Hilton Honors Gold Benefits Explained (Upgrades, Breakfast, Etc.) [2022]

Hilton Honors Gold Status offers some decent benefits like dining credits, bonus earnings, and even room upgrades but a lot of people might wonder whether or not it’s worth it to pursue obtaining Gold Status and if the perks will benefit their travels.

Here’s a look at all of the different Hilton Gold benefits and some insight to help you decide if it’s something you might benefit from.

 I’ll also show you how to obtain Gold status with certain credit cards and status challenges. 

What are the Hilton Gold Benefits?

The main Hilton Gold benefits are:

  • 80% bonus on base points
  • Daily Food & Beverage Credit for two (at some properties)
  • Upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Lounge access (when upgraded to lounge level rooms)
  • Late check-out (subject to availability)

I’ll discuss each of these in more detail below. 

Photo of a Hilton entrance at a hotel lobby
Hilton Gold is one of the best mid-tier statuses.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How to get Hilton Honors Gold status

You can achieve Honors Gold Status the hard way or the easy way. 

The hard way: hotel stays

The hard way to earn Gold is by physically staying in Hilton properties.

Frequent business travelers aside, it may be difficult for the average traveler to achieve status with stays.

You’d have to meet the following criteria in a calendar year:

  • 20 stays in a calendar year, or
  • 40 nights in a calendar year, or
  • 75,000 Honors Base Points

During the 2022 calendar year, Hilton Honors Gold will be awarded with 14 stays, 28 nights or 52,500 Base Points earned during in a calendar year.

The easy way: credit cards

I highly recommend utilizing credit cards to obtain Hilton Honors Gold Status because it’s really easy to do.

The credit cards that will offer you automatic Gold Honors status are the following:

Platinum Card from American Express

The Amex Platinum Card comes with a lot of benefits in addition to Gold status include:

Hilton Honors Surpass Card

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card comes with a lot of benefits in addition to Gold status which include:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • 10 free priority pass lounge passes
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Earning 12X on Hilton purchases is a big deal.

If you value Hilton points around half a cent per point, that’s like getting back 6% on your Hilton purchases which is competitive or even better than some of the most premium credit cards.

Also, the free night certificate offered by this card is one of the best because you can use it at even the most expensive Hilton brands which could go for close to $1,000 per night or more!

Status matches and challenges

You can also utilize status matches and challenges to earn Hilton Honors Gold status.

These typically require you to have a certain level of status with another hotel loyalty program (IHG, Marriott, Hyatt, etc.) and maybe proof that you’ve stayed with that hotel in the past year.

After you show that, you’ll often be matched with a corresponding level of Hilton Honors status.

For example, IHG Platinum status can earn you Hilton Honors Diamond status.

Sometimes you’ll be able to keep that status without doing anything but other times you’ll need to book some Hilton stays in order to retain the status.

For example, you might need to complete seven or eight stays to hold on to your status.

Related: Which American Express Hilton Card is Best for You?

Hilton Gold benefits
Hilton Cabana Miami Beach.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

The Hilton Honors Gold benefits

80% elite status bonus

  • With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 80% bonus on all the Honors Base Points you earn.

This is a decent benefit but given the weak value of Honors points, it’s not exactly as strong as you might have first imagined. 

All Hilton Honors members will earn 10 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties. So with this 80% bonus, you will be earning 18 points per dollar spent.

Compared to other major hotel loyalty programs, this 80% bonus for mid-tier status amounts to a ~7% return based on a point valuation of .4 cents per point which is below Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt.

With a more generous valuation of .5 or .6 cents per point, however, the return value is much more competitive.

Still, extra points are always nice and Hilton runs many lucrative promotions that make earning Honors points probably easier than any other program (like when they offered triple the points to Hilton Honors Diamond members, allowing for returns of 16% or more).

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Daily Food & Beverage Credit ($10 to $25)

As a Gold member, you can receive a Daily Food & Beverage Credit as a MyWay Benefit. 

The amount of the Daily Food & Beverage Credit will depend on the type of brand you’re staying at and your location but you will be granted a credit for you and one additional guest.

For example, you’ll receive a Daily Food & Beverage Credit of $25 at Conrad Hotels & Resorts in the U.S but you can get a free breakfast at international Conrad locations.

At DoubleTree by Hilton, you’ll receive a Daily Food & Beverage Credit of $15 in the U.S. ($18 in select markets).

Here’s a breakdown of the Food & Beverage Credit amounts:

At hotels that have an Executive Lounge that offers complimentary breakfast, Gold members upgraded to Executive Lounge access will not receive the Daily F&B Credit.

