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Hilton Raises Qualification Hurdles for Elite Status

The subject line of yesterday's email from Hilton was, "Important Message from Hilton HHonors." Any reasonably seasoned loyalty-program participant recognizes such language as a harbinger of bad news. The question that arises is: how bad?

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Following two paragraphs of what-we've-done-for-you-lately self-promotion, the email finally gets to the expected here's-the-bad-news announcement:

Periodically, we need to adapt our program based on industry trends. For the past ten years, we have not changed the qualifications for Gold and Diamond status. As of January 1, 2013, we will adjust the requirements to qualify for elite status in 2014. To qualify for Gold status, HHonors members must complete 20 stays, 40 nights, or attain 75,000 Base Points within the calendar year. To qualify for Diamond status in 2014, members must complete 30 stays, 60 nights, or attain 120,000 Base Points in 2013. All other tier level qualifications, as well as elite status received through Hilton HHonors credit cards and partners, will remain the same.

The changes apply for stays during 2013, for 2014 status.

The good news is that the qualification requirements for Silver status remain unchanged.

But the new Gold qualification has increased from 16 stays, 36 nights, or 60,000 base points to 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points. The stay and points requirements will increase a hefty 25 percent.

And the new Diamond qualification requirements will change from 28 stays, 60 nights, or 100,000 base points to 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120,000 base points.

Notwithstanding the more onerous requirements, there are no additional perks associated with Gold or Diamond status.

Reader Reality Check

Are the new Gold and Diamond requirements fair and reasonable?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.


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