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60,000 POINTS BONUS: Are the four free Amex Platinum hotel status cards worth having?

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American Express is currently running a ‘best ever’ sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points plus a £200 Amex Travel credit when you take out The Platinum Card.

This would convert into 60,000 Avios or lots of other great travel rewards. The £200 of Amex Travel credit would also come in handy. Even better, you qualify for the bonus even if you have a British Airways American Express card as long as you meet the other criteria.

Our introductory article on the ‘60,000 Membership Rewards points plus £200’ offer is here. You need to apply by 13th June. The Platinum Card application page is here.

American Express Platinum comes with FOUR hotel status cards.  I thought I would take a closer look at this benefit to help you decide if you should jump on the 60,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus.

American Express Platinum hotel benefits

What hotel statuses come with The Platinum Card?

American Express Platinum offers the following hotel statuses:

You will have four shiny cards in your pocket but ….

It is worth looking more closely at each of these statuses to see if they are actually worth anything.

Here is the ground rule for this article.  Because I am old and cynical, I do not trust anything unless it has the word ‘guaranteed’ in front of it.

I won’t move my business to a hotel because I may or may not receive a benefit ‘subject to availability’, which can mean anything.  The one thing you can be sure of is that ‘subject to availability’ does NOT mean is ‘as long as we can physically manage your request, you can definitely have it’.  That isn’t how it works.

As far as I’m concerned, if it’s not guaranteed, I assume I won’t be getting it and I value it at virtually nothing.

You also need to remember that you must book direct to obtain any of these benefits. Bookings via Expedia, etc will not count.

So, if you get yourself an American Express Platinum card primarily for the hotel benefits (although the 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points – worth 60,000 Avios – plus £200 of travel credit that you get for signing up come in handy too!) then what are you certain of getting on your next stay?

Hilton Gold benefits

Hilton Honors Gold – what is guaranteed?

This is the mid-tier Hilton status.  Hilton Honors is generally known for having the best mid-tier benefits in the hotel industry.  Gold does not carry a lot of weight in North America, where hotels are overrun with Gold members, but it does often carry respect in Europe and Asia.

The standard requirements for Hilton Gold status are either 20 stays, or 40 nights, or 75,000 Hilton Honors base points in a calendar year.

The key benefit here is free breakfast.

You will receive a free breakfast of some sort at all Hilton Honors brands, including Hilton, Conrad, Curio, Waldorf Astoria and DoubleTree hotels.  This is usually but not necessarily full breakfast.

Note that free breakfast at hotels in the USA has been replaced by a cash credit which can be used against any food and beverage purchase. The downside is that the credit rarely covers the full cost of breakfast, but the upside is that it can be used against any food and beverage spend.

You should also receive some sort of space-available upgrade at most brands as Hilton Honors Gold.  You shouldn’t expect too much, often just the best room in the category you booked.  You will also receive two free bottles of water per stay.

The other main benefits of Hilton Honors Gold are:

  • 80% bonus points – which soon adds up
  • late check-out (not guaranteed)
  • 2nd guest stays free (only useful in countries which tend to charge more for two people, eg Germany)

You will also qualify for the ‘book 5 nights and pay for 4’ Hilton Honors redemption benefit which is offered to all status members.

Overall, because of the sheer size of the Hilton chain and the guaranteed breakfast, and to a lesser extent the upgrade of some sort, this is the best of the free American Express Platinum hotel statuses.

You can see the official list of Hilton Honors Gold benefits here.

Remember that the special current sign-up bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points would convert into 120,000 Hilton Honors points.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold – what is guaranteed?

Marriott Bonvoy is the loyalty scheme for Sheraton, St Regis, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, Aloft, Westin, W, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott, AC Hotels, Delta, Protea, Renaissance, MOXY and various other brands.

Even though Gold Elite status usually requires 25 nights per year, the benefits are modest:

  • 25% bonus points on your stay
  • 2pm late check-out
  • Upgrade to an ‘enhanced’ room at check-in
  • Welcome gift of 250 or 500 bonus points, depending on brand

Breakfast is conspicuously missing from this list.

The upgrade benefit is unlikely to deliver you anything noticeable as a Gold member although the late check-out benefit is handy.  The bonus points are welcome but are not hugely valuable given my 0.5p per Bonvoy point valuation.

The full list of Marriott Bonvoy Gold benefits is here.

Remember that the special current sign-up bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points would convert into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Innside exterior

MeliaRewards Gold – what is guaranteed?

Melia is a Spanish-based hotel group.  The key brands are Sol, Tryp, Melia, Gran Melia, Paradisius, ME and INNSiDE.

In the UK, they have a number of impressive but not very well known hotels which you may want to try with your new MeliaRewards Gold status. These include:

  • ME London, the Norman Foster designed hotel on the Strand which has a good reputation.  Think of a hotel like The Trafalgar nearby or a more sophisticated W.
  • Melia White House, a surprisingly pleasant art deco era hotel near Regents Park where we had our 2016 and 2017 HfP Christmas parties

MeliaRewards Gold offers the following benefits:

  • 30% bonus points
  • free breakfast for a companion (so basically 2-4-1)
  • free wi-fi
  • 3 x 20% off vouchers for room bookings
  • 4pm late check-out at city hotels, 2pm at resorts

Late check-out IS guaranteed as long as the hotel is not 100% full.  You will also receive free wi-fi.  There is no upgrade benefit.

