Hilton HHonors is giving away instant free Gold status through May 2013 to Visa Infinite cardholders.

The way they verify that you’re eligible, i.e. that you have a Visa infinite card, is by asking you to enter the first six digits of your card. Those six digits are ‘issuer identification numbers’ that say what kind of a card it is.

Great in theory, you have to know the first six digits of a Visa Infinite card to take advantage of the promotion. But that information is even available on Wikipedia, the very first result found in a Google search.

Which means that anyone can effectively take advantage of the promotion. As a Hilton Diamond member already I haven’t actually tested this out, I’m interested in it as a purely academic matter. But apparently entering the first listing in Wikipedia, for Masterbank of Russia, unlocks the page. (If I bothered looking at the code on the page I might find other ways to unlock it as well.)

Then again, they might not be trying all that hard to exclude ‘ineligible’ members considering that this past summer they gave away Hilton Gold to anyone with a Visa Signature card though that was for three months only and this is for a full year. Though in that case, existing Gold and Diamond elites got 5000 bonus points as a ‘consolation prize’ as well.

Though the benefits do vary slightly by brand and property, roughly speaking Gold status gets a (generally quite modest) upgrade, continental breakfast, free internet, and discounts on multi-night award stays.

  1. barelyelite said,

    Thanks!!!!!!!!! Just got confirmed as Hilton Gold. I do not have a Visa Infinite card ;)

  2. Colleen said,

    Odd T&C – need to register by 5/2013 but stay by 5/2012?

  3. Ike said,

    Yup, instant Gold for my wife using a number off Wikipedia. Plus, 40K HHonors points for 4 stays by May 31, 2012. Makes me wonder why I bother earning Gold. :)


  4. Andy said,

    I keep getting an error: We’re Sorry, An error has occurred in the system, and we are unable to process your request at this time. The error has been recorded and will be investigated by the system administrator.

  5. Andy said,

    switching browsers worked for me.

  6. LIH Prem said,

    I’m in the middle of a gold challenge. Is there any reason to not do this? I have 2 stays, with 2 more booked in January. The idea is to have Gold status for an award stay at Conrad Tokyo in mid-Feb.


  7. The Weekly Flyer said,

    Wow, I must be missing something. I’ve tried all 5 sets of numbers for infinite cards and none of them have worked.

  8. James said,

    411945 works like a charm. Thanks Gary!

  9. AK said,

    Thanks, Gary! I used the first code I found with ctrl+f and I have Gold … again.

  10. jason said,

    I’m gold so I hope this extends it!

  11. deltagoldflyer said,

    Just nutz. Gary just nutz. Wife went from silver to gold in a click. Txs.

  12. Mark said,

    According to the T&C, this promotion isn’t even open to US residents…

  13. deltagoldflyer said,

    @ weekly – clear cashe start over save codes. works!

  14. The Weekly Flyer said,

    It works! Thanks for posting.

  15. Tina said,

    Wow, Thanks!

  16. Scottrick said,

    T&C seem to say you only earn 40K bonus points if you use your Visa Infinite card to pay for the stay. Is that a correct reading, Gary? Although free gold status is nice, it’s a pity those of us who aren’t really Infinite card holders can’t get the bonus, too.

  17. LufthansaFlyer said,

    site seems to be glitchy….getting tech error message

  18. LufthansaFlyer said,

    after clearing cache/cookies, it worked perfectly

  19. Paul said,

    worked for me as well! Thank you!

  20. Instant Hilton Gold Status – Better Than Fast Track Offer - Points Miles and Martinis said,

    […] = [];}The other day I posted a Hilton Fast Track offer to Gold after only 4 stays. Via View From The Wing, there is now an offer for instant Hilton Honors Gold status through May 2013. The offer is […]

  21. Jenny said,

    @James – Thanks for sharing the code!!!

  22. Steelsnow said,

    Wonder if they will be verifying acct. Home addrs… From the FAQ

    ‘Who is eligible to participate in this promotion?
    This offer is open to selected Visa Infinite cardholders residing within Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa and who are enrolled in Hilton HHonors and register for the promotion.
    *Asia Pacific denotes Australia, Hong Kong, China, Korea Singapore, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines’

    Infinate card numbers from banks in other regions do not work. Worth a go, thanks Gary!

  23. deltagoldflyer said,

    There are tons working on wiki… wow… jump on this fast it will not last!

  24. BothofUS2 said,

    Thanks! I was gold already via Surpass Amex, now my wife is too! Awesome tip!

