There’s been a huge change to the World of Hyatt Guest of Honor interpretation of the rules. Here’s what you need to know before you make your next Guest of Honor (GOH) booking.
Guest of Honor
The World of Hyatt Guest of Honor (GOH) program is a neat travel hack to get free breakfast, free hotel upgrades, VIP treatment, and other perks that come with World of Hyatt Globalist elite status without having that status. You can read the post I wrote about the Guest of Honor program and how to make a guest of honor booking when it was first introduced three years ago. I’ve recently updated the post to reflect these changes.
You can still make a Guest of Honor booking and have a Globalist book a room for you if you don’t have status. But the interpretation of the wording of the terms has changed.
With a GOH booking, the Globalist makes a points or free night award booking and gifts their elite status to someone without status. This allows the recipient to receive:
- Free suite upgrade
- Daily breakfast for two for free
- Waived resort fees
- Free premium in-room Wi-Fi
- Daily bottle of water
- Early check-in
- Late check-out (4 pm)
To do this, the Globalist makes the GOH points or free night award reservation for another member in their name using the Globalist’s Hyatt points. The non-Globalist would then transfer the same amount of points back to the Globalist via the points transfer form. This is how many Globalists have made GOH bookings for the past three years.
Change to World of Hyatt Guest of Honor
Hyatt is now putting emphasis on the word “gift.”
“(i) Guest of Honor: If a Globalist gifts a Free Night Award to another party in accordance with these Terms, the recipient will be treated as a “Guest of Honor” at the applicable hotel or resort. This means that 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. Gifting of an award is subject to the limitations and restrictions set forth in the Gifting an Award section of these Terms.
After a discussion about the word “gifting,” with other Globalists, I reached out to Hyatt for clarification. As someone who highly values Globalist status and who has made several GOH bookings since it started, my concern was the interpretation of the term “gifting.” I have a pretty good memory and don’t recall this verbiage when the program was started.
This is what Hyatt said:
“… the spirit of the benefit is for this purpose and not intended to be a reimbursement model to provide Globalist benefits to others. Doing so would be considered an abuse of the program.”
Long story short, any Globalist who is making a GOH booking and using the points transfer form to receive points back in exchange (reimbursement) for making the booking, even if it’s the exact same number of points, is going against the World of Hyatt terms and conditions.
Can Hyatt Close Your Account
If World of Hyatt thinks you are abusing their program they can close your account. Normally, you will get a warning. But some people have had their accounts closed without warning when Hyatt believes they have abused the program.
Should You Continue to Make GOH Bookings
You’ll have to evaluate the risk factor to determine if you should continue to make GOH bookings.
If you’re making one or two bookings a year for the same people you’ve always made reservations for and received points back, it might not be a problem. Emphasis on the word “might.” But I’m not the one who determines that.
This change could result in more people making second guest bookings where the Globalist books a room under their name and adds the other person as the second guest. Second guest bookings are also against the terms and conditions and the reason why the GOH program was created.
If you’re making Guest of Honor (GOH) bookings, you should know about the change in the interpretation of the World of Hyatt Guest of Honor terms. A Globalist can make a GOH booking for a non-Globalist by gifting points or a free night award. This allows the member without elite status to receive all the perks of elite status like free breakfast and free upgrades.
In the past, Globalists would make the points booking using their points. Then send in a points transfer form so that the recipient of the GOH booking could transfer points from their account to the Globalist for reimbursement.
But Hyatt is now emphasizing the term “gifting” and strongly advises that all GOH bookings are strictly that. A gift. Receiving points back in exchange for making the GOH booking is against the terms and conditions of the program.
With this new change, are you still planning to make Guest of Honor bookings?
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