Hilton Honors Gold Status Benefits Explained (Upgrades, Breakfast, Etc.) [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

Hilton Honors Gold Status offers some decent benefits like free breakfast, late check-out 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. 

Update: Some offers are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!

What are the Hilton Gold Benefits?

The main Hilton Gold benefits are:

  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • Upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Late check-out
  • 80% bonus on base points
  • Lounge access when upgraded to lounge level rooms*
  • 5th night free

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


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 is by physically staying in Hilton properties. Frequent business travelers aside, it will likely be difficult for the average traveler to achieve status with stays.

You’d have to meet the following criteria:

  • 20 stays in a calendar year, or
  • 40 nights in a calendar year, or
  • 75,000 Honors Base Points 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 have you covered for Gold Honors status are:

  • Platinum Card from American Express
  • Hilton Honors Ascend card
  • The Citi® Hilton Honors™ Reserve Card (no longer available)

Platinum Card from American Express

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

Hilton Honors Ascend card

The Hilton Honors Ascend card comes with a lot of benefits in addition to Gold status include:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 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
  • Interested in the Amex Hilton Ascend Card? Click here to learn 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 and 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 will often 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.

Hilton Gold benefits
Hilton Cabana Miami Beach.

The 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 just 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.

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 4 nights when they travel. If you fall into that category then you obviously should value this perk accordingly. 

Complimentary internet

  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ 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. 


The Hilton Honors Gold benefits

Now, we’ll talk about benefits that the Silver Members don’t get.

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 something I’d consider a “top” benefit. 

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, SPG, 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).

Complimentary Breakfast

Breakfast is probably one of the best Hilton Gold benefits. Complimentary breakfasts for Gold Members are offered at the following Hilton hotels:

  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton

Keep in mind that many hotels usually offer complimentary breakfasts to all guests, such as Homewood Suites, Hampton Inns, etc. While Marriott offers breakfast for it’s mid-tier Gold status, breakfast is not offered for SPG Gold or Hyatt Explorist (club lounge upgrades aside). 

One thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to hotels, not all breakfasts are created equally.

Sometimes you’ll get a full breakfast with eggs, bacon, waffles, and everything else you’d like served up at a hotel restaurant and other times you might get stuck with a more basic breakfast fixing but with an option to upgrade to something better (sometimes with a discount).

While the specific type of breakfast offered sometimes depends on your location, getting a complimentary breakfast is still usually a worthwhile benefit and good way to save some cash.

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, Curio – A Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton™

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.

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 complimentary breakfast 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 get it on a complimentary basis).

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

Members with Gold status receive all the benefits in the lower tiers

Here’s a breakdown of more of the benefits not mentioned that are given to all members: 

  • Guaranteed Discount: A discounted, changeable & refundable rate is exclusively available for Hilton Honors members.
  • Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
  • Late check-out
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay (at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™ hotels)1

Hotel-specific benefits

And finally, here’s a look at some of the hotel-specificHilton Gold benefits. 

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or a daily complimentary continental breakfast in the hotel’s designated restaurant for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay.

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™ and Tapestry Collection by Hilton™

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus 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
  • 500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn™

  • 750 Hilton Honors Bonus 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™

  • 250 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Tru by Hilton™

  • 250 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and 2 bottles of water per stay

Homewood Suites by Hilton™

  • 250 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or two bottles of water and sweet snack per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton™

  • 100 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay

Hilton Grand Vacations™

  • 1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay

There are also special benefits when visiting the Maldives. Click here to view those perks.


Final Word

Hilton Gold benefits can consist of solid perks like complimentary breakfasts and potential upgrades (in addition to all of the other basic benefits).

I still think I prefer Marriott Gold as my primary mid-tier status, but considering that Hilton Honors Gold is easier to achieve and comes with some good perks, it’s still one of the best mid-tier statuses in my opinion.  

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14 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.

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