What is With the Negative Fuss Over Lifetime Hilton HHonors Diamond Elite Level Status, Anyway?!?

ne of my contacts with the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program sent a message to me while I have been away traveling, which announced news pertaining to lifetime Hilton HHonors Diamond elite level status that has been widely reported, so you most likely already know about it by now:

Initially, Lifetime Diamond Status will go to a select group of members who met all of the following criteria as of December 31, 2014:

  • Have maintained Diamond Status for at least 10 years (non-consecutive)
  • Completed paid stays totaling at least 1,000 nights


Members that meet Lifetime Diamond Status criteria in the middle of the year will receive Lifetime Diamond Status at the beginning of the following year.

Beginning today, members who have met this criteria by December 31, 2014 will be notified by email and will be mailed an exclusive Hilton HHonors Lifetime Diamond card and a gift.

“Well, the 10 years is something that I expected, but the 1,000 (paid) nights is steep. waw….” posted FlyerTalk member dave10 in this discussion.

In terms of Diamond elite level status, “What makes it a joke is that Hilton is requiring a third more nights than Marriott and double the number of nights that Starwood requires in order to obtain a status you can have perpetually by charging $40,000 a year to the Hilton credit card”, opined FlyerTalk member SADDE6.

“This is beyond what I expected and completely out of whack with the competition”, lamented FlyerTalk member Michael19887. “I was expecting 10 years but was thinking it would be 600 nights (for logical reasons…). Thus, placing them nicely between SPG and Marriott’s requirements. That requirement is so far out of left field and not even close to the competition. I’m interested to see what added benefits will come with the status, especially considering the stakes are so high.”

Those points may indeed be valid; but I suppose I take a far more simplistic view: although I am reportedly not nearly as close to having earned lifetime Diamond elite level status in the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program — and I certainly would like to have earned that lifetime status at this point in time — as I originally thought, I am no worse off now than I was before the specific requirements to achieve it were announced…

…and neither is anyone else worse off. That is rather unusual given the current climate of frequent travel loyalty programs in general.

Meanwhile, there are those members of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program who are happy with the announcement — such as FlyerTalk member Marq, who posted that “I am happy! The 1000 night requirement weeds out those that aren’t loyal to Hilton or those that hotel hop to qualify on stays.”

Still, other FlyerTalk members have expressed their disappointment to the point of defecting to other frequent guest loyalty programs: “I’ve been Diamond for probably 9 years now, but probably only around 400 nights or so. If anything, HH Lifetime Diamond is so far out of reach I have NO incentive to continue to try”, posted FlyerTalk member mnredfox in response to this comment posted by FlyerTalk member Miesque pertaining to the requirement of a minimum of 1,000 nights being steeper than expected. “I’ve continued to put more and more to Hyatt and this continues to reaffirm that decision.”

My question is that if the requirements to achieve lifetime Diamond elite level status in the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program was not announced — or if that lifetime status never did exist in the first place — would mnredfox and Miesque currently have the same thoughts and feelings?

Hilton HHonors is one of the few remaining frequent travel loyalty programs which has treated me well over the years; and I intend to continue to patronize hotel properties operating under the brands in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio as long as that business relationship continues favorably for me — even if I am nowhere close to becoming a member with lifetime Diamond elite level status.

In other words, nothing changes pertaining to me as a result of the official announcement.

What about you?

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “What is With the Negative Fuss Over Lifetime Hilton HHonors Diamond Elite Level Status, Anyway?!?”

  1. DaninMCI says:

    Ah Hilton the Delta Airlines of Hotels.

  2. Larry says:

    Do you know if they’re going to do lifetime Gold or Silver status or just Diamond?

  3. Elijah says:

    I am only three years into Diamond. I will likely never achieve lifetime, but I am definitely not going anywhere, mainly for two reasons: 1) there is a Hilton option EVERYWHERE I go, so I can make every trip count, and 2) they have always treated me incredibly well and will do almost anything I ask.

    To me, that’s all that matters!

  4. Rosie says:

    Epic fail by Hilton. They would have been better off not introducing any lifetime status. Let’s face it the people with 1000+ nights weren’t going to leave Hilton over no lifetime status or else they would have left a long time ago. The people who like Hilton for reasons other than having lifetime status aren’t going anywhere either.

    All Hilton has managed to do is to upset a bunch of people like mnredfox and Miesque and give new people a good reason NOT to get started in the Hilton program. All of these people might have otherwise been piling up nights in Hiltons thinking that someday Hilton would get around to offering a lifetime status in line with what the other hotel chains offer. Now they know for sure they can never qualify so they’re like rats off a sinking ship.

    Can’t say as I blame them. If lifetime status is something that’s important to you why would you stick with a program that’s made it impossible for you to get? Especially when it can be had for as little as 250 nights with SPG/marriott (for lifetime gold/silver).

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