Hilton Honors Diamond Benefits Guide (Upgrades, Lounge Access, etc.) [2020]

With Hilton Honors Diamond status becoming increasingly easier to obtain, many travelers are wondering what exactly are the Hilton Diamond benefits and whether or not it’s worth it to pursue this top-tier Hilton status.

This article will take an insightful look into the benefits of Hilton Honors Diamond status like room upgrades, lounge access, breakfast, and several others. 

I’ll also show you the various ways that you can earn Diamond status.


What is Hilton Honors Diamond status?

Hilton Honors Diamond status is the top-tier status offered by Hilton Honors that provides solid perks like free breakfast, lounge access, and upgrades to suites.



How do I earn Hilton Honors Diamond status?

There are a few ways to earn Hilton Honors Diamond status.

Earn it with hotel stays

The first way to earn Hilton Honors Diamond status is to earn it the old-fashioned way by physically staying at Hilton hotels. You can earn Diamond status this way be accumulating:

  • 30 stays or
  • 60 nights or
  • 120,000 base points

That’s a lot of stays and nights, so unless you’re a frequent business traveler or living in hotels, it may not be realistic for you.

A far easier method is to earn Diamond status with a credit card or to obtain Hilton Honors Gold status through credit cards and then work your way up to Diamond status or just utilize a status match.

Tip: Get instant Hilton Gold with the Amex Platinum or go straight to Diamond with the Hilton Aspire

Credit cards

Hilton Honors Surpass Card

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card comes with a lot of benefits like:

  • 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

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card is an awesome hotel card for people who don’t want to shell out a lot of dough for a high annual fee but still want some solid hotel perks. 

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 with 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 properties which could go for close to $1,000 per night or more! 

You can earn Diamond status by putting $40,000 in spend during a calendar year on your card. That’s a bit too high for me since you can get Diamond status automatically with the Hilton Aspire card

Hilton Aspire

Hilton Aspire Bonus

You can get automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status with the American Express Hilton Aspire. The Aspire is one of the most loaded premium cards in terms of benefits. Here’s a look at everything the Hilton Aspire card has to offer:

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (upon opening account and on account anniversary)
  • Weekend night after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • $450 Annual Fee 

Tip: Get the free credit card app WalletFlo to help you optimize your credit cards with smart automation!

Credit cards + status challenge

You can get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status by getting approved for the following credit cards:

Once you have Hilton Honors Gold status, you can inquire about a “status challenge.”

These challenges involve you staying a certain number of nights within a specified time period to earn status. For example, Hilton recently offered me a challenge to stay 16 nights to earn Diamond status (versus the additional 20 nights I would’ve needed).

Related: Top Hotel Credit Cards for Optimal Rewards

Status matches

You can also utilize “status matches” to earn Hilton Honors Diamond 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 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 further but other times you’ll need to book some Hilton stays in order to retain the status.

Status challenges are shortcuts to elite status.

What are the Hilton Honors Diamond Benefits?

The main Hilton Diamond benefits are:

  • 100% bonus on base points
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • Lounge Access 
  • Upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Premium internet
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • Late check-out
  • Diamond status extension
  • Elite gifting

I will go into detail about these benefits below.

100% bonus on base points

With Diamond elite status, you automatically receive a 100% bonus on all the Honors Base Points you earn.

You will automatically earn 10X base points per dollar spent on most Hilton stays so this 100% bonus amounts to 20X total points per dollar spent.

At a WalletFlo valuation of .52 cents per point, this amounts to a 10.4% return which is pretty good. If you’re using the Aspire, you’ll earn an additional 14X which comes out to a total of 17% back

However, Hilton runs so many lucrative promotions that you can sometimes double this return which is very compelling.

In fact, I have seen instances where Hilton members can get 30% or more back in value for their stays!

Tip: Use the Amex Hilton Aspire to increase your Hilton earnings in a major way.

Complimentary breakfast

Hilton Honors Diamond members receive complimentary breakfasts for two (just like Gold members).

Related: What Hotels Have Free Breakfast?

Executive lounge access

Diamond members also receive access to the Executive Lounge regardless of room type booked (Gold members must be bumped up to an Executive level floor).

Lounges give you a nice spot to relax, get complimentary drinks and snacks, enjoy hors d’oeuvres in the evening, and it’s often the place where you’ll receive a breakfast. Lounges can differ quite a bit in terms of luxury offered but I’ve enjoyed some very nice Hilton Executive Lounges at some properties.

Executive lounge at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas.

Upgrades

Some people knock on the Hilton Diamond benefits because they don’t always have a good experience with receiving upgrades.

They either don’t happen enough, occur inconsistently, or just don’t live up to expectations. I’ve personally had decent luck with upgrades as a Hilton Diamond member, so I’ve been mostly pleased.

My one complaint is that I’ve always had to request an upgrade rather than being offered one.

Also, unlike some other programs like Marriott or Hyatt where you can use certificates to get upgrades to better rooms, Hilton does not offer that.

Below are the official Hilton Honors terms regarding upgrades for Hilton Honors Diamond members.

Properties offering upgrades

  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Curio – A Collection by Hilton
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Tapestry Collection

Suites?

