Hyatt is my preferred hotel chain despite their smaller footprint. I stay loyal because of their attractive rewards program – in particular, their elite benefits. Guest of Honor is one of these perks, available to top-tier Globalist members. This benefit may be one of the best out there. It lets anyone enjoy benefits like suite upgrades and free breakfast without status.
Hyatt Guest of Honor
Hyatt Guest of Honor is simple. If a top-tier Globalist member gifts a free night award to someone:
The recipient will receive all In-hotel Benefits that would have been provided to the Globalist, had (s)he redeemed the award him-or herself at the applicable hotel or resort.
Guest of Honor reservations are only applicable on points redemptions, and you must call in to book these rates.
The Globalist member does not need to stay for the receiver to enjoy benefits. Many readers should already have some form of hotel status. If you don’t, the American Express Platinum Card is the easiest way to earn status at Marriott, Hilton, Radisson, and Shangri-La. Guest of Honor is most meaningful for infrequent travellers not involved in loyalty programs and with no status.
Hyatt words the Guest of Honor language as the member needing to contribute heir own points. This in reality is not the case. Why? Because transfers between accounts are allowed once per month, with no address or familial requirements. I’ve done this many times where I’ve made a Guest of Honor reservation and had my friends transfer me their Hyatt points to cover the reservation.
If you don’t currently have any Hyatt points, there is currently a 30% bonus on purchased points, which runs until February 22nd. The cost per point maxing out the bonus is 1.85 cents. This can be a good deal for properties with high revenue rates, but you can further extract value through Guest of Honor.
Hyatt Globalist Benefits
The primary benefits Globalist members receive are the following:
- Upgrades to a Standard Suite (subject to availability at check-in)
- Complimentary access to the hotel club lounge, if available
- Complimentary breakfast if the hotel does not have a lounge
- Guaranteed 4pm late checkout (at non-resort properties) and early check-in upon availability
As well, you receive free parking and waived resort fees when redeeming points. To become a Globalist, you must stay 60 qualifying nights per year, or earn 100,000 annual base points. Unless you spend a lot at hotels, you will usually qualify via nights or spend with the Chase Hyatt Visa Signature.
That card awards five elite night credits per pear. You also have the ability to earn two additional elite nights for every $5,000 charged to the card. To supplement your points balance, you could transfer Ultimate Rewards from your Chase Sapphire Preferred to Hyatt. Getting US credit cards as a Canadian might seem like a challenge, but some may be eligible for American Express Global Transfer, which makes starting a lot easier.
Take, for example, the Andaz Maui, which costs 25,000 points until March 18th. Breakfast for two is roughly $130 including taxes and tip, which is covered. The Andaz Pool Suite, which is the property’s standard suite, is $300 more than the daily rate for the standard room. The resort fee and valet parking is $45 and $35 per night, respectively, also waived thanks to Globalist status. That totals a retail value of $510 per night.
The actual value of free breakfast and upgrades is debatable. The suite may be sold out, or perhaps, you don’t eat breakfast. However, you will be saving a minimum of $80 per night, because the resort fee is mandatory, and getting a car is pretty necessary for this property. You could save several hundred dollars on a longer stay.
This also excludes properties that go above and beyond the stated benefits. Some hotels allow the Globalist breakfast benefit to be used for in-room dining; I have had hotels upgrade me to Ambassador and other specialty suites.
Finally, what makes Guest of Honor so unique is that these benefits are guaranteed. Some other hotel programs may allow you to gift points to family or friends, but none explicitly permit gifting benefits. This is just one of the reasons why I love Hyatt, and I’m glad that I can give my friends a taste of status when they are booking Hyatt properties.