How to get top-tier Hyatt elite benefits without status

Among the major hotel chains, Hyatt’s top tier elite status (Globalist) is arguably the best… if you can get it.  Unfortunately, Hyatt also makes it prohibitively difficult to reach that status level.  Fortunately, there are ways to get the same Hyatt elite benefits without jumping through those hoops.  Read on for full details.

Hyatt Globalist requirements

To earn Hyatt Globalist status, you must complete 60 qualifying nights (or earn 100,000 base points, or organize 20 qualifying meetings).  To renew status you “only” need 55 nights.  Given that Hyatt has far fewer properties than competing chains like IHG, Hilton, or Marriott, 60 nights (or 55 nights) is a heck of a hurdle even for very frequent travelers.

Globalist benefits

Here are my favorite Hyatt Globalist benefits, along with Hyatt’s description of each:

  • Club Lounge / Full Breakfast: “Relax in the Club lounge with continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres daily. Or, enjoy complimentary full breakfast daily for each registered guest (up to 2 adults and 2 children) at Hyatt hotels and resorts without a Club lounge.”
    Hyatt Diamond benefits without status
  • Room upgrade: “Enjoy an upgraded room based on availability at check-in, up to standard suites.”
    Hyatt Diamond benefits without status
  • 4 pm late checkout: “Extend your stay until 4:00 PM upon request (subject to availability at some locations).”
  • Free Parking: “Enjoy complimentary parking on free night awards (available where parking can be charged to your room)”

Additionally, when you complete 60 qualified nights (or earn 100,000 Base Points), you get a free night award in a category 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort plus 4 suite upgrade awards that can be applied to paid or award stays.

Hyatt Globalist benefits without status

With Hyatt, it is possible to forgo Globalist status altogether and still get the benefits that Globalist elites enjoy.  Here’s how…

Guest of Honor

The best way to get Globalist benefits without status is to take advantage of Hyatt’s Guest of Honor program.  If you have a friend with Hyatt Globalist status they can book an award stay for you via Hyatt’s Guest of Honor program and you should receive all of the benefits of Globalist status during your stay.

Hyatt Guest of Honor

A downside to this approach is that the points will come out of your friend’s Hyatt account.  While that could be great for you, there’s a good chance that your friend won’t like it.  Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.  Unlike most other points programs, Hyatt lets members transfer points to others, for free.  All you have to do is fill out Hyatt’s Point Combining Request Form (found here) and email it to worldofhyatt@hyatt.com.  There is a slight restriction: you can only transfer or receive points once every 30 days, so plan accordingly.

The only major benefit that this approach doesn’t give you is the ability to apply a suite upgrade certificate.  If a suite is important to you, then have your Globalist friend book a suite award for you.  Suite awards cost 60% more points than standard room awards (found here) and they require a minimum 3 night stay.

Second Guest Approach

UPDATE: This approach is NOT recommended. Hyatt has recently sent emails to Globalists who have booked stays this way warning them that their accounts may be closed down if they continue to book reservations for others without showing up in person.  See: Hyatt cracks down on second guest approach to sharing status.

Another way a Globalist friend can share their elite benefits is by booking a room and adding your name to the reservation.  They’ll still be considered the primary guest, but if they make it explicit that you should be allowed to check-in, then you can stay at the hotel without them and still enjoy their elite benefits.

There are a few big advantages to this approach over Guest of Honor reservations:

  1. This approach can be used to book paid stays, award stays, or cash & points stays (Guest of Honor works only with award stays).
  2. When booking paid stays, you can use your own credit card upon check-in so that there is no need to exchange points or cash with your Globalist friend.
  3. Your Globalist friend will get elite night credits for the stay.  This is great because in this way you are helping your friend to re-qualify for Globalist status.  So they should have a big motivation to want to book stays for you.
  4. If your Globalist friend has any suite upgrade certificates that they’re willing to use for your stay, they can do so.  Suite upgrade certificates cannot be used on Guest of Honor stays.
  5. Your Globalist friend will earn points for the paid portion of your stay.  Whether this is a good thing or bad thing depends upon whether you think they ought to earn rewards for their help in booking your stay.

On the other hand, there is a huge disadvantage to this approach: it’s not exactly sanctioned by Hyatt.  See warning above.  When I’ve done things like this I’ve been completely transparent with the hotel about what we were trying to accomplish.  Most hotels are fine with it.  But technically, they don’t have to let you do this.  In fact, there have been some reports (primarily regarding hotels in Asia) where people were not allowed to check in at all when trying to do so under a friend’s reservation.  If you have a friend book a stay for you in this way, I highly recommend contacting the hotel ahead of time to make clear what you’re trying to do and to check if they’re OK with it.

