Is Diamond Status worth $450?

Reply

Old Aug 10, 18, 10:36 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC (LGA, JFK, EWR)
Programs: Delta Silver, AAdvantage Gold, SPG/Marriott/Hilton Gold, AMEX Membership Rewards
Posts: 838
Is Diamond Status worth $450?

I have the Hilton Ascend and Amex Platinum cards, both of which give me Hilton Gold status. I spend $15,000 per year on Hilton Ascend (mostly in the restaurant, grocery and Hilton bonus categories) to get the free wekened night. All that said, I spend about 10-15 nights in Hiltons a year at most, with 2-5 nights booked via points.

The Points Guy claims Diamond status is worth $1,000 more than Gold.
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...-status-worth/

Hilton sells Diamond status for $450 via the Aspire (this doesn't take into account resort credits, airline credits, free weekend night upon renwal, etc). Does it make sense to get the Aspire in my case? I'm not sure if I'm loyal enough to Hilton for it to make sense (I also stay 10-15 nights a year in Marriott, 10 in Hyatt, etc). I'm most interested in higher upgrade priority on paid and award stays with Hilton, as well as executive lounge access. I would only put Hilton spend on this card while keeping the Ascend for dining/grocery spend.
Adelphos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 10:43 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: ORD (formerly SAN)
Programs: Hilton Hhonors Diamond; IHG Spire; AA Platinum (DH = EXP)
Posts: 1,210
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I'm most interested in higher upgrade priority on paid and award stays with Hilton, as well as executive lounge access. I would only put Hilton spend on this card while keeping the Ascend for dining/grocery spend.
Why would you keep the Ascend card at all? In any case, you answered your question right here. Are the higher upgrade priority and exec lounge benefits worth $450/yr to you?
B3nder likes this.
AtomicLush is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 10:47 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC (LGA, JFK, EWR)
Programs: Delta Silver, AAdvantage Gold, SPG/Marriott/Hilton Gold, AMEX Membership Rewards
Posts: 838
Originally Posted by AtomicLush View Post
Why would you keep the Ascend card at all? In any case, you answered your question right here. Are the higher upgrade priority and exec lounge benefits worth $450/yr to you?

Mainly because Aspire doesn't have the grocery bonus category. Given I can't pay for a lot of my Hilton stays, I spend significantly more on grocery than on Hilton stays. At that point, I may as well keep some restaurant spend on Ascend to reach the $15,000 weekend night.

I guess I'm trying to figure out how much of a real boost Diamond is for upgrades.
Adelphos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 10:53 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 4,027
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I guess I'm trying to figure out how much of a real boost Diamond is for upgrades.
This really depends on the location and type of hotels you're staying in.
JJeffrey is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 10:53 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 1,187
As you say, Aspire will give you the $250 airline credit, the free weekend night, and the resort credit. To me, that makes Aspire free. But YMMV.

I personally would not even consider paying $450 to be Diamond over Gold.
Seabilly and Adelphos like this.
zachary is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 11:08 am
  #6  
Hilton Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bristol, UK
Programs: Accor Gold, HH D, BA Silver
Posts: 4,869
Depends on personal circumstances. If you use the Hilton nights outside of the US (say in the Far East or Europe) and you don't tend to book a room that gives you exec lounge access, then this could be quite worthwhile. (also depends on whether you are booking WA, Conrad or Hilton properties or if you are generally in a DT or lower brand in the chain (where no lounge and generally lower variety of rooms may exist).

To be honest, if you have been happy until now, likely not worth getting diamond through the card. If you have been feeling you are missing out on nicer upgrades and lounge access in the Far East or nicer Hiltons in Europe then worth considering.

Hope this helps, safe travels.
isle-hawg and Grapenut like this.
BotB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 11:23 am
  #7  
Hilton 5+ BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2,643
Hi,

Agreed with what BotB mentioned.
If you are sticking within the US, this depends largely too on which brand you will be staying mostly at. Even for US Hiltons that has a lounge, I would say the value you get out of those occasional stay would be minimal. I would have better use of the 450$ for better food outside of the hotel.
If you are travelling much internationally, than yes, it might be worth it with much better benefits and lounges.

