Hilton Extends Elite Status, Suspends Points Expiration Due to COVID-19

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated with the latest information as of January 5, 2022.

In a time of great uncertainty—both in travel and in general—Hilton continues to do right by its customers. Hilton recently extended the expiration date of free weekend night certificates for cardholders. Now, Hilton has announced even greater flexibility for Hilton Honors members in three categories: status, points, and reservations.

Key Terms

Status

Points

Reservations

  • Most reservations can be changed or canceled up to 24 hours before arrival without penalty. As long as you booked directly with Hilton, this should apply, but check the policy before confirming your reservation. It also should be listed in your confirmation email. For bookings made directly with Hilton, you can change them online or in the app without needing to call.

Elite Status Extension

Hilton's announcement essentially gives anyone with status—whether that was during 2019 or during 2020—that same status through March 31, 2023. For travelers who earn Hilton Honors elite status through hotel stays, this is fantastic news. During a travel hiatus of unknown length and ever-changing travel rules, qualifying for hotel status through stays/nights is quite difficult for many members around the globe.

For those who qualify for Hilton Honors status by holding a credit card, this policy change presumably means you could downgrade or cancel your card and still maintain the status that comes with it. With global travel continually in flux, now is a great time to assess your credit card portfolio.

Points Expiration Pause

Good news if you have Hilton Honors points scheduled to expire soon. Hilton is pausing the expiration of points through December 31, 2022. That takes the pressure off travelers that were at risk of losing their Hilton points and couldn't travel to extend the expiration date. While there are many ways to extend Hilton Honors points, this is a nice gesture.

Reservation Flexibility

Increased flexibility for booking hotel reservations gives Hilton Honors the biggest boost out of all announcements so far. Not only does this allow existing reservations to be canceled without charge, but also stir-crazy would-be travelers can take advantage of lower hotel rates for future stays without sacrificing any flexibility, should such a trip not come to fruition.

For those forced to cancel trips due to COVID-19, this is a great opportunity to plan and book replacement trips. Should future plans be impacted, you will be able to change or cancel at no extra charge.

Our Take

Coupled with the extension of free weekend night certificates into 2022, Hilton has cemented itself as a hotel chain doing the right thing for its members. This increased flexibility in multiple aspects of the Hilton Honors program builds trust and loyalty among its members. Once business and leisure travel returns to what it used to be, Hilton surely wants to maintain its mainstay of customers. Doing right by them in the meantime will go a long way in making sure that happens.

For information on how other hotel chains are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, check out:

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  • As I read this article it sounds like a no brainer in my view as loyalty “comes by foot and leaves by car”. I have, however, not experienced their focus on loyalty as you have described in your article. I used to travel regularly for my work (globally). I was last in a hilton in December 2019 (in perth) and am now told that my account, and all my corresponding miles linked to that account, has been terminated due to inactvity over the past 15 months. This tells me they have not taken covid into consideration at all. I have escallated this and explanied this would hurt them as customers will remember this in the long run – but I was just told, this is the hilton policy. Is there any contact you can recommend for me to reach out to so as to resolve this?

    • JW – I actually disagree with whoever told you that’s the policy. Unless they’re operating differently in different countries, Hilton has announced points extensions multiple times. You should definitely push back on this. I’ve had good luck sending a private message to their Twitter team. They may refer you to someone else, but you’ll at least have the right department, rather than waiting on hold for the wrong department.

  • Of course, airlines should do the same. It is time for AA to really do something.

  • Happeemonee says:

    Well done Hilton. Shame on you Marriott

  • The expiration of points delayed to the end of the year is a good things.
    Some hotel hotel chains extended the validity of points only through end of May.

  • Robin Plumb says:

    This will be very helpful to us – thank you Hilton, this is the right thing to do.

  • I hope more hotel chains follow in Hilton’s footsteps. Nice to know we will still have a free night award to use in the future.

  • Bravo, Hilton. Thanks for doing the right thing.

  • Maicon Fernandes says:

    Where are the others to repeat the example? It would be perfect

  • Corey Hovanec says:

    Airlines should take note. I’m up against a few expirations and I’m hoping all companies begin to act similarly.

