Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts Adds Free In-Room Wifi Benefit

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American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is an awesome program which adds significant value to stays at many upscale hotels. The program is available to those with the The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, and is a really useful perk.

AMEX-FHR

When you book through Amex FHR (the rate is almost always the same as the flexible/best available rate with the hotel directly), you receive the following benefits:

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • A unique property amenity (usually a $100 property credit, free massage, car transfer, etc.)
  • Guaranteed 4PM check-out
  • Noon check-in, subject to availability

Park-Hyatt-Sydney-15
Who doesn’t like room upgrades?!

The best part is that your stay is still eligible for points accrual when you book through Fine Hotels & Resorts, so it’s a great way to double dip benefits. For example, yesterday I reviewed the St. Regis Singapore, which I booked through Fine Hotels & Resorts. I already received a room upgrade and 4PM late check-out through my my SPG Platinum status. However, for booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts I got a $100 food & beverage credit plus free breakfast (which I could have otherwise chosen as my SPG Platinum amenity in place of 500 Starpoints, but this way I received the points and breakfast).

Park-Hyatt-Sydney
Receive complimentary breakfast when booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

So it adds quite a bit of value to stays, in particular for short stays, since the unique property amenity is awarded on a per stay basis and not a per night basis.

Anyway, it looks like Amex has added a new perk for those booking through FHR — free in-room wifi. Exclusions apply, so unlike with many of the other benefits, not all FHR hotels are participating. However, a majority seem to, so that’s very exciting news.

Amex-FHR

We’re definitely seeing a trend whereby free wifi is becoming a standard benefit, as we’ve seen from IHG, Marriott, Starwood, and Hyatt recently.

For what it’s worth, the Fine Hotels & Resorts website doesn’t yet seem to reflect the new benefit, so you’ll have to call Platinum Concierge to find out which properties are participating. Hopefully the website is updated soon

This is a very nice enhancement to an already awesome program!

Have you ever made a booking through Amex FHR? If so, what was your experience like?

(Tip of the hat to Adam)

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Comments

  1. Just to clarify, and this may be a stupid question so I apologize. But if you book through FHR, you can still earn points and elite credit for hotel stays, regardless if it’s SPG, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, etc., right?

    Just contemplating getting this card and trying to weigh all the benefits.

    Thanks!

  2. Wondering if I should call PTS and have them “re-make” reservations I already have just to ensure we get free wifi.

  3. I actually found that a lot of times the fine hotels rate is higher than published rates. In some cases, it’s even 30%-40% higher, especially in Europe. If you factor that rate difference in, it’s not really worth it to get those benefits.

  4. @Jay, yes you earn points and elite credit. I make the booking through FHR and call up the program and have them add my loyalty number. For example, I get my Diamond benefits on top of my FHR benefits.

    To me, FHR works best for shorter stays (to maximize the property benefit). Recently booked FHR for one night and attached it with SPG Hot Escapes (huge difference in rate).

  5. @Jay – Typically, yes, you should be able to get the benefits and credit for your stay, but is important to always double check. For what it is worth, if you don’t want to get the card, you could also work with a Virtuoso advisor. Most properties overlap programs. Both FHR and Virtuoso have some the other doesn’t, but I have a feeling the ones you are interested (ie, those part of a program like Hyatt, SPG, etc) are in both.

  6. I have found you really need to compare rates as FHR is often quite a bit higher than the hotel’s other available rates.

  7. My experience is similar to doublejade. It’s been a while since I’ve checked, but the rates published for FHR rooms were so inflated versus standard ones (30-40%+ seems about right) that I didn’t see the value–particularly since upgrades aren’t guaranteed. And as you correctly stated, the longer you stay the less value it becomes (barring some unanticipated multi-category upgrade.)

  8. i’ve always valued FHR for the late check-out. never an issue on FHR bookings; often like pulling teeth when I ask for it under my hilton/spg direct bookings.

  9. It’s definitely a case-by-case basis. On a recent trip, I got an awesome deal at the Conrad in Tokyo but rates at the Sofitel in Hanoi were not competitive at all.

  10. @ Mike — Correct, it can be more than some promotional rates, but it’s almost always the same as the flexible/best available rate.

  11. @ Justin — It would make sense to call and see if it’s actually a benefit at the hotel you’re staying at. But if it is, you should be fine even without rebooking.

  12. We used FHR in Sintra, Portugal at the Ritz Carlton in November. Yes, the rate was ~10euro higher than the direct booking rate with ritzcarlton.com, but since neither my partner nor I had status with either Ritz Carlton or Marriott, the awesome included breakfast and 80euro F&B credit more then exceeded what we could have gotten w/out FHR. And, we had 11AM checkin and 4PM checkout, an upgrade to a suite, and we got free wi-fi too.

  13. I noticed that the room upgrade benefit now has an asterisk, saying that some room categories are not eligible for upgrades. I don’t recall seeing that in the past, anyone else know if this is new?

  14. @scott I do not believe that is new. It is usually when there is a really large jump between a suite and a base room and it is pretty clear from the website in my experience. Plus you can always call to confirm what something would upgrade to.

    My wish for FHR is that they finally revamp the website, getting rid of the slow flash based interface, adding better information about the properties, on-site benefits, FHR reviews from people who have booked (keeping them honest when they give you a crap breakfast option for example), and adding the ability to do both mobile bookings and same day bookings.

  15. @AdamH I totally agree with you, the FHR website is in desperate need of an overhaul, I flash back to 1996 every time I use it! Also agree that same day bookings online (and mobile) would be great.

  16. Hi Lucky,

    Do you know if I can sign up with a non-US AMEX card? I tried doings to and got an error which referred me to the US hotline.

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