Or basically how to get free Wi-Fi every time you stay at a Hilton. Did I have you at hello?
If you travel any airline long enough, rent any car long enough or even stay at any hotel long enough, status eventually becomes a big deal. Besides sounding slightly pretentious, it gives hotels a chance to slather you in extra benefits while Gisele Bündchen personally braids your hair. Kidding. I don't like people touching my hair.
Hilton, not surprisingly, has their own program and is giving internationally-based Visa infinite cardholders a free, free pass to Gold benefits. (For some reason, “Gold” always seems to be the magic level where the perks really start kicking in.) Some very entrepreneurial travel spirits have already done all the actual work for you—even if you're based in America—but its worth checking out the actual perks of HHonors Gold:
- Something called"eCheck-In," that allows you to check-in 24 hours in advance
- Late and express checkout
- Free Wi-Fi in any of the Hilton chains
- A choice between a bonus 1,000 points or a continental breakfast
- Access to fitness centers and health clubs
- Your hubby/wifey gets to stay gratis
- Two complimentary water bottles per stay
- Every four nights you stay, you get the fifth night free
I don’t know about you, but I read free Wi-Fi and almost stopped. But if you actually kept reading the rest of the list instead of pondering what you’d like to browse while hanging out in your hotel room, some of the benefits are quite substantial. Now while you’d be more likely to find me down at the Y, I can still say some of the perks aren’t too shabby.
By the way, we aren’t saying this particular method is ethical—that’s up for discussion—we’re just here how to tell you how to obtain status. I actually ended up borrowing an Australian friend’s address, so I don’t feel too terrible. The Miles Quest blog has the full instruction breakdown below:
- Log in to your account (or create one if you don’t have one).
- Go to this address generator to create a valid Australian address.
- Change your profile to the Australian address.
- Go to this website and create a credit card number. Click “Generate a Credit Number” and choose “Visa – Chase Manhattan Bank“. Don’t worry, you’re not generating an actual credit number someone owns. Replace the output with “4119 45xx xxxx xxxx” and hit generate.
- Now go to the Visa Infinite landing page and enter the credit number from step 4.
- Log out and log back in, you will have Gold status now. You can now change your address back.
Now the bad news? Status only lasts until the end of the year, at which point you’ll have to earn it the old-fashioned way by staying at least 40 nights or signing up for their credit-card. This offer expires on May 31.
UPDATE: Hilton is also offering 25% off a Hilton stay in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. You've got to use a Visa card and book by May 15. Details here.