Hilton Gives Up On 2021, Extends Status Again – Rolls Over Elite Nights, Won’t Expire Points In 2022

Like Delta, Hilton Honors is straight up extending elite status again. They’re also rolling all elite nights earned in 2021 over to qualifying for status in 2022 (for the 2023 elite year) as well as reducing elite qualification requirements in 2022. They’re also extending the pause on points expiration.

Leisure travel is tapering off – it always does as Labor Day approaches but this year more so with the spread of the Delta variant – and business travel’s return is delayed. Hilton doesn’t want to lose its best customers (or really any customers) whose travel isn’t back yet, so they’re taking several steps:

  • Extending status again. Status earned in 2019 for 2020 was extended for 2021 and now extended for 2022. (Elite members keep their status next year, through March 2023.)

  • Rolling over elite nights earned this year. Since you don’t need them for next year’s elite status, the nights you’ve earned this year give you a head start earning status in 2022 for the 2023 elite year.

  • Reducing requirements to earn elite status in 2022. These requirements are reduced compared to 2019 levels, but higher than they’ve been for for 2021.

    • Silver: 7 nights, 3 stays or 17,500 base points (vs 10 nights/4 stays/25,000 points normally)
    • Gold: 28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 base points (vs 40 nights/20 stays or 75,000 points normally)
    • Diamond: 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 base points (vs 60 nights/40 stays or 120,000 points normally)

    Milestone bonuses also come earlier: 10,000 points at 30 nights and each additional 10 nights thereafter; 30,000 points at 60 nights; gift gold status at 40 nights (upgraded to Diamond at 70 nights).

  • Extend the point on points expiration to December 31, 2022.

  • Extended credit card co-brand benefits. Free Weekend Night Certificates remain valid any night of the week. Points earned from purchases on co-brand cards continue to count as base points for elite status and lifetime Diamond status through December 31, 2022.

This raises the pressure on other hotel programs, and also signals that we can expect to see elite status concessions of some kind for next year from other programs. Clearly Hilton doesn’t expect 2022 to be a normal year, but by not reducing qualification requirements as much as for 2021 they’re giving themselves the option of still using status to encourage stays, as well as to run promotions as-needed if 2022 doesn’t recover as hoped – although the expectation is that the year will certainly be better and business travel will slowly come back.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. “Points earned from purchases on co-brand cards continue to count as base points for elite status and lifetime Diamond status through December 31, 2022.”

    I might get to lifetime Diamond with this. I thought I would not even have a chance.

  2. Is there a way to figure out how many points you have toward lifetime status? Like the commented above, that may be possible. But I need to see where I am to decide if some strategic additional spend goes on a Hilton card.

  3. “Status” at Hiltons and Marriotts in the Covid era isn’t worth much. A $10 breakfast voucher in a restaurant where coffee costs nearly $10, “late” checkouts only if you beg, and nonexistent room upgrades are about all you get with Gold or Diamond. Still, extending the status is a smart move. If it does nothing else, putting pressure on Marriott and Hyatt to follow is a good thing.

  4. I’m with you Gene, hoping IHG do the right thing, given the ongoing travel limitations impacting most of us.

  5. This is the perfect opportunity for Choice, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott or Radisson to say, “Come stay with us and if you do, you’ll get this and that.” Ignoring the fact that Hilton gives away top-level elite status through its co-branded credit card, there is no point staying with Hilton until the third or fourth quarters of 2022. Someone needs to incentivize customers to actually stay with them by improving benefits. If David Flueck is worth anything he would find a way to actually improve tangible titanium and ambassador benefits. But there real opportunity is a weaker brand like Choice or IHG.

  6. @Mets fan in NC: Same question from me. It’s not clear if or how the Free Night Award certificates are affected. I have one received Aug 2020 still unused with an Aug 2022 expiration. Wondering if that just rolled forward to 2023 as well.

    And hoping IHG follows suit because I have 3 of those accumulated with one more on the way soon, but no easy way to use right now.

  7. The status rollover is irrelevant for me personally (41 nights with rollover nights so far + Aspire card), but rollover nights will be helpful for getting some milestone points. Right now I do not see much differences in terms of hotel benefits between Bonvot Titanium and Hilton Diamond – both are rather mediocre. The main problem with Bonvoy are ridiculous prices for point redemption and hotel unavailability while HHonors sill offers standard awards in many cases + generous promotions.

