Posted by William Charles on November 1, 2017
Hotel Booking

Published on November 1st, 2017 | by William Charles


Is Hilton Planning On A New Top Tier Status?

In case you missed it, American Express has announced a new Hilton card called Aspire with a $450 annual fee. It also comes with Diamond status as long as you keep the card. If that card sounds familiar, that’s because it’s incredibly similar to the card mentioned in a survey back in October, 2016. Another thing that survey mentioned was the possibility of Diamond+ status for spending $60,000. The new card offers a free night certificate at that spend level.

I find it strange that Hilton will be allowing people to get their top tier status simply by holding a card with an annual fee of $450, especially considering the other benefits of the card. My mini prediction is Hilton will be rolling out a new loyalty tier above Diamond with new benefits. This is pure speculation, but I like to speculate.

Additional update: When I asked American Express directly about this they stated that “this is all we have to share at this time”. Take from that what you will, but I would’ve thought an outright denial or directing us towards Hilton would have been the typical response.

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You are probably on to something. My guess is, if this is true, they are withholding that “benefit” until they announce changes to Hilton Honors, which could come before the cards are released or at a later time.

I like the Gold breakfast benefit but it seems they are getting stingier with that anyway as more people buy into that status.

There are two ways to get things done: either, as you said, adding a new top tier and effectively make diamond a middle tier (much like hyatt’s explorist); or depreciate the value of the top tier so that everyone’s tier seems indifferent. Either way, a more generous credit card deal generally leads to a more serious depreciation of the program.

Wow doc. You have more sense than the other “expert” travel bloggers.

I think that would totally make sense.

You may be right DoC. If true, this may be the stupidest thing I’ve seen in regards to hotel status. So instead of the benefits of the cards aligning with their current status levels, now we add an additional level? There will be blue, silver, gold, diamond, and diamond plus. This will essentially make gold status useless.

How long before they add platinum, and platinum plus?

Another option is to effectively make Diamond status today’s Gold by removing benefits from the current mid-tier. Unfortunately, most changes to Hilton’s programs since the bombshell devaluation have been net negative, so would be optimistic to think this is going to break the trend.

New status: Sparking Diamond!

Is this the first $450 annual fee hotel card? if they are learning from airlines, surprise it doesn’t include something like Exec Lounge visit/pass.

$250 airline credit + $250 Hilton report credit? I suppose if you are planning on visiting 1 resort a year, then this card could be worth its weight (I’m making assumption that it’ll be metal).

Ritz carlton card is the first 450 af hotel card iirc , and I hope the airline credit isn’t going to be like amex plat which can only be used towards one airline since i already stacked up tons of aa giftcard and thinking of a way to unload them

It’ll be interesting so see how a new possible tier (Diamond Plus) plays into the upcoming launch of several new higher end brands including Hilton Plus and Hilton’s new upcoming five star soft brand (similar to Curio Collection but five star properties).

I doubt it. Hilton marketing isn’t quite that smart. I think there will just be more Diamonds out there, and lots of $450 AFs being collected to hopefully hire more bartenders in the exec lounges.

We’ve been speculating (together) for a while! You can spend your way to Marriott top tier status be it via Marriott card or RC card (higher fee!). One is ~$100k/year another one is $75k/year. So I’d say $75k/year or maybe $90k/year may get you Diamond+ via Aspire card, that’s my hope. Now, will they count the spend on Ascend (extra grocery points) toward the total spend when you upgrade the card to Aspire? That would be great to see, they have always done that before. Finally, would love to see some confirmed suite upgrades with Diamond+ status, and maybe some resort fees waived similar to Hyatt, but unlikely.



Diamond status was the easiest top tier status to achieve through stays. I don’t know if that was on purpose or by accident, but it’s basically what led me to pick them over Marriott some years ago. I’m about 50% of the way towards lifetime diamond; if this new status devalues lifetime diamond I’d probably be done with Hilton and just for hotels via tripadvisor/booking/google.

Hadley V. Baxendale
Hadley V. Baxendale

I think you are correct Doc, as there is no incentive to put 60K on the card to earn another free night, when you could hold either the new business or the upcoming Ascend and spend a mere 15K and $95 to earn a free weekend night.

So, perhaps among the suite on new benefits for Super Diamond would be guaranteed suite upgrades and/or use of Free night certs/points on nights that are “sold out” an no longer offer a points redemption, among other things. Hilton used to offer the latter calling it a “Diamond Force.”

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