Skip to content

How the Amex Platinum card easily saved me $200 on a one-night hotel stay

July 14, 2021
8 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While I loved the monthly Paypal, streaming, wireless and other temporary perks that were provided by The Platinum Card® from American Express during the pandemic, that felt a bit like doing push-ups on the living room floor instead of engaging in a full-body workout in the gym. Every little bit helped, but the Amex Platinum card is far more powerful than some random extra monthly credits provided here and there.

Thanks to the 'pandemic pause', it had been a minute — or really a whole slew of months — since my Amex Platinum had had a full workout of delivering on the high-end travel and lifestyle benefits it is really known for and best at.

But, we recently packed up our bags, dusted off our fancy clothes and headed to Las Vegas with the Platinum polished up and ready for action at the front of the wallet.

In just one night, the Platinum card delivered over $200 in very real and valuable perks and reminded us why we love and keep that card. Here's how.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Saving $200 in one night

It's easy to get lost in the myriad of benefits provided by the Amex Platinum — and that was true even before the long list of new perks that were just added.

I'm not going to run down the whole resume of what this card can do (you can find that here in our Amex Platinum review), but instead, I want to highlight what it did for the night we recently spent at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip.

Application link: Amex Platinum currently available with an offer of 80,000 points after $6,000 in spending in the first six months of card membership. The card does have a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Las Vegas Bellagio (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Those with an Amex Platinum card can book hotel stays at over 1,000 hotels around the world — and throughout Las Vegas — via the Amex Fine Hotels and Resort (FHR) program. While some of these hotels are very expensive, there are plenty that price around $200 per night where paying with cash can be a better value than points.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

This is not a useless gimmick or extra booking step to be ignored, but it's a perk that has the potential to confer tremendous value when booking at a hotel in the FHR program.

The stated FHR perks include:

  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Special amenity unique to each property
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Additionally, you can earn 5 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on prepaid, FHR bookings via the FHR site. On top of that, one of the new Amex Platinum perks is an annual up to $200 statement credit on prepaid FHR bookings (also valid on The Hotel Collection properties). Our booking happened just before that new annual benefit was added, otherwise, the card would have actually saved us $400 on this hotel stay.

At Bellagio, we didn't score a meaningful room upgrade by booking via FHR, but we got the guaranteed money-saving perks.

The 'special amenity' provided for those who book a stay at the Bellagio with the Amex Platinum via FHR is an up to $100 food and beverage credit that can actually be used at 120 MGM Resorts bars, restaurants and lounges.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

While we could have used it at a variety of MGM-affiliated resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, we kept things simple.

Other than the tip, which is expressly not covered by the credit, the $100 food and beverage credit fully covered our casual lunch of noodles, veggies and fried rice at the restaurant aptly named Noodles in the Bellagio — with room to spare.

After seeing the first showing of Cirque du Soleil's O back at the Bellagio that evening after its almost 16-month hiatus, we went for a fancy post-show dinner at Yellowtail (also located within the Bellagio) for sake, sushi and sashimi.

While the leftover portion of the $100 credit didn't cover all of our meal, there was enough credit left from lunch to get us started with a sushi roll or two.

Related: Vegas is back, here's what it is like

Even though we had already used up the $100 food and beverage credit, booking via the FHR program with our Platinum card also allows for a separate breakfast for two benefit each morning.

At the Bellagio specifically, that is delivered in the form of two $30 breakfast credits per day, per reserved bedroom that can be used at Sadelle's, Palio or Cafe Gelato. Just like with the $100 credit, gratuity does not count towards the $60 breakfast credit.

We were able to order breakfast pretty liberally, including coffees, juice, etc. and still stay just under the $30 per person credit at Sadelle's.

Other than the added gratuity, that made our full-service breakfast complimentary thanks solely to booking the right way with the right card.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Last but not least, lining up late check-out (at least a meaningful one — meaning more than perhaps one extra hour) almost always costs extra in Las Vegas.

Securing 4 p.m. late check-out at the Bellagio to align with our evening flight out of Las Vegas likely would have cost more than $40, if it was even available.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

When you take the $100 food and beverage credit we used towards lunch and dinner, the $60 in breakfast credits and at least $40 in value from the late check-out, we were safely at $200 in very real value from booking in this manner.

Considering the paid rate for the one night of hotel was $262.13 plus the $40 resort fee (reduced from $45 by virtue of booking via FHR), that's a huge swing in value without any massive downsides.

Related: How to get more than $7,000 in value in the first year from the Amex Platinum

And it could have done more

Our Platinum card could have actually done more money-saving for us on the trip.

If we had wanted to, the card could have gotten me and my husband into the Amex Centurion Lounges in both Houston and Las Vegas, saving us the expenses on two more meals in transit. Ultimately, the lounges were in different terminals than we were utilizing, so we decided to skip visits on this trip, but that could have been at least another $50 - $60 saved on a few meals.

And while we hadn't selected Spirit Airlines as our annual airline for the year on the Platinum, we could have.

If we had done that, then our seat assignments in Spirit's 'Big Front Seats' for $68 per person could have likely been credited back as a statement credit thanks to the card's $200 airline fee credit benefit. (Enrollment required.)

And the next time we book our hotel stay via the FHR program, we'll have an annual $200 credit to use on the hotel booking itself — on top of the other benefits. That would have resulted in $400 remaining safely in our bank account when combined with the benefits we did use.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum really is the Swiss Army knife of premium rewards cards.

It kept things interesting during the heart of the pandemic with credits on various types of purchases, but getting the card back out there on this trip reminded me of how glad I am to have it in my wallet for its core benefits.

If managing all of the perks sounds overwhelming, ignore some of the extra bits for now and focus on the included meals and late check-out that are guaranteed when booking via Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts with the Platinum card.

Now that life and movement have resumed a fair amount, the Platinum card is ready to make travel more comfortable — and help keep a significant amount of cash tucked safely in your wallet.

Head here to learn more about the current 80,000-point offer available for the Amex Platinum, its new benefits or to see if you are targeted for a potentially even better offer via CardMatch (offer subject to change at any time).

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

Featured image by (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023