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60,000 BONUS POINTS: Why Fine Hotels & Resorts is one of the best Amex Platinum benefits

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American Express is currently running a ‘never seen before’ bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you take out The Platinum Card.

This would convert into 60,000 Avios or lots of other great travel rewards.

Our main article on the Platinum 60,000 points offer is here. Last week we looked at:

Today I want to look at why the Fine Hotels & Resorts booking scheme is one of the best American Express Platinum benefits.

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

Why Fine Hotels & Resorts is one of the best American Express Platinum benefits

One of the most useful benefits of having an American Express Platinum charge card – and one which genuinely helps me justify the £575 fee – is the Fine Hotels & Resorts programme.

How does American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts work?

FHR, as it is known, is a collection of 1,200 luxury hotels worldwide which commit to offering special benefits to American Express Platinum cardholders when you book via Amex Travel.

FHR bookings can be made online, so you don’t need to spend any unnecessary time on the phone.

How does American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts work?

These special benefits vary in their usefulness, to be honest, but do add up.  They are:

  • Noon check-in when available (I value this at nothing!  I want it guaranteed or it is useless.)
  • Room upgrade on arrival when available (can be very good but not guaranteed)
  • Free breakfast for two people (very valuable at expensive hotels)
  • GUARANTEED 4pm check-out (very valuable)
  • Free in-room wi-fi (valuable at the admittedly few luxury hotels which still like to charge)
  • An additional benefit worth $100, usually a $100 food and beverage credit per stay

You can check out the full list of participating hotels in FHR at this special Amex website. This website is a little confusing because it talks about 1,800 hotels. This includes 600 in ‘The Hotel Collection’ which is a different, less generous plan for both Platinum and Gold cardholders.

Why Fine Hotels & Resorts is one of the best American Express Platinum benefits

Where FHR really works for me is the guaranteed 4pm check-out.  If you are on a short break with an evening flight home, you really don’t want to be checking out of your hotel at noon.  Yes, the hotel will store your bag for you, but it isn’t the same as having full access to your room.

On our occasional trips to Four Seasons Hampshire, pictured above, using FHR allows us to stay one night less and save a significant sum.  With young kids in tow, you don’t get much done in the evenings anyway so leaving at 4pm the day before doesn’t make a lot of difference compared to leaving the next morning. When we just go for the weekend, getting a 4pm Sunday check-out is invaluable.

Another situation where FHR comes into its own is on one night staysThe value here can be amazing.  Let’s imagine you’re paying £175 for a standard room at a city hotel via FHR, as I do sometimes at Park Hyatt Hamburg.  You will get free breakfast AND $100 of food and beverage credit AND a guaranteed 4pm check-out AND a potential upgrade.  Your upgrade chances are improved on a one-night stay too as the hotel doesn’t need to have a better room available for multiple nights.  You can clearly see how you can get real value here.

One downside of Fine Hotels & Resorts is pricing.  It is not necessarily linked to the Best Available Rate, although it usually is. This means that you can often get surprises, both on the upside and the downside.  That said, on a short stay the $100 food and drink credit will offset any higher headline price and you still have the benefit of free breakfast, late check-out and potential upgrade.

UK Platinum members should book via travel.americanexpress.co.uk – make sure you are logged in or the FHR rates do not appear.

If you want to learn more about the 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card, our core article on the deal is here. You can apply here.

Comments (41)

  • Jay says:

    If booking a Hilton portfolio hotel, does it accrue points if booked through Amex or are they classed as a third party booker?

  • Roger Stewart says:

    If you book through FHR does that stay then count towards hotel status nights and collect hotel reward points like Hilton Honors? I know booking through most other booking sites doesn’t count towards that

    • MD says:

      Yes, that’s another great benefit of FHR. Unlike most other sites, if you book through Amex you DO receive status recognition. Full points and other benefits. Seems to stack with the other FHR perks, although I’m sure it will vary by property just how much they’re willing to give you. Has certainly worked for me with Marriott and Hilton properties.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you get points and status credit.

  • Gareth says:

    Amex travel website says you need to stay 2 nights to get the $100 credit? Article says you get it on a one night stay?

  • Rory says:

    I’ve found recently that the price gap between FHR and booking direct is fairly insane. Just last night I looked at the Langham London, and for a 3 night stay FHR was almost £1000 more than booking direct. Finding this more and more now. Unfortunately early check in and $100 aint worth that much.

    • KBuffett says:

      If you use Emyr, I think you can get the same rate as booking direct, with some/all of the benefits, although there are sometimes certain benefits only available by booking direct.

      • Harry T says:

        Usually Emyr can get you more benefits than you can receive booking directly.

    • Harry T says:

      You win some, you lose some. Sometimes FHR offers a better deal. And sometimes it doesn’t.

    • Talay says:

      And the $100 freebie is per stay, not per night. Worthless if staying 3 or 4 nights.

  • Blair says:

    In lieu of a standalone Amex app, I use this website rather than the booking engine to check suitable hotels (price unknown) in destinations before braving the temperamental booking system: https://www.americanexpress.com/en-gb/travel/discover/

    • Harry T says:

      Good idea! They really need to incorporate travel bookings properly into the app.

  • Ben says:

    Worth also pointing out that every now and again there are additional FHR offers not available elsewhere – couple of years ago I booked a third night free offer at the Conrad Singapore – ended up being a substantially cheaper rate than booking direct, plus all the benefits rob listed above

  • Linda W says:

    Just a quick comment in case others may have been a tad misled as I was. In the original article promoting this new offer, much was made about the improvements in the Amex travel insurance attitude to existing conditions, even citing the taking of medication for raised cholesterol as a prime example. On speaking to Amex, it is clear that any cardio vascular issues now or in the past are excluded, specifically excluding raised cholesterol. As the free travel insurance as a key part of jutifying the rather high fee for this card, I wanted to make sure no-one else thought this was a good idea only to be disappointed.

    • Rob says:

      Hi Linda. Your email is still in my inbox but, yes, having looked back at what I wrote this was a bad choice of example – sometimes we base new articles on old articles and things get in which shouldn’t be there. I will tidy this up. Rob

  • Aceman says:

    I have never, ever found the FHR rate to be good value. Not once.

    I did speak to them once, and mentioned this, and they mentioned that they can often match the non-fhr rate which often appears lower down on the list if you call them. Which makes it all a bit silly if not opportunistic really.

    Another major annoyance for me has been not being able to book same day, which can often be the day before if you’re travelling around USA/South America.

    Basically out of my last 50 odd hotel bookings I believe Amex has managed to get my business twice.

    • Rob says:

      Four Seasons Hampshire, 18-20 September (dates picked a random, the FHR hotel Emyr books the most he once told me):

      FHR – £700 per night for Mews Room, free breakfast, £85 hotel credit, guaranteed 4pm check-out, noon check-in if available, upgrade if available

      fourseasons.com – £700 per night for Mews Room, room only

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