Guide: American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts Platinum Benefit
Access to the The Fine Hotels & Resorts is one of the many incredible Benefits of the American Express Platinum Card. (Click here: Platinum Benefit’s Guide.) The FHR program is a collection of luxury hotels around the world that give you awesome perks when booking a stay through Amex Travel. Access to FHR is one of the many travel benefits available to American Express Platinum Card and Centurion Card members.
Update 7/6/21: With the new Amex Platinum FHR credit I figured it was worth reposting this guide for anyone that has never used Amex FHR before.
Related: Check out this post to learn how to see if you’re targeted for the 50k and 100k Membership Rewards welcome offers.
In the coming weeks, we have a few guides coming out that will be easier to understand if you are familiar with this program. Here’s a list of recent Guides that may interest you:
- American Express Membership Rewards Points Guide
- Guide: American Express Business Platinum 35% Point Rebate Airline Bonus
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Guide: Earning, Redeeming and Sapphire, Freedom & Ink
In addition to competitive rates, booking made through Fine Hotels & Resorts receive the following benefits:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily breakfast for two people
- Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
- Noon check-in, when available
- Complimentary In-Room Wi-Fi
- Unique amenity valued at US$100, such as a spa or food and beverage credit
There are a few key details about the benefits to know. Noon check-in and room upgrade are based on availability and are provided at check-in, so there is no guarantee on these. Also, the breakfast amenity varies by property, but will be, at a minimum, a continental breakfast. In the case where a property includes cost of Wi-Fi in a mandatory resort fee, the Card Member will receive a daily credit from the property in the standard amount that the property charges for Wi-Fi.
Guide: Using & Maximizing American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts in Las Vegas
How to Book
After logging in to your American Express online account, click on the book travel section or just click here. FINE HOTELS & RESORTS bookings can be made through Platinum Travel Service, Business Platinum Travel Service, Centurion Travel Service or any American Express Travel office or the Agency Services Desk. One of my absolute favorite features of booking through the Amex website is the ability to do everything online including cancellations. Many sites will allow you to book online but you must call to cancel.
I prefer to search hotels using the general search feature because you can see FHR Hotels in addition to Hotel Collection and any others that may earn 5x or have special deals through Amex. (See pics below for an example.)
- Payment must be made in full with an American Express Card in the Platinum Card Member’s or Centurion Member’s name.
- Card Member must travel on itinerary booked to be eligible for benefits described.
- Back-to-back stays within a 24-hour period at the same property considered one stay.
More Ways to Save
Use FHR in conjunction with promotions and stack with other offers to get maximum value. Stacking Opportunities Include:
- Loyalty programs
- Partner earnings
- Credit card earnings
- Discounts such as Amex offer or 4th Night free
FHR Special Offers
A really cool perk of the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program is that they offer ongoing limited time offers for specific hotels that are included in the program. The special offers vary but often include free third or fourth nights of your stay or an additional resort credit. This can increase the value of your booking tremendously.
We’re very big fans of Amex offers here at Miles to memories because they enable you save money on normal spend without having to jump through any extra hoops. If you happen to find a hotel in FHR that has a special offer in addition to an applicable Amex Offer, you’re in luck. Let’s take a look at a current example.
Right now, there is a special offer for the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach. If you stay a two nights, you will receive an additional $100 property credit on top of the standard FHR benefits. There also happens to be an applicable Amex Offer that gives you a $35 statement credit if you spend $300 on an Hilton Portfolio Hotel in the US. So if you book the two nights at the rate of $267, you will receive the $35 Credit, 2 $100 Property credits, and the free breakfast credits of $60 per day. Basically on a $600 booking you’re getting back about $355 of quantifiable value. But wait, there’s more.
Related: Huge Targeted Amex Platinum 100K Offer Returns: How to Check If You’re Eligible!
Loyalty Program Points and Stay Credit
In addition to all of these incredible benefits and potential savings booking through FHR does not preclude you from getting elite night and spend credit if you are a member of the hotel’s loyalty program. You should get the same credit you would if you had booked direct. During this period Hilton is also running a promotion where you would get double points on every stay. So as a Hilton Honors Gold member you would get $18 Points per dollar spent and an extra 10 points per dollar if you registered for the promotion. (Note: Platinum card offers members Hilton Gold status and that gives you an 80% point bonus earned on base points.) Since the room would cost you about $600, that’s roughly 16,000 Hilton Honors points.
Once your reservation is set, you have to call your hotel and ask that they add your loyalty number to your stay. I’ve never had a problem with this.
American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts gives us the ability to be treated like valuable elite members without any of the loyalty requirements. One key item to consider is that they may or may not have the best rates compared to other websites or booking direct. Thus, you’ll want to compare rates and decide for yourself how much value you get out of the FHR benefits. We noticed that the FHR rates for the same dates changed frequently, both up and down. It may benefit you to check back frequently to see if the rates adjust down, in which case you can cancel and re-book at the lower rate.
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At the places I was looking, the Fine Hotel rates were 3-4 times the going rate what the hotel itself was asking for, and there weren’t any additional benefits. Right now Cairo, Istanbul and Bangkok are super cheap-and everything on Fine Hotels was really overpriced. They certainly didn’t have any buy 3 nights, get one free deals, either! So the new added benefit on the Platinum card is not enough to convince me not to cancel.
FHR in my opinion is perfect for Vegas, MGM or Wynn/Encore mostly where you can bill your room from all purchasesade at any restaurant, bar within that chain. Even stores at times…
Agreed. Especially when you’re going with someone and you both have an AMEX offer for mgm or Wynn
Great summary, Bethany. One question: for what chains does the “Loyalty Program Points and Stay Credit” work? “Once your reservation is set, you have to call your hotel and ask that they add your loyalty number to your stay. I’ve never had a problem with this.”
I’ve used it at Marriott, SPG, Hyatt but it’s generally accepted that it works with all of the chains. I can’t say 100% but I’ve never heard of anyone having an issue.
I think using property credits to quantify the discount is a bit misleading.
Taking your florida hotel example – you spent $600 (plus the $70 resort fee) for two nights.
Now you counted breakfast credits – but aren’t you Hilton Gold/Diamond by having the amex card (which already gives free breakfast)?
And then you count $100 property credits – when people go to a different city, its not to spend all day in one fancy building – wouldn’t you want to eat out in town or something? Can those credits even be used at the hotel overpriced restaurant where you’ll run a tab higher than $100 after tax and tip?
On hotelscombined and other OTA portals, I see 2 nights in fort lauderdate rarely exceeding $400 for two nights, so overall the value isn’t really there.
FHR forces you into higher cost hotels at higher rates – its better to price shop on other OTAs.
I mentioned that people should count the benefits toward the rate based on the value of said benefits to them. Personally, I find it extremely easy to use my $100 credit without sacrificing meals/drinks outside the hotel. I certainly do agree FHR is not for everyone, I believe these programs represent a good value for luxury travelers, budget travelers at times may be better off through OTA’s or the Hotel collection etc. But I’d still look because for example in Vegas, with some hotels you end up with a net positive result.