AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts is the hotel program of the AMEX Platinum and AMEX Business Platinum, providing perks such as complimentary upgrade based on availability, complimentary breakfast, a $100 F&B or Spa services credit, and 4pm guaranteed late check-out. Sometimes AMEX FHR also provides 3rd night free or 4th night free offers for select properties for specific dates.
If you book with AMEX FHR you also have to pay with an American Express card at check-out. It doesn't have to be an AMEX Platinum, but it does have to be an AMEX card. The bad news is that no AMEX card provides 3X points on hotel stays, unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns 3X Ultimate Rewards points, plus provides trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance that AMEX cards don't, very helpful if your or a family member's sickness, severe weather, jury duty, your home becoming flooded, or another covered condition prevents you from taking the trip at all.
The good news? You often don't need the AMEX Platinum or AMEX Business Platinum to book these offers, at least if the hotel or resort also has its own preferred partner program or is a Virtuoso member. In the past I've been able to get hotels such as Aman Resorts to match AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts 4th night free offers. See current 2018 Aman Resorts offers at Top 15 Aman Resorts 4th Night Free Offers.
And just today, an Australian client needed to book some Mandarin Oriental hotels that showed as offering 3rd night free via AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, but which didn't show the same 3rd night free offer either online or via Mandarin Oriental Fan Club.
I reached out to my contacts at the properties, and in every case was able to obtain the 3rd night free offer for the client, combined with Mandarin Oriental Fan Club benefits, which are better than AMEX FHR because Fan Club offers the choice between a $100 food and beverage credit or $100 spa services credit, whereas the Mandarin Oriental properties we were booking offered only a $100 spa services credit as the property amenity, if booked through AMEX.
If you book $20,000 or more in hotel stays a year, as many of my clients do, you're earning 40,000 or more in additional points per year by booking all hotel stays with the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead of an AMEX Platinum or AMEX Centurion card, or 20,000 or more in additional points vs. the AMEX Blue for Business Plus, since that card earns 2X Membership Rewards on all spend, but this is still less than the 3X offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve, not to mention the CSR provides trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance which the AMEX cards don't.
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