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Holding status with hotel loyalty programs is hard especially if you don’t travel for business. Even with my previous job, I knew I wouldn’t be staying enough nights at Hilton properties to make Gold so I started looking for ways to get it without much work. I was looking to get status with the Honors program because with the upcoming trip to the Seychelles on points, I needed to make sure I could secure free breakfast which is so key to make these aspirational hotels affordable for the regular person.
You’re in luck if you’re in my situation! I found a really easy way to get Hilton Honors Gold Status without too much pain. I’ve tested it out myself and got it to work even with my flawed execution.
2019 Update: Unfortunately this offer is no longer live. They’ve converted to an Instant upgrade to Hilton Honors Elite (I believe this is to Gold) by going here but in terms of what’s in this post, you can no longer do this anymore via this loophole.
Who Should Care About This?
- Someone who knows they won’t get Hilton Honors Gold status this year but can stay at a hotel at least 4 times.
- Desperate for status for an upcoming reward stay in order to get access to the bonuses.
- Would love to have Gold Status until 2019.
Get Hilton Honors Gold With These 4 Easy Steps
Step 1: Register for the fast track
Google has a secret little promo intended for their employees. All you have to do is enroll with your Honors account.
Only register when you’re ready to make an upcoming booking because the 90 day clock starts running once you do this.
Step 2: Book your hotels using the Google Travel Portal
For the next four hotel stays, use Google’s booking page and use their preferred rate.
While it doesn’t explicitly say this, I wanted to play it safe so I made sure I used their preferred rate and not any other promo rate that Hilton had available.
A “stay” is defined as a single hotel booking. This means that if you have four nights in a booking, it will count as 1 stay. Instead, you should make 4 separate bookings.
You probably didn’t know: However, you would think that if you made 4 separate bookings for consecutive nights, these will not count as separate stays. The system will automatically combine them together. To make that work in a single city that you’re in, you have to find two hotels (let’s call them A & B) and essentially alternate them so that in 4 nights you do A, B, A, B.
Step 3: Stay Four Times
The next part is easy. You have all of your bookings set so all you have to do is go out and vacation!
Step 4: Get Upgraded To Gold
After your fourth stay, the system should automatically recognize that you’ve completed your fast track and you’ll be upgraded to Gold status.
Notice that your status is good up until the subsequent year. So I completed the fast track in 2017 and since Hilton Honor’s program resets April 1, I get to keep Gold until March 31, 2019.
If You Screwed Up Like I Did
Things didn’t go exactly as planned. Here’s what happened.
I started the fast track challenge but because of how my schedule worked out, I wasn’t able to pull off all 4 stays in 90 days. I think I did it in more like 100 or 120. On top of that, I used a mix of rates and I started to get paranoid that I had screwed it up somehow.
I continued to stay at Hilton properties and stayed another 4 times using the Google rate but at this point I was more at like 150 days.
There’s hope for you yet
Once I was confident that I had at least my 4 stays using the preferred rate, I dialled the Honors hotline (+1-800-548-8690) and asked the rep to check on the status of the promotion.
She took a look at my profile and she noted that I clearly had 4 stays since I registered for the promotion. She then tried to upgrade my account to Gold with the promo but didn’t have any luck. After a couple of tries, she basically forced my account into Gold.
Voila I had Gold status!
Lesson learned: Never give up. This may be just the rep that I talked to but she didn’t care about whether my stays were with the Google preferred rate or not. She also could not see whether my stays were done through the Google Travel Portal. Through my call, it was also clear that the system doesn’t make it obvious that you have to complete it within 90 days so calling in is your best bet if you screwed up.
What You Need To Know About This Fast Track
- Sign up with your Hilton Honors account (dead).
- Book preferred Google rates at any hotel within the Hilton portfolio
- Making your reservations through Hilton’s Google Travel Portal.
- Complete 4 stays in the next 90 days (3 months).
- You get to keep Gold status for the current year and upcoming year.
- You can only do this particular fast track once.
- You do not need to be a Google employee.