If you have select American Express cards, you could be missing out on several hundred dollars worth of perks, room upgrades, and resort credits by booking hotels through normal channels. Think: food credits, beverage credits, spa credits, complimentary Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, late checkout, and more.
Instead, make use of the often overlooked Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits to supercharge your next vacation for about the same amount of money you would have spent anyway.
- What is the Fine Hotels & Resorts program?
- What perks do I get with a Fine Hotels & Resorts reservation?
- Which credit cards have access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program?
- How to book a Fine Hotels & Resorts reservation
- 8 facts you need to know about the FHR program
- Frequently asked questions about the FHR program
What is the Fine Hotels & Resorts program?
The Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program is an exclusive hotel-booking option for travelers holding specific credit cards. FHR offers competitive rates and complimentary benefits at over 1,000 hotels and resorts worldwide. Example locations include:
- Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
- Fairmont San Francisco
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
- Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome
- The Watergate Hotel
These properties are usually luxury hotels or resorts in desirable locations where travelers go to be spoiled. The FHR program provides a higher level of benefits than most travelers would normally expect when they book a hotel reservation.
What perks do I get with a Fine Hotels & Resorts reservation?
When booking a Fine Hotels & Resorts room, you’re guaranteed to receive additional benefits that make you feel like royalty. Your perks are on par with elite status at many hotel chains, even if this is your first stay with that brand.
These are the perks that you’ll receive with every FHR reservation:
- Room upgrade upon arrival (when available)
- Daily breakfast for two people
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
- Noon check-in (when available)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Additionally, you’ll receive a special property amenity valued at least $100 at every FHR hotel. The exact special amenity varies from hotel to hotel but usually includes a food credit, beverage credit, or spa credit.
American Express estimates that Platinum cardholders receive an average value of $550 in benefits per two-night stay every time they book a Fine Hotels & Resorts package.
Which credit cards have access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program?
The Fine Hotels & Resorts perks are limited to American Express' most exclusive charge cards and credit cards. You may access these benefits if you have the personal Platinum Card, the Business Platinum Card, or the Centurion Card.
|Card||Annual fee||Welcome bonus|
|The Platinum Card||$550||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months|
|The Business Platinum Card||$595||Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months|
|The Centurion Card||$5000
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card from American Express offers many benefits, including the chance to earn up to 5X points per dollar spent; access to 1,200 airport lounges; and over $500 in annual credits. Though this card has an annual fee of $550, all the benefits we're talking about easily offset this amount.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Small business owners rely on the Business Platinum Card from American Express to receive many of the same benefits as the personal version. However, business owners enjoy extra perks only available to them. When they redeem Membership Rewards points for business or first-class air travel, they’ll get a rebate of 35% of the points used. Additionally, cardholders receive 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases.
The Centurion Card from American Express
The Centurion Card is the most exclusive American Express card — and one of the most elite cards on the market, too. Often referred to as simply "the black card," the Centurion Card is available by invitation only. Rumors suggest that you need to spend $250,000 to $500,000 on your credit card just to be invited to apply.
How to book a Fine Hotels & Resorts reservation
You can book a Fine Hotels & Resorts reservation in one of six ways:
- Platinum Travel Service
- Business Platinum Travel Service
- Centurion Travel Service
- Any American Express Travel office
- The Agency Services Desk
Although there are over 1,000 hotels and resorts in the FHR program, not all are listed online. For a complete list of resorts available in the city you wish to travel to, speak with a customer service agent.
Take note that all reservations will be paid upon completion of travel, except when you book a prepaid reservation online.
One of the perks of the personal and business Platinum Cards from American Express is that you earn 5X points when you book prepaid reservations through Amex Travel.
Special promotions add even more value
Beyond the standard benefits available, some Fine Hotels & Resorts hotels offer promotions for even greater value. These promotions usually include a free hotel night or an additional special amenity.
Some examples of FHR special promotions include:
- Baccarat Hotel and Residences New York: Complimentary fourth night
- Beach Village at The Del, Curio Collection by Hilton: $200 food and beverage credit on a stay of at least one night
- The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park: $325 property credit when you stay three or more nights
8 facts you need to know about the FHR program
There are some nuances of the Fine Hotels & Resorts program that you should know before booking your reservation.
1. You might earn hotel points from your FHR stay
Most hotel loyalty programs require you to book direct in order to earn points for your stays. However, we've seen anecdotal evidence that you could actually earn points on FHR stays, depending on the property. This is likely at the hotel’s discretion, however. So if earning hotel points on your FHR stay is a priority, ask a hotel employee to confirm.
2. Receive elite perks on your first stay
To receive elite perks when staying at a hotel, travelers are usually required to have stayed a certain number of nights or hold the hotel's credit card. With FHR, you'll receive perks comparable to hotel elite status, even if this is the first time you've stayed at that hotel brand.
3. You can use Pay with Points for your room
Through AmexTravel.com, you can pay for a portion of your hotel room using your Membership Rewards points. However, points are only worth one cent per point when redeemed this way. With the ability to earn 5X points per dollar spent, you may be better off paying cash for your room and saving the points for another redemption.
4. Short stays can really pay
FHR reservations receive the $100 property amenity no matter how short the hotel stay is. With some reservations, that perk could offset a significant portion of the cost of your room. For example, if your room was $300 for the night and you receive $100 or more in amenities, that benefit is worth 33% of the cost of your room.
5. Book multiple rooms to share the perks
The cardmember who made the reservation must be on the itinerary and stay at the hotel in order to receive Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits.
However, cardholders can book up to three rooms per stay. There’s a limit to one benefit package per stay, but that doesn't stop you from sharing the special promotions with your travel companions.
6. When Wi-Fi is free, you get additional perks
If the hotel you’re staying at includes Wi-Fi in the mandatory resort fee, you'll receive a daily credit from the property when you book your reservation with FHR. The amount you'll receive is equal to the standard amount that the property charges for Wi-Fi.
7. Make use of the lowest hotel rates guarantee
If you book a prepaid hotel reservation with Fine Hotels & Resorts and find the same room for the same dates at a lower price online (before taxes and fees), Amex Travel will refund you the difference.
8. Back-to-back stays count as one
Savvy travelers may try to book several consecutive one-night stays to receive extra benefits. However, back-to-back stays within 24 hours at the same hotel count as only one stay. If you want to maximize these perks, you'll need to move to a new hotel.
Frequently asked questions about the FHR program
Where can I find a list of Fine Hotels & Resorts properties?
It’s possible to go to the American Express website and find a list of Fine Hotels & Resorts properties. They are listed by country and state. You can click on each state to open a drop-down list. It’s also possible to use the search function in the upper right corner of the American Express website to locate properties.
Can you use Amex points for Fine Hotels & Resorts?
Yes, it’s possible to use the Pay with Points feature when booking Fine Hotels & Resorts. You can pay using Amex points for all or part of your FHR booking. In general, each point is worth 1 cent when you book this way.
Can you book Amex FHR for someone else?
You may book rooms for other people through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, but you need to be on the reservation as well. You may book up to a maximum of three rooms per stay, and one of the rooms must be under your name.
Does Amex FHR price match?
If you find a room in the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and then you find the same hotel room for a lower price on the same date through a different source, you can get a refund of the difference. However, the price only applies to publicly available rates and excludes things like package rates, corporate discounts, loyalty program discounts, and rates provided by opaque booking sites (where you don’t see all the info until after you commit to your booking). Additionally, you have to submit your claim to American Express before you check in for your stay.
What's the difference between the Amex Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts?
Establishments listed in the Fine Hotels & Resorts program represent a more exclusive collection and come with slightly different benefits. For example, the Fine Hotels & Resorts collection comes with breakfast for two and a guaranteed late check out of 4:00 p.m., in addition to an upgrade when available. The Hotel Collection offers only an upgrade and hotel credit on qualified spending.
Is booking with Fine Hotels & Resorts right for you?
When you're not using hotel points to travel, explore the options available through Fine Hotels & Resorts. With all of the amenities offered, staying at a luxury hotel or resort might be comparable to the mid-level (but boring) hotel you were considering. Depending on your situation, it might even make sense to splurge a little on your hotel to receive all of the extra FHR benefits while cutting back someplace else.
Best Luxury Travel Benefits
- 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
- 5X points on eligible flights and hotels
- $15 in free U.S. Uber rides each month ($20 in December)
- $200 airline fee credit each year
- Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
- Terms apply