American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts Guide
The American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program is offered to those with a Centurion or Platinum American Express credit card. You’ll get cost-saving benefits at more than 1,500 top-rated properties worldwide, which can add significantly to the value of your card.
The program is packed with perks, such as a complimentary breakfast, early and late check-in and a $100 experience credit. It’s a great way to have a VIP travel experience without having to spend enough to hit elite status. Plus, the Platinum and Centurion cards come with their own luxury benefits that can help cover their high annual fees when paired with American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits.
Is American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts worth it?
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts is worth it because you’ll get high-end benefits valued at around $600 without holding elite status. This is a huge savings when stacked on top of rewards like 5X Membership Rewards® Points on hotel bookings with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Properties in the Fine Hotels + Resorts program range from large luxury hotels like the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego and independent hotels like The Lodge at Sea Island in Saint Simons Island.
The downside is that you have to book your stay through the American Express travel portal, where you won’t always get the best rate. If you’re a loyalty program member, you’ll also have to skip loyalty program points, and you may have to forgo your elite status benefits.
But many hotels will offer additional perks like a free night that can bring the cost down. Plus, you can combine other card perks and credits like the $200 hotel credit you’ll get each year when you book using your Platinum card.
Pros and cons of American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts
Elite-like benefits and perks
Large selection of hotels worldwide
Earn 5x points on your bookings with The Platinum Card from American Express
Loyalty program members may not always get elite status benefits when booking
Can't earn loyalty program points on your booking
May not get the cheapest rate
Which cards offer American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts access?
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts is available if you have a Platinum or Centurion card. This includes The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the Centurion® Card from American Express.
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts Benefits
The American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program has six main benefits that apply per room for up to three rooms per stay. According to American Express, these benefits are worth a total of around $600. When you book an American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts hotel through the American Express portal you won’t be able to use hotel loyalty benefits or search for the lowest price, but the $600 value of these benefits will make up for it.
Early check-in: As early as 12 p.m. when available
This is one of two benefits that are not guaranteed at each stay. You’ll need to verify if the hotel has availability to give you an early check-in.
Room upgrade: Upon arrival, when available
Room upgrades are also dependent on availability upon check-in. American Express also notes that certain room categories are not eligible for a room upgrade.
Experience credit: Minimum $100 credit unique to each property. Examples include:
- Food and beverage: Complimentary meal for two or a credit towards a dining experience
- Spa: Complimentary massage for two or credit toward a spa treatment
- Golf: Complimentary round of golf for two
- Private transfer: Complimentary private transfer to the airport
- Property credit: Choose how you want to use your credit at the property
The $100 experience credit is one of the most valuable benefits offered with Fine Hotels + Resorts. The hotel chooses the form of credit that you will receive and you’ll be able to see what type of credit you’ll get upon booking. A general property credit or food and beverage credit are the two most popular credits you’ll find.
Complimentary breakfast: Daily during your trip for two people
While the $100 experience credit often applies to dining, adding on a complimentary daily breakfast can heavily reduce your food and beverage spending on your trip. Breakfast is valued at a minimum of $60 per room per day and varies by location.
Late checkout: Guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout
With a guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, you’ll get almost an entire extra day at the hotel of your choice without having to pay for an extra night. This can also be helpful if your flight is later in the day or you want to take advantage of additional amenities before you leave.
Although many hotels now include complimentary Wi-Fi, some hotels charge a mandatory property fee that includes Wi-Fi. If this is the case, you’ll get a daily credit for the amount of Wi-Fi applied at check-out.
$200 hotel credit: Platinum card members will get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts bookings with American Express Travel. No enrollment is required.
Complimentary nights and other discounts: Some hotels offer additional perks like a complimentary night or a percentage off of your nightly room rate. For example, the Conrad Punta de Mita has offered a complimentary fourth night and the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has offered 30% off the nightly room rate on suites.
Higher experience credit: You’ll always get a $100 experience credit with Fine Hotels + Resorts, but some hotels offer an even higher property credit. For example, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, has offered a $750 property credit.
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts Destinations
Fine Hotels + Resorts includes over 1,500 properties worldwide. Here are a few examples of qualifying hotels’ popular destinations:
London, England: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
→ Has offered a complimentary third night.
Paris, France: Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome
→ Has offered a complimentary fourth night and $150 property credit.
New York, New York: Baccarat Hotel New York
→ Has offered a $250 food and beverage credit and $150 property credit towards spa services.
Miami, Florida: Mandarin Oriental, Miami
→ Has offered a complimentary fourth night.
Los Angeles, California: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
→ Has offered a complimentary fourth night.
Chicago, Illinois: Waldorf Astoria Chicago
→ Has offered 25% off the nightly room rate on select rooms.
Las Vegas, Nevada: Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas
→ Has offered 15% off the nightly room rate on select rooms.
San Francisco, California: The St. Regis San Francisco
→ Has offered a $200 food and beverage credit.
How to book an American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts stay
- Visit the Fine Hotels + Resorts home page and start browsing destinations.
2. Once you input your destination and dates, you can browse and compare all hotels available. You can use the filter on the left side of the page to just show Fine Hotels + Resorts properties. You can also see Tripadvisor reviews to help you make your decision.
3. By clicking “Select” next to the hotel of your choice, you’ll be able to browse room types. Before you can select your room you’ll be prompted to log in to your American Express account.
4. When you’re ready to book your stay, you’ll be able to pay using any American Express card as long as the cardholder has a Platinum or Centurion® card in their name.
When to use American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts does not always offer the lowest rates, so if you’re looking to snag the best deal you may want to look elsewhere. But, this program is perfect if you’re looking for one of the following:
Boutique or non-chain hotels don’t typically offer the option to get elite status or additional benefits. You may not usually choose a boutique hotel for this reason, but the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program is a good solution for this. For example, the Alila Napa Valley is a boutique hotel that offers Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits and an additional free night.
Without the Fine Hotels + Resorts program, you’ll need to reach elite status with a specific hotel brand to get the same benefits. For example, you would need to stay 50+ nights and reach platinum elite status with Marriott Bonvoy to get a late check-out benefit.
If you’re loyal to a hotel brand, elite status may give you more hotel-specific benefits. But, if you don’t want to worry about staying at a specific hotel chain enough to hit elite status, the Fine Hotels + Resorts program is a good choice. In some instances, you can even use your elite status and Fine Hotels + Resorts together, though many hotels require you to book through their channels to use your elite status.
The experience credit is one of the most valuable benefits you can get with the Fine Hotels + Resorts program. The experience credit is at least $100 no matter how long you stay, so you can maximize this credit on shorter trips. For example, if you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway to La Jolla, California the Lodge at Torrey Pines will cover $150 in spa services as your experience. This is a huge savings for a one or two-night stay. Plus, if you find a hotel offering a third or fourth night free, you can extend your short trip further at no additional cost.
The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers up to $200 in statement credits after you book one eligible stay. This is another big way to reduce the cost of a shorter stay once a year.