Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which MillionMileSecrets.com receives compensation. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards on Million Mile Secrets other than in banner advertising. MillionMileSecrets.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Complimentary Room Upgrades, Free Breakfast and Exclusive Lounge Access at Hilton Hotels: Here Are All Hilton Status Tiers and How They Stack Up

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Complimentary Room Upgrades, Free Breakfast and Exclusive Lounge Access at Hilton Hotels: Here Are All Hilton Status Tiers and How They Stack Up

Alex CurtisComplimentary Room Upgrades, Free Breakfast and Exclusive Lounge Access at Hilton Hotels: Here Are All Hilton Status Tiers and How They Stack UpMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

INSIDER SECRET: Gold Hilton status is the most valuable mid-tier status of any chain, because it comes with free breakfast at all Hilton hotels.

Imagine if every time you visited a Hilton hotel you got the red carpet rolled out for you, with free room upgrades (when available), bottles of water and bonus Hilton Honors points.

With Hilton status, you can enjoy all of these perks and more each time you visit a Hilton hotel, and you might be surprised how easy it is to earn and maintain this elite status. It’s a perk of every Amex Hilton card, including the Hilton Honors American Express Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Hilton Honors Aspire from American Express cards, though which status level you get depends which card you choose.

Here’s a look at all the levels of Hilton status, and what perks each of them offer. I’ll also share tips on the easiest ways to earn each status tier.

With four levels of Hilton elite status, which is most worth the effort, and what are their differences? (Photo by tupungato/iStock by Getty Images)

Hilton Status Tiers

With Hilton elite status, you’ll get an upgraded experience for all stays at Hilton hotels, and there is no cost to get started. Here is what you can expect from each level of elite status.

Member Tier

How to get it: As the base tier for all members, you just need to sign-up on Hilton’s website for their rewards program.

Status Benefits:

  • Member discount (a lower room rate exclusively for Hilton members)
  • Earn points toward free nights (10 points per dollar at most hotels)
  • No resort fees on award stays
  • Digital check-in & digital key through the Hilton app
  • Free standard Wi-Fi
  • Late check-out
  • Transfer and pool points with friends and family for free

Our Take: This is the base tier that you get just for opening a new account. There is absolutely no reason that you should be staying at a Hilton hotel without enjoying these perks because, again, it costs nothing to sign-up. Plus, if you are earning points anyway (which of course you want to), then you want to set up this account.

Silver Status Comes Complimentary With the Hilton Honors American Express Card Which Earns You Benefits Like Late Checkout and Free Water Bottles in Your Hotel Room
Late checkout is fffered at the base member elite status tier — handy! (Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock by Getty Images)

Overall, there isn’t anything too exciting about this tier. The most notable benefits are free Wi-Fi and late checkout. It is actually surprising to me that Hilton offers late checkout for all members as a base tier perk. Many other hotels reserve this benefit for a higher level of elite status.

The member discount mentioned isn’t anything to get too excited about. It usually matches the price you find from online travel agencies like Priceline or Hotels.com.

You will start by earning 10 base Hilton points per dollar you spend during your stay on room charges (including expenses charged to your room) except at Tru and Home2Suites, where you’ll earn 5 Hilton points per dollar. Since Hilton points tend to be worth about 0.5 cents each, this is about 5 cents per dollar in value during your stay.

Hilton Silver Status Tier

How to get it: Complete any one of the following during a calendar year:

Status Benefits:

  • Everything from the Member tier
  • Earn 20% bonus Hilton points (12 total points per dollar at most hotels)
  • Receive the fifth night free on award stays of five or more consecutive nights
  • Two free bottles of water
  • Elite tier rollover nights

Our Take: Silver elite status is relatively easy to earn for most folks. It’s available after just four stays with Hilton (which could be as few as four nights if you spend one night per stay). The easiest way to maintain Silver elite status is by having the Hilton Honors American Express Card, which offers complimentary Silver status as long as you keep the card open. Plus, this card has no annual fee (See Rates & Fees), so there is no reason to ever close it.

The 20% bonus Hilton points per dollar on Hilton hotel stays helps you earn your next free stay even faster. This tier also introduces elite tier rollover nights, which makes it easier to maintain your elite status tier the next year.

