The G8 screening tool was developed to separate fit older cancer patients who were able to receive standard treatment from those that should undergo a geriatric assessment to guide tailoring of therapy. We set out to determine the discriminative power and prognostic value of the G8 in older patients with a haematological malignancy. Between September 2009 and May 2013, a multi-dimensional geriatric assessment was performed in consecutive patients aged ≥67 years diagnosed with blood cancer at the Innsbruck University Hospital. The assessment included (instrumental) activities of daily living, cognition, mood, nutritional status, mobility, polypharmacy and social support. In parallel, the G8 was also administered (cut-off ≤ 14). Using a cut-off of ≥2 impaired domains, 70 % of the 108 included patients were considered as having an impaired geriatric assessment while 61 % had an impaired G8. The G8 lacked discriminative power for impairments on full geriatric assessment: sensitivity 69, specificity 79, positive predictive value 89 and negative predictive value 50 %. However, G8 was an independent predictor of mortality within the first year after inclusion (hazard ratio 3.93; 95 % confidence interval 1.67–9.22, p < 0.001). Remarkably, patients with impaired G8 fared poorly, irrespective of treatment choices (p < 0.001). This is the first report on the clinical and prognostic relevance of G8 in elderly patients with haematological malignancies. Although the G8 lacked discriminative power for outcome of multi-dimensional geriatric assessment, this score appears to be a powerful prognosticator and could potentially represent a useful tool in treatment decisions. This novel finding certainly deserves further exploration.