It’s Live!: GHA Discovery’s all new loyalty program


After plenty of teasers and scares over the past few weeks, GHA Discovery‘s new loyalty program is now live!

What has changed?

Before we get into the details, here’s how the GHA Discovery loyalty program has changed, in a nutshell:

GHA Discovery changes (old vs new)

Click here for the new terms and conditions.

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Local Offers

Local Offers are non-stay offers that members can book to use hotel facilities or take advantage of dining or spa deals.

But that’s not it! Members can book COMPLIMENTARY Local Offers in some properties to use the hotel’s facilities like swimming pool and gym for free! As if that is not enough, Kempinski Hotel Muscat is even throwing in a complimentary Mojito when you come and use their facilities for free, without having to stay in the hotel. šŸ¤Æ

High Tea for 2 cents?!

After seeing the above offer in Muscat, I am not sure if this is a limited-time generosity or a pricing error. I am able to book High Tea for 2 pax at Anantara Seminyak Bali for a grand total of IDR 303 (US$0.02)!

As I am still in Bali, I’ve made a booking today and for the next 5 days! Because why not? I’ll be sharing the experience on Suitesmile’s Instagram stories, if they don’t turn us away for the error price! šŸ˜¬

High Tea for IDR 250 at Anantara Seminyak Bali


Experiences are similar to what members could book with Local Experience Awards previously, except that they now require payment in the form of Discovery Dollars or cash.

At the moment, you can only find a limited number of Experiences loaded in the system.

Stay Offers

Stay Offers are, as the name may suggest, special offers for stays in GHA Discovery hotels. I have not noticed anything out of the ordinary in this category.

Received a 2-category room upgrade at The Apurva Kempinski Bali (read my review)

Discovery Dollars

Discovery Dollars have the same value as US Dollars and can be used to pay for stays or hotel spending.

1 D$ = 1 US$

Members will receive D$ based on how much they spend in GHA Discovery hotels (excluding taxes and fees) and their membership tier:

  • Silver: 4% (expire in 6 months)
  • Gold: 5% (expire in 18 months)
  • Platinum: 6% (expire in 24 months)
  • Titanium: 7% (expire in 24 months)

What’s great here is members will receive D$ based on net spending (including taxes and fees), unlike with most other hotel loyalty programs.

Here’s what’s disappointing: D$ cannot be extended with activity.

Discovery Dollars can be redeemed for eligible hotel spendings, including room charges and Experiences. Interestingly, I do not see Local Offers listed as an eligible transaction.


Share status

Upon qualification, Titanium members can share Titanium status with another member. The gifted member will get to enjoy the status till the end of the following year after the status is shared.

For example: If the Titanium status is gifted in Sep 2022, the gifted member will get to enjoy it till 31 Dec 2023.

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Cheapest way to get Titanium status

As shown above, it is incredibly easy to achieve the top-tier Titanium status as members are only required to stay in 3 Discovery hotel brands.

Naturally, your travel-hacking mind should think about the most cost-efficient way to achieve this.

Receive instant free status through a credit card

The easiest way to get a Platinum or Titanium status is through a Mastercard World or World Elite credit card.

Cheapest hotels in the region

As of today, these are the cheapest GHA Discovery hotels in the region in February 2022:


  • Avani Khon Kaen: US$36
  • Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok: US$47
  • Avani Atrium Bangkok: US$54
  • Avani Ao Nang Krabi: US$67
  • Avani+ Riverside Bangkok: US$96
  • Anantara Riverside Bangkok: US$107
  • The Sukhothai Bangkok: US$218


  • PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur: US$46
  • PARKROYAL Penang: US$81
  • Avani Sepang: US$96
  • Anantaru Desaru: US$191


  • The Residence Bintan: US$120
  • Avani Seminyak: US$120


  • Avani Hai Phong: US$56
  • PARKROYAL Saigon: US$81
  • Pan Pacific Hanoi: US$83


  • Pan Pacific Beach Road: US$186


  • PARKROYAL Yangon: US$71
  • PARKROYAL Nay Pyi Taw: US$73
  • Pan Pacific Yangon: US$105

Additional note: Avani and Avani+ are counted as the same hotel brand. Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL and PARKROYAL COLLECTION are seen as different brands.