For example, say you stay 15 nights this year at Hilton. Because only 10 nights are needed for Silver status, the five “extra” nights will rollover and give you a five-night head start going into the next year.

The Hilton Garden Inn Belo Horizonte costs only 10,000 points per night, so for just 40,000 Hilton points, you can stay five nights here instead of 50,000 Hilton points thanks to the fifth night free perk. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Another huge perk that we love with this tier status is the fifth night free perk on award stays. If you use Hilton points to book a stay of five or more consecutive nights, you can enjoy the fifth night free. So on a five-night award stay, it only costs the amount of four nights in points. This perk can significantly increase the value of your award stays at Hilton.

Hilton Gold Status Tier

How to Get it: Complete any one of the following during a calendar year:

The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Status Benefits:

  • Everything from the Member and Silver tiers
  • Earn 80% bonus Hilton points (18 total points per dollar at most hotels)
  • Free room upgrade when available (up to Executive room type)
  • Complimentary breakfast at all hotels
  • Unlimited milestone bonuses

Our Take: The Hilton Gold status elite tier is arguably one of the best deals in all hotel elite status tiers. It packs tons of benefits and perks, while still making itself attainable for folks who travel somewhat frequently.

There is a ton of value with this elite status tier. All of these perks will significantly improve the quality of your stay at a Hilton hotel.

Most notable is free complimentary breakfast at all hotels. The quality of this breakfast will vary on the hotel brand — while a Hampton Inn might offer a standard continental breakfast, the more luxurious Conrad or Waldorf Astoria brands will offer a credit for breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

In addition, you can also expect space-available room upgrades. These upgrades allow up to an Executive room type, which will feel like a great improvement over the standard room that you probably booked. Generally, these upgrades yield “enhanced rooms”, which often are rooms with better views. So paying for a standard room in New York City, you might get moved to the same room but facing Central Park, which normally costs extra.

Free breakfast is offered at all Hilton hotels for Gold status members, like this continental breakfast plate at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea in Hawaii. (Photo by Jasmin Baron/Million Mile Secrets)

There are lots of opportunities to earn tons of Hilton points thanks to the 80% bonus points you earn during your stays. There are also milestone bonuses which allow you to earn thousands of bonus points for completing certain amounts of nights per year.

The easiest way to maintain this elite status tier is by having the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass or Hilton Honors American Express Business credit cards. They both offer complimentary Gold elite status as long as you keep the card open. With one of these cards you can enjoy the perks of Hilton Gold status, without needing to build up or maintain 40 nights of traveling per year.

Hilton Diamond Status Tier

How to Get it: Complete any one of the following during a calendar year:

Status Benefits:

  • Everything from the Gold, Silver, and Member tiers
  • Earn 100% bonus Hilton points (20 total points per dollar at most hotels)
  • Free space-available room upgrade (up to one-bedroom suite)
  • Free premium Wi-Fi
  • Executive lounge access
  • Diamond status extension
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • Elite status giving

Our Take: On the highest end, Diamond elite status offers the best perks for Hilton’s most loyal travelers. Getting to this tier requires a lot more travel, but Hilton again gives you the opportunity to earn the status just by holding a certain card.

The Hilton Honors Aspire from American Express card allows you to enjoy this status complimentary. Just keep in mind this premium travel card does have a high annual fee of $450 (See Rates & Fees).

Diamond elite members will enjoy better room upgrades compared to Gold elite members. Diamond members can be upgraded to premium rooms, up to an actual suite. In addition, Diamond members have access to executive lounges in Hilton hotels that have them. These lounges are similar to airport lounges, with food and drink, plus a quiet and comfortable place to relax and work.

Another notable benefit is free access to premium Wi-Fi. While all other status tiers include free Wi-Fi, the premium Wi-Fi option is usually an additional charge (~$7 to $15 per day, depending on the hotel). Hilton describes it as “up to three times the speed of standard internet and ideal for high-definition video streaming and large file downloads.” While they don’t guarantee a specific download speed, they do promise that it is adequate for streaming and heavy internet work.

Diamond members get premium Wi-Fi, which allows you to reliably work and stream with the best Wi-Fi speeds that Hilton offers. (Photo by pio3/Shutterstock)

As with the Gold tier, you can expect to earn lots of Hilton points. Diamond members earn 100% bonus points, meaning 20 total Hilton points per dollar spent at most hotels.