Diamond Hilton Honors Members will receive upgrades to preferred rooms, based on availability at the time of arrival. Upgrades for Diamond members may include upgrades up to “junior”, “standard” or “one-bedroom” suites.

Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities or rooms on Executive Floors Upgrades.

Excluded upgrades

Upgrades exclude executive suites, villas and specialty accommodations (which may include, but not limited to, “Vista” and “Villa” accommodation types), subject to the discretion of the hotel.

Group reservations and certain rates are not eligible for suite accommodations and may not be eligible for complimentary upgrades.

All upgrades are granted on a space-available basis for the entire stay, as determined at the time of arrival.

Preferred rooms are identified by each individual property and may vary within each brand.

Upgrades will be given only for one room for the member, regardless of additional rooms the member may have purchased at or after the time of booking.

Properties NOT offering upgrades

The following Hilton brands do not offer complimentary upgrades:

  • Embassy Suites
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton by Hilton
  • Tru by Hilton
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations.

Complimentary Premium internet

Diamond members will be offered complimentary in-room and lobby premium internet access, during stays at.

  • Waldorf Astori Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Curio – A Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites Hotels
  • Tru by Hilton
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton by Hilton
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations

Premium speed internet may not be available at all hotels. Free internet is offered to Silver and Gold status holders but Diamond members are 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 though I always appreciate the faster wifi when it’s available.

48-hour room guarantee

You are guaranteed a room when you make a reservation at least 48 hours prior to your arrival.

This is an invaluable benefit for those who travel to big events that often have hotels sold out for those time slots months or weeks in advance. If you’re a business traveller who gets sent out to events or just busy areas at the last minute, this benefit can be one of the most valuable to you.

Late check-out

Late check-out with Hilton isn’t as strong as with other brands. Often times I’ve only been given late check out until about 1pm or 2pm if I’m lucky. Meanwhile, other brands have guaranteed late check out until 4pm.

Related: Ultimate Late Check-Out Guide for Hotel Stays

Diamond status extension

Eligible Diamond members can choose to extend their status for an additional year beyond the expiration date, one-time, for any reason.

A Diamond Status Extension will be awarded to select Hilton Honors members, who are current Diamond members and have earned Diamond Status for at least 3 years (consecutive or non-consecutive) and who have completed stays totaling at least 250 paid and reward nights OR who are current Diamond members and have earned Diamond Status for at least 3 years (consecutive or non-consecutive) and who have earned at least 500,000 Base Points over life of membership.

To be eligible, a Hilton Honors member must meet the stated criteria and currently be a Diamond Member. Points earned via bonuses, promotions and/or co-branded credit cards do not count towards meeting the Diamond Status Extension criteria.

You can read more about Hilton Diamond extension here. 

Elite gifting

If you hit 60 nights in the calendar year, you can gift Gold status to any member, and if you hit 100 nights then that gift is upgraded to Diamond!

5th night free

You will receive every 5th night free on standard room reward stays of five nights or more. Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members all get this benefit, so it’s not exactly exclusive — just a nice perk you should be aware of.

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

Tip: Save on Hilton stays with Hilton MVP!

Other perks

.Almost all of the the other Hilton Diamond benefits are the same as Gold:

  • 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
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay

Hotel-specific benefits

There are also select benefits at different Hilton properties you can take advantage of. Many of these benefits are the same to what is offered to Gold status members but there are some differences.

Members with Diamond status receive all member benefits:

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay
  • A daily continental breakfast in the hotel’s designated restaurant for you and up to one 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
  • A complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
  • Executive Floor Lounge Access (available at select properties)

Canopy™ by Hilton

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

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay or three 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 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™

  • 2,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay

The Maldives also offers special benefits.

Hilton Honors Diamond FAQ

What are the main Hilton Diamond benefits?

  • 100% bonus on base points
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • Lounge Access 
  • Upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Premium internet
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • Diamond status extension
  • Late check-out

What is the difference between Hilton Gold and Diamond?

The biggest differences are that Hilton Diamond offers guaranteed lounge access, upgrades to suites, and premium internet. Both offer free breakfast.

Does Hilton Diamond get you upgrades to suites?

Yes, Hilton Diamond will sometimes get you upgraded to suites (usually lower level suites).

Can you get Hilton Diamond with a credit card?

Yes, you can get instant Hilton Diamond status with the Hilton Aspire.

Do I get free breakfast with Hilton Diamond?

Yes, you will get free breakfast with Hilton Diamond status.

Can you do a status challenge to Hilton Diamond?

Yes, Hilton may offer a challenge to stay 16 nights to earn Diamond status.


Final Word

In the end, the most notable Hilton Diamond benefits are Executive Lounge access, premium internet, and better upgrades. Hilton Diamond status can also be a real life-saver when you’re in need of a hotel room on short notice.

However, it’s not clear that the benefits outweigh those of Hilton Honors Gold, as most people likely will only be in need of complimentary internet and a breakfast — two Hilton Diamond benefits that Gold status already provides.

Still, for those interested in better upgrades, lounge access, and special treatment at places like the Maldives, Diamond could be worth pursuing, especially if you can obtain a status match.  

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