UPDATE: This approach is NOT recommended. Hyatt has recently sent emails to Globalists who have booked stays this way warning them that their accounts may be closed down if they continue to book reservations for others without showing up in person.  See: Hyatt cracks down on second guest approach to sharing status.

Real World Example

I had the opportunity to try out both approaches described above (Guest of Honor and Second Guest approach) at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel.  While there were a couple of hiccups, overall it worked out great.  Please see the full story here: Borrowing Hyatt top tier status: Experimenting with two approaches.

Free breakfast at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel thanks to borrowing status from a friend.

Other Options

If you don’t have a friend with Globalist status, there are other options for getting Globalist-like benefits:

Club Lounge Access

If your primary goal is to get club lounge access, there are a couple of easy options:

  • Book a Regency/Grand Club award stay.  You can find the award chart here.
  • Book a paid stay and use points to upgrade.  Hyatt charges 3000 points per night to add club access to your paid stay.

Alternatively if you have a friend with Exporist status (that’s a mid-tier status below Globalist), they may have club upgrade certificates that they wouldn’t mind using on your behalf.  They could then book the hotel, apply the club upgrade certificates, and add you as a second guest.

Suite Stay

If you want to stay in a suite, your options include:

  • Book a Suite award stay.  You can find the award chart here.  Hyatt’s suite award stays require a minimum of a 3 night stay.
  • Book a paid stay and use points to upgrade.  Hyatt charges 6000 points per night to upgrade your paid stay to a suite.

Free Breakfast and other Perks

Most premium and ultra-premium credit cards offer an option for booking high end hotels which results in getting great perks during your stay.  For example, with Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you get a room upgrade when available, daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, noon check-in (when available), free wifi, and a unique property benefit (usually a credit towards dining or spa services).

For examples of what you may expect through these programs, see: Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection vs Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Brian
Guest
Brian

Hey Greg I think you went from globalist back to diamond/goldpassport in your guest of honor paragraph. I’m sure it still words but the email address is now along the lines of worldofhyatt@hyatt.com or something like that.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Did you really post this article? Clearly you don’t have much experience with second guest approach. Hyatt frowns on this and often hotels will insist the primary shows up or they’ll convert you to a full rack rate which can get pricey.

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[…] morning I posted options for getting top tier Hyatt elite benefits without having status.  The best of these options is for a top-tier friend to book your stay as a Guest of Honor stay.  […]

Matt
Guest
Matt

I tried share status with my wife, but they wouldn’t let me do it. If they won’t let me do it for my wife, I can’t imagine it’d work with anybody else.

It would have been terrible if she had tried to check in and then been charged the highest rack rate!

Only true GOH stays work IME.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Even doing GoH can be a risk. I had a friend GoH someone who had to cancel. They’ve been in a 2 month struggle to get their points back.

Another friend got her Hyatt account closed (with points) for doing the second guest thing, so your warning update is well founded.

MarkG
Guest
MarkG

What about the THIRD APPROACH? LOOKING FOR ANOTHER HOTEL LOYALTY PROGRAM?

Fester
Guest
Fester

How do you apply the Club access? Online? Phone?

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

Similarly I’ve had trouble even getting my wife checked in at various hotels when both of us were on the reservation and it was booked out of my account. Very common in Mexico. They’ll let her check in but harass her multiple times a day about when I’m showing up, promise they’ll give her lounge access once I get there etc. I wouldn’t recommend this approach in general.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Greg,

I agree that several low-level employees would easily let this slide if you told them someone else was going to check in under the reservation. Things happen like flights are delayed, change of plans where the second person can’t make the trip, even a lost wallet where you need someone else to email a credit card authorization form, etc… Higher up the chain though and I bet things change. Talk to the night manager at the Hyatt Regency Indy, no problem. Talk to the GM at the Park Hyatt NYC and you are going to have a problem.

Primarily, one must understand how letting this slide affects the hotel, and more importantly, the owner. Similar to bartenders serving regular customers free drinks; the bartender gets a bigger tip, but the owner is paying for the drink. If everybody were a regular, a.k.a. elite, the owner is just giving away all the drinks for free and would continuously lose money. Not break even, but lose money.

Most any employee who understands the financials of hotels would not allow this. It can get expensive very quickly. Even at a Hyatt Place with no upgrades and breakfast is free to those without status, there are still the bonus points earned by the elite which costs someone. Move up to the higher extremes like at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, and elite benefits literally eat away a large part of the profit to the hotel.

As mentioned in Greg’s similar article posted in July,

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2017/07/20/borrowing-hyatt-top-tier-status-two-approaches/

breakfast is €35 per person at the Amsterdam Andaz. 10% profit margin is great for a restaurant and that would typically be a high end location. Margins for breakfast are better than other meals so a 20% profit margin seems reasonable at this particular hotel which makes the €35 breakfast consist of €28 in cost and €7 in profit, of course doubled with two people. I am not certain how elite breakfasts are billed but someone, either the hotel or corporate, is paying the €56 cost of breakfast.

Now what about the other biggest benefit for elites? In Greg’s situation, he wasn’t upgraded but there was a chance that he would be. If he had been upgraded, the maid service costs would at least double. A standard room there is approximately 300 square feet. The suites range from 550 – 1400 so let’s meet in the middle and assume the upgrade was to the 1,000 square foot room. This is more than 3x the size of a standard room. In this suite, there is the same bed to change, but there are two toilets, possibly a small kitchen area, stemware to clean, etc…

Size doesn’t directly correlate to time to clean so rather than 3x let’s say 2x the amount of time. Assuming an hour in total employee time (includes supervisor time) for a standard room and €20 per hour (this is Amsterdam), a standard room costs €20 to clean and the suite costs €40 to clean so an additional €20 compared to the standard room.

So the borrowed elite status has cost the hotel €56 (€28 x 2) for breakfast and an additional €20 in cleaning costs for a total of €76. I doubt if you asked a low-end employee to give you a €76 voucher that they would say yes. They may give you something that costs €76, but that’s because they don’t understand the financial implications.

In a similar vein, airlines allow companion upgrades but their costs are much lower, mainly any alcohol consumed. The fuel used per person is no different by cabin plus the food is a wash as well as time for flight attendant.

I understand companies want to keep customers happy, but there are reasonable limits and this is one of them.

I believe hotels bill the loyalty program for parts of benefits given to the elite, but definitely not the maid service. In any case, this scenario is at least a €76 loss to the parties involved.

You mentioned something like “be upfront with everyone concerned.” To be completely transparent, you would have to also call corporate and tell them the same thing you told the hotel.

escot
Guest
escot

Happen Hyatt is still our favorite hotel chain, but ever since they did the major program changes…. just haven’t taken ANY Hyatt promotion seriously…. and coming across this surprisingly weak post (from a much esteemed author) doesn’t help. So the best you can do now to get unearned status is to hitch onto someone else’s -ististus status?

Ah, never mind. Can’t get past the horrendous poorly named category titles…. “globalist” whatever. Sounds so very Trumpian…. Really good, really.(not) Still uv the Hyatt hotels we stay at (on Chase points) — but not interested in such a comically categorized program. And nope, I can’t “get over it.”

Phil C
Guest
Phil C

Political content escot, ignore!

Mike
Guest
Mike

I’ve always added a guest to my stays and have never had a problem. Hyatt doesn’t count if your guests check in before you as long as you stay at the hotel. I’ve checked in a most of the hotels mentioned below. Did this for Park Hyatt’s all over. I think as long as you’re a globalist they’ll treat you well. I’ve been a globalist since 2016. But again most of the time with my guests, it’s the full member rate so maybe that’s why they don’t care.

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[…] Let’s further say that you had the ability to spend an additional $54,000 in the near future — a tall order for sure, but this is a theoretical exercise. Let’s further say that you could do it by early August and that you could call or secure message Chase to get your statement closing date changed to cut early enough for the points to post in time for you to book the rest of August in Tulsa (which admittedly might be tough once Tulsa sees the Frequent Miler effect on bookings). Between your initial $6K spend, your new $54K spend, and the 60K points from the signup bonus, you would have 120,000 points (representing your “net” cost of staying in Tulsa for the month). Of course, you would actually need another 30K points to start since 30 nights at 5K per night will initially cost you 150K — remember that the bonus points from the two promotions may not post before the end of August. Hopefully, you have some Chase Ultimate Rewards that you don’t mind moving over to Hyatt. Even if you don’t, I bet you have a friend who would be willing to transfer you 30K Hyatt points as an investment in your bid for Globalist status in the hopes that you’re the sharing type. […]

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[…] stays is a good alternative to chasing Hyatt status. It doesn’t work for award stays, but borrowing someone else’s Globalist status through Guest of Honor works well for that […]

Christian
Guest
Christian

I have a bit of an odd situation. I’m Hyatt Globalist through February, but likely won’t make Globalist qualification this year for 2019. If I book a Guest of Honor booking for July 2019, will the booking be honored, and if so, will it be honored with full Globalist benefits?

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[…] checkout. That will be useful for times when I don’t want to bother a Globalist friend for a Guest of Honor booking for a 1-night stay at a Hyatt Place, but I need a late checkout for one reason or […]