Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts is a great choice for one night stays

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

If you have an American Express Platinum card then you should know about the Fine Hotels & Resorts hotel booking programme.  This is a grouping of 5-star hotels which offers special benefits to Platinum cardholders when they book via American Express Travel.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I place £0 value on hotel benefits if they do not have the word ‘guaranteed’ in front of them.  Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings use the word ‘guaranteed’ a lot which I like.

Is American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts any good?

The point of this article is to show how you can use the use the guaranteed 4pm check-out to your advantage and how the $100 hotel credit is maximised on a one-night stay.

The same principles apply whenever your trip involves a late night arrival and / or a late night or early morning flight out.

Here’s an example of Fine Hotels & Resorts in action

A good example of when Fine Hotels & Resorts can really pay off was on a short HfP trip to Dubai a couple of years ago.

I was arriving very late at night (my flight arrived at 9.30pm on a Tuesday) and leaving very early (7.45am on Friday).  This meant I was looking at three nights in an expensive hotel – as I wanted to be on a beach – for only two full days on the ground.

This is where two Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits kicked in:

  • noon check-in if available
  • 4pm guaranteed late check-out

I booked myself into a cheap Hyatt Place hotel for the Tuesday night.  I arrived very late, woke up at 10am and was gone an hour later.

I headed down to the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, booked via American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts.

I had only booked for one night.

Waldorf Astoria Dubai

I had booked a standard room to maximise the chance of it being available on arrival around noon (remember I had a ‘noon check-in’ benefit).  It was.

My check-out was guaranteed for 4pm the next day.  I left at 4pm, heading to a budget hotel near the airport, went to bed and woke at 5am the next morning for my return flight.

I had got a 28 hour stay at the Waldorf Astoria for the cost of just one night.  This compares to 21 hours for a standard one-day stay, checking in at 3pm and leaving at noon.  I didn’t lose much by downgrading to the Hyatt Place because the only time I spent there was asleep.

Let’s turn to cash

Sometimes Fine Hotels & Resorts rates are a little more expensive than the Best Flexible Rate offered by the hotel.  Surprisingly this one was cheaper, in fact it was cheaper than any other rate the Waldorf Astoria was offering.

The FHR package comes with:

  • Free breakfast for two
  • $100 hotel credit

The $100 hotel credit is key.  This is per stay, not per night.  You are maximising the value when you only stay for one night.  Given that breakfast was also free, I covered my entire food bill for the stay – two one-course lunches, one one-course dinner – with the $100.

I turned what would have been a 3pm check-in / noon check-out stay into a noon check-in / 4pm check-out stay and got free breakfast and a $100 food, beverage or spa credit too.

(If we are being fussy, you can argue that – as a Hilton Diamond – I should have been able to negotiate a slightly later check-out had I booked a normal rate.  This is true but it would not have been guaranteed and may not have been until 4pm.  Note that Fine Hotels & Resorts rates earn loyalty points as usual.)

Waldorf Astoria Dubai

Because the 4pm check-out is GUARANTEED, Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings work particularly well if:

you have a late flight home or

you have a very early flight home and are happy to check-out at 4pm and transfer to an airport hotel for the last night, or

you want a weekend break (check-in at noon on Saturday, leave at 4pm on Sunday) whilst just paying for one night

Either way, you can get good value.  I got three hotel nights at peak season in Dubai for under £500 (and offset by the $100 food credit and free breakfast at the Waldorf).  I still managed to spend almost all my daylight hours in a five-star beach resort selling for over £300 per night.

The key issue is the Fine Hotels & Resorts price you are quoted, which can be more than the standard Best Flexible Rate (wasn’t in my case) or higher than any highly discounted Advanced Purchase rates on offer.

Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings can be made online via the Amex Travel website, although you need to be logged in with your American Express Platinum details for the pricing to show.

Book a couple of Fine Hotels & Resorts stays each year and it helps to justify the annual fee for The Platinum Card.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (28)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • John doe says:

    Diamonds get free breakfast too.

  • Andrew says:

    As your report shows – it’s also better if you’re travelling solo as the $100 is per room per stay, so a single person gets $100 whereas a couple would only get $50 each.

  • Luckyjim says:

    Three hotels on a two day trip? Checking in and out three times? No thanks.

    • planeconorde says:

      What a ridiculous itinerary just to prove a point. Need to take off the cost of extra transfers between multiple hotels and time wasted with multiple check-in, check-out, unpack and pack.

      • Rob says:

        Why would I unpack when I arrive at midnight, jump in bed and leave within an hour of waking?!

        No extra transfer time – you drive past the Hyatt on the way to the Waldorf – and I got to bed 40 minutes earlier.

        And I end up £400 better off whilst still literally spending all my daylight hours on the beach.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          All true if there was no other alternative to the WA that was

          1) closer to the airport
          2) had a good beach
          3) was cheaper over 3 nights than your 3 hotels

          Quite a few of those exist (if not on FHR)

          Perhaps the case study could’ve been better. a one night UK stay checking in at 12 noon and out at 4pm with breakfast and £80 credit can be a nice break.

    • SammyJ says:

      Must say I agree even tho I’m usually happy for a bit of faff if it makes a good saving. I’d rather forget about affiliations or status, find the best deal on a decent hotel for 3 nights, get there, unpack and relax!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Have to agree. Too much faff for me. Especially heading to the palm for those 28 hours!

  • Mike Lo says:

    Wait I must have not gotten the memo….so you can still earn loyalty points for your respective chain i.e. accor etc, when booking through fine hotels?

    • TGLoyalty says:


    • Rob says:

      Yes. But ONLY FHR – not standard Amex Travel bookings.

      Same with bookings made via Emyr.

      • Mike Lo says:

        Thanks..and how about The Hotel Collection? Do you not earn loyalty points for those bookings?

        • Rob says:

          I believe you are OK with Hotel Collection too, yes. Never used it personally (hence our lack of coverage, to be honest) but I understand it works the same way.

  • John says:

    I hate that remark “I place £0 value on hotel benefits if they do not have the word ‘guaranteed’ in front of them.”

    Because it’s so irrational. If your risk aversion is infinite, then yes, you would correctly place GBP 0 value on a benefit that is only provided with some probability greater zero.

    However, I cannot believe you are actually infinitely risk averse. Would you really refuse to partake in a lottery costing GBP 100 which pays you a million pounds with probability 99.99999% and zero otherwise?

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Head for Pedants 😀

    • Allan says:

      Alas each hotel benefit is binary and therefore your lottery example is irrelevant.

      • John says:

        Different John here, but the example lottery in the other John’s post also has a binary outcome.

    • John says:

      Whoever is running that lottery must be very wealthy, since an entirely rational person should pay GBP 999999.90 to enter.

      A realistically rational person would estimate the probability of getting the benefit from past experience and value it at P(benefit given)×personal valuation of benefit, if it is a “nice to have”.

      In practice, all the benefits are obtainable by paying, so if it is absolutely required then the value is P(benefit given)×personal valuation + [1-P(benefit given)]×actual cost plus something complicated regarding the next best alternative.

  • Andrew says:

    The Berkeley is on FHR and can be combined with the Amex £100 back offer for a luxury staycation.

  • DV says:

    I assume “stays” is a typo, and the heading should read “one night stands”?

  • Sarah says:

    Also although the upgrade isn’t guaranteed I’ve had 2 or 3 category upgrades at London hotels into rooms than cost over £1k a night.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.