Your complete guide to the GHA Discovery hotel loyalty program

GHA Discovery has had a makeover – and you now can achieve top tier status in only three nights.

By Chris Ashton, March 24 2022
Your complete guide to the GHA Discovery hotel loyalty program

Being a member of a hotel loyalty program is a bit like a long-term relationship. Over time you grow and learn how to bring out the best in each other. Then, when something big changes, it can turn your world upside down.

That’s likely how members of the long-running GHA Discovery program reacted after its recent overhaul. Now the dust has settled, was it a change for the better?

Yes and no... it’s complicated. But let’s hold that thought and cover a few basics first. 

What is GHA Discovery?

For the uninitiated, GHA Discovery is the abbreviated name for Global Hotel Alliance Discovery – a program which combines 35 independent hotel brands in 85+ countries under one roof.

Among its stable of 500+ hotels you’ll find big-name luxury brands including Anantara, Parkroyal, Elewana, Avani and Kempinski.

Though primarily in locations throughout Southeast Asia, there are plenty of Australian options too, including the ever-reliable Oaks Hotels (60+ properties in metro and regional areas) and five-star Pan Pacific Hotels.

The Pan-Pacific Melbourne is one of many local properties in the GHA Discovery family.
The Pan-Pacific Melbourne is one of many local properties in the GHA Discovery family.

GHA Discovery tiers

GHA Discovery has four status tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum and the brilliantly-named Titanium.

Tiers are progressed in three ways: by the number of room nights stayed, the dollar value spent, or by staying at more than one brand. See below for details on how to increase your status.

Plus, for every dollar spent at the hotel or resort, members earn ‘Discovery Dollars’. The exact earning rate depends on your tier status and ranges from 4-7%. Members also enjoy access to Local Offers, such as discounted dining and spa treatments, which do not require a stay.

Pan Pacific Discovery tiers span from Silver to Titanium.
Pan Pacific Discovery tiers span from Silver to Titanium.

Silver Status is where every new GHA Discovery member begins their journey up the loyalty ladder. After that, the qualifications needed to achieve Gold, Platinum and Titanium are:

  • GHA Discovery Gold: stay 2 nights or spend at least USD$1,000
  • GHA Discovery Platinum: stay 10 nights, spend at least USD$5,000, or stay at two GHA brands
  • GHA Discovery Titanium: stay 30 nights, spend at least USD$15,000, or stay at three GHA brands

If you compare it to Hilton Honors and Accor All Live Limitless purely on total nights, you can achieve the equivalent fourth tier in 30 nights, compared to 42 at Hilton and 60 at Accor.

But, see that last point on Platinum and Titanium? That's your fast-track to top status right there!

You can achieve Titanium in only three nights, so long as each night is with a different brand. In Australia, your options are Parkroyal, Pan Pacific, Oaks Hotels and Avani. 

So what’s changed?

The recent “reimagining” of the program introduced the fourth tier, faster tier progression, and a new way of earning and redeeming points, or Discovery Dollars as they’re now known.

Sadly, Discovery Dollars do expire, with the time you have to spend them dictated by your tier status.

Instead of allowing members to stockpile them for a rainy day, Silver members have just six months until dollars expire, with 18 for Gold and Platinum, and 24 months for Titanium.

Until December 2021, Discovery also had a sister agreement with Priority Guest Rewards, which covered four brands found in locations right around Australia: Rydges, QT Hotels, Atura and the Independent Collection. It was a great way for Aussie travellers to enjoy the benefits of both programs, with room nights stayed through one program recognised by the other.

That also resulted in faster tier progression, with stays at some of the more affordable brands across both programs, like Rydges Hotels or Oaks Hotels, meaning you could reach the higher tiers and enjoy benefits for a much lower financial outlay.

Local Experiences are gone too. These high-value awards – which included helicopter rides over Sydney, a full day Swan Valley wine tour, or $200 credit for the hotel restaurant – were earned once in a calendar year when you jumped to the next tier or retained your existing one.

Many of these experiences still remain in some capacity, though they’re now available by spending Discovery Dollars, or at a discounted member rate.

With Priority Guest Rewards no longer a package deal with GHA Discovery, it means there are less domestic options for Australian travellers. However, the breadth of properties in Southeast Asia and the few we do have locally are still high quality, particularly in our major cities.

