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Hilton HHonors Changes Elite Status Requirements for 2013

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Starting in 2013, the Hilton Hotels will up their requirements for Gold and Diamond elite status in their HHonors rewards program. And it’s a not-insubstantial increase: stay requirements for Gold status will increase 25%. Thankfully, any elite status you earned in 2012 for the 2013 calendar year will still be valid. Here’s a breakdown of the new HHonors elite status program:

Elite Level Blue Silver Gold Diamond
Benefits
  • Quick reservation and check-in
  • Late check-out
  • Express check-out
  • Spouse stays free
Blue-level benefits, plus:

  • 15% points bonus
  • Complimentary health and fitness center access
  • Two bottles of water per stay
Silver-level benefits, plus:

  • 25% points bonus
  • eCheck-In
  • Depending on the hotel, get room upgrades, breakfast, free food/water or bonus points
Gold-level benefits, plus:

  • 50% points bonus
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • Depending on the hotel, get room upgrades, breakfast, free food/water or bonus points
2012 requirements Just enroll 4 stays or 10 nights 16 stays, 36 nights or 60,000 base points 28 stays, 60 nights or 100,000 base points
2013 requirements Just enroll 4 stays or 10 nights 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 base points 30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 base points
Change None None +25% stays, + 11% nights, + 25% base points +7% stays, 0% nights, +20% base points

The benefits are pretty sweet, even at the Silver level, so it’s understandable that Hilton is raising the bar. Thankfully, there are a couple credit cards that’ll get you to Elite status:

Silver Gold Diamond
Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature® Card Automatic First year, after 4 stays within 90 days of opening the account
Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express Automatic When you spend $20,000 a year
Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express Automatic First year, and any year that spending exceeds $20,000 a year
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card Automatic When you spend $40,000+ a year

You can check out our in-depth review on the HHonors cards for more details, or, if you’re in a hurry to catch a plane for an award stay in the Bahamas, here’s the gist:

  • Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express: Earns 3% at Hilton and at supermarkets, drugstores, cable/wireless/phone and gas, and 1.5% elsewhere, plus a signup bonus: 40,000 Hilton HHonors Points Bonus after spending $750 - when you spend $750 in the first 3 months.
  • Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express: Earns 6% at Hilton, 3% at supermarkets, drugstores, cable/wireless/phone and gas, and 1.5% elsewhere. There’s a generous sign-up bonus: Get 100,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.. Comes with free Priority Pass airport lounge access, valued at $99. The $75.
  • Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature® Card: Earns 3% rewards on Hilton, 1.5% on gas, supermarkets and drugstores and 1% elsewhere. For a limited time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
  • Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card: Earns 5% rewards on Hilton, 2.5% on airline and car rentals and 1.5% elsewhere. Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening. The annual fee is $95.

Special thanks to one of our readers, Raj, who let us know about Hilton’s changed requirements!

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