Hilton HHonors is one of the few hotel rewards programs that not only count award nights towards elite status, but allows members to earn top-tier status through credit card spending alone. Earning top-tier Hilton HHonors Diamond status normally requires the completion of 30 stays or 60 nights. Citi Hilton Honors Reserve and American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass credit cardholders can fulfill this requirement by spending $40,000 on the card per calendar year. Meanwhile, you could earn status by mattress running at Category 1 Hilton hotels, which require just 5,000 points per night. So is it better to mattress run on award nights or put $40,000 worth of spend on the HHonors Reserve or Surpass card?
Mattress Running on Award Nights
Hilton’s lowest Category 1 hotels require just 5,000 points per night, so 30 stays can be completed at a cost of 150,000 Hilton HHonors points. Using the Points + Cash method (2,000 points + $30 cash) would take 60,000 points + $900 cash. These points can be earned entirely from credit card sign-up bonuses:
- Hilton HHonors Surpass from American Express: 60,000 points after $3,000 spent within three months
- Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card: 40,000 points after $1,000 spent within 4 months
- Hilton HHonors Card from American Express: 40,000 points after $750 spent within 3 months
Status Through Credit Card Spending
Another way to earn 150,000 Hilton HHonors points would be through $50,000 worth of non-bonus category credit card spend. In that case, you are better off earning Diamond status by channeling $40,000 worth of spending (manufactured or otherwise) towards the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve or American Express Hilton Surpass card. This way, you’ll earn Diamond status and generate a minimum of 120,000 Hilton HHonors points.
And if you like the idea of having Diamond status for another year but can’t manage another $40,000 worth of credit card spending, you can just use those 120,000 points to complete 24 of the 30 nights required for Diamond status. Essentially, putting $40,000 worth of spending onto the Hilton Reserve card gets you Hilton Diamond status for Year 1 (i.e. now through 2016) as well as enough points to complete 80% of the nights required in Year 2.
Now that Redbird can’t be directly loaded with a credit card, manufacturing $40,000 worth of spend is a bit more time-consuming and costly. There’s also the question of whether it even makes sense to channel that much spend onto a Hilton card versus another card issuing a stronger rewards currency. If you think you can get great use out of your Hilton HHonors points and top-tier Diamond status benefits, then I say go for it.
Subscribe to Blog via Email