In case you haven’t already noticed when you logged in to your Hilton HHonors account, the number of stays, nights and base points required to achieve Gold and Diamond status in 2013 has changed.
Before the change was implemented, you needed to complete one of the following scenarios within a calendar year to reach Gold status:
- 16 stays
- 36 nights
- 60,000 base points
With the changes, here are your new criteria:
- 20 stays (25% increase)
- 40 nights (11% increase)
- 75,000 base points (25% increase)
A 25 percent increase in both stays and base points is pretty significant. For just 5 more stays, or a having a credit card that offers stay/night credit, you can have Platinum status in SPG or Diamond status with Hyatt. Platinum and Diamond are the top tier in their respective loyalty programs and you will enjoy better (and more consistent) perks than Hilton’s second highest tier. Loyalty Traveler offers a unique analysis on the increase in base points (aka spend) requirements:
The real penalty is imposed on HHonors elite members who qualify on hotel spend. Increasing Gold elite from $6,000 in spend to $7,500 to earn 75,000 base points seems unreasonable to me. That increases the average spend from $167 per night to $187.50 per night when comparing the $7,500 spend level to the 40 nights level for Gold qualification. Both stays and spend increased 25% and means an average spend of $375 per stay when comparing the cost of earning Gold elite by spend vs. stays.
In other words, qualifying for Gold via base points is not in your best interest. On the other hand, it opens up a few doors for you. With an increase in spend, you now have the option of looking elsewhere. The extra $20 that is required of you could let you explore other hotels and/or loyalty programs.