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Good Amex Gold and Plat hotel promo for FHR and The Hotel Collection – but is there a catch?

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American Express launched a new promotion this week for:

Amex is offering you a big points bonus for booking, but is there a snag?

Fine Hotels and Resorts promotion

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

You can check out the full list of participating hotels in FHR at this special Amex website.

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.

Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts

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 Fine Hotels and Resorts now prepaid bonus points

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.

This means that a Preferred Rewards Gold cardholder would earn 7 bonus Membership Rewards points per £1. A Platinum cardholder would earn 6 bonus Membership Rewards points per £1.

The rules are:

  • book between 18th May and 30th June at
  • 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 Hotel 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 – April 2024:

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 14th May 2024. Click here.

Comments (41)

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

  • bruinbrown says:

    One other problem with pre-paid rates is in the case of cancellation you have to pay a cancellation fee. Last time I did this it was about £20 and is listed in the terms and conditions. If you pay at hotel then you can cancel and move as often as you like

  • Chris says:

    Does anyone have the link to check all FHR properties in given country? Bit difficult to search all the cities one by one.

      • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

        Long-term, Amex need a bloody standalone travel app. The experience at present does not lend itself to casual pricing-up.

        • n_g says:

          An app that makes it easy to do casual price evaluate would be a game changer. It’s a real chore at the moment. It doesn’t help that there’s a massive difference between the lower and upper priced hotels covered by the program.

        • 1ATL says:

          It has one. Log into your accout, click the membership tab then travel.

      • Chris says:

        That;s the one, thanks a lot!
        To me it’s one of those hidden links like the BA one where you can check pricing for each day of the month… just a bit annoying it’s that hidden..

  • Dmitri says:

    Datapoint: Booked Warsaw Raffles on pre-paid FHR in fall. No points after departure. Sent an email to Accor CS. Reply was it was booked through FHR partner Expedia, third-party, so, no points would be added.

  • Aceman says:

    I think I’ve only ever seen it once, yes one single time, where the FHR rate wasn’t significantly higher then the regular rate in the platinum travel booking form, for a hotel booking. I’m sure others have success. I was on the phone to Amex travel to change a booking some time ago and mentioned this and they said they could try and match the rates, though I’ve never tried that.

  • JC says:

    One thing I would say is that when you pay in advance on a foreign holiday, you seem to get the “Spot” foreign exchange rate with no 2.99% fee. If you pay at the property, you’re forced to pay with an Amex card, which all charges 2.99% on everything. This can work out to be a fair bit more expensive.

  • ringingup says:

    When are you supposed to receive the bonus points? After the stay or straight away? Because the basic MR points and the 1x have posted already, but not the 5x.

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

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