You can qualify for all Hilton status levels (Silver, Gold or Diamond) on stays, nights or base points. There are number of fast tracks for Hilton Gold status by using a MVP, Visa Infinite, or targeted offer based on the airline status that nobody should be Silver.
Hilton recently changed their website. You can now easily see your qualification based on these three requirements.
Note that there are ways to qualify for Diamond based on the amount of charged using a Hilton branded credit card.
Qualifying based on STAYS
People sometimes confuse what is a stay. Stay can be anywhere from one night to a month or more. Stay is checking in to a hotel and checking out. Checking in/out from the same hotel on consecutive nights is not considered a separate stay.
I qualified for 2013 Diamond status based on the stays. So far I have had 37 stays at Hilton hotels in 2012. The requirement is 28 stays. Hilton counts both paid and award stays for this.
Qualifying based on NIGHTS
Night is simply how many nights you have so far spend at Hilton hotels during the calendar year. It doesn’t matter if they are paid or award.
The requirement for the Hilton HHonors Diamond status is 60 nights during the calendar year and I have just 41 that would have qualified me as a Gold member.
Qualifying based on BASE POINTS
Hilton is the only chain (Priority Club has something similar but ALL the points count) that qualifies you for their Diamond status based on the BASE POINTS that you have earned during the calendar year. You earn 10 base points per dollar spend on room rate + incidentals. Incidental spend doesn’t apply at Hampton Inn hotels and Home2 Suite stays earn you only 5 base points per dollar spend.
The requirement for the Hilton Diamond status during the calendar year is 100000 base points that is equivalent of $10K spend.
Based on the number of stays I am Diamond, based on the nights Gold, and only Silver if the qualification would have been based on base points earned.
You can qualify for the Diamond status using any of the three criteria that I have listed above. The number of nights requirement is quite high considered that Hyatt Diamond and Starwood Platinum both require 50 nights. It is easiest, however, to qualify based on the number of stays if you don’t mind having lot of one night stays.
If you are big spender at expensive location and have lot of eligible incidental charges, you can qualify for the Diamond on just one stay as long as your eligible is more than $10K.