Hilton’s New Instant Free Gold Status Offer

Hilton HHonors is giving away instant free Gold status through May 2013 to Visa Infinite cardholders.

The way they verify that you’re eligible, i.e. that you have a Visa infinite card, is by asking you to enter the first six digits of your card. Those six digits are ‘issuer identification numbers’ that say what kind of a card it is.

Great in theory, you have to know the first six digits of a Visa Infinite card to take advantage of the promotion. But that information is even available on Wikipedia, the very first result found in a Google search.

Which means that anyone can effectively take advantage of the promotion. As a Hilton Diamond member already I haven’t actually tested this out, I’m interested in it as a purely academic matter. But apparently entering the first listing in Wikipedia, for Masterbank of Russia, unlocks the page. (If I bothered looking at the code on the page I might find other ways to unlock it as well.)

Then again, they might not be trying all that hard to exclude ‘ineligible’ members considering that this past summer they gave away Hilton Gold to anyone with a Visa Signature card though that was for three months only and this is for a full year. Though in that case, existing Gold and Diamond elites got 5000 bonus points as a ‘consolation prize’ as well.

Though the benefits do vary slightly by brand and property, roughly speaking Gold status gets a (generally quite modest) upgrade, continental breakfast, free internet, and discounts on multi-night award stays.

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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  1. Looks like I just missed out on this. They’re now asking for the full 16 digit number now. Guess I’m going to have to get Gold the old fashioned way.

  2. just tried it now again since i did this successfully months ago and now I am back to Silver. You need 16 digits now and it seems like they are pulling (illegitimate) Golds back to Silver…

  3. I went in today, changed address if honors acct to Sydney, used 411945 as first six digits and remainder from one of my cards. Worked like a charm. Logged out and then back in again and I went to gold.

  4. Worked for me on July 8th, 2012. I used 411945 and also the remainder from one of my cards. Sweet!

  5. Does this work with brand new accounts? It worked for me, I told my little brother about it so he went and sent up a new account, and we can’t get it to work!

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