Cheers!
nldogbert is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 12:05 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
The Points Guy claims Diamond status is worth $1,000 more than Gold.
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...-status-worth/
He is also assuming you had 72 nights stayed. So you wouldn't earn anywhere near the same amount of extra points.
Adelphos, travelingbob and Mike B like this.
Force951 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 1:21 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Programs: HH Diamond
Posts: 2,122
Diamond status gives you guaranteed lounge access. So you can assess how much this is worth to you at the hotels where you will stay. Let's say it is worth $15 to you, and you can use this for 5 nights a year (since not every hotel has a lounge). So that's $75.

Diamond status earns you an extra 2 points per dollar over gold, so if you are spending $1000 a year, that's an extra 2000 points. Let's call that $10. The Aspire also earns 2 more points per dollar than the Ascend. That's another 2000 points or $10. You also get 1000 points per stay, so let's say 5 stays for 5000 points, or another $25.

Although you may get some room upgrades with Diamond that you would not with Gold, I would not place any value on this possibility.

So just based on this, it is not worth it. But you have to look at the big benefits of the Ascend - the airline credit, resort credit, and free night (note, the free night is an annual benefit that you will receive the first year of the card too, not just on renewal) , and assess a value for these too. These benefits, for me, make the Ascend an obvious choice because these benefits on their own are worth more than $450 to me.
Adelphos likes this.

Last edited by jbeckett; Aug 10, 18 at 1:27 pm
jbeckett is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 1:43 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Plat, HH GLD (thanks Citi), former DL silver
Posts: 2,861
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Mainly because Aspire doesn't have the grocery bonus category. Given I can't pay for a lot of my Hilton stays, I spend significantly more on grocery than on Hilton stays.
The no-annual-fee Hilton card has a grocery bonus category. If you haven't hit the Amex 5-card cap, this might be more advantageous. You'd have to do the math.
Adelphos likes this.
nall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 5:22 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: Hilton Lifetime Diamond; UA Premier Silver
Posts: 1,170
From Points Guy

50% point bonus ($245): Diamond members earn the highest bonus on base points for stays, taking home 5 extra points per dollar spent (or 2.5 additional points at Home2 Suites). With 54 nights at $150 per night, that works out to $8,100 in spending, giving you 40,500 bonus points, worth $243.

Does anyone know how the bolded valuation was arrived at? Points in this statement are being valued at 0.6 cents per point.

Last edited by milesmilesmiles; Aug 10, 18 at 7:29 pm Reason: Corrected cents per points. Thanks drewdawg199.
milesmilesmiles is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 6:09 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: EWR/BWI
Programs: HH Diamond, Kimpton IC, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 408
I think you were off a decimal point, value at 0.6 cents per point. That is The Point Guy’s “highly subjective” valuation, which they tweak monthly. Hilton has been constant for quite some time.
milesmilesmiles likes this.
drewdawg199 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 6:40 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by milesmilesmiles View Post
From Points Guy

giving you 40,500 bonus points, worth $243.

Does anyone know how the bolded valuation was arrived at? Points in this statement are being valued at 6 cents per point.
First, It's not 6 cents at that valuation. That's 0.6cpp. Which is a very generous overvaluation (IMO). A combination of 3 possibilities why:
1. Assuming that you'll only use points at a super high end property, 95k points (or whatever the now cap on regular room awards is) for $600 a night or more.
2. Being terrible at math. Essentially double-counting the value of the points, as I'll explain on my own valuation below.
3. Intentionally overvaluing because it's a blogger obviously trying to get you excited and click through their site for referrals and read for more ad revenue. Self-interest is to over-value.

I value Honors points currently at 0.4 cents, and that's without applying a penalty for the limits to their utility.
Standard room awards seem to be pretty standardized now on values. Exceptions being the capped out rates where the hotel has not disallowed standard awards on basic rooms (which is common to see now), places with resort fees, or if you would tend to use 5 night stays where one night is free. A 5 night stay could more easily get to the 0.6 cents. Values are also much lower if you did a "premium room reward" if no standard awards are available.

For no particular reason as a sort of random pull I just searched for a 3 day stay Aug 20-23 at 4 random hotels in my city.
points, honors discount, advanced purchase, MVP, cppHigh, cppLow
Hotel 1: 114k, $614.41, $503.82, $501.56, 0.539, 0.440
Hotel 2: 99k, $532.03, $436.26, $542.89, 0.537, 0.441
Hotel 3: 66k, $356.97, $339.13, $291.41, 0.541, 0.442
Hotel 4: 95k, $477.11, $429.40, N/A, 0.502, 0.452
Hotel 5: 102k, $408.46, $347.19, N/A 0.400, 0.340

If you exclude the "worst" of the 5, with the examples I get an average cpp (cents per point) of 0.530 vs "Honors discount" or the more relevant 0.444 cpp vs MVP AAA or Advance Purchase. You can see that this is pretty consistent between all four of them. BUT WAIT. You don't "earn" regular points from the points stays. So, I must subtract the value of the points I would earn if I paid cash from the 0.444 cpp. If I use current base diamond rate with aspire of 44 points per dollar at 0.4 cpp value, that's 17.6%. 0.444 cpp * 0.824 = 0.366 cpp value for this representative example I used. In reality I stockpile points (and lose from the repeated program devaluations), and I have been able to spend them last year for around 4.5cpp (after discounting for the "non-point-earning" of reward stays).


Notes of things I learned in this exercise:
1. Point values have gone down AGAIN since the last I looked. I will probably need to lower my valuation from 0.4cpp...
2. Areas with super-high hotel taxes and hotels with resort fees (which you don't pay when it's all-points redemption) may work out to better point values. Same with 5-night stays and rare properties where the cap points per night is not yet obscene and they don't play games with disabling standard awards on the standard rooms.
3. Hotel 2 is the first time I've seen a MVP rate that's higher than the regular rate (???), strange. Must be a new way to pretend to support the rate yet it's above BAR.... Not related to the valuation, but interesting. I haven't paid attention recently and hadn't noticed removal of the "20% off BAR" verbiage.
1flyer likes this.

Last edited by B3nder; Aug 10, 18 at 6:48 pm
B3nder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 7:33 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: UK
Programs: AA Platinum Pro, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I have the Hilton Ascend and Amex Platinum cards, both of which give me Hilton Gold status. I spend $15,000 per year on Hilton Ascend (mostly in the restaurant, grocery and Hilton bonus categories) to get the free wekened night. All that said, I spend about 10-15 nights in Hiltons a year at most, with 2-5 nights booked via points.

The Points Guy claims Diamond status is worth $1,000 more than Gold.
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...-status-worth/

Hilton sells Diamond status for $450 via the Aspire (this doesn't take into account resort credits, airline credits, free weekend night upon renwal, etc). Does it make sense to get the Aspire in my case? I'm not sure if I'm loyal enough to Hilton for it to make sense (I also stay 10-15 nights a year in Marriott, 10 in Hyatt, etc). I'm most interested in higher upgrade priority on paid and award stays with Hilton, as well as executive lounge access. I would only put Hilton spend on this card while keeping the Ascend for dining/grocery spend.
I've dropped to Gold now but when I was a Diamond I found upgrades completely non-existent in US properties. I had 'average' upgrades in UK properties but in SE Asia I had some spectacular upgrades to massive multi-room suites regularly when only paying for the lowest level room. I'd pay $450 for diamond again just for those SE Asia upgrades. My point being that value you get from it will vary depending on where your travel is...
DangerM55 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 18, 10:08 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Flyover Country
Programs: Free-range air traveler, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 19
I am in a similar situation to you, with a bit more Hilton time each year. I wasn’t in the initial wave of release applicants, but recently I applied for and received the Aspire. I think I’m coming out ahead between the point bonuses, the airline fee credit (I actually have an easy way to use that this year, at least), the resort credit, and the annual free night. If you aren’t familiar with the way AMEX gives airline credits, do some research. For many people they are a nuisance to use. I clearly thought the Aspire package of benefits was worth it. Alas, since I got the card, all my Hilton stays have been in rural settings where I stayed in a Hampton Inn. No upgrades yet, and my research suggests the folks who say they are not to be expected in North America are correct. Similar to you, I already have an Ascend card converted from a Surpass card. I’ll be getting another free night from that soon, and when the new year rolls around will put spending on it to get the $15,000 free night.
Mike B is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread