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They are known to upgrade when 5-10 short and you will know within a day or so when the last status credits post. If they don't and you want Gold just make sure to take a flight no later than the day before your status credits expire and give them a call to manually do the upgrade.
I don't fly very often so I only get to use the benefits a few times a year. But I find the black card works well in my wallet. When I was Gold I was constantly removing the wrong card when getting fuel at BP or paying for items with eftpos everywhere else.
It may have been a few years ago but that option no longer exists.
If you activated the velocity Hilton upgrade this year it will be good till March 2021 and if you have the email hang onto it in case you drop next year.
If you do plan on activating the bonus hotel and car hire status make sure to do it before you drop to gold. Same as the 4 business upgrades need to be used before you drop status, the flight dates can be after your platinum drops off.
Unlike airlines they use calendar year and they give you 12 months so that is why joining anytime after 1st January gets you almost one free year as you wont start your 12 month membership till the following year. April 1st is when status changes for current members.
One thing to keep would...
Earlier in the year the better, you always get one full 12 month period to earn it for the following year. So join January get 11 months plus the following year 12 months plus 3 months the next year before you drop if you don not requalify.
April 1st refers to when status will drop to whatever...
If it will make you feel better I stay around 25 stays a year for the last 4 years or more and occasionally will only get a deluxe room upgrade. To be honest I am finding the more stays I do the less decent upgrades I receive compared to previous years.