Your definitive guide to the American Express Global Dining Collection
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Let us introduce you to the American Express Global Dining Collection.
It’s a portfolio of restaurants around the world that partner with Amex to offer cardholders premium dining experiences at some of the top spots in town. Think: special menu items, free drinks and, perhaps best of all, prime restaurant reservations. Yes, even those at venues fully booked online.
It’s similar to the American Express Concierge service, but takes it one step further. In fact, many of the restaurants in the collection have earned Michelin stars, or are continually listed as the best in their given city.
Of course, such an exclusive perk isn’t for just anyone — you’ll have to be a cardholder of The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express Centurion Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or the Business Centurion Card from American Express.
While reservations aren’t always guaranteed, it’s always good to know you have this benefit in your back pocket. It’s like a close friend who always has a connection at the hottest restaurant in town. Let’s dive into the details.
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How it works
It’s simple, really. All you’ll have to do is call the phone number listed on the back of your qualifying credit card, and request to be transferred to the Amex Global Dining Collection. A friendly agent will ask how he or she can help.
It definitely pays to do some research ahead of time and narrow down a handful of restaurants you want them to check in on.
Keep in mind, though, you’ll be subject to the restaurant’s cancellation policy. This typically varies by restaurant, but most range from a 24-hour cancellation period to noon the day of your reservation. If you cancel after that timeframe, you’ll likely have to pay a fee — typically $50 or more. The agent should explain your desired restaurant’s policy before your reservation is booked.
The service itself is free of charge.
Similarly, starting early this year, Amex is introducing a reservation booking feature on its app. Again, you’ll have to be a Platinum or Centurion cardholder, but with the program, you’ll have access to reservations at more than 10,000 restaurants worldwide with just a few taps on your screen.
This is where things get really fun.
As we mentioned earlier, some of the top restaurants in the world are part of this collection. Here are some of our personal favorites. Note that this is by no means an inclusive list: There are more than 40 restaurants in New York City alone! So you’ll definitely want to check out the full list on Amex’s site, as well.
- Carbone, New York City
- Eleven Madison Park, New York City
- Daniel, New York City
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York City
- Le Bernardin, New York City
- Republique, Los Angeles
- Cecconi’s West Hollywood, Los Angeles
- Jean Gorges Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
- Chi Spacca, Los Angeles
- Flour + Water, San Francisco
- Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
- RPM Steak, Chicago
- Zahav, Philadelphia
- Zuma, Miami
- Nobu, Miami
- Sotto Sotto, Toronto
- Momofuku Noodle Bar, Toronto
- Pujol, Mexico City
- La Pergola, Rome
- Seta, Milan
- Blanc, Barcelona
- Chiltern Firehouse, London
- The Grill at the Dorchester, London
- La Petit Maison, London
- The Wolseley, London
- Benoit, Paris
- Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris
- Rech, Paris
Related: The 17 best restaurants in London
- Hakkasan, Shanghai
- Voyages, Macau
- Lobster Bar and Grill at Shangri-La, Hong Kong
- Aqua, Hong Kong
- Man Wah, Hong Kong
- Masque, Mumbai
- Yauatcha, Mumbai and New Delhi
- Heinz Beck, Tokyo
- Beige, Tokyo
- Signature, Tokyo
- Aria, Sydney
- Cirrus, Sydney
- Quay, Sydney
- Rosetta, Sydney
- China Doll, Sydney
- Spice Temple, Melbourne
- Le Hoo Fook, Melbourne
- Marion, Melbourne
Middle East and Africa
- Ling Ling, Marrakesh
- Mes’lalla, Marrakesh
- Zuma, Istanbul
- Cipriani, Dubai
- Hakkasan, Dubai
- Zuma, Dubai
- Nobu, Kuala Lumpur
It’s worth noting that a handful of Zuma, Nobu, Cipriani and Hakkasan locations participate in the program. Many of the restaurants in Major Food Group, including Carbone and Sadelle’s, operate in multiple cities — including both New York and Las Vegas.
Additionally, famous chefs such as Massimo Bottura, Daniel Boulud, José Andrés, Alain Ducasse, Dominique Crenn, Michael Solomonov, Daniela Soto-Innes and Nancy Silverton have restaurants that participate in the Amex Global Dining Collection.
If you don’t have a certain restaurant in mind, you can also call Amex and see what availability they might have for your given time, date and city. Again, the availability is different than public-facing information you might find on sites such as OpenTable, Resy or Tock.
Best credit cards for dining
Of course, no matter where you end up dining, you’ll want to use a card that earns you bonus points on dining. Even though you’ll need to have one of the aforementioned cards to have access to the Global Dining Collection, you don’t have to pay with it. In fact, you probably shouldn’t, as there are other cards out there that earn more on dining purchases.
My personal favorite is the American Express® Gold Card, since you’ll earn 4x valuable Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide. The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening. Based on our latest valuations, that bonus is worth $700. You’ll also earn up to $120 in annual dining statement credits, as well as up to $100 airline fee credit. If you travel abroad frequently, you’ll be pleased to know there are no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have a dinner reservation to attend.
Featured photo by fcafotodigital/Getty Images.
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