  25. BostonFlyer said,

    Thanks for the heads, this promo will make it more likely we will stay at Hilton’s in the upcoming year so win win for everyone involved.

  26. Anita said,

    This did not work for me in Safari, but did in Firefox.


  27. Mark said,

    Thanks A LOT!!!

    Just registered and got the GOLD… LOL…

  28. infamousdx said,

    Worked like a charm. Thanks! This could come in handy for a few Hilton stays I have coming up

  29. samuel said,

    I got an error message saying that they will be investigating this issue. I’m not sure why it didn’t work. Good for you guys that did though!

  30. Sandeep said,

    Awesome! Worked and shows up as gold. Had the error issues with Chrome and explorer but worked fine with Firefox.

  31. melissAA said,

    success…thanks Gary!

  32. TomSAN said,

    I think, for reasons of privacy as to credit cards, that it will be VERY difficult for Hilton to say, “Oops” and undo the status that they give you. Thanks, Gary.

  33. bayguy said,

    Thanks for the Gold tip, didn’t work first 2 times as couldn’t find box for entering Pin/Password.

  34. Ben Senise said,

    it’s ridiculous that a company like hilton runs an offer like this but can’t make it work. i have an RBC Visa Infinite yet the numbers are invalid but it works with the Russian Masterbank numbers. Oh well, at least i’m gold now.

  35. Summer said,

    @samuel, I got the same error message several times.
    Clear your cache and try again!
    The website is being super glitchy. For instance once it finally accepted the Visa number, it did not accept my HHonors number, so I did it again.
    The box for entering my HHonors PIN code was also missing, but when I hovered and clicked below the box for HHonors number it appeared and I was able to enter it. Hope this helps someone.

    Too bad I don’t REALLy have the Visa…I would have loved the 40k miles after four stays they were offering!

  36. Summer said,

    Sorry, 40k POINTS.

  37. Danielle said,

    Got it, already showing up when I login to my HH account!

  38. Matthew said,

    Thanks Gary!

  39. Peter S said,

    Gary, I don’t know how and where you came up with these kind of deals and travel hacks. My hat is off to you. You are simply amazing.

  40. David Boon said,

    Perfect…. got it instantly.

  41. c said,

    Do you think i can get a hyatt diamond trial match with this?

  42. Andrew said,

    I have an infinite card with TD Bank, 452088 (Doesn’t work) but the Russian one does! HA

  43. JamesO said,

    Nice to see that, in the rush to out-metal each other, Peoples Trust offers a “Vanilla Visa”, while Bendigo offers one in “Basic Black”…

  44. g said,

    Hilton HHonors Members with Blue or Silver status will receive HHonors Gold Elite status at the time of registration valid for one year

    Not till 5/13

  45. Gary Steiger said,

    I wonder what will happen when Hilton notices that there are a lot of Russians signing up for this. None of the other numbers on the Wiki work.

    Got mine. Hope I keep it.

  46. oliver2002 said,

    @Peter S: this is on FT & MP since tuesday, slickdeals picked it up last night, so it will not last long….

  47. vespa_girl said,

    Thank you Gary. It took 3 tries and came through.

  48. shivan said,

    just signed up, checked my hilton’s site, it said gold, so went through ASAP.

    also, got this email today from priceline:

    Save up to 33% during The December Sale1
    Celebrate another year gone by with a much-deserved break during The December Sale. Book your getaway at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts by January 1, 2012*, and stay by January 8, 2012, and you’ll save up to 33%. With savings like this, it’s the perfect time of the year to get to experiences worth sharing.

  49. beltway said,

    About 15 years ago, a friend of mine descibed the Internet as “the repository of all the information you’re not supposed to have.” Too bad for Hilton, and good for us, that this remains true.

    Instant Gold for me. Ridiculous.

  50. jeanne said,

    worked for me on firefox browser

  51. Christina said,

    Has anyone had any luck in having their HH# added to a Priceline reservation?

  52. Andrew said,

    Gary–You’re telling people who don’t have a Visa Infinite card to lie/cheat their way into getting status? Really?! You’re encouraging people to blatantly scam Hilton right now…even if the card information is available on the internet, that doesn’t make it right.

  53. Gary said,

    @Andrew I am not telling anyone to do anything. I am sharing the offer. I don’t even give them the codes, I just share that they are available through Wikipedia and Google. I’ve specifically said this is not something I’m doing. And it’s up to anyone reading to decide for themselves what they do with the information. To me, it really was just fascinating.

