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Don’t leave money on the table: How I used my Amex FHR benefit to save $897 and you can too

Nov. 11, 2022
4 min read
Amex card
Don’t leave money on the table: How I used my Amex FHR benefit to save $897 and you can too
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Back in September, the TPG staff started to see targeted offers in the American Express Offer portal which were stackable with the annual Fine Hotels + Resorts $200 hotel benefit. The additional FHR offer is $200 dollars back if you book by Nov. 12 and spend $850 on a prepaid reservation.

FHR

Marriott's and Hilton's luxury brands both currently have other Amex Offers for cash back — such as spending $500 and getting $100 back as a statement credit — but the FHR offers were more lucrative for my situation. The specific Marriott and Hilton offers are only valid if you book on their sites directly.

AMEXTRAVEL.COM
AMEXTRAVEL.COM

Not wanting to leave free money on the table, I booked a solo trip to Washington, D.C., to visit my son since he was celebrating a milestone birthday.

In my research, I noticed the Conrad Washington DC was an FHR hotel in the Amex travel portal. It offered prices starting at $302 per night for a king room or $320 per night for two queen beds and a third night free.

AMEXTRAVEL.COM

Since Hilton always advertises the best price if booking directly, I did a quick search on its site and found that the same room I was eyeing was $439 per night — even with my Hilton Honors membership. It did not include any of the perks I would receive with my FHR benefits like complimentary breakfast for two daily, $100 on-site credit, 12 p.m. early check-in if available and a room upgrade.

HILTON.COM

Needless to say, I wanted to take full advantage of the perks and benefits that holding The Platinum Card® from American Express brings with it, so I booked through the Amex Travel portal.

My total booking for three nights at the Conrad before any applied Amex travel credits was $1,105.06, which saved me $497 compared to booking directly with Hilton. It is unusual for the FHR rate to be lower than the price when booking directly; if anything, it’s usually more expensive. The Hilton direct price would have been $1,602.99. Additionally, I also received two $200 Amex credits on my statement: one for the annual Amex FHR hotel benefit and one for spending more than $850 with that targeted offer mentioned above. This further knocked down my total stay to $705.06, which averages out to be $235.02 per night.

AMEXTRAVEL.COM
HILTON.COM

BOTTOM LINE

I originally opened my Amex Platinum card more than a year ago before I started working at TPG. I used the stories and reviews on the website to make a decision about which credit card would be best for me and provide elite travel benefits. I’ve enjoyed using the card over the last 18 months and I have more than covered the $695 annual fee by leveraging benefits and lucrative cash-back offers.

I was able to save $897 by booking with Amex FHR versus booking directly. Let this be a reminder to check the Amex Offers portal for any targeted offers, and book that hotel stay before the end of the year so your credits post before Dec. 31.

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Featured image by ISABELLE RAPHAEL/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.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
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
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees