PSA: GHA Black hotel elite status still available for World Elite Mastercard holders

The landing page is gone, but your card concierge should be able to process upgrades...for now.

Back in October 2018 I wrote about how World Elite Mastercard holders could get free GHA Black elite status, the highest tier available in the program. GHA may not be the best known loyalty program, but has high quality chains like PARKROYAL, Anantara, OMNI and Pan Pacific under its umbrella, and a total of ~550 properties in 77 countries.

In order to get GHA Black, you’d need to create an account and contact the concierge listed on the back of your World Elite Mastercard to ask them to process the upgrade. Further details used to be available on the GHA website, but the link has been taken down.

This doesn’t mean the benefit has been pulled, however. The original T&C stated that the offer is available for registrations made until 31 December 2019, and indeed, people in our Telegram Group are still reporting successful processing. The removal of the landing page does make me skittish though, so I’d advise you to get your upgraded status now rather than later.

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Once registered, your status is valid until 31 December of the following year. In other words, registering now would score you GHA Black status for just under 2 years (31 December 2020 expiry)- there’s really no more incentive to delay.

Update: it appears that status granted through this program is valid till Feb 2021!

Based on data points provided in the Citi Prestige Telegram Group, most account upgrades are processed within one week.  The Citi Prestige concierge can be reached at 6337-2484. If you’re a Prestige cardholder, be sure to speak to the Aspire concierge, not the Citibank side.

A reminder of GHA Black benefits

GHA doesn’t work like a traditional hotel rewards program where you earn points towards future stays. Instead, your stays earn you “local experience awards”.

Members receive one Platinum/Black Local Experience award upon reaching Platinum/Black status, and another each year their status is renewed. Platinum and Black members earn subsequent Local Experience awards each time they stay at a new DISCOVERY hotel brand.

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In addition to supposedly better Local Experiences, GHA Black status also grants you some traditional elite status benefits during your stay such as room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out.

You do not get a Local Experience award if your account is automatically upgraded to GHA Black under the World Elite Mastercard program.

Parlay GHA Black status for a 90 day Hilton Diamond trial

Even if you don’t see yourself staying at GHA properties a whole lot, GHA Black status can still be useful.

Hilton has an ongoing status match promotion which gives you instant elite status for 90 days, provided you can show proof of status and at least one stay within the last 12 months with a competing chain.

GHA is not listed as one of the hotel loyalty programs that can be matched in the drop down box, but I’ve received reports that Hilton will indeed offer GHA Black members instant Diamond status, if you submit your proof of status and stay.

In order to retain Hilton Diamond status after 90 days, you’ll need to make at least 8 stays during the period. Once earned, your status will be good till 31 March 2020. If you fall short of the 8 stay requirement, you can still secure Gold by making 4 stays (or get an AMEX Platinum Charge, if that floats your boat).

Other chains which offers status matches include Best Western and Wyndham Rewards.

Conclusion

If you’re trying to access the landing page for the GHA Black/ World Elite Mastercard promotion and see it’s gone- don’t panic! But don’t delay either, because the removal of the landing page tends not to be a harbinger of good things.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Paul

Is the BOC world elite miles counted?

Joel

Any idea if the OCBC Premier World Elite Mastercard is eligible for this offer?

Joel

I tried and the CSO said no too. She said she was very sure about it /:

Jeff

Call MasterCard not OCBC

Happy Camper

Besides Citi P MC, and probably OCBC Premier World Elite MC, is/are there any other local bank(s) that have World Elite MC?

Alvin Wee

I called and was told by the officer that this was something I needed to bring up with MasterCard.

Ben

is SC Manhattan counted? As it is only World though.

Greg

If i have got a status upgrade to gold via visa fast track, can i still enjoy the fast track to diamond via GHA black status with 8 stays.

Happy Camper

@Greg.. Unless something’s changed, Hilton doesn’t recognize GHA.. What I did was to use GHA Black, matched to Wyndham Diamond, stayed one night, and then got matched to HHilton Diamond..

Anon

site is back up and working for me

K Tong

Does OCBC World Elite work?

Aaron Koh

Any success?

Simian

semi relevant PSA, can get platinum GHA for free for 1 year with BT susbscription

https://www.businesstraveller.com/bt-plus/

cheapest option was about 34 USD for 1 year UK digital edition

Andy Low

Anyone knows if the supplementary card holder is eligible to apply for the GHA Black status too?

Doceriond

Has anyone been successful using the DBS Woman’s world MC? From DBS side, they seem clueless..

Prestige

Just called Aspire concierge service and have been pushed away by them. Claiming it’s already expired.

Hilton

Also, Hilton diamond is now a challenge for upgrade instead of a match and extend.

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