Some changes were made to the World of Hyatt program as of 2024, including a complete overhaul of the Guest of Honor perk. In this post I wanted to go over all the details of how this works, as this is one of my favorite benefits offered by any hotel loyalty program.
In this post:
World of Hyatt Guest of Honor basics
World of Hyatt Guest of Honor awards are offered as part of the Milestone Rewards program, and allow those with awards to take advantage of World of Hyatt Globalist perks for a stay. These offer a lot more flexibility than in the past — you can use Guest of Honor for your own stays, or you can gift these to others.
As a Globalist member, I love the concept behind this, and to me, it fosters a long term relationship with a hotel loyalty program, rather than making it so transactional.
As anyone who spends a lot of time on the road knows, there are some stays that matter more to us than others. For most of us, the stays that matter most are those where we’re traveling with loved ones. Or heck, sometimes I care more about trips that my family takes where I’m not even there, since I want to be sure they have a great time.
With Guest of Honor, you can extend virtually all of your elite benefits to anyone you choose, and that’s an amazing thing. I’d argue that it’s also a fantastic marketing tool, since it’ll show some people the value of having higher tier elite status.
How can you earn Guest of Honor awards?
Nowadays Guest of Honor awards have to be earned by World of Hyatt members, as part of the Milestone Rewards program:
- You receive one Guest of Honor award when you earn 40 elite nights or 65,000 base points
- You earn two Guest of Honor awards when you earn 60 elite nights or 100,000 base points
- You earn one Guest of Honor award when you pass 70, 80, 90, 110, 120, 130, and/or 140 elite nights
- Lifetime World of Hyatt Globalist members automatically receive five Guest of Honor awards annually, in addition to any they earn with Milestone Rewards
There’s no opportunity cost to selecting Guest of Honor awards, but rather they’ll automatically be deposited in your World of Hyatt account. Just to break down how many of these you can earn per year:
- A “standard” Globalist earning 60 elite nights in a year would receive three Guest of Honor awards
- It’s possible to earn up to 10 of these per year as a non-lifetime Globalist, if you rack up 140 elite nights
- It’s possible to earn up to 15 of these per year as a lifetime Globalist, if you rack up 140 elite nights
Guest of Honor awards are generally valid for the year in which they’re earned, plus an additional 14 months. In other words, a Guest of Honor award earned in January 2024 would typically be valid through February 2026.
Even elite nights earned through the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) and the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card (review) qualify toward Milestone Rewards, so you could earn these awards largely through credit card status.
The one other thing to be aware of is that as a one-time courtesy, World of Hyatt has given each Globalist member five Guest of Honor awards as of the start of 2024. These are valid through February 2025, and these are separate from the ones that you’ll earn as part of Milestone Rewards.
What are Guest of Honor awards good for?
Each Guest of Honor award can be used to offer World of Hyatt Globalist perks for a particular hotel stay:
- Guest of Honor awards can be used for the member who earned the award, or can be gifted to others
- You can apply a Guest of Honor award to a stay booked with cash or points, as long as it’s an eligible rate (meaning it’s booked directly with Hyatt); the only type of eligible stay you couldn’t use a Guest of Honor award for is when redeeming a free night award
- A Guest of Honor award is valid for a consecutive stay of up to seven nights at a single property
- You can’t stack award types, so you couldn’t combine a suite upgrade award and a Guest of Honor award
The way I view it, there are three potential scenarios under which a Guest of Honor award would be useful:
- If you have World of Hyatt Explorist status and earn a Guest of Honor award at 40 elite nights, you can treat yourself to Globalist status for a stay, which offers extra perks
- If you have World of Hyatt Globalist status but it’s expiring, you can potentially use Guest of Honor awards to continue receiving Globalist perks on select stays in the future (since the awards might have longer validity)
- Regardless of your status, you can use Guest of Honor awards to enhance the stays of loved ones and friends
What Globalist benefits apply with Guest of Honor?
Guest of Honor awards provide World of Hyatt Globalist benefits during a stay. Virtually all Globalist perks are offered on these stays, so you can see my detailed guide to World of Hyatt Globalist status. You get everything from suite upgrades subject to availability, to free breakfast, to 4PM late check-out (at non-resorts), to waived resort and destination fees, to free parking (if redeeming points).
The only thing you’re not receiving for your stay is the 30% points bonus that Globalist members ordinarily receive.
Who earns elite nights for Guest of Honor awards?
When a World of Hyatt member stays using a Guest of Honor award, they earn the same number of elite nights that they usually would.
However, there’s an additional fun twist to Guest of Honor awards. If you choose to gift your Guest of Honor award to someone else rather than redeeming it for yourself, you’ll receive one bonus elite night per qualifying Guest of Honor stay (that’s one elite night per stay, not one elite night per night).
So if you’re a Globalist member and gift three Guest of Honor bookings in a year, you’d earn three bonus elite nights. That’s awesome, and creates a great incentive to gift Guest of Honor perks to others. Note that you’ll only earn your elite night after the person completes their eligible stay (so it wouldn’t be when you book or when you transfer your award).
How do you redeem Guest of Honor awards?