  • Kudos to Hilton! Remember when other loyalty programs really valued our business?

  • Nice to know that companies are doing this since people is not travelling anymore. Every place should be doing this

  • I think steps like these are essential in the current climate, and those companies that aren’t willing to go the extra measure will probably suffer the most

  • I just got the email from Hilton that my diamond status has been extended – except I have the Aspire. What I need is an extension of the hotel night and resort credit. 🙁

  • I like that Hilton has done this. I just got the Surpass card and got a nasty surprise that since I held the Citi “Surpass” card I didn’t qualify for the bonus miles. I had someone write up a plea for me. I will see what happens. Amex is annoying like this. I guess right now they aren’t hurting for business. I mainly got it for the perks but the bonus would make Amex more friendlier.

  • Victoria Son says:

    That is good news. Not only is it customer friendly it builds loyalty and really shows that have the long term game in view.

    Travel industry got hammered from 9/11 but then have obviously bounced back. Hope that happens with all the airlines as well. I’m delaying a major trip now due to this scary virus.

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    I expect everyone to do this, at a minimum.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I’ve taken the time to look this deal over, and it seems to be good, except that Hilton points expire and their email spam is beyond annoying. They used to charge for wifi… not sure if they still do.

    • Wifi seems to be free as a member when we stay at Hilton properties these days.

    • And what chain, pray tell, with similar properties & service offers points which do not expire? Not Hyatt. Not Marriott. BW? Not in the same league. IHG? Sure, but with a caveat: you need maintain elite status. And IHG elite status, in my experience, is worth much less than Hilton.
      IHG elite on-property benefits pale in comparison to Hilton.

    • Wifi is indeed free for Hilton Honors membership, which is free. Here are the specifics:

      “In-Room and Lobby Wi-Fi

      – Hilton Honors members enjoy free standard Wi-Fi at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree by Hilton, Embassy by Hilton, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, and Canopy by Hilton hotel.
      – Free standard Wi-Fi is available during stays at Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home 2 Suites properties.
      – Premium Wi-Fi is available for a fee at select properties.
      – Diamond members enjoy free Premium Wi-Fi at all participating properties in the Hilton portfolio.
      – Wi-Fi is not free in meeting spaces or at properties with a resort charge that includes Wi-Fi.”

  • Danny Nguyen says:

    Good for Hilton. I wonder if Marriott will bother to do anything. I probably will not make Titanium again if so.

  • Chloe's mum says:

    Agree, Hilton has led again (yes looking at you BA – status extension like some airlines would be better than lowering the tier points). We are Hilton gold via credit card, but they have always treated us well – room upgrades and lounge access. The points expiration pause is much welcome as we wait for the passing of the virus and start our travel again.

    PS – Thanks to AW for the 10 AA points to hubby’s account, which helped to extend his over 90K miles for another year when he can use it.

  • Yup, Hilton still leading the way for hotel loyalty programs where generosity of allowances due to COVID are concerned.

  • If only airlines did the same – looking at you BA!

    Well done to Hilton!

  • @Ross Denkin wrote: “For those who qualify for Hilton Honors status by holding a credit card—such as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card—this policy change presumably means you could downgrade or cancel your card and still maintain the status that comes with it.”

    I am nearly 100% certain that anyone who holds status through a co-branded Hilton AMEX credit card like the Aspire Card would immediately lose that status because according to, e.g. the Aspire card, T&C: “If your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is cancelled for ANY REASON, your complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status provided with the Card will be cancelled.” There is only one way to interpret that term and condition, so that there should be no confusion about what would happen if one cancels a status-awarding Hilton AMEX card.

    • The App. is already giving me the extension, needing “0 nights to retain Gold” in 2020.
      Which one of you is right?
      Are you sure that cancelling the card cancels the status?
      Please answer…

      • There is no doubt about what the T&C state. The fact that you already got status extension has no bearing on what would happen if you cancel should the card. All associated benefits cancel automatically. Have any doubts? Try it and let us know how it goes.

  • Nice to see companies doing this since people aren’t traveling right now!