Hilton Honors Lowers 2021 Elite Qualification by 50%

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Following Hiltons earlier announcement of Hilton Honors 2020 Status Extension for All Members for Silver, Gold, and Diamond members through March 31, 2022, Hilton has now announced they’re reducing 2021 Elite Qualification requirements for all Hilton Honors members by 50%.

Additional changes include points expiration has been pushed up until December 31, 2021, milestone bonus night thresholds have been lowered as well as reducing gifting status night threshold.

Per Hilton, here are the latest updates:

  • Extending Points Expiration so that no Points will expire until December 31, 2021.
  • Reducing Status Qualification Requirements by 50 percent across all tiers, including stays, nights and Base Points in 2021, to allow members to achieve status in half the time. For example, this means to earn Gold status, a member must complete 20 nights, 10 stays or 37,500 Points instead of 40 nights, 20 stays or 75,000 points. And, as previously announced, all 2020 nights will automatically roll over to the 2021 calendar year to help Hilton Honors members upgrade their tier status even faster.
  • Lowering Milestone Bonus Night Threshold to begin at 20 nights in 2021 (was previously 40 nights) to align with new Gold status qualification and allow members to earn rewards faster. Gold members will earn 10,000 Bonus Points for 20 nights stayed and will continue earning the additional 10,000 Bonus Points every 10 nights above that level in a calendar year. At 60 nights, a member would still earn the additional Milestone Bonus of 30,000 Bonus Points.
  • Extending Status to March 31, 2022 for Silver, Gold and Diamond members that were set to downgrade in 2020 or 2021. This means members can keep their status longer and continue to enjoy their benefits.
  • Reducing Gifting Status Night Threshold to the new Diamond status night qualification. Diamond members who stay 30 nights in 2021 will be able to gift Gold status (was previously 60 nights) or 60 nights to upgrade the gift to Diamond status (was previously 100 nights).
  • Extending Benefits for Hilton Honors American Express Card Members
    • Bonus Points will continue to count as Base Points on eligible purchases through December 31, 2021 on all cards and count toward Elite tier qualification, including Lifetime Diamond Status.
    • All 2021-issued Free Weekend Night Reward certificates can be used any night of the week and expiration will be extended to December 31, 2022. Unexpired Free Weekend Night Rewards as of December 31, 2020 will expire in accordance with their previously communicated terms.  All Free Weekend Night Reward certificates can also continue to be used any night of the week.

Hilton Diamond status normally requires 60 nights annually, so with this change you’d just need to stay 30 nights next year with Hilton to earn their top-tier status.

Hilton is the first major hotel program to lower elite qualification requirements for 2021 by 50%, however I suspect we’ll see similar adjustments from other hotel programs in the coming months. For contrast, American Airlines has lowered its elite qualification by 20% for next year.

What are your thoughts on Hilton lowering its elite qualification requirements by 50% for next year? Do you think we’ll see Marriott and Hyatt follow suit? 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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