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If you book a lot of paid hotel stays, you can save hundreds of dollars each year with the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts program.
This benefit is available for folks with AMEX Platinum cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. When you book through Fine Hotels and Resorts, you’ll get perks like guaranteed 4:00 pm late checkout, room upgrades, or free nights. That can add up to a lot of Big Travel with Small Money!
Here’s how to use Fine Hotels and Resorts. And how much you might save!
American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
Apply Here: The Platinum Card® from American Express
To access the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you’ll need to have an eligible AMEX Platinum Card like the AMEX Platinum Card or AMEX Business Platinum. You can book rooms at over 1,000 hotels that participate in the program to get perks like:
- 12:00 pm check-in, when available
- Guaranteed 4:00 pm late checkout
- Room upgrades when available
- Free daily breakfast for 2
- Free in-room Wi-Fi when available
- A benefit unique to your hotel, like a $100 dining credit, free meal, or spa service
- 3rd or 4th night free at certain hotels
We’ve written about the benefits you get when you open one of these cards, including:
- Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc)
- Access to airport lounges like American Express Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Delta (when you have a same-day Delta boarding pass), and more
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Free Hilton Gold elite status and Starwood Gold elite status
- Terms & Limitations Apply
The $450 or $550 annual fee sounds like a lot. But with the up to $200 airline incidental statement credit, you are effectively paying $250 or $350 (annual fee – $200 statement credit). And you can easily cover that if you make the most of the other benefits!
Note: To get the $200 credit you must enroll and select an airline online OR call the number on the back of your card.
How Much Can You Save With Fine Hotels and Resorts?
Some of the perks, like the $100 meal credit or a free 3rd or 4th night, have a defined value.
But other perks, like room upgrades or early check-in, are harder to assign a dollar value to.
You must use an AMEX Platinum card to book your stay through American Express Travel. But you can use any American Express card to pay when you actually check-out.
To test out the program, I ran the numbers on a 4-night stay at the Loews Regency Hotel New York. This hotel has a promotion to get the 4th night free on a paid stay.
I made sure my test booking was eligible for the 4th night free promotion. I also checked to see if I was getting a fair room rate with Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Looking on the hotel’s website, the same 4-night stay costs $659 per night. Which means you’re getting the same price per night on both websites. Except AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts is giving you 1 free night ($659 per night X 3 night charge through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts = $1,977 total / 4 nights)!
After you make sure you’re getting a good deal, review the perks you’ll earn!
At this hotel, you’ll get a free $100 food and beverage credit on top of the other perks AND the 4th night free when you book through Fine Hotels & Resorts!
OK, So What Are the Savings?
Again, it’s not easy to put a value on some of the perks. But here’s a rough estimate of what you’ll save:
- $659 with the 4th night free
- $240 on breakfast (assuming breakfast is $30 for 2 people for 4 days is $30 X 2 X 4 = $240)
- $100 towards lunch or dinner
- $100 for early check-in and guaranteed late checkout
- $400 for an upgraded room (assuming $100 extra per night for an upgrade 1 room category)
That adds up to ~$1,500 in savings!
Of course, you might not get a room upgrade, because they’re based on available rooms. And you may value early check-in and late checkout differently. Or have to skip breakfast one day because of your schedule.
Or, you might get an amazing room upgrade worth much more than $100 per night. Keep in mind this is just one example, and there’s no way to put an exact dollar amount on all the perks.
And, the hotel’s unique benefit will vary based on which hotel you select. Hotels range widely in price, so some are better deals than others.
But, if you plan on booking a paid stay anyway, it’s worth it to get extra benefits by booking through AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts.
Keep These in Mind When Booking AMEX Fine Hotels!
1. 4th Night Free Does NOT Include Taxes & Fees
An important thing to note is that the 4th night free is credited when you check out of the hotel. And taxes are NOT included in the estimated price. So you won’t get a full 25% off your 4-night stay.
And keep in mind, some hotels may have resort fees, especially if they’re in touristy beach areas like Hawaii. So always check for taxes and fees so you know what to expect when you check out.
2. You’ll Still Earn Elite Status Perks
When you book through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, you’ll earn elite status stay credit, and any perks you receive from having elite status.
So having elite status means you’ll earn bonus points if you book a room at Hilton or Starwood / Marriott hotels through Fine Hotels and Resorts!
When you have an AMEX Platinum Card (personal or small business) you get access to the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts program. There, you’ll receive perks like room upgrades when available, guaranteed 4:00 pm late checkout, and a benefit unique to each hotel, like a $100 food and beverage credit, or a free airport transfer!
It’s usually worth it to book through AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts if you plan on purchasing a paid hotel stay because of all the extras you’ll receive. You can save $1,000+ at certain hotels when you add it all up!
Of course, compare rates with the hotel’s website to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
And 1 major plus is you’ll still earn elite status credit and bonus points on your bookings! That’s especially useful at Hilton or Starwood / Marriott hotels because you’ll get Hilton Gold elite status and Starwood Gold elite status when you have an AMEX Platinum Card.
This is an excellent benefit that can easily cover the card’s annual fee if you book a lot of paid hotel stays. And if you make the most of the other perks of the AMEX Platinum Cards, you can come out way ahead.
Let me know if you’ve had an experience with Fine Hotels and Resorts!