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  • stfred 5 posts

    About to book online via Amex Travel a FHR hotel. In the t’s and c’s it mentions “Payment must be made in full with an American Express Card in the Platinum Card Member’s or Centurion® Member’s name. Available for Platinum Charge Card Members and Centurion® Members only, and excludes Platinum Credit Card Members who are not also Platinum Charge Card Members.” So as a Platinum credit card holder (the £575 version last year) will I not benefit from booking this (and paying at hotel)?

    TGLoyalty 578 posts

    You can pay with any card at checkout in 99% of cases the agent has no idea you must pay with a Platinum

    I think they are old terms and refer to the Platinum companion credit card. The Platium charge and credit cards costing £575-650 a year are all eligible if you weren’t eligible you couldn’t book the rate.

    KevinC 76 posts

    For what it’s worth I have been told several times I must pay with a Platinum on checkout. Amex keep quite a keen eye on FHR – you are often given a questionnaire on checkout asking if you received the benefits.

    I agree that a modern Platinum fee paying credit card will be acceptable.

    ATP 61 posts

    Normally I get asked for the platinum metal card (doesn’t matter if you have the charge/credit version, both qualify for FHR) as “evidence”, and I use this for the hold charge and then at check out I use any random Amex (normally BAPP). Normally reception staff insist on an Amex but not necessarily the platinum. This is based on my last dozen FHR stays.

    TGLoyalty 578 posts

    My experience is as ATP always check in and hold on platinum always check out with something else never had an issue in 5/6 years and 15+ properties. But as I said 99% … this clearly doesn’t mean all.


    @KevinC
    which properties were these?

    sturgeon 198 posts

    Doesn’t the foreign exchange fee with Amex est up a good chunk of the benefits from FHR? I’ve never understood why it makes sense to make any international hotel with Amex on checkout.

    can2 541 posts

    It is a simple math:
    Which one is bigger, the fee or $100 + upgrade + breakfast

    In almost all cases it is the latter.

    TGLoyalty 578 posts

    Doesn’t the foreign exchange fee with Amex est up a good chunk of the benefits from FHR? I’ve never understood why it makes sense to make any international hotel with Amex on checkout.

    Not unless you’re spending more than c5k on a stay … the fx fee is 3% … breakfast in a hotel for two is min £50 a night and £75 credit plus an upgrade and 4pm checkout.

    JDB 4,536 posts

    Doesn’t the foreign exchange fee with Amex est up a good chunk of the benefits from FHR? I’ve never understood why it makes sense to make any international hotel with Amex on checkout.

    The FX rate is really a bit by the by when one has already paid the ‘effing high rate’ (to steal the words of a hotel GM) to get some small benefits given back in return for paying the full rack rate and c.20% commission to Amex. It’s a rate designed for lazier Americans who don’t like making their own arrangements and are willing to pay whatever to have someone else do the admin for them.

    jj 529 posts

    @JDB, I agree that paying the full rack rate to get the FHR benefits rarely makes sense, but you don’t always have to do that. I have two upcoming trips where FHR had exclusive deals that I couldn’t match anywhere else, including talking directly with the hotel. The FHR benefits then become the icing on the cake. For me, though, the big issue with FHR is that it mostly lists hotels from the big chains that are already overpriced.

    Separately, I’ve only used FHR 3-4 times in the past, but I’ve never paid the bill with Amex.

    JDB 4,536 posts

    @JDB, I agree that paying the full rack rate to get the FHR benefits rarely makes sense, but you don’t always have to do that. I have two upcoming trips where FHR had exclusive deals that I couldn’t match anywhere else, including talking directly with the hotel. The FHR benefits then become the icing on the cake. For me, though, the big issue with FHR is that it mostly lists hotels from the big chains that are already overpriced.

    Separately, I’ve only used FHR 3-4 times in the past, but I’ve never paid the bill with Amex.


    @jj
    FHR has no exclusivity. The hotel is the lowest cost producer and while they clearly aren’t going to volunteer to undercut agency deals to random callers because they have contractual arrangements, they will do anything for direct bookings. The FHR ‘benefits’ and nominal ‘subject to availability’ upgrades pale into insignificance vs much lower prices and guaranteed multi level upgrades. I don’t like leaving things like room/suite allocation to chance when I’m travelling with my family. I’m not very bothered about breakfast, but it’s something that hotels concede almost before starting the direct booking negotiation.

    TGLoyalty 578 posts

    Honestly if they would offer a better price direct with the same payment on checkout and day before cancellation terms why would I bother with FHR?

    Even your own first paragraph there makes no sense. They do have have some exclusivity on the package and 3 for 2 / 4 for 3 deals etc and obviously the hotel might not be willing to undercut as it will ruin their relationship with FHR or preferred scheme agents.

    The point is if they don’t/won’t do a better deal and nor can Emyr or another agent then FHR gets the money.

    JDB 4,536 posts

    Honestly if they would offer a better price direct why would I bother with FHR?

    Even your own first paragraph there makes no sense. They do have have some exclusivity on the package and 3 for 2 / 4 for 3 deals etc and obviously the hotel might not be willing to undercut as it will ruin their relationship with FHR or preferred scheme agents.