  54. Steve said,

    Worked for me. And, as a result, I’ll be giving Hilton $1,000+ of business in a couple weeks that I most likely would not have done otherwise. That’s a win/win to me, and probably enough to make sure I meet status in 2012 for 2013. Thanks for posting!

  55. Arcanum said,

    As Steelsnow already pointed out, the offer only works with cards from certain regions.

    Canada is not included, hence the reason your CIBC and TD Infinite cards aren’t working people!

  56. Michael said,

    Still active…

  57. Kalboz said,

    Got it! Thanks for posting!

  58. Gilbert said,

    Thank you. As a result, any planned Marriott and Hyatt stays will be switched to Hilton by day’s end.

  59. Chirag said,

    Wow, this is awesome. Thanks so much.

  60. Summer said,

    @Andrew how could this be anything but GOOD for Hilton?? Look at all these people who will now switch their reservations for the year to a Hilton as a result! Besides, they’ll pull it or revoke the status if it really hurts them. You can trust a major corporation will do whatever is in their own best interest.

  61. rajuabju said,

    worked for me.. silver to gold in an instant!

  62. luvflying11 said,

    Many thanks Gary. You are a wonderful blogger. Keep up the good work. I will book with Hilton throughout this promotion period even though I think the 40K bonus may not work for me.

  63. Zach said,

    It would be wise simply for Hilton to quietly honor this. The promotion provides them with a competitive edge … especially over IHG and Marriott which now offer far better credit card signup bonuses if you use the right links (80K Priority Club points and instant Platinum status, 70K Marriott points w/free night + status credit).

  64. Mile High Club Has One New Member | The Travel Abstract said,

    […] thanks to a tip from Rene at deltapoints I checked out this post by Gary at View From the Wing I now have enrolled in the Hilton HHonors program and got instant Gold […]

  65. alex said,

    well i already am Platinum memeber so wont be of use to me but does anyone know of anyway i can get 2,500 points free right away if i can pull it off i wont have to pay for a $400 hotel room since it will all be covered by points :) thanks

  66. djp_707 said,

    40,000 points after 4 stays is better then gold membership in my book. Thanks for the tip.

  67. arjun said,

    Thank you!!!

  68. ORD_TGU said,

    I am Gold and qualified for 2013, but the 40K after 4 stays is an incentive!! Anyone else that is already gold signing up?

  69. alex said,

    i am a PLATINUM member ord_tgu so i want to know what will i get if i register …. If anything?

  70. dave said,

    Look CLOSELY @ details…..each stay must be paid with Visa Infinite card to qualify for 40,000 HH points. No complaints here though…..I’ll be sitting in the Executive Lounge @ Doubletree next weekend in NOLA! (i hope)

  71. Robert Hanson said,

    Warning: Amid the concern of some about us cheating Hilton, some of us may be taken in by Hilton as well. To get the 40K bonus points for 4 stays by the end of May, you have to pay for them with that qualifying Infinite card. Which is hidden in the small print many of us didn’t read.

    Lots of people will probably do what I was about to do, until I read the posts above. Namely, go out of your way to stay in Hilton properties to get the 40K bonus, then not qualify for it because we didn’t use the right card.

    Hilton may have the last laugh here, if people switch stays from other chains, or even do an optional “points stay”. They will get the extra business, and yet not have to give anything extra for it.

    Surely Hilton isn’t covert enough to “scam the scamers” this way. Or are they?

  72. iahphx said,

    Amazing. My Gold status was expiring and I wasn’t sufficiently motivated to do anything about it (I thought about getting the Surpass card, but I’ve never gotten around to “wasting” an application). This shows procrastication can be a good thing. :) And to May 2013! Nice.

    Does anyone recall what constitutes a “stay” with HHonors for the 40K bonus? Like can it be booked through Expedia? 40K HHonors points isn’t terribly exciting, but it’s obviously something.

    My next HHonors stay is at an Embassy Suites. Two free waters and two candy bars coming up! I cannot contain my excitement. Wait, maybe I’ll pick the salty snack. :)

    But, somewhere, maybe I’ll get a room upgrade or a breakfast out of this. Thanks!

  73. Dr. Dre said,

    I wonder if the 40k bonus points wll also come if one pays with the standard visa

  74. A Backdoor Way to Free Checked Bags with American Airlines: Instant Kingfisher King Club Silver Status - View from the Wing said,

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  75. Reader said,


    There is no platinum level, amateur.

  76. ManyMuse said,

    Worked like a dream.

  77. Rickman said,

    It is dead

  78. Mike said,

    411945 no longer works so they may have caught on

  79. FormalHall said,

    Still seems to be working, but you need to be more creative in searching for the first six digits. Try google image search rather than web search.

