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Discounted Amex Redemptions: Mandarin Oriental Hotels

by on October 12, 2011 · 4 comments

in American Express, Mandarin Oriental

Through 12/31/11 American Express is discounting many of their Membership Rewards points redemptions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to airline transfers, which are generally the most lucrative way to maximize the value of Amex points. However, there may be some options that make sense for your specific situation.
I have tons of airline miles as it is, so I always like to try and figure out lucrative ways to use points to pay for luxury hotels, since most don’t have their own points programs and thus the only way to stay is to pay. Generally though, luxury hotel redemptions don’t make sense in that they usually cost an exorbitant amount of points relative to how much you can pay for a room. However, there may be a situation where using your Amex points might make sense – especially with the current discount and if you are going to a hotel where the currency works against you.
For Mandarin Oriental there are four categories of free nights:

Bronze includes the following properties and with the current discount, cost: 28,000 points a night:

  • Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
  • Grand Lapa, Macau
  • Mandarin Oriental, Manila
  • Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta

Silver is 44,000 points a night:

  • Mandarin Oriental, Macau
  • Mandarin Oriental, Miami
  • Mandarin Oriental, Prague
  • Mandarin Oriental, Sanya
  • Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
  • Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
  • Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Gold is 64,000:

  • Elbow Beach, Bermuda
  • Mandarin Oriental, Boston
  • Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai
  • Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  • Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco
  • Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

And Platinum is 76,000:

  • Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
  • Mandarin Oriental Paris
  • Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona
  • Mandarin Oriental, Geneva
  • Mandarin Oriental, Munich
  • Mandarin Oriental, New York
  • Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
  • The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Overall, I can’t see getting much more than 1 cent per value with this redemption option, but if you have an upcoming Mandarin Oriental stay, you might as well do the math. For example, if you value your Amex points at 1.5 cents a piece, then you shouldn’t redeem for a night at a Silver property unless its going for $420 or more (28,000 points * .015).  And remember, these are capacity controlled – I called and tried to book a room at the Excelsior in Hong Kong for New Years and I was told that rooms were not available using the Amex free nights, but they were available online for sale. Bummer.

Before you do this, confirm that the night you want is eligible for free nights per the official instructions:

  1. Advance reservations required. Please contact Mandarin Oriental at 1-800-526-6566 and state “American Express Membership Rewards” when making reservations for your stay.
  2. If a room is available, make your reservation and get a confirmation number.
  3. Then redeem for your certificate by clicking Redeem Now or call 1-800-297-3276 and indicate that you would like to redeem your points for a Mandarin Oriental certificate.
  4. You’ll receive a certificate within seven business days.
  5. Present the Membership Rewards certificate upon check in at the hotel property.

Since these certificates only have 6 month validity, I’d be extra sure that you’ll be able to use them before they expire. I don’t expect many people to get in on this, but it’s good to know the option exists, just in case you have more Amex points than you know what to do with and want to splurge on a luxury hotel stay.

T&C

  • Customers are responsible for all additional room nights and for all incidentals such as, but not limited to, the following: food and beverage, telephone, fitness center, laundry, etc.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Subject to each Mandarin Oriental hotel’s no-show and cancellation policies. Customers will be responsible for no-show and cancellation charges.
  • Certificate must be presented upon check-in.
  • Certificates are combinable.
  • American Expresss Membership Rewards Certificates have no cash value and may not be sold, bartered or purchased.
  • Certificates not valid with other promotions or offers.
  • Certificates will be applied during the first night(s) of stay.

Mandarin Oriental Platinum Award Black Out Dates:

  • Mandarin Oriental, Geneva
    • 2011: February 28-March 2
    • 2012: January 15-20, March 6-9, May 13-17
  • Mandarin Oriental, Munich
    • 2011:  September 16, 17, 24, 30, October 1-4
    • 2012:  February 3-5, May 18-19, September 21,22,28,29; October 5-9, December 31
  • Mandarin Oriental, Paris
    • 2011:  September 27-October 8, December 30-31
    • 2012:  July 1-6, September 27 – October 4; December 31
  • Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
    • 2011:  January 1, April 30, May 3-4, December 23-24, 31
    • 2012:  January 1,2,  December 28-31
  • The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
    • 2011:  March 23-28, December 31
    • 2012:  January 1, March 19-25, December 23-25 and 30-31
  • Mandarin Oriental, New York
    • 2011:  November 23, December 2-3
    • 2012:  September 17-21, November 21,22,30, December 1,7,8 and 30-31
  • Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona
    • 2012:  February 27-March2, December 31
  • Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
    • 2012:  June 19-23, 25,27,29, July 1,3,5,7 and 9-15, July 27-August 12, August 29- September 9

Additional 2012 Specials Blackout Dates

  • Mandarin Oriental, Geneva
    • February 28 – March 2
  • Mandarin Oriental, Paris
    • January 1,2

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • http://twitter.com/WanderngAramean Seth Miller

    Definitely not a great value in Bangkok. A room lists at ~$400/night so the points would have to be a LOT lower. Also, do these redemption opportunities include the FHR perks? If not that’s another big strike against this option.

    Hotels are rarely a good thing from AmEx MR. I’m not so sure this makes too many of them any better.

  • James

    Once again – it’s a targeted offer, and some of these seem to rotate availability dates. As a current US-based Platinum and Premier Gold card holder, this was offered to me for the month of July & August only. Another card holder received the discount on Hyatt stay certificates 2 months ahead of the bulk of us. The only travel discount I’m currently showing under First Specials is an Iberia bonus, and the October newsletter touts a $100 Pottery barn gift card for 8,000 points which I’m not apparently eligible for. Did these guys invent the acronym, “SNAFU?”

  • James

    Of course, the silver and bronze special show up under specials this morning, and the gold and platinum awards are also showing as available when I go to the Mandarin Oriental offer.

  • James

    Not to obsess, but I just called about why I wasn’t targetted for the 20% discount on the pottery barn gift card shown in the “October Rewards Watch” e-newsletter. The representative couldn’t locate the publication ID number in his system, I had to fax it to him. I’m left to wonder if there’s other offers I should be targetted for that I’m not getting. This kind of call burns up a lot of the representatives’ time, most likely way more thatn the benefit of targetting provides.

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