Do you ever get jealous of your friends who have top tier elite benefits? Maybe you’ve seen their instagrams where they’ve gotten upgraded to incredible suites during their vacations, or have spectacular breakfast spreads included in their stay free of charge, all thanks to their top tier elite status.

Being a road-warrior for work often has its challenges and disadvantages, but some of the advantages that such effort earns is often top tier elite status with hotel and airlines. Different elite statuses come with different benefits, but generally include perks such as lounge access, upgrades to better rooms, suites, and more.

However, not everyone travels enough to earn top-tier elite status. Fortunately, in some cases, there are some credit cards that can help you earn elite status for certain loyalty programs.

There’s another great way to enjoy top tier status without applying for a credit card or travelling all the time – Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit.

Photo Credit: Park Hyatt Sydney Suite Master Bedroom

Hyatt Guest of Honor Bookings

The Guest of Honor benefit allows Hyatt Globalist members to share their elite status benefits with family and friends on award stays. And the best part is that the Globalist member doesn’t even have to be traveling with you to use the benefit.

If you work with them to book your stay as a Guest of Honor stay using the process below, you’ll be eligible to receive all of their benefits during your stay.

So, if you’re good friends or maybe even related to someone who has Globalist status, you can ask them to help book you an upcoming stay at a Hyatt property so you can have access to their Globalist benefits. You might consider buying them a six-pack in return.

Photo Credit: Park Hyatt Sydney Suite Room

Globalist Benefits

The top tier elite status in the World of Hyatt Program is Globalist status, and arguably it’s one of the best elite statuses amongst the major US hotel loyalty programs.

Globalist includes a slew of benefits to rewards those that have earned it, some of which include:

  • Unlimited Room and Suite Upgrades when available
  • Four Confirmed Suite Upgrades per year
  • Club Lounge Access
  • Waived Resort Fees
  • Waived Parking Fees on Free Night Awards
  • Guaranteed Late Checkout (up to 4pm)
  • Two Free Nights Annually earned via Milestone Rewards
  • Guest of Honor Benefit

The World of Hyatt’s global footprint is nowhere close to being as expansive as some of the other major US hotel chains. However, Hyatt has some tremendous properties around the world such as the Park Hyatt Maldives, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome and Park Hyatt Sydney.

If these, or other top-level Hyatt properties are on your shortlist for upcoming travel, having access to Globalist benefits at the properties will elevate your stay exponentially with the elevated perks and benefits, saving you lots of money as well.

How to Earn Globalist Status

As you might expect, earning Hyatt Globalist status takes some effort. You’ll need to earn 60 elite nights annually, or 100,000 base points (not redeemable points) or host 20 events. So unless you’re a road warrior or host a lot of meetings, generally speaking, Globalist is going to be out of reach for a majority of people.

It’s important to note that The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers 2 elite night credits for every $5,000 spent on the card. So if you’re close to an elite level, and have some upcoming spend you could put on that card, it could help you bridge the gap.

But because Globalist is so hard to earn for the average traveler, having the ability to enjoy all of the benefits without having to stay 60 nights makes for a really special perk.

How to Use Guest of Honor

First, it’s important to note that the Guest of Honor perk is only eligible for use on award stays. This can either be free nights booked directly with points or from using free night certificates. Since free night certificates are non-transferrable, only the Globalist’s free night certificates can be used for a Guest of Honor booking.

If you book a standard cash booking, or even a Points + Cash booking, you’re not eligible to for a Guest of Honor booking.

Your first step when looking to book a Guest of Honor stay is going to be to confirm award availability at the property for the desired dates of travel.

Once you’ve confirmed availability, you’ll need your friendly Globalist member who will be helping you to book the stay.

The Globalist member has to either call in to make the reservation for a Guest of Honor booking, or they can email their concierge to coordinate the reservation. The required number of World of Hyatt points needed for the stay have to be in the Globalist’s account at the time of booking as they will be debited as a part of the reservation process.

