Free Hilton Gold Status, the Gift that Just Keeps Giving

Every time the December offer of Free Hilton Gold status, instantly, is declared dead… it keeps returning.

Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, and… the ghost of Conrad Hilton’s mid-tier elite benefits.

The offer was intended for Visa Infinite cardholders, and they asked you to enter the first six digits of your Visa Infinite card to prove you had one. That just unlocked the form, and then the status processed immediately.

Over the course of the next three months there were various changes to the form. Since it was possible to just google what six digit bank identifiers were for Visa Infinite, they appeared to deactive the most popular and easy to find Russian one. Then they started matching account addresses to other bank identifiers, so folks using an Australian six digit number to unlock the form had to sign up for their account with an address in Australia.

Recent reports again were that the offer was dead because they were now requiring a full sixteen digit Visa Infinite cardnumber. Once again, reports of the offer’s demise were… premature.

I speculated in the comments of a previous post that the full credit card number requirement was just testing whether such a combination of numbers was possible, not whether the numbers entered were real.

Personally, I’m just fascinated by the whole thing. It matters not a whit to me, I’m a Hilton Diamond already and have been one for a few years, based on spending $40,000 in a year on the Hilton American Express Surpass card.

Well, reader ThatGuy tried the signup again, it worked, and filed this report in the comments:

Just to update you all: As of 28 Mar this still worked. The 16 digit entry as I suspected is not verifying the actual account exists but that you have a valid account number (it’s easier than querying their massive database for an actual account). That being said you just need to enter a potentially valid CC account number.

This website explains the checksum logic for a VISA cc:

Still use 442394 as your first 6 digits, and then plug in the rest to make a valid acct number using the formula given. It’s very simple to do with an Excel sheet.

You won’t have to add the credit card to your account nor book using the card, so no worries. Also make sure to change your HHonors account address to Australia before hand. Good Luck!


Boggles the mind, but this has been out there for three months now, they’ve tried to clamp down to avoid a few unintended people from grabbing free status, but they do not appear to have tried very hard.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. 7/15/12– worked using the posts in 50 and 57- used a debit card for the balance of the numbers.. logged in and out and bam.. instant gold

  2. 7/15/12 – still works – used the first 6 listed above 44394, then applied that to Lehn formula – free spreadsheet to do this at this link – fiddled with numbers until it said I had one that passed. (2) changed my mailing address to Australia – actually used a Hilton property in Melbourne as my mailing address and their telephone number; (3) went to the link, entered the credit card number from the spreadsheet – accepted; (4) entered my HH number and code; and SUCCESS – instantly changed my status on HH account to Gold. Thank you so much for this! I called to do a status match from Marriott Platinum Elite and they wouldn’t give me instant Gold as I did their Diamond challenge. I am still going to do the Diamond Challenge, but I didn’t want to go back to no tier status at all during the challenge period.

  3. July 18, it worked! used tips in comment #50 and #54. Use the credit cardity site to validate a card #. Use the 4423941 numbers, then numbers from any current card. check in that site if they are valid (if not, change the last digit till you get a valid number). Changed address to Australia. It worked! not sure for how long will have gold status though…

  4. 7/24 – i used a tip I found that used and my own card and it was accepted after one try. I logged into hilton and saw that my status was gold. thanks a bunch! staying in two weeks for 14 days in a Hilton property :) – free web and breakfast will save us a bunch of $$$

  5. This doesn’t seem to work for me. I did the trick to find out a valid Visa# starting with 442394 and then entered it with the offer link. It did verify and ask for my Hilton# and password. I keyed in but then the page refreshed to ask me enter a Visa#. I tried with another valid # and same thing happened again. I checked my Hilton Honors account but the status is not changed. Do I need to update my profile with an Australian address in order to make this work? Thanks.

  6. Still works on 10/5/2012. Seek out a Visa Checksum Excel spreadsheet that performs “Luhn” checksums.

  7. Nevermind. I had forgotten to switch my account to Australia. Today is 11/30/12 and it worked like a charm when I tried again after that. Thanks to replies 50 and 54!

  8. nr 81 worked fine! for a small fee though (50USD), but hey do you get an upgrade, free internet and breakfast for that price?

  9. Many cc promo’s count for united states or Great brittain only. But there are over 400 controles then those two! That is why i like offers like these. #50 and the latest of Hilton gold worked out fine. I used it to upgrade my wife and kids to gold. Happy newyear!

  10. Guys, is this still working? I am silver and will be at either Marriott or Hilton about twice a month in 2013.

  11. 01/09/2013 – I used 53’s advice and was successful: use 4423-94 and the remaining digits from a visa gift card.

  12. I did everything 51 said it worked and went through..i was based in australia, everything. However my account still says that I’m a blue member. How long does this take to go through? Thanks!

  13. To help others: My account was instantly updated after making a booking and then logging out and back in.

  14. I also used the last 10 digits of a Visa gift card. Couldn’t get to work using my Visa credit card numbers for whatever strange reason.

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