However, these hotels will still provide the Daily F&B Credit to Gold members NOT upgraded to Executive Lounge access.

Keep in mind that many hotels usually offer complimentary breakfasts to all guests, such as Homewood Suites, Hampton Inns, etc.

Related Reading: What Hotels Have Free Breakfast?

Hilton Gold benefits
Hilton Honors breakfast, one of the top Hilton Gold benefits.

Upgrades

Hilton states that with Gold Status, you’re eligible for upgrades at the following hotels:

  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Signia by Hilton
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Curio Collection by Hilton
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton properties

Although the terms and conditions only explicitly reference the hotels above, you’re not limited to just these hotels for upgrades.

I’ve stayed in Hilton hotels not on this list that have given me upgrades specifically because of my Gold Status.

So while Hilton doesn’t list them on their website, I believe you should always inquire about upgrades if you have Gold Status.

Here’s what the terms and conditions have to say about Hilton Gold upgrades: 

Gold Hilton Honors Members may be upgraded to preferred rooms up to Executive Floor room types.  Preferred rooms may also include those not on the Executive Floor but conferring Executive Lounge access, the next-best available room types, rooms with desirable views or amenities or other rooms identified as “preferred” by the hotel and may vary within each brand.

They exclude:

executive suites, villas, specialty accommodations/floors/towers, and “Club” accommodation types

Although a suite upgrade could happen I would not expect that.

More likely, you might get bumped up to a higher floor or a room with a better view.

One thing I will say is to not assume that your upgrade will automatically happen when you check in.

If you are really interested in maximizing your upgrade odds, you should definitely inquire with the agent at check in to see if they have any available upgrades for you as a Hilton Gold member.

Most of my best upgrades have happened upon me requesting them.

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Executive Floor Lounge Access Policy

While Diamond Members are granted access to the executive lounges, Gold Members are only given these privileges when they “receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.”

However, you’ll still be able to get your dining credit in many of the hotels, so I wouldn’t stress too much over the lack of lounge access.

In fact, sometimes the breakfast offered in the lounge isn’t even on the same level as the breakfast offered by the restaurant (where you can use your credit).

Thus, for many people, having breakfast comped is enough to satisfy them and lounge access isn’t a deal breaker.

Gold status can sometimes get you lounge access.

Late check-out?

One of the biggest let downs has to be late check out.

Hilton does not offer guaranteed late check out up to 2PM or 4PM like some other programs do. In fact, many times I have only been given late checkout until about 1 PM.

In the past, they listed late check out as an official benefit but as of September 2022, I can’t find any mention of it in the main pages for benefits or terms and conditions.

However, one page does mention:

“Late check-out must be requested and is subject to availability.”

So you can still get it when you request it but it is not guaranteed.

Related reading: Ultimate Late Check-Out Guide for Hotel Stays

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Review

The basic Hilton Honors benefits

Two valuable Hilton Honors benefits are the fifth night free and complimentary internet.

These benefits are also offered to Hilton Honors Silver Members, but I wanted to cover these two since they can be pretty valuable. 

5th night free

Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.

The way that the fifth night free works is that Hilton takes an average of each night based on the total number of points required for the stay.

They then average the amount of points needed per night and subtract that amount from the total number of points required for the booking.

Utilizing the fifth free night is how to capture ridiculous value with your Hilton points.

We once used the fifth night free at the all inclusive Hilton Playa del Carmen and we came out with over $3,500 worth of free travel on that trip. It was pretty fantastic.

You can read more about how the free night is calculated here.

With this benefit you have to think about if your particular travel style will benefit from this perk.

I know a lot of travelers (myself included) who rarely, if ever, stay in the same location for more than four nights when they travel. If you fall into that category then you obviously should value this perk accordingly. 

Complimentary internet

Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at:

  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
  • LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad Hotels and Resorts
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Signia by Hilton
  • Hilton
  • Curio Collection by Hilton
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • and Hilton Grand Vacations

This is yet another nice perk but it’s offered to Silver Status holders so you’re not getting anything exclusive internet-wise by being a Gold Member.

If you make your way to Diamond Status, the difference is that you’re given premium internet in the lobby and your room.

In my experience, the difference in speed varies hotel to hotel and for most purposes the complimentary standard internet has been sufficient for me. 

Hilton Honors Gold FAQ

What is the easiest way to earn Hilton Gold?

The easiest way to earn Hilton Gold is with a credit card. You can get automatic Hilton Gold status with the following credit cards:

Platinum Card from American Express
Hilton Honors Surpass Card

How many nights are needed to earn Hilton Gold?

