American Express launched a new promotion this week for:
- Platinum charge card holders who book a hotel via Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders who book a hotel via The Hotel Collection
Amex is offering you a big points bonus for booking, but is there a snag?
Why we like Fine Hotels & Resorts
We are big fans of Fine Hotels & Resorts, and I personally use it a lot. This HfP article explains how Fine Hotels & Resorts works.
FHR, as it is known, is a collection of 600 luxury hotels worldwide which commit to offering special benefits to American Express Platinum cardholders when you book via Amex Travel.
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, especially on short breaks)
- Free in-room wi-fi (valuable, many luxury hotels still like to charge)
- An additional benefit worth $100, usually a $100 food and beverage credit per stay
The Hotel Collection is a similar scheme for Gold cardholders at upper midscale hotels (Platinum cardholders can also book it) although the benefits are not as impressive. You need to book a minimum of two nights to take advantage whilst Fine Hotels & Resorts has no minimum stay.
What has changed with FHR?
FHR bookings had one other feature – you always paid at the hotel.
A 2nd feature was you would always earn loyalty points and elite night credit if the hotel was part of a loyalty scheme.
The first point has now changed. We’re not sure about the second one.
Amex has launched a new promotion based on pre-paid FHR and The Hotel Collection rates. When you try to book a FHR hotel, this is what you now see:
American Express is offering 5 bonus Membership Rewards points with every PRE-PAID Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection booking.
This is on top of the standard 1 bonus point per £1 that Platinum cardholders receive for pre-paid Amex Travel bookings, and 2 bonus points per £1 that Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders receive.
The rules are:
- book between 18th May and 30th June at americanexpress.co.uk/travel
- stay by 31st December
- pre-paid rooms can be cancelled and refunded on request
Will you still earn hotel points on pre-paid bookings?
This is the question. It is possible that you will not earn hotel points and elite status nights if you pre-pay your room.
This is because American Express is taking your money, not the hotel directly, and in many cases this would disqualify you from hotel points.
We simply don’t know, at this stage, if this is the case. I am only flagging it up as a warning – if you need the hotel points or status night credits from your FHR or The Hotel Collection stay, do not pre pay until we have more evidence.
Amex ran this offer last year, so I’m sure that someone will pop up in the comments and let us know what happened when they booked it at a chain hotel.
EDIT: Feedback from our comments is that you will NOT earn hotel loyalty points or receive status benefits if you book a pre-paid rate. You will if you pay on departure.
Apart from that, this is an impressive offer – especially as FHR and The Luxury Collection packages are usually good value anyway. You can’t beat booking a Fine Hotels & Resorts hotel for one night and picking up free breakfast, a $100 food and drink credit, a potential upgrade and a guaranteed 4pm check out.
Hotel offers update – January 2023:
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points?
- Hilton Honors is offering a 100% bonus when you buy points by 7th March. Click here to buy.