Hyatt Guest Of Honor: How Does It Work? (2020)

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Guest of Honor is a benefit available exclusively to World of Hyatt Globalist members, and it’s one of my favorite perks offered by any hotel loyalty program.

In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how Guest of Honor works, and what makes it so useful.

What is Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit?

Hyatt introduced the Guest of Honor benefit in 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 booked out of the Globalist member’s account. 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.

With Guest of Honor you can extend virtually all of your elite benefits to anyone you choose, as long as the points or free night certificate 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 Globalist 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

Hyatt Guest of Honor FAQs

The above are the very basics of Guest of Honor, though let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about this benefit.

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 (review) 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.

Can a Globalist member apply Guest of Honor benefits to a stay not booked out of their account?

Nope, a Globalist member can only gift you a Guest of Honor booking if the points are coming out of the Globalist’s account. A Globalist member can’t just call Hyatt and add benefits to a stay booked out of your own account.

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.

Globalist status requires 60 elite qualifying nights, and both revenue and award nights count towards that total.

With The World of Hyatt Credit Card you receive five elite nights towards status annually just for having the card, plus an additional two elite nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card.

This means that if you wanted to, you could spend your way all the way to Globalist status.

You’d need to spend $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).

In reality I don’t recommend completely doing that, but rather some combination of credit card spending 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 spending, 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.

Earn Hyatt points

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 30,000 point per night booking can get you a room that retails for over $1,000 per night.

Meanwhile redeeming 12,000 per night at the Hyatt Palm Springs in summer, when the paid rate would be about $110, is a significantly worse deal.

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

Bottom line

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?

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Comments
  1. I am a globalist and tried to give away my club upgrades to a Hyatt staff member (useless for me and for various reasons family not an option). If I did the booking then the staff member would lose their free nights so sadly was not able to…was told the following by my concierge….

    Regrettably the Club Access Awards are non transferable.

    You may have multiple rooms in your name, as a Globalist you will receive the Club benefit;
    – you can then apply a Club Access Awards to the other rooms to have access as well.

    I understand as a Globalist you don’t have much use for these awards.

    I appreciate this feedback and will pass on to head office, this feedback helps us to improve our loyalty program for future.

  2. I’ve had a friend do GOH bookings for me. The main bennies I appreciate are the free brekkie, lounge access, late checkout, and free parking. While an upgrade to a suite would be nice, I wouldn’t be upset or bothered if I did not get one. However, based on my own data points and data points of other people who have done GOH bookings, upgrades to suites are very VERY rare.

  3. Hey I just wanted to say that even though the vast majority of these “2020” info posts won’t be of any use to me, I appreciate that you are devoting a fresh post to them instead of trying to make minor tweaks on old posts. There are many websites manipulating their publication date by making minor edits to 4+ year old posts. This “edit date” ends up in your Google search results, which makes those posts look current (UpgrdedPoints being the worst offender of this IME).

    I often strongly disagree with your choice of content/opinions on this site but I respect the hard work you put in. Keep it up!

  4. Question. I made award reservations out of my account for family members last year (for stays in April). Was not a globalist when I made the reservations.

    I will get globalist soon. Can they retroactively apply GofH benefits to the existing reservation?

  5. You can do a simple online booking for yourself then send to your concierge to convert into GOH. No need to call.

  6. I can throw out one useful data point based on experience: GoH privileges will sometimes be extended on even paid stays at the hotel’s descretion. If you’re booking into a hotel you have a good relationship with, it won’t hurt to drop the hotel’s manager an e-mail in advance of the visit and explain what you’d like. In our case, we were doing a family trip with grandparents and we really wanted the grandparents to be able to eat in the club with their grandkids. Following the program rules to the letter, my Hyatt concierge turned us down, but the hotel manager who was CCed on the email said no problem, he would take care of us. This experience predated Hyatt’s guest lounge pass program, so the response might be different now, but it can’t hurt to ask, especially if you have a ton of nights with Hyatt.

    We have had GoH privileges extended to family on paid stays in New York City and in Northern California. They didn’t get any manner of suite upgrade (we did), but the club and breakfast privileges were graciously extended. Indeed I can’t think of a time when I’ve booked multiple rooms on a family trip when Hyatt hasn’t offered some GoH privileges so we could stay together during mealtimes and the like. One more reason to love the World of Hyatt program in my book.

  7. Question about the breakfast at PH Vendome. With a GoH booking, Can I basically order anything off the room service breakfast menu? Is there a limit? Asking because I’m headed there in a few months.

  8. As a Globalist, when I book multiple rooms, I have yet to have a Hyatt property (can’t say the same about SLH properties though) not give the other rooms complimentary breakfast, even when I am not booking under the GoH program. The last time I made a GoH reservation for a relative and her husband, they got a very nice suite upgrade.

  9. Not sure if it’s just the hotel, but… Marriott does this also. I booked hotel rooms for my boss, a distributor of ours and myself in Savannah GA, all under my rewards program. Both my boss and our distributor got my titanium benefits. All of the rooms were upgraded and they both got lounge access.

  10. I just did a GoH booking for the first time, for my parents.
    With the current promo on buying points, it turned out to be cheaper to buy points and do a GoH booking for them then pay cash for the room. And hopefully they get an upgrade (my concierge added a “upgrade requested” to the booking notes). Even if it’s not a suite, getting a deluxe room would be good, given that points booking are only for standard rooms

  11. I have used GOH frequently for family members. My son has regularly been upgraded for room, sometimes to a suite. My brother, traveling with his wife and 3 daughters, said they were treated royally at the Hyatt Regency near Disneyland (I booked 10 nights at various locations for them). It is a fantastic benefit.

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