Here’s your guide to the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit

Jul 9, 2021

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In early July, American Express made a significant refresh to its bread-and-butter premium card, The Platinum Card® from American Express.

One of the major changes was the addition of several new annual credits: An up to $240 digital entertainment credit, an up to $189 Clear statement credit, an up to $300 Equinox statement credit and yes, an up to $200 prepaid hotel statement credit. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Today, we’re going to walk you through this Platinum hotel perk.

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But before we get there, here are some important things to note: These new credits did not come without a cost. Amex increased the Platinum card’s annual fee from $550 per year to $695 per year (see rates and fees). For new applicants, you’ll be required to pay this new fee immediately, but existing cardholders won’t have to fork over the extra cash until renewals begin in January 2022.

Thankfully, the up to $200 prepaid hotel credit is fairly easy to use — and can fully offset the annual fee increase.

Let’s walk through how to make the most of this credit for your upcoming travels.

In This Post

What is the new Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit?

Park Hyatt Aviara (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

Amex offers the ability to book travel through the Amex Travel platform. There, you can book everything from hotels to airfare to rental cars. Within Amex Travel are two hotel programs that provide elite-like perks to select cardholders: Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) and The Hotel Collection.

Amex Platinum cardholders have access to both of these programs — and now you can get up to $200 off annually by prepaying your hotel booking.

Amex FHR provides true elite-like benefits — such as daily breakfast, room upgrades, late checkout and other extras — at more than 1,100 upscale properties worldwide.

Meanwhile, The Hotel Collection provides a room upgrade at check-in when available and up to a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities. Note that The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay while Amex FHR does not have a minimum stay requirement.

How to use the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit

Unlike some other Amex Platinum credits, you do not have to register for the prepaid hotel credit before using it.

To get started, you can either head over to Amex Travel directly and search for a hotel or navigate specifically to the Amex FHR and The Hotel Collection landing page.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

If you search on the general Amex Travel site, you can filter hotels for qualifying Amex FHR and The Hotel Collection properties.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

Related: Should you use points or cash to book hotels?

Then, you’ll go through the booking process as you typically would and use your Amex Platinum card to pay for either the Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection stay.

Amex says it may take up to 90 days for the up to $200 annual statement credit to post, but anecdotally, that may be much, much faster. I made a prepaid Amex FHR booking on July 1 for an upcoming hotel stay and noticed a statement credit on my Platinum card account within a day.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)
(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)

Related: How American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts can land you elite-like benefits at top hotels

FAQs on Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit

Are all hotels eligible for the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit?

No, not all hotels are eligible for the prepaid hotel credit. A prepaid hotel must be booked through Amex Travel and specifically for either a hotel under the Fine Hotels & Resorts program or The Hotel Collection program.

Is there a minimum stay requirement for the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit?

While there is technically no minimum stay requirement to use the prepaid hotel credit, to qualify for The Hotel Collection, you must book for at least two consecutive nights. Fine Hotels & Resorts does not have any stay minimums.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Can I use the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit across multiple bookings?

Yes, if you don’t spend all $200 on a single, prepaid Amex FHR or The Hotel Collection booking, you can receive up to $200 across multiple reservations.

Will I earn elite status or loyalty benefits when I use the Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit?

Maybe. While many hotels will still provide loyalty benefits and elite credit for stays, not all do.

Related: Be careful how you book MGM hotels in Vegas

Do authorized users get their own Amex Platinum prepaid hotel credit?

No, Amex Platinum authorized users do not receive their own up to $200 prepaid hotel credit. However, the benefit may be split across all cards on the account.

Bottom line

The up to $200 prepaid hotel credit is one of the more valuable new benefits on the Amex Platinum card. If you can fully utilize it and think it’s worth at or near face value, you’re already coming out ahead versus the Platinum’s recent $145 annual fee increase.

The properties bookable through the Amex FHR and The Hotel Collection program are well-rated premium properties that Amex says are hand-selected. Just be sure to book a prepaid rate.

Official application link: The Platinum Card from American Express

Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000 or 150,000-point Platinum card offer (after meeting minimum spending requirements). These offers are subject to change at any time.

Featured photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy. 

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here

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