(That said, my brother stayed at ME London on a reward stay booked from my Gold account last Summer and got a very good upgrade. It just isn’t an official benefit.)

Overall, there isn’t much here that is guaranteed to persuade me to move a stay to Melia EXCEPT for the ‘almost guaranteed’ 4pm check-out.  That could be important on a short break if you have a late flight back.

However, it is fair to say (and the comments below confirm this) that the 20% discount vouchers can be hugely valuable. In some cases – let’s say you were planning a £3,000 stay at a Melia beach resort in Spain – the 20% discount would cover your entire Amex Platinum membership fee for the year. It is possible that I underestimate this benefit because I have never personally used it.

The full list of MeliaRewards status benefits is here.

Radisson Rewards Premium status with American Express Platinum

Radisson Rewards Premium – what is guaranteed?

Radisson Rewards is the loyalty scheme for Radisson Blu, Radisson Edwardian, Park Plaza and Park Inn plus a few smaller brands.

Premium is laughably easy to earn, requiring just five nights or three stays in a calendar year.  It’s not hard to earn and therefore there will be a lot of them in any Radisson hotel on any particular night.

Your Premium status will get you:

  • 27 Radisson Rewards points per $1 spent – a huge increase on the 8 points per $1 earned by base level members
  • 10% off food and drink
  • room upgrade “when available”
  • access to ‘Discount Booster’

‘Discount Booster’ is actually the key benefit. In return for earning a lower level of points on your stay, your member discount is increased to up to 20%. Having booked a few stays at a Radisson last Autumn, I can confirm that this is a genuine saving which goes well beyond other discounts on the Radisson website.

I certainly wouldn’t put any value on the room upgrade, given how many Premium members are competing with you, but ‘Discount Booster’ puts genuine cash back into your pocket.

Full details of Radisson Rewards status benefits are here.

Remember that the special current sign-up bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points would convert into 180,000 Radisson Rewards points.

American Express Amex Platinum card


You can get four mid-tier hotel status cards in your wallet or purse via The Platinum Card, although it doesn’t mean that your hotel stays are going to be transformed.

That said, if you are a regular guest at participating properties – although not regular enough to earn status in your own right – then you could do nicely.

Over the years I have done OK on Hilton and Radisson stays via my American Express Platinum status, although this was before Radisson made their status laughably easy to get. I have always had a higher Marriott Bonvoy status than Gold due to my own travel. I don’t stay enough with Melia to give a fair opinion except to note my brother’s stunning ME London upgrade last year.

You will retain the hotel status cards until their expiry date if you cancel your Platinum Card for a pro-rata refund.

You can apply for the card here. The special offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points and a £200 Amex Travel voucher runs to 13th June.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Comments (51)

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

  • Peter McChrist says:

    I’ve used the Melia voucher a couple of times and saved a few hundred pounds over the cheapest booking site alternative. Their website is shockingly bad – I usually go to other sites to see photos of the hotels before booking.
    Also a strange quirk is that adding 2000 points to a payment (worth 10 euros) can knock 100 euros off the price, but it can’t be done alongside the vouchers.

  • Simey says:

    Are comments / posts being deleted? This is the 2nd time I think in a few days when page numbers go from 4 to 3 and my discussion with Rob (chain of a few replies) is completely gone from this post…?

    • Rob says:

      Comments do get culled for various reasons. If your browser is has cached previous pages it can get confusing.

  • Dougie Forde says:

    I wasn’t aware of the 20% vouchers until I read the article yesterday so thank you for that. Can I combine a 20% voucher with the birthday upgrade voucher? Unlikely I guess but you never know.

    • jek says:

      You could combine them as the upgrade voucher is applied at a different stage. However, the upgrade voucher never worked for me as there was never availability! And despite what somebody said, the 5% app discount and the 20% do stack, so always use the app. Always check the 2000 points + cash trick as somebody also suggested. Book cancelable rates so that you can rebook when prices drop during their Wonder Weeks.

      • Dougie Forde says:

        Thanks for that, I’ll give it a go as I’ve nothing to lose. It was said earlier that you can’t combine the points booking with the voucher though

        • jek says:

          Pure points bookings may no longer work with the vouchers, but the points + cash bookings do – I have made such a booking and just checked that it still works (despite what @Peter McChrist said above).

  • cmcp says:

    I’m Plat (alongside BA Premium and Barclaycard World Elite) and choose to keep it in my arsenal. The meal credit, travel insurance, hotel status, shopping voucher and various other promos keep me happy. Plus the clink on the table, when I throw my card in for the bill 😎😂

    Specifically on hotels: I recently went through a decision making process when choosing a hotel partner. Something for folks to consider: what is your earn / spend strategy? For me, I was less fussed about regular benefits and discounts. I’m an “earn through work travel, spend for rare leisure/ luxury splurge”. For that reason I chose Marriot. Had I cared more about regular benefits, I’d probably have opted for Hilton. And each to their own 🙌

    • Rob says:

      Indeed. I am generally ‘book what I want’ these days – I won’t gamble a family holiday on whether I get upgraded to the room that will make us comfy. This leads me towards guaranteed upgrades / prebooked upgrades or other stuff – free brekky, guaranteed check out.

      Marriott Lifetime Plat is also on my radar now. Just hit 400 nights and with 15 free per year off the Bonvoy Amex it is hittable within 5 years.

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

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