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How to Get Big Travel With Small Money Using the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts Program

How to Get Big Travel With Small Money Using the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts Program

Million Mile SecretsHow to Get Big Travel With Small Money Using the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts ProgramMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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 The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.  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!

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
When You Book the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, You’ll Get a Complimentary 50-Minute Massage for 2 People per Room, Once During Your Stay

Here’s how to use Fine Hotels and Resorts.  And how much you might save!

American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Link:   AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts Program

To access the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you’ll need to have an eligible AMEX Platinum Card.  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
AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
The AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts Program Is Your Ticket to Big Savings at 1,000+ Hotels All Over the World!

The AMEX Platinum Card has a $550 annual fee, and AMEX Platinum small business card has a $450 annual fee.  Both are NOT waived the first year.

We’ve written about the benefits you get when you open one of these cards, including:

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
You’ll Also Get Lounge Access With the AMEX Platinum Cards, Including AMEX Centurion Lounges

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.

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
Get a Free 3rd or 4th Night Free at Hotels in Places Like Australia, Puerto Rico, the Maldives, and New Orleans

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.

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
Room Rates on the Fine Hotels & Resorts Website Were $494 per Night at the Loews Regency Hotel New York

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)!

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
Compare the Rate With the Hotel’s Website

After you make sure you’re getting a good deal, review the perks you’ll earn!

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
All These Perks Are Icing on the Cake!

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 estimation 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)
AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
Breakfast at the Loews Regency Hotel New York AIN’T CHEAP. A Simple Continental Breakfast Costs $29 per Person

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 1 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 1 example, and there’s no way to put an exact dollar amount on all the perks.

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
Here’s a Hotel in Phoenix That Costs ~$194 per Night, With a $100 Food and Beverage Credit!

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.

If you book a stay or 2 each year, your savings can more than cover the annual fee on the AMEX Platinum or AMEX Business Platinum card!

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.

Remember, you’ll get Hilton Gold elite status and Starwood Gold elite status when you have an AMEX Platinum Card.  And you can match your Starwood Gold elite status to Marriott and earn Marriott Gold status.

AMEX Fine Hotels And Resorts
Starwood Gold Elite Members Can Get an Enhanced Room at Check-In, Like an Ocean View or Higher Floor

So having elite status means you’ll earn bonus points if you book a room at Hilton or Starwood, or Marriott hotels through Fine Hotels and Resorts!

Bottom Line

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 hotels because you’ll get Hilton Gold elite status and Starwood Gold elite status when you have an AMEX Platinum Card.  And you can match your Starwood Gold elite status to Marriott and earn Marriott Gold status.

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!

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The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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If I hold my reservation with the Platinum, can I use a non-AMEX card, say a Sapphire Reserve, to actually pay for the stay once I’m already on site?

Will the new SPG Amex Luxury card give me access to the Amex FHR program? Thanks!

hello. does booking through fine hotels and resorts also qualify for 5x points? its booking through amex travel but just want to be sure. if so, then you are effectively getting an even better value than booking directly through the hotel website.

Unfortunately, you won’t earn 5X AMEX points on AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings. 🙁