AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts

For a reason entirely beyond me, my dad insists on keeping his AMEX Plat card, despite the hefty fee. I have a linked card for the lounge access benefits, which is nice once in a while, but simply isn’t worth it overall for our travel patterns.

Anyway, one of the benefits of being an AMEX Plat is access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. I decided to make a call to compare the rates they offer to what one can get directly on the hotel website, in this case for the InterContinental Century City (Los Angeles) for a weekend in January. The rate on the website was $240/night plus tax for an “advanced purchase rate,” which I’d never book due to the risk, and about $299/night plus tax for a “best flexible rate,” or $319/night plus tax for the “best flexible rate with breakfast,” which is what I’d book. I would use a buy one get one free weekend night certificate, so would only be paying for one night.

Anyway, the results were interesting. The agent came up with a rate of $254/night, and that’s a “flexible rate.” In addition to the good rate, you get benefits like free breakfast, an $85 food/beverage credit, a room upgrade, and 4PM check-out. I’m covered on the last two as a Royal Ambassador, but I’m a big fan of the first two.

Since AMEX FHR rates earn points and allow one to use a buy one get one free weekend night certificate, I’d basically be paying $254 for two nights, including breakfast for both nights along with an $85 food/beverage credit. Not bad at all, in my opinion!

Comments

  1. BOGO certs come with the the Ambassador kit and RA kit annually.

    I’m bummed to see the Amex Plat domestic companion ticket program go away (Nov 15), it was annoying to use but really valuable for me. But I still do find the card worthwhile (CO/NW/DL/AA lounge + FHR program + a credit line that lets me put mid- six figure charges on the card, worth the fee for me).

  2. How many BOGO certs does one receive annually?

    Also, does the AMEX Plat lounge access work regardless of your itinerary (and what airline you’re flying)?

    Thanks!

  3. David, you receive one BOGO in either the Ambassador or RA kit per year. Of course you can sign-up as many friends for Ambassador as you’d like for $150 (along with all the other benefits it brings, including 5,000 points), and renew them each year for only $100.

    As for the AMEX Plat lounge access — you can only access the lounge of the airline you’re flying. AMEX currently has arrangements with AA, CO, DL, and NW.

  4. Yeah sometimes the FHR program is a good deal – found a $169 a night rate (flexible) at the Palace – SFO (Starwood) – same exact rate for FHR with the breakfast and 4pm check out – all good…..

  5. Tried to book a rm at the Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai, China. No rooms available on the Hotel website or with Holton Honors. Plenty rooms available throgh FHR. NO PROBLEM. SAME TYPE OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE RITZ CARLTON IN DENVER. ALTHOUGH ALL ROOMS ARE BOOKED, I WAS ABLE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS THROUGH FHR, THE CARD IS WORTH IT.

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