price of the game out of Mr. Jennings’ pocket. An unintended Hilton Gold status has SOME cost, but it’s at all equal to a stolen piece of physical merchandise. Additionally there are also some benefits here. For instance I’m now far more likely to hook a Hilton property than I was without any status.

    This is the same argument about music piracy. When stealing IP there is definitely some cost, but it’s much less than the retail price of the item being stolen, on average.

  10. Worked, reflected instantly, I wonder if since it kicked in during 2012 the status might last a year longer.

  11. @Field of Burch though you’re supposed to pay with VIsa Infinite for the bonus points, whether that’s enforced we’ll have to see!

  12. Gary! You still have the best, most informative and thought out blog outhere. Keep it up and Happy New Year.

  13. Worked for me…but on reading the T&Cs it’s clear that if you don’t use a Visa Infinite card to book the required stays your not going to get Gold status or points. Card is by invite only to residents of Oceana, MidEast, Africa, etc., excludes U.S. and EU. My two cents, more risk and agro than its worth.

  14. @DavidR:
    nope, that’s not quite right. the T&C’s and the FAQ say nothing about requiring use of the visa infinite card to get gold status. use of the visa infinite card is only required to get the points.

  15. Promo still working – I just signed up using 442394. Note that exact benefits vary by hotel chain, and HHonors offers options (for example, for Hilton Garden Inn you can choose bonus points or breakfast).

  16. Thanks for the info. The provided code worked for me. Just got upgraded from blue to gold. Cool!

  17. Good news: This worked perfectly for me on 30 December.

    Bad news: I did not actually SEE this until 30 December…and I just had a Hilton stay from 24-30 December!!!
    So, yeah, I am still kicking myself for not seeing this sooner. 🙁

    Good news: I have a three-week stay coming up in a couple of months. So at least will be GTG for that one.

  18. Just worked for me – you just need to make sure the country you put in the address field when signing up to HHonors matches that of the Visa Infinite code. You can then change your address in your HHonors account when Gold status is confirmed….

  19. The VISA # worked, but when I provide my HHonor information, it ends up at an error page, like someone else posted above.


  20. About the ethics question. Undoubtedly, Hilton knows this is going on by now. My best guess is that they are using this as a stealth program to acquire more “frequent stayers”.
    Widely advertising “free Gold status” would undermine the whole program and anger those who worked for that status. But by opening this back door to Gold, those of us who are motivated by easy status, and willing to spend the time here to find out about it, will now be more likely to book Hilton. And if complaints come in from traditional Golds, they have plausible deniability: we broke the rules when we registered.
    If Hilton really didn’t want us to have this, they could just revoke out status for being fraudulently acquired. Trust me, they won’t do that, the whole idea is to quietly increase their market share. Our part in this is to quietly take our status gift, but not make it so widely known as to embarrass Hilton. If we do that, it’s a win/win for everyone, especially Hilton. Please, no one mention this in a CNN interview….

  21. Well, I got the error message originally, then I changed my country to Australia and retried the code. It worked. Got the congratulations message, then I logged out and logged back in and it says gold. Changed address back to USA. Easy.

  22. I tried the code and it didn’t work either. Does anyone have a more recent code that works pls?

  23. 29 Feb 2012. Thank You! It works! Just register your account into Australia and then sign up. After the process change it back to your real adress.

  24. As of 10 Mar 2012, still worked for me! Thanks!!! As Tamas said, register or change your Hhonors account to Australia, use the code above, then once you get the congrats screen simply change back to your real country.

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