    The point is if they don’t/won’t do a better deal and nor can Emyr or another agent then FHR gets the money.

    The sort of hotels on the FHR platform offer a myriad of rates including corporate ones, often with 40%+ discounts without very onerous stay requirements, much lower rates for local people vs foreigners, deals with local agent etc and no issue with 342, even outside advertised dates. Once one knows where the hotel’s real price points are, one is winning in the negotiations. They really don’t like paying 20%+ commissions or being beholden to third parties but when people pay excessive rates like FHR, they’re laughing. If you think you are getting a decent deal that’s fine too!

    TGLoyalty 578 posts

    They pay FHR and preferred programmes agents 10% in most cases.

    20%+ is the likes of Expedia or they just bulk buy nights to farm out to other sellers.

    Never once had a hotel come close to beating FHR offer for a 1 night stay.

    You mention corporate and local people rates .. I wouldn’t be eligible for most of them apart from if my employer provides (always use them if they’re better ofcourse) and as per most on here I’m only local within the UK … unless you’re suggesting people should be dishonest …

    JDB 4,536 posts

    They pay FHR and preferred programmes agents 10% in most cases.

    20%+ is the likes of Expedia or they just bulk buy nights to farm out to other sellers.

    Never once had a hotel come close to beating FHR offer for a 1 night stay.

    You mention corporate and local people rates .. I wouldn’t be eligible for most of them apart from if my employer provides (always use them if they’re better ofcourse) and as per most on here I’m only local within the UK … unless you’re suggesting people should be dishonest …


    @TGLoyalty
    – I’m simply indicating the level and type of discounting hotels do and any hotel is free to offer that same corporate or whatever price to anyone they want; it’s just a useful price point. Four Seasons caps commissions at 15% but others pay more. As I said, if you or anyone else are happy with FHR or other programme prices that’s fine. I mention the world of alternatives because so many people here seem super price sensitive about tiny expenditures but when it comes to hotels get easily seduced by chain ‘member’ rates or these programmes and the lure of a ‘free’ breakfast seems irresistible. For me, they generally offer poor value.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,147 posts

    A major FHR advantage is the guaranteed 4pm check out, backed by the threat of Amex aggro for the hotel if they tried to wriggle out of it. That is so much more valuable than a 4pm checkout ‘subject to availability’ (e.g. Impresario, Internova Select) or one agreed direct with the hotel, where any reneging is purely a bilateral debate.

    meta 1,451 posts

    And I was denied guaranteed late checkout on Amex FHR rate recently as the hotel is full (it was, but that’s besides the point). Hotels are interpreting the rules as they wish. Amex Travel just gave me £50 credit and that’s it. They might have charged that to the hotel, but hotel still won overall. I take the words ‘guaranteed’ with a pinch of salt in the post-pandemic world.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,147 posts

    And I was denied guaranteed late checkout on Amex FHR rate recently as the hotel is full (it was, but that’s besides the point). Hotels are interpreting the rules as they wish. Amex Travel just gave me £50 credit and that’s it. They might have charged that to the hotel, but hotel still won overall. I take the words ‘guaranteed’ with a pinch of salt in the post-pandemic world.

    Please name and shame.

    Also who and when did you contact at Amex? £50 is no recompense at all in say Las Vegas when it’s 40 degrees and the hotel wants you out at 11.00. The FHR late check out is the difference between a pool day/day outdoors or staying in.

    jj 529 posts

    @JDB, I always attempt to book direct for the reasons you set out. I find that some hotels, especially larger ones where the staff dealing with direct enquiries don’t have a financial interest in the hotel’s success, aren’t geared up for individual negotiation. Maybe the proprietors don’t trust the judgement of their staff, or maybe they’re worried they’ll receive push-back from the online agencies if they breach exclusive offers. Or maybe I’m just rubbish at negotiating.

    All I’d say is that I tried every avenue to find the best deal from two hotels I currently have bookings with, and the cheapest price in pure £ terms was, by far, FHR. I tried direct; I tried all the normal channels (direct, Emyr, various OLTAs, flight+hotel deals, etc), and none came close. Each time, FHR had a deal for every x nights being free which drove significant value. Maybe I could have booked cheaper alternative hotels, but those were the places I wanted to stay.

    I saved much more than my annual platinum fee on those two bookings alone.

    meta 1,451 posts

    And I was denied guaranteed late checkout on Amex FHR rate recently as the hotel is full (it was, but that’s besides the point). Hotels are interpreting the rules as they wish. Amex Travel just gave me £50 credit and that’s it. They might have charged that to the hotel, but hotel still won overall. I take the words ‘guaranteed’ with a pinch of salt in the post-pandemic world.

    Please name and shame.

    Also who and when did you contact at Amex? £50 is no recompense at all in say Las Vegas when it’s 40 degrees and the hotel wants you out at 11.00. The FHR late check out is the difference between a pool day/day outdoors or staying in.

    Marriott property in Japan off all places. I’m not naming yet until I have resolved it with Marriott themselves (had double right to it due to status and FHR rate). The plan was to spend the day on the property in between a lot of sightseeing so it was annoying. In general nothing but bad experiences at Marriott properties lately regarding “guaranteed” late checkout for Platinum or above.

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