Gold status requires 40 nights in a calendar year.

Alternatively, you can earn it with 20 stays in a calendar year or by earning 75,000 base points in a calendar year.

What are the main Hilton Gold benefits?

80% bonus on base points
Daily Food & Beverage Credit for two
Upgrades (subject to availability)
Lounge access (when upgraded to lounge level rooms)
Late check-out

Do you get free breakfast with Hilton Gold?

You can get a Daily Food & Beverage Credit for two which you can use for breakfast.

Do you get lounge access with Hilton Gold?

You only get lounge access if you are upgraded to a room that offers lounge access.

What Hilton hotels offer upgrades to Gold members?

Hilton states that you are eligible for upgrades at the following hotels:

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Canopy by Hilton
Signia by Hilton
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Curio Collection by Hilton
DoubleTree by Hilton
Tapestry Collection by Hilton properties

Can you get upgraded to a suite with Gold status?

Typically, an upgrade is just to a preferred room but it is possible that you could be upgraded to a suite. If you would like upgrades to suites then you might want to consider going for Hilton Diamond status.

How many bonus points do I earn with Gold status?

You will earn an 80% bonus on base points which means that you will earn an extra eight points per dollar spent.

Do I get late check out with Gold status?

Hilton offers late check out but it is not guaranteed up to 2 PM or 4 PM like other programs. Often, your late check out will be given up to 1 PM but you can always request for later.

Final Word

Hilton Gold benefits can consist of solid perks like food and dining credits and potential upgrades (in addition to all of the other basic benefits). I like how easy it is to obtain the status and to maintain it over time and so it is one of my favorite middle-tier statuses.

25 comments

  1. As a gold member and traveling with my family members using HIlton Hhonor points redemption for three room, are not my family entitled to complimentary breakfasts at The Amsterdam Hilton based upon the benefits I read ?

    Can you please confirm ?

    1. Based on the Hilton Honors terms and conditions, only yourself and one guest registered to the same room as you will be entitled to a complimentary breakfast. However, YMMV, and some hotels will sometimes offer the benefits to the guests in the additional rooms on your itinerary. Since you have three rooms, I wouldn’t expect it, but you might get lucky and they might offer breakfast for everyone.

  2. Can I share tales of bad experiences that we have had with Hilton Honors and Hilton properties? Are you free to, or inclined to, give advice as to how to, and to whom to, ‘bitch’ about the properties to Hilton?
    Thank you.

  3. So when it’s all said and done I’m guessing these policies are actually up to the individual hotel? I recently stayed at a Hampton Inn in Vancouver BC and there was no breakfast included and I have gold status. I just find the whole Hilton system confusing, on the Hilton site, searching hotels and rooms there is often an option for “with breakfast” for $20 to $30 additional, even though you are logged in and have gold status, does the system just not know your status? And then there are so many categories and descriptions, for example “Curio Collection by Hilton” where does that fit in the Hilton hierarchy? Some hotels, the Moscow Hilton in Russia for one, breakfast is an inordinately elaborate affair, I just have a suspicion that even with gold status I’d be politely informed there will be an additional $50 charge if I want their breakfast. I just wish it wasn’t so ambiguous.

  4. Question, if I have Hilton gold status and I use points instead of cash to book the stay, do I still get gold benefits (free breakfast and potential upgrade) on that stay?

  5. Hi Daniel,

    You mentioned that for room upgrades, you were able to receive upgrades for hotels not listed on the eligible list. Reading more into the fine print of the benefit it says that the following brands do not offer complimentary upgrades: Embassy Suites, Garden Inn, Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites and Hilton Grand Vacations. My question is were you able to get the upgrades from the excluded list? I’m wondering if it’s worth the gamble to book my stay at Embassy Suites as a gold member and ask for a upgrade even though technically they don’t offer it.

    Please let me know! Thank you

  6. Unfortunately not every Hilton Hotel follows their own program.
    In my recent stay at the Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel (Gold Coast – Australia)
    As a Gold Member, I was upgrade at check in to the KING HILTON EXECUTIVE, on the executive floor.
    But, according to the reception and the manager, I would not receive access to the executive lounge.
    Even though it is very clear in the Gold benefits description in the hhonors app:
    If you are a Gold Hilton Honors guest, you and up to one additional registered guest will be granted complimentary access to the Executive Floor Lounge only if you receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge Access benefits.
    Very disappoint that a “Hilton” hotel does not follow the Hilton Honors benefits policy. How can you trust a brand like this?

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