GHA Discovery hotel brands

What’s happening to existing Local Experience Awards?

Quick recap: What was Local Experience Awards?

While members in other loyalty programs receive points for their stays, GHA Discovery used to award Platinum and Black members with 1 Local Experience Award (LE) upon re-qualification every year.

These members will also get an LE after spending a night at a new hotel brand every year (there are 35 brands around the world!) LEs could be redeemed for free meals in restaurants, spa experience or even epic experiences like helicopter rides over Dubai and Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides in the mountains of Switzerland.

No more Local Experience Awards

Unfortunately, the new loyalty program will no longer give out free LEs. This is a huge travel-hacking devaluation as previously, members could receive it even for stays in cheap hotels like my US$26 stay at Avani Seminyak Bali.

What will happen to existing Local Experience Awards?

Members with existing LEs will see it converted to Discovery Dollars (D$) as follows:

  • Platinum LEs: D$100 each
  • Black LEs: D$200 each

To me, this is a generous conversion! I currently have 4 unused Black LEs from my stays in GHA Discovery hotels in Bali this year and have D$800 in my account right now.


Is this a devaluation?

If you are a loyal GHA DIscovery Black member who stays 30+ nights per year, yes, this is a devaluation as you will be receiving fewer benefits. On top of that, because of how easy it is to get Titanium status, there will be many more guests competing for upgrade space during your stays.

It is also disappointing that there isn’t a higher status, with more guaranteed benefits like breakfast and club lounge access.

If you do not normally stay in hotels for at least 50 nights a year to get a worthy hotel loyalty status, this new loyalty program can be good for you.

What this change means to me

I received my Black status for free as a Mastercard World Elite cardholder in 2019. Even with the old benefits, I never considered GHA Discovery as a primary loyalty program for 2 main reasons:

  1. Only ~570 properties worldwide
  2. No guaranteed benefits like breakfast and club lounge access, unlike other programs

While I appreciated the generous conversion of 4 of my Black LEs to a total of US$800 worth of credit, this is a devaluation for me as I loved the Local Experience benefit most.

My GHA Discovery stats for 2022
My remaining Local Experience Awards

Bottom line

Hotel loyalty benefits are best when they are guaranteed, like complimentary breakfast and club lounge access with other loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt.

Unfortunately, with GHA Discovery’s Titanium status, the room upgrade, early check-in and late-check-out benefits are subject to availability.

When a loyalty program becomes overly generous and easily gives out top-tier elite status like what Hilton Honors is doing with their credit card in the USA, you simply cannot expect to receive the advertised non-guaranteed benefits, especially during peak travel/holiday periods.

I don’t recommend going out of your way to achieve this status. When everyone is Titanium, nobody is Titanium.

9 thoughts on “It’s Live!: GHA Discovery’s all new loyalty program”

  1. Just stumbled across this because I was looking at local experiences a couple years back as a perk for Black Member.
    With all the changes to Black tier, how is this compared to booking through FHR if we are staying at a FHR property. The benefits seems exactly the same to booking through FHR. Unless booking direct with member discount is really that much of a difference?

    • You’re right, and FHR usually includes breakfast. Booking direct may give you more value with a deal like this:

  2. Stumbled upon your site today and have been hooked on reading reviews and tips. Great work and one of the most thorough reviewers around so thank you for your wonderful insight.
    Question Re: GHA Discovery upgrades, does it have to be booked through the hotel direct/GHA site or could it be via any other websites (, expedia etc) and we can still avail the double upgrades, early check-ins, late checkouts (for titanium) ?
    Hope that makes sense I’ve made sense.

    • Hi AJ, appreciate your readership! I’ve heard that some properties (like Apurva Kempinski Bali) offer GHA member benefits for third-party bookings but I do not have any experience on it.

      I recommend asking the hotel directly via email, before making the booking. All the best!

  3. The easiest way to gain titanium by =
    only required to stay in 3 Discovery hotel brands.

    But at gha apps =
    1. after staying 30 Nights,
    2. spending USD 15,000 or staying at 3 Brands

    Maybe you need to correct the information šŸ˜„

  4. HI, I totally agree with your opinion. It is definitely a devaluation as a Black level member. I am moving away from Discovery programme. Thanks.


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