When to book through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts vs. Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
American Express and Chase both offer eligible cardholders access to luxury hotel collections. The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express will get you access to American Express’ Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR), and an array of Chase cards — including the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and some of their cobranded options — come with access to Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC).
Each program comes with its own set of benefits, but many of them overlap. For cardholders who have access to both, there are situations where it makes more sense to book with one over the other.
Guaranteed late checkout with Amex FHR
When you book your stay through Amex FHR, you’ll receive the following benefits:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
- Daily breakfast for two
- Guaranteed 4 pm late checkout
- Noon check-in, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Unique property amenity (valued at $100 or more)
Occasionally, you’ll also have access to special offers, such as a free fourth-night stay.
While early check-in and room upgrades are subject to availability, you can count on receiving the other benefits with each stay, whether you’re booking one night or five.
Chase LHRC offers a similar lineup of benefits:
- Daily breakfast for two
- A unique benefit worth up to $100
- Unique to each property, but often includes lunch or dinner for two, a spa treatment, golf green fee waivers, a welcome gift or airport transfers
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- A room upgrade, if available
- Early check-in and late checkout, if available
But there is one notable difference: Amex offers a guaranteed 4 pm checkout. For larger families that take some time getting around in the mornings or night owls who would rather sleep in after a night on the town, late checkout can be a godsend.
More transparent pricing through Chase LHRC
When you compare prices between Amex FHR and Chase LHRC, you’ll probably notice that the upfront cost for Amex rooms is often lower than what you’ll find with Chase for the same room type and dates. This is because Amex FHR doesn’t include estimated taxes and fees with their original pricing estimate listed on site.
Most of the time, prices are comparable between each program. However, Chase makes it easier for me to get a full picture of how much a room will cost per night. It’s a small benefit that rarely means significant savings with Chase, but I like that Chase is more upfront about room costs. I don’t want to have to go through the entire booking process to find out an accurate estimate of what a room will cost, especially when I’m comparing multiple properties before making official reservations.
Special offers with Amex FHR
One of the unique advantages of Amex FHR is its list of special offers. When you search for properties at any given destination, you can sort by special offers. You can often find additional property credits or fourth-night free awards, which can save you hundreds of dollars on your stay.
Keep in mind that these offers are subject to availability, and there is no guarantee that the specific property or destination you’re looking at has any worthwhile offers for the dates of your trip. However, when you can take advantage of an extra $100 dining credit or a fourth-night free, it’s worth it to book through FHR.
Unique property benefit with Chase LHRC
Both hotel collections offer a unique property amenity with each stay, typically in the form of a property credit. However, in some destinations, travelers are starting to see Amex FHR offer more limiting credits. In these cases, Chase may offer a more compelling unique benefit.
TPG Writer Katie Genter has a few unique examples of property benefits she’s received when she’s booked a stay through Chase LHRC:
- Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago provides daily access to the Westin Executive Club
- Sukhothai Bangkok offers a complimentary 60-minute massage for up to two guests per room once during their stay
- Mystique in Santorini offers a wine tasting for two and a bottle of Santorini wine once during your stay
When there’s overlap between the two programs, always double-check prices and benefits with each program. As of late, I’ve seen Chase offer a wider array of unique amenities that can make it more beneficial for me to book through LHRC. That may not always be the case, and it really all comes down to how much you value certain types of amenity credits.
Amex FHR and Chase LHRC are both great programs, and you can find value with both. Which you should book through really depends on the situation: Do you want guaranteed late checkout? What type of credit does each offer for properties in the area where you’re staying? Is there a special offer you can take advantage of?
For those who have access to both, it’s worth comparing your options before each trip. Sometimes one makes more sense than the other, but sometimes you’ll find comparable prices and benefits. In these cases, look at which card you’ll get the most value from.
Also, check to see if booking directly through the hotel offers a better deal.
Featured image courtesy of Becca Manheimer/The Points Guy.
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