Singapore's unique and eco-friendly Parkroyal Collection Pickering.
Singapore's unique and eco-friendly Parkroyal Collection Pickering.

Why did GHA Discovery change?

There are a few potential reasons, but the biggest is likely a broader movement towards instant gratification rewards, something that Shangri-La Circle (formerly known as Shangri-La Golden Circle) also introduced in its most recent program update. World of Hyatt is more instant too.

GHA says studies revealed “travellers are asking to be rewarded instantly and fairly, not just for room nights but also for spending during the hospitality experience.” In other words, travellers want tangible benefits from day one, not just having to amass 15 room nights.

The new benefits of GHA Discovery in 2022

For every dollar spent in the program, you’ll earn Discovery Dollars, which can be used to purchase members-only benefits such as cultural tours, spa discounts and dining deals.

The new benefits of GHA Discovery Silver include:

  • Member Rates: Save 10% or more when you book direct
  • Earn 4% Discovery Dollars on your total hotel spend
  • Access member-only discounts and packages
  • Enjoy complimentary Wifi access

The new benefits of GHA Discovery Gold include:

  • Member Rates: Save 10% or more when you book direct
  • Earn 5% Discovery Dollars on your total hotel spend
  • Access member-only discounts and packages
  • Enjoy complimentary Wifi access

The new benefits of GHA Discovery Platinum include:

  • Member Rates: Save 10% or more when you book direct
  • Earn 6% Discovery Dollars on your total hotel spend
  • Receive an enhanced room upgrade where available
  • Stay longer with late check-out until 3pm
  • Receive a “locale-inspired” welcome amenity on arrival
  • Access member-only discounts and packages
  • Enjoy complimentary Wifi access

The new benefits of GHA Discovery Titanium include:

  • Member Rates: Save 10% or more when you book direct
  • Earn 7% Discovery Dollars on your total hotel spend
  • Receive a double room upgrade where available
  • Arrive early with early check-in from 11am
  • Stay longer with late check-out until 4pm
  • Receive a “locale-inspired” welcome amenity on arrival
  • Gift status benefits to family and friends
  • Access member-only discounts and packages
  • Enjoy complimentary Wifi access

How to spend Discovery Dollars

Discovery Dollars can be spent however you like on rooms, dining, spa, golf and experiences. At check-out, simply put Discovery Dollars towards your bill. It doesn't matter what membership tier you are either, the ways to spend the dollars are the same. 

Introducing GHA Discovery Local Offers

Sometimes you want a little indulgence, but don’t have time to stay at a hotel overnight.

With that in mind, GHA Discovery has introduced Local Offers. Available across five categories – dining, spa, remote working, and golf and fitness amenities – they allow members to enjoy perks such as discounted dining and drinks or spa treatments, without a hotel stay.

An easy-to-use tool on the GHA website allows you to search through the available offers in the destination and date period you’re after, with the offers either free or at a discounted rate.

Is GHA Discovery worthwhile ?

Definitely. And with the ability to reach Titanium status in just three nights – unlocking double room upgrades, early check in and late check out, and the ability to gift status to family - it represents incredible value. 

Although somewhat limited in Australia, the variety properties available through the program, particularly in Southeast Asia, is exceptional.

You could enjoy a stay at the green-clad Parkroyal Collection Pickering in Singapore, sip cocktails overlooking the Andaman Sea at Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort, or live the Maldives dream with an escape to Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, to name a few.

For business, there’s also an array of hotels in cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Hanoi and Sydney.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Dec 2011

Total posts 14

I would say that the biggest win that you've glossed over here is the ability to snag Titanium status by staying just three nights - providing each night is at a different brand.

Shouldn't be too difficult for most to do. For example, a stay at an Oaks property and an Avani hotel are classed as two separate brands, even though they are both under Minor Hotels.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2018

Total posts 42

So I have $100USD worth of Discovery dollars, but have no idea how to use them or where I can use them. Do you just give them your digital card and it comes off your bill?  And which hotels qualify and which don't? Can you just use the restaurant and get it taken off your bill as it does with the Golden Circle card?  I hate it when one makes assumptions only to be told that "Oh, you can't use that here"


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Your complete guide to the GHA Discovery hotel loyalty program