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Hyatt Globalists: Traveling with a friend? Here's when you should (and shouldn't) book Guest of Honor awards

September 6 2022
6 min read
Hyatt Zilara / Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
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Editor's note: This post has been updated to reiterate that you should only book Hyatt stays under your name if you intend to stay at the property.

Guest of Honor is a unique feature of the World of Hyatt program. Only top-tier Hyatt Globalist elite status holders can use it.

Here’s how it works: When you use your points to book a stay for friends and family members, they will be treated as though they also have Globalist status. That means they’ll get benefits like free breakfast, free parking, suite upgrades based on availability, late checkout, etc. Depending on the hotel, a Guest of Honor stay could save your friends many hundreds of dollars.

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However, there are three compelling reasons not to make a Guest of Honor reservation when traveling with friends — let's take a look.

Add your friend’s name to your reservation instead

Checking in later than your friend? Add their name to your reservation. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

The simple fact is that sometimes we cannot arrive at a hotel at the same time as our travel companions. Flight delays happen, plans change, etc. This is especially true right now with ongoing airline staffing shortages that spark rolling delays.

So if you're arriving after your travel companions, keep the reservation under your name. Simply call the hotel or email your Globalist concierge and add one of your friends’ names to the reservation. That will authorize them to get a room key if they get to the hotel before you.

Related: The complete guide to World of Hyatt Guest of Honor awards

Your friends will get free parking, suite upgrades, free breakfast and all the other Globalist elite status benefits you’d get yourself. I have done this several times with no issue, as long as they charge everything to the room.

Here are three reasons it’s better to take this route and forgo the Guest of Honor route.

You’ll earn elite night credits

When you book a stay with Hyatt, you’ll earn elite night credits to help you qualify for elite status. But when you make a Guest of Honor reservation, the elite night credits will post to your guest’s Hyatt account instead of your account.

If you instead leave the room under your name and add a friend to the reservation, the elite night credits will post to your account. Even if something comes up and you arrive late, the credits will post as long as your registered guest checks in.

You can use Suite Upgrade Awards

Hyatt has a cool program called Milestone Rewards which gives you valuable benefits when you stay a certain number of nights each calendar year — the most exciting being Suite Upgrade Awards. You can use these certificates to confirm a standard suite at (nearly) any Hyatt hotel at the time of booking. These certificates have given the TPG staff many thousands of dollars in value over the years.

Unfortunately, you cannot use Suite Upgrade Awards with a Guest of Honor booking. In other words, you can’t guarantee your guests will get a suite (though they’re still eligible for a suite upgrade at check-in).

If you leave the room under your name, you can apply a Suite Upgrade Award to the reservation and confirm a super fancy room. Even if your travel companion arrives before you do.

You can also book paid stays

Guest of Honor bookings are only valid for award stays. If you’re booking a paid stay for a friend, they won’t get any Globalist benefits.

If you leave the paid hotel stay under your name and add your friend’s name to the reservation, they’ll get all your Globalist benefits.

Related: What is World of Hyatt elite status worth in 2022?

When you might want to make a Guest of Honor booking

Sometimes it makes more sense to book Guest of Honor — especially on high-end stays. ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY

Guest of Honor isn’t a useless benefit, however. There are two scenarios where it definitely makes sense to use it.

You’re staying at a nice hotel and will arrive late

If you’re booking a stay at a hotel like the Park Hyatt Maldives, it might be wiser to make a Guest of Honor booking. Hyatt would like for you to be present at check-in if the room is under your name. So if you plan on arriving a day or two after your travel companion, this could present an issue. When faced with this issue, it may be beneficial to forgo the elite night credit and ensure that your stay goes on without issue.

You’re booking multiple rooms

You can use the Guest of Honor perk to book more than one room at a time. If you’re traveling with friends and family and want to give everyone free breakfast, free parking, etc., Guest of Honor is a great way to give Globalist benefits to rooms other than your own.

You're not staying at the hotel

Remember, you should only book hotels under your name if you intend to stay at the hotel. So if you book a hotel room solely for a friend or family member, book them as a Guest of Honor. This keeps you compliant with World of Hyatt's terms and conditions and prevents any unwanted issues when your guest arrives at the hotel.

Related: The 11 hotels where you’ll get the most out of your Hyatt reward night certificate

Bottom line

Guest of Honor is a great Hyatt Globalist benefit. But so long as you are staying at the property, it will benefit you to simply book a room in your name and add your travel companion to the reservation, even if you're arriving late. This way, you can earn elite night credit and redeem Suite Night Upgrades on paid and award stays.

Featured photo by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
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  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
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  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees