Hyatt’s Guest of Honor perk is one of my favorite benefits offered by any hotel loyalty program, and in this post I wanted to take a closer look at how it works and what makes it so useful.
What is Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit?
Hyatt introduced the Guest of Honor benefit as of March 2015, back when their loyalty program was called Gold Passport (rather than the new name, World of Hyatt).
The idea is simple — with Guest of Honor, Hyatt Globalist members are able to extend their elite perks to friends and families on award stays. I love the concept behind this.
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.
So with Guest of Honor you can extend virtually all of your elite benefits to anyone you choose, as long as the points come out of your account.
Extend elite benefits to friends & family with Guest of Honor
There are some things to be aware of when it comes to this perk:
- The Guest of Honor benefit is only available on free night stays (either outright free night bookings or stays booked with free night certificates) so it doesn’t apply on cash bookings or on Points + Cash bookings
- To take advantage of this benefit, you need to book by phone, and inform the World of Hyatt representative that you’re looking to make a Guest of Honor booking
- All elite benefits apply on these stays, including suite upgrades subject to availability, complimentary breakfast, 4PM late check-out, waived resort fees, free parking, and more
- Nowadays Hyatt awards elite credits for award stays, though Guest of Honor elite credits would go to the account of the person actually staying, rather than the World of Hyatt Globalist member who is making the booking
Enjoy room service breakfast at the Park Hyatt Paris with Guest of Honor
Those are the very basics, so let’s go through some FAQs.
Hyatt Guest of Honor FAQs
Can you apply Globalist suite upgrades to Guest of Honor bookings?
Globalist members receive four confirmed suite upgrades per year, that can be used to confirm a suite upgrade for a stay of up to seven nights at the time of booking. You can’t apply one of these to a Guest of Honor booking, though the booking is still eligible for a space available suite upgrade at check-in.
Can free night certificates be used to make a Guest of Honor booking?
They sure can! For example, The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at Category 1-4 hotels, and you can earn a second one if you spend $15,000 on the card in a cardmember year.
Both outright points bookings as well as certificate bookings are eligible for Guest of Honor benefits. So if you can’t use one of these certificates yourself, you can gift a loved one or friend a getaway with your benefits.
Use the Category 1-4 free night certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon
Do you have to stay in conjunction with the guest?
You can use the Guest of Honor benefit either in conjunction with a stay you’re making (in other words, if you want to book a second room for family and friends), or you can use it to book someone independently for a stay they’re making without you.
Can you use the Guest of Honor benefit for multiple rooms?
Yep, you could book more than one room at the same hotel at the same time with Guest of Honor benefits, assuming you have the points.
Can you use a Guest of Honor booking on a paid stay?
Nope, this only works on full free night redemptions. It doesn’t work for cash stays or Points + Cash stays.
Maximizing the Guest of Honor benefit
There are a few strategies you can use to maximize this benefit:
Earn Globalist status more easily
The first step to being able to use the Guest of Honor benefit is to actually earn Globalist status. Nowadays that’s easier than in the past, given that The World of Hyatt Credit Card can help you with that.
It takes 60 elite nights to earn Globalist status, or 55 elite nights to requalify (at least that’s the case in 2019 — in 2020 it will require 60 nights to requalify). Best of all, award stays even count towards that total.
This means that if you wanted to, you could spend your way all the way to Globalist status:
- $140,000 to earn Globalist status, assuming you don’t have the status already ($140,000 of spend gets you 56 elite qualifying nights, plus the five you get just for having the card)
- $125,000 for requalifying for Globalist status ($125,000 of spend gets you 50 elite qualifying nights, plus the five you get just for having the card)
In reality I don’t recommend completely doing that, but rather some combination of credit card spend and actual stays can help you achieve Globalist status without too much effort.
Combine points between accounts
Hyatt actually lets you combine points between accounts at no cost. There are some catches, though:
- You have to fill out a points combining request form
- A World of Hyatt member can only take part in a points combining request activity once every 30 days (this includes gifting or receiving points)
- You can only combine points “in order to have a sufficient number of points to redeem a particular award”
The benefit here is that you could transfer World of Hyatt points to a Globalist member who is a friend or family member, and they could make a Guest of Honor booking for you.
However, that’s only possible if the Globalist member doesn’t have enough points in their account to book that on their own (since you can only transfer in order to have sufficient points to redeem for a particular award).
There’s nothing prohibiting this kind of activity, though personally I wouldn’t make a habit of it for all your friends and family. In other words, Hyatt might take issue with this if you start making tons of bookings for people, since that’s not within the spirit of this.
Transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards
One of the best complements to having status with Hyatt is the ability to transfer points to World of Hyatt from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Many of us use Ultimate Rewards cards for our everyday spend, so I think it’s a great asset to be able to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points into a World of Hyatt account where you have status. Then you can redeem for yourself, or for friends and family.
Guest of Honor bookings aren’t always a good deal
Lastly I just want to acknowledge that Guest of Honor bookings aren’t always a good deal. Keep in mind that these are only valid on free night redemptions, and those redemptions don’t always represent a great deal, especially at hotels that are highly seasonal.
Sometimes you can get outsized value from your points, like if you’re redeeming at the Park Hyatt Maldives just about any time of year. At this hotel a 25,000 point per night booking can get you a room that retails for over $1,000 per night.
Meanwhile redeeming 20,000 per night at the Andaz Scottsdale in summer, when the paid rate would be about $150, is a significantly worse deal.
So with a Guest of Honor booking you’d not only want to compare the cash cost to the cost in points, but also factor in how much you value the benefit.
The Park Hyatt Maldives is a great property for making a Guest of Honor booking
Hyatt’s Guest of Honor feature is one of my favorite perks offered by any loyalty program. While I don’t use it all that often, I love the idea of being able to redeem my points for friends and family, and have them be treated the same way I’d be treated when staying at Hyatts. To me that’s the ultimate reward for loyalty.
It also makes me feel more loyal to Hyatt, and want to requalify for Globalist status.
Have you ever used Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit? What was your experience like?