If the Globalist member booking for you doesn’t quite have enough Hyatt points in their account to book for you, it is possible to send some points to them so they can complete the booking.

If you’re going to be transferring points to the Globalist to pay for your stay, you’ll have to fill out this PDF form and email it to [email protected] to initiate the transfer.

Note: transfer times vary, so your points could transfer in as soon as a few hours, and as long as a few weeks, so plan accordingly.

If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Hyatt account and then send those Hyatt points to your Globalist friend. Transfers from Chase to Hyatt are generally instant so that part should be quick.

Once the points are in the account and the Globalist member either calls in the reservation or emails their Concierge, you’ll get a confirmation number just like any normal booking.

Other than having to book through the Globalist member, it’s essentially a normal reservation until you check in at the hotel for your stay, where you’ll be presented with the Globalist benefits that come with your Guest of Honor booking: a nice upgrade if you’re lucky, 4pm late check-out, complimentary breakfast and lounge access, waived resort and parking fees and more.

Breakfast at the Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome | Photo Credit: Joe Cheung

Challenges and Issues with Guest of Honor

On the surface, the Guest of Honor benefit is an incredible perk that further helps position Hyatt Globalist as arguably the most valuable domestic status among the major US hotel loyalty programs.

But, it’s worth noting that this perk also has some potential challenges associated with actually using it that you should be prepared for:

Transfer Limits

Each of the major hotel programs allows points transfers free of charge amongst its members. On the surface, World of Hyatt is no different, and fortunately they don’t limit the number of points that you can transfer to other members. Even better, you can transfer to any other World of Hyatt member, as there are no limitations.

However, even though they don’t cap the number of points you can transfer, they do have two hard restrictions in place that make transferring points more of a challenge:

  1. You’re limited in the number of points you can transfer to another member per transaction because you can only transfer enough points “in order to have a sufficient number of points to redeem a particular award.” Basically, don’t take it too far.
  2. You’re only eligible to combine points (to either send or receive) once every 30 days. This is actually a pretty big restriction because in theory, it means that the Globalist member can only receive points from you to complete a booking every 30 days, so you might have to plan ahead.

With those two big restrictions in place, it’s clear that while World of Hyatt doesn’t directly cap you at transferring points from one member to another, these limitations can be restricting.

Archaic Points Transfer Process

With the above transfer restrictions in mind, once you initiate a points transfer (regardless of whether or not you’re doing a Guest of Honor booking), the process is not as easy and streamlined as one might desire in this day and age.

To begin the process of combining points with another member, you have to fill out this PDF form. Yes, it’s 2020 now, and you have to fill out a PDF to request the transfer. In theory, this could be done with  an online form with fields that you fill out and submit (allowing it to help avoid issue #3 below), but this is likely by design to make it a little bit more challenging.

After filling out the form, you can simply email it to [email protected] and wait to receive confirmation. However, this waiting is also issue #3 with this process.

Unpredictable Transfer Times

After filling out the above form and submitting it to World of Hyatt, the third issue arises – the wide inconsistencies in the actual processing time. In consulting with other 10xTravel staff members, their personal experiences range from seemingly instant transfers right after submitting the form, to upwards of a week and even three weeks.

There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to the amount of time the points transfers will take, which can complicate booking award travel given the dynamic nature of award availability. So it’s best to do this as far in advance as possible to avoid any issues, especially if your travel dates have little to no flexibility in them.

Final Thoughts on Hyatt’s Guest of Honor Benefit

The ability to share elite status benefits with family and friends is just another way that helps set Hyatt Globalist apart from top-tier benefits with other major hotel loyalty programs. Generally speaking, even with some of the challenges and issues outlined above, it’s still very easy to use and a tremendous benefit.

It really is a mutually beneficial perk as Globalists can give special experiences to friends and family and it helps Hyatt keep Globalists coming back when booking their own travel.