In addition, there is also the option to gift Gold elite status to someone else after you stay 60 nights with Hilton and that same gifted status will be upgraded to Diamond after you stay 100 total nights within the same year.

Which Hilton Status Tier Is the Best Value?

Overall we think Hilton Gold status is the best overall value. Silver elite status doesn’t offer that many significant benefits other than Hilton’s fifth night free perk, but Gold members enjoy significant benefits which can greatly affect the quality and enjoyment from your hotel stay.

Gold status is also easy to earn because it is offered complimentary to cardholders of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass (See Rates & Fees) or Hilton Honors American Express Business credit cards. Both of these cards have $95 annual fees, which the perks of having Gold status easily justify.

In addition, you’ll earn 12 Hilton points per dollar when you use either of these cards at Hilton hotels PLUS base Hilton points (10 points at most Hilton hotels) and the 80% bonus. This means at most Hilton hotels, you will earn a whopping 30 Hilton points per dollar (10 base points + 80% bonus = 18 Hilton points + 12 Hilton points = 30 total Hilton points).  With a value of 0.5 cents per Hilton point this is like getting 15 cents back per dollar, which is amazing!

Pro Tip: Always charge everything to the room. Whenever you go to dinner at the hotel, grab a drink, buy a round of golf or even buy a pack of gum from the gift shop, always ask if you can charge it to your room, because these charges will earn you 10 to 20 points per dollar when paid for as part of your room charges. Plus, you still earn the bonus points from your credit card on top of that.

Bottom Line

Hilton offers great value for its elite status members. Getting started is easy, and you immediately receive benefits with the lowest tier.

The Hilton elite status tiers are:

  • Member Status: Free standard Wi-Fi, late checkout, and more
  • Hilton Silver Status: Free bottles of water and 5th night free perk
  • Hilton Gold Status: Space-available room upgrades, milestone bonuses, free breakfast, and tons of bonus points
  • Hilton Diamond Status: Premium Wi-Fi, executive lounge access, free room upgrades up to one-bedroom suites

You can maintain any of these status levels just by keeping the right credit card open:

This offers a great way to enjoy the perks offered by elite status without needing to achieve the minimum number of nights required for that tier.

Do you use any cards to enjoy the perks of elite status? Let me know which Hilton card is your favorite!

Here’s more information about Hilton:

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, click here.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a free weekend night reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 4 months of Card membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

56comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I recently got diamond status through the Aspire card. I am about to make a reservation in Clearwater, FL and I am wondering if I should choose the “upgrade request” during my reservation or will this mess with my possible free upgrade?

THanks!

Hally

I recently got diamond status through the Aspire card. I am about to make a reservation in Clearwater, FL and I am wondering if I should choose the “upgrade request” during my reservation or will this mess with my possible free upgrade?

THanks!

Hally

Here’s my take. It appears today everyone has some level of status. Substantial upgrades actually are few and far between. Gold means very little at Embassy Suites or Hampton Inns.

I think to each their own. A lot of people I know who don’t have credit cards don’t have status, and sometimes those perks even at the basic levels can be pretty nice to have if utilized 🙂

Been Hilton Diamond for years. Decided not to pursue this year. My last stay @ the Hilton, Aruba (formally Radisson) was a disappointment @ every turn. My upgrade was in a shabby room, frayed carpet as you entered, poor location, no more executive lounge and they give you a $12.50 voucher for breakfast. Really, $12.50 in high priced Aruba. Since that stay, which I paid about 40K pts. per night, they have now doubled the amount of pts. required per night to 80K during the same season. What is odd is that the cash price didn’t change. I switched to Hyatt Globalist where the pts. have value. 25K per night in Aruba, has lounge and I can use a suite upgrade award. Plus, the hotel is much nicer. Hyatt may not have the footprint of Hilton but they are where i want to go.

can’t really compare 25k hyatt to 80k hilton as the currency is completely different.

hilton worth about 1/2 cent per while Hyatt worth around 1.7 cents per. YMMV

So those “values” are similar.

Whoa! HORRIBLE! But, thanks for the Hyatt recommendation!

That doesn’t sound like a good experience at all. Sorry you went though that David.

Hopefully this was just a one-time thing, but it sounds like although you had Diamond status before, the perks still weren’t really worth it for you?