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What are Hilton HHonors Gold benefits and how do you earn them?

by on Wed September 28, 2016 • 4 Comments
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Hilton HHonors Gold status is a sweet spot of perks at over 4,500 hotels around the world, and it’s also one of the easiest hotel status levels to earn thanks to several credit cards that offer it as a benefit.

The biggest draws of Gold status are free breakfast at many hotels and upgrades that often include Executive floor rooms. The benefits vary by hotel, but generally you’ll be given a choice of a benefit from the hotel like breakfast, or instead, earning extra Hilton HHonors points via the ‘MyWay’ program.

Upgrades don’t require a choice – if a hotel offers you an upgrade, it’s in addition to your choice of the amenity or extra points. And you always earn base points for the money you spend on your hotel room.

Here’s a rundown of HHonors Gold benefits:

  • Upgrades to Executive floor rooms – Officially, most hotels only promise an upgrade to a ‘preferred’ room, but at many hotels Golds are upgraded to the Executive floor with lounge access when space is available. Executive floor perks are particularly generous at hotels outside the U.S., where you can find hot breakfast and hearty evening appetizers at many locations. Don’t expect suite upgrades though, and if a hotel doesn’t have an Executive floor, expect something small like a better view or higher floor. You also won’t get Executive floor access if you’re not upgraded to a room in the Executive floor category.

hiltonexecfloor

  • Free breakfast – At full service Hilton, DoubleTree, and Conrad hotels, as well as Hilton Garden Inn you can select free breakfast as a benefit for you and one guest in your room (it’s a continental breakfast at the big hotels, but some are more generous than others). Make sure you designate you want breakfast in your ‘Hilton MyWay Preferences,’ or at the front desk when you check-in, otherwise you’ll just get bonus points instead of breakfast.

hiltonbreakfast

  • 25% Elite Status Bonus – You’ll automatically receive a 25% bonus on all of the HHonors Base Points you earn, so you’ll earn at least 12.5 points for every dollar you spend on your room at Hilton family hotels. Hilton lets you choose between earning all Hilton points, or part Hilton points and part airline miles. If you choose to earn all Hilton points you’ll get an extra 5 points per dollar you spend on your room, for a total of 17.5 points. And that’s before any extra points you choose to earn via the ‘ MyWay choice.’
  • Late Check-Out – There’s no guarantee of how late you can check out, but expect something from 1 – 4pm.
  • Second Guest Stays Free – Some hotels charge a different rate when two people stay in the room. It’s rare, but if you’re a Gold you won’t pay extra for the second guest.
  • Complimentary Access to Fitness Centers – something that should be free anyway, but in a few places there’s a charge for it that’s waived

hiltonfitness

  • Two Bottles of Water per Stay – Yes, sadly this is considered a benefit. Available at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, and Hilton Grad Vacations Hotels.
  • 5th Night Free – On every reservation of five nights or more, you will receive your 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays.

And here’s how the benefits vary across the various Hilton family brands, including your choice of extra points or a hotel amenity.

Waldorf Astoria

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • MyWay choice: 1,000 bonus HHonors points per stay or one in-room movie per stay.

Hilton, DoubleTree, Conrad, Curio

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • MyWay choice: 1,000 bonus HHonors points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay.

Canopy by Hilton

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • MyWay choice: 500 bonus HHonors points per stay

Embassy Suites by Hilton

  • MyWay choice: 500 bonus HHonors points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn

  • MyWay choice: 750 bonus HHonors points per stay or a complimentary hot cooked-to-order breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Hampton by Hilton

  • MyWay choice: 250 bonus HHonors points per stay or a choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Homewood Suites by Hilton

  • MyWay choice: 250 bonus HHonors points per stay or a choice of two bottles of water and sweet snack per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton

  • MyWay choice: 100 bonus HHonors points per stay or a choice of snack and bottled water

Hilton Grand Vacations

  • MyWay choice: 1,000 bonus HHonors points per stay

In the Maldives, Hilton doesn’t offer room upgrades, but you do get a bottle of wine and basket of fruit on arrival. And you get a daily happy hour at the hotel restaurant.

How to Earn Hilton HHonors Gold Status

Earn via hotel stays

If you want to earn Gold status via hotel nights, Hilton requires that you meet at least one of these requirements in a single calendar year (January – December):

  • 20 stays
  • 40 nights
  • Earn 75,000 HHonors Base Points (points earned via spending on your room at Hilton family hotels)

Stays, nights, and base points can be earned at any of these Hilton family hotels:

  • Hilton
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Conrad
  • Canopy
  • Curio
  • DoubleTree
  • Embassy Suites
  • Hampton
  • tru
  • Homewood Suites
  • Hilton Grand Vacations

It’s easier to earn Hilton Gold than its closest competitor, Marriott Gold, which offers similar benefits and requires at least 50 nights a year, with no shortcut via stays or number of dollars you spend at the hotel. You can accelerate earning Marriott Gold by spending on the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card or the Ritz Carlton Rewards card.

Earn via credit cards

The easiest way to earn Hilton HHonors Gold status is via a credit card, so you can get status without spending a single night in a hotel, making it easy to begin your loyalty journey with Hilton. Each of the following credit cards offers Hilton HHonors Gold Status as a benefit of holding the card:

hhonorsgoldplatinum

The following card offers Hilton HHonors Gold Status as a benefit of having the card after completing certain requirements:

Earn via promotions

From time to time, Hilton offers Gold status to members of partner loyalty programs, or with special corporate or association relationships, so you can get status without a credit card or hotel nights. There aren’t any widely available offers now, but know that this option could return.

Hilton HHonors status isn’t worth going out of the way for unless you plan to stay several times a year, but if you do, and you value breakfast, it can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

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4 thoughts on What are Hilton HHonors Gold benefits and how do you earn them?

  1. Paul

    The gold status one gets from the Chase Hilton Surpass card is one time only, which means it expires at the end of the year following signup. After that, you fall back to silver and have to earn gold the ordinary way, with no assistance from the card, although you can get diamond for $40,000 annual spend. The Citi Reserve and Platinums have gold as a card perk; so you have it as long as you have the card.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Paul – Thanks for the heads up though the terms of both the Amex Surpass and Citi Reserve now let you keep Gold status as long as your card account is open.

      Reply
      1. Paul

        Current wording is:

        “You may be able to maintain your Gold status through stays, nights or Hilton HHonors Base Points earned in a calendar year from the Hilton HHonorsTM Program. “

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Paul – When the Citi card started offering Gold as long as you hold the card, Amex matched the benefit. They’re pretty explicit that the card has ‘complimentary Gold status’ on their site and there’s no language that “it’s for one year,” etc. That confusing language you’ve found looks like an artifact of the fine print left behind from before the benefit change. Both Amex and HHonors reps confirm it’s for as long as you keep your Surpass card open.

          Reply

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