  80. Lady said,

    Hey guys,
    any other number that still works?

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  82. Ernie said,

    442394 just used this right now

  83. Lady said,

    Thanks Ernie! It worked;-)

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  85. zimpff said,

    strangely i just tried this and i keep getting “invalid registration”. when i use a wrong password, it does tell me “login failed”, so it seems something is off with my account when trying to sign-up. did anybody else get that problem?

  86. Mauro said,


    I had exactly the same message. Tried Firefox, Chrome and Safari..

    Anyone ??


  87. Mike said,

    Getting “invalid registration” as well in IE/FF/Chrome. Although my old account expired and I had to sign up for a new one, maybe the servers need to sync first?

  88. andrew said,

    getting invalid registration as well

  89. Mathew said,

    If you see ‘invalid registraion’ after submitting, you might want to change your account country to the issuing country of the card number you’re using. It worked for me, might work for you too (hopefully).

  90. Dave said,

    @Mike @andrew
    I had that same message. Almost gave up until I read Matthew’s post. That worked for me too. I changed me address

  91. Chris said,

    You have to change the country on your honors account. The 411945 number is for a bank in the Russian federation. After I did that adjustment it worked perfect and my account now says gold.

  92. grace said,

    great tip chris,
    it works – changed the country…and now, I am a gold member!

  93. dreggie said,

    Just tried it on Jan 25th. Took it with russian address, said congratulations, but several hours later…..still blue not gold

  94. tony said,

    mine finally went through BUT still shows blue as stutus even thought it seemed to go through… fishy

  95. Juli said,

    Nobody else is concerned that the RUSSIAN codes work? I think I’ve probably got a file thick enough already from the Crnivore without lying and committing fraud using a Russian bank number. Can’t imagine that’s worth it.

  96. - The Travel Abstract said,

    […] thanks to a tip from Rene at deltapoints I checked out this post by Gary at View From the Wing I now have enrolled in the Hilton HHonors program and got instant Gold […]

  97. - The Travel Abstract said,

    […] thanks to a tip from Rene at deltapoints I checked out this post by Gary at View From the Wing I now have enrolled in the Hilton HHonors program and got instant Gold […]

  98. Ben said,

    February 16, 2012 – tried several times with errors, then updated country to Russian Federation and now I went from Blue to Gold instantly!!!

  99. Andrew said,

    Thanks again Gary! I am currently in a European Hilton hotel that charges almost €30 for internet access. My gold status got me free breakfast, lounge access, internet and an upgrade to an executive room. The best part is that I am booked through a Priceline opaque booking and I saved almost 70% off the best rate I could find online.

  100. Glenn said,

    Thanks for this – I received my Gold card yesterday and it is valid until March 2014!

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  103. Diana Conner said,

    Code 411945 worked for me on March 11, 2012 at the following site:

  104. Ryan said,

    Looks like I just missed out on this. They’re now asking for the full 16 digit number now. Guess I’m going to have to get Gold the old fashioned way.

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  106. SAD said,

    So it is dead?

  107. Bat Sheva said,

    I tried it just now [4/4] on https://www.hiltonhhonors.com/landingpages/VisaInfiniteGold.aspx but the mesage on the site says “This promotion is currently undergoing maintenance.”

  108. tenniskid said,

    just tried it now again since i did this successfully months ago and now I am back to Silver. You need 16 digits now and it seems like they are pulling (illegitimate) Golds back to Silver…

  109. Could Free Hilton HHonors Gold STILL Be Working?? - View from the Wing said,

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  110. Karen said,

    I went in today, changed address if honors acct to Sydney, used 411945 as first six digits and remainder from one of my cards. Worked like a charm. Logged out and then back in again and I went to gold.

  111. Kelly said,

    Wow it worked for me. Thanks so much!!

  112. Phil said,

    Worked for me on July 8th, 2012. I used 411945 and also the remainder from one of my cards. Sweet!

  113. Hilton Islington « Making A Movable Feast said,

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  114. lindsey said,

    Now it wants the full card number

  115. Toni said,

    Does this work with brand new accounts? It worked for me, I told my little brother about it so he went and sent up a new account, and we can’t get it to work!

  116. Free Hilton Gold Status - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] in December 2011 I flagged an opportunity to get instant Gold Hilton HHonors status for free. It was an offer meant for Visa Infinite cardholders, but anyone could sign […]

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View from the Wing is a project of Miles and Points Consulting, LLC. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

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