  8. “if 2022 doesn’t recover as hoped” — Expecting travel to be anything close to normal in 2022 seems to be pretty hopeless at this point. At this point, I’m not really planning for much business or personal travel next year. Business-wise, not many clients show signs of returning to their offices anytime soon and meeting/conference attendance is still weak (so no opportunity to meet clients). As far as personal travel, paying top dollar for a lower-quality experience at popular domestic destinations and jumping through ever-changing hoops for international travel are rapidly losing their appeal.

  9. re: Texan@Heart

    Status goes a lot further outside the US. As a Diamond at the Conrad Maldives in July, free breakfast buffet plus menu ordering, free happy hour (at least 3 drinks, 6 on a good day w/ quick service), room upgrade, bottle of champagne at check-in and treats, 10am check-in, 4pm check-out. It was quite nice. WA Cabo similar story.

    No reason to stay at luxury properties in the US.

  10. This was an easy call for Hilton, seeing as they have gutted the free breakfast benefit along with other amenities such as daily cleaning.
    Already earned top Hyatt status so just waiting now on Marriott. Of course none of it really matters if my travel doesn’t resume in 2022.

  11. This was an easy call for Hilton, seeing as they have gutted the free breakfast benefit along with other amenities such as daily cleaning.

    — Boraxo

    Let’s get something straight. Hilton “gutted” free breakfast only at their US properties, which ain’t much of a “gutting” because so-called “free breakfast” in the US was never anything to write home about to start with.

    For some of us who travel mostly internationally, where true, full and free restaurant breakfast is the rule rather than the exception, the “gutting” of the free breakfast benefit in the US is totally immaterial and inconsequential.

    @Texan@heart sez:

    “…“late” checkouts only if you beg…”

    Texan@heart (read: troglodyte) sounds about right.

    FYI. I just returned last evening from a 5-night stay at the Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in Honolulu, HI. With my “red eye” flight back to NYC departing HNL at 9pm, I needed to be able to stay in my hotel room as late as possible. So, I decided to request a 6pm late checkout; the manager was consulted; the request was approved without a fuss, and, technically, Hilton Grand Vacations isn’t even part of Hilton Worldwide Inc. anymore!

    Try getting a 6pm checkout request approved at Hyatt or Marriott property. It would be, like: “Sorry, but the guarantee is only up to 4pm”. The only reason for loyalty programs to “guarantee” perks is to limit them!!!

    Pontificate about things you are qualified to pontificate about (which doesn’t leave you much to pontificate about).

    G’day.

  12. Not true…I have gotten 6 to 7pm late checkouts this year in Hyatt and Marriott properties in California and South America. This is in a suite that I was upgraded into to boot! The few times they couldn’t accommodate me, they offered a 4pm checkout from my suite and then gave me a regular room to use until 6 or 7pm.

  13. @SC — Fine. But the canard perpetuated by self-anointed “travel gurus” about how Hilton Honors elites have “trouble” getting late checkout requests approved because the benefit is not “guaranteed” is pure garbage.

    Instances of Hyatt or Marriott elites being denied checkout request later than 4pm, precisely because of the “4pm guarantee”, are more common than not, especially in the US. As a HH Diamond for a decade, I have never been denied a late checkout request, most of which have been for after 4pm because I had an especially late flight (which is usually when I would even bother putting in s request). I’ve been approved both in the US (e.g., to 6pm at Grand Islander this week or 5pm at the Drake in Chicago) and overseas (e.g., 6pm for 3 consecutive years at Hilton Buenos Aires, in a suite upgrade each time, due to a flight departing EZE for IAH at 9pm).

    Frankly, among hotel elite perks, I do not rank late checkout very high. By contrast, the WoH Globalist status, which is touted as “top in the business” by self-anointed “travel gurus”, does not get the “5th award night free”, which is tangibly the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty. And, yet, there is nary a word about that clear shortcoming from those who skewer Hilton Honors for not “guaranteeing” 4pm late checkout!!!

  14. The only time I didn’t get a late check out was at the Conrad Bangkok 2018. The whole Executive Floor staff was arrogant and thought they owned the hotel. Being lifetime Diamond I thought I would be more welcome but that was only one of few negative experiences ever in Hilton.
    I am right now in a Hilton property, the Hampton Inn here in Mexico City and I got my suite upgrade although they don’t even have to do it reading the rules. Everybody’s nice, breakfast is nice and abundant but I think at the Hampton Inn it’s free anyway. Fortunately I don’t have to travel a lot within the US so Hilton is still my favorite.I remember when I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills where they got me a breakfast credit of $40 or was it 50? 2 years ago already, and the breakfast would have cost me like around 180$ for two people. Totally unacceptable.
    So we got us two drinks and had breakfast at the Fornaio.
    As I said, I’m happy I do not have to travel within the US.

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