New as of 2024, it’s possible to handle most aspects of Guest of Honor directly through Hyatt’s website or app, which is super exciting. The process differs depending on whether you plan to use a Guest of Honor award for yourself, or want to gift it to someone else.
If you want to use a Guest of Honor award for someone else, the process is now that you transfer that award to them, and then they make the booking directly. To do this, go to hyatt.com and log into your World of Hyatt account. Then click on the “Awards” section, and click the three dots next to the award you want to transfer, and click “Gift Your Award.”
Then enter the last name and World of Hyatt number of the person you want to transfer the Guest of Honor award to, and then it’ll be instantly deposited in their account.
Then to actually redeem your Guest of Honor award, just go through the process of searching for a hotel stay you’re considering. On the page that shows the available rates, you should see an “Eligible Awards” section. If you want to apply a Guest of Honor award, you’ll want to click the button reflecting that.
If you already have Globalist status that’s supposed to be valid over the intended stay, you’ll see a message indicating that “your current tier status already includes these award benefits.”
The process is virtually the same through the Hyatt mobile app. The only situation in which you’d need to pick up the phone is if you want to apply a Guest of Honor award to an existing booking.
World of Hyatt Guest of Honor FAQs
The above are the basics of Guest of Honor, though let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about this benefit. In no particular order…
What rates aren’t eligible for Guest of Honor awards?
Guest of Honor awards can be applied to any cash or points stay booked directly with Hyatt. The only exception is that you can’t apply Guest of Honor awards to free night awards (meaning you’re redeeming certificates, and not points), since you can’t stack different kinds of awards.
Keep in mind that paid stays have to be booked directly with Hyatt to be eligible for Guest of Honor (that includes Hyatt Privé bookings). Third party bookings, like those through online travel agencies, wouldn’t qualify.
Can you apply suite upgrade awards to Guest of Honor bookings?
Suite upgrade awards are offered as part of the Milestone Rewards program, and allow you to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking for a single stay of up to seven nights. While suite upgrade awards can now be transfered to others, unfortunately you can’t combine suite upgrade awards and Guest of Honor awards, as different award types can’t be stacked.
Can you use Guest of Honor awards for multiple rooms?
Each Guest of Honor award offers Globalist perks for a single room on a consecutive stay of up to seven nights, so couldn’t be applied to multiple rooms. However, if you have multiple Guest of Honor awards, you can apply those to multiple rooms over the same period without issue.
Are any hotels excluded for Guest of Honor awards?
Guest of Honor bookings are valid at Hyatt managed properties. They just aren’t valid at Hyatt Vacation Club properties, as well as at Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties.
Who can you transfer your Guest of Honor awards to?
World of Hyatt lets you transfer your Guest of Honor awards (and all other awards, like suite upgrade awards, club access awards, and free night awards) to other World of Hyatt members. This could include your family members or even friends, as there are no restrictions.
The only thing to keep in mind is that buying, selling, or bartering any awards violates the terms of World of Hyatt, and could cause your account to be shut down.
How does the bonus elite night for Guest of Honor awards work?
To incentivize sharing your Guest of Honor awards with others, World of Hyatt is offering one elite night for every Guest of Honor award shared with someone else. You only receive that bonus elite night after the person who you gifted your award to completes their stay, and the elite night should post automatically.
There’s no limit to how many bonus elite nights you can earn this way (beyond the limit on how many Guest of Honor awards you can earn), and you don’t receive a bonus elite night if you redeem this for yourself.
Do Globalists no longer get unlimited Guest of Honor awards?
Through the end of 2023, World of Hyatt Globalist members received unlimited Guest of Honor award privileges, but with major restrictions (like that they could only be used for points stays booked out of their own accounts).
The program has indeed completely changed as of 2024, and now members are issued a certain number of Guest of Honor awards based on the Milestone Rewards program. Guest of Honor is no longer an unlimited benefit, but it’s much more flexible than before.
How do you maximize Guest of Honor awards?
Since Guest of Honor awards are a limited perk, many members will want to be strategic about how they redeem them. Assuming you have more potential uses for Guest of Honor than you do Guest of Honor awards, I’d recommend prioritizing these awards for stays where you’ll get the most value. This includes:
- The longest stays, where you’re staying as close to seven nights as possible
- Stays where the potential Globalist benefits are the greatest, whether that come in the form of a hotel with great upgrades, or a hotel with an awesome breakfast
- If you’re paying points, there could be value to using Guest of Honor for properties with resort or destination fees, and if you’re redeeming points, there could be value to using Guest of Honor for stays where you intend to perk and that’s expensive
Keep in mind that club access awards are also transferable nowadays, so for stays at properties with club lounges, you might be best off applying a club access award rather than a Guest of Honor award, assuming the latter are in limited supply.
World of Hyatt’s Guest of Honor feature is one of my favorite perks offered by any loyalty program. The program was overhauled as of 2024, and has now been integrated into the Milestone Rewards program.
With Guest of Honor, you can receive Globalist benefits for a hotel stay of up to seven nights. You can use these for friends or family, or can even use them for yourself, if you earn them without being a Globalist member.
This is such an awesome perk, and an area where World of Hyatt leads the industry, as no other hotel loyalty program offers a benefit like this.
What’s your take on World of Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit?