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See how American Express Travel helped one TPG staffer book his first trip to Denver

Dec. 14, 2021
7 min read
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American Express Travel provides an array of services for cardholders. From special flight prices to the ability to use Membership Rewards® points on your flight or prepaid hotel booking, there’s great value in using the site to plan your next getaway.

And as one TPG staff member recently discovered, it can be a fantastic way to unlock even more perks when you’re looking for comfortable and convenient accommodations on your trip.

Here’s how American Express Travel helped Marc Ramos, TPG’s video editor, maximize his first-ever trip to Denver. Scroll to the bottom for a video of his experience.

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The benefits

Marc’s trip to Denver was inspired by the hotel-related benefit that recently launched on The Platinum Card® from American Express. This specifically applies to properties that are part of either The Hotel Collection or Fine Hotels + Resorts from American Express Travel. Eligible cardholders can get $200 back in annual statement credits on prepaid hotel bookings that are part of these programs when they pay with their Platinum Card, and requires a minimum two-night stay.

Read more: A closer look at the Amex Platinum’s 6 new benefits launched in 2021

The perks don’t stop there, though. For Fine Hotels + Resorts bookings made through American Express Travel, cardholders will enjoy the following:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • $100 experience credit, which varies by property, to use during your stay
  • Late checkout at 4 p.m., guaranteed
  • Early check-in at noon, when available
  • Room upgrade at check-in, when available (some room categories are not eligible for upgrades)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Meanwhile, on The Hotel Collection bookings made through American Express Travel for two or more nights, cardholders will receive a room upgrade at check-in, when available (some categories are not eligible for upgrades), and a $100 experience credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities.

​​Note that The Hotel Collection (and the above perks) is also available to travelers with the American Express® Gold Card when they book an eligible stay through American Express Travel. However, Gold cardholders do not get the $200 credit for these bookings.

Even better? Participating properties in these programs span the major loyalty programs — including Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors — but also feature other luxury brands and even smaller boutique hotels.

The balcony in Marc's upgraded room was perfect for a morning cup of coffee. (Photo by The Points Guy)

The property

With the Mile High City in his sights, Marc chose The Maven Hotel, a modern, stylish property in Denver’s Dairy Block district, part of the LoDo neighborhood. All of Maven’s 172 guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows paired with metal fixtures, wood accents and occasional pops of color to create loft-style accommodations.

Marc was originally confirmed in a standard room, but since he booked his reservation through The Hotel Collection and American Express Travel with his Platinum Card, he was upgraded to a craftsman king room upon arrival. The interior of the room itself was similar to what he originally booked, but the craftsman featured a furnished balcony with a view of the area — a perfect spot for relaxing with a morning cup of coffee from the in-room, pour-over coffee maker.

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

The location

For Marc, location is everything when it comes to picking a hotel — and the Maven didn’t disappoint. It’s situated in Denver’s Lower Downtown area, or LoDo for short. This part of the city is known for its trendy shops and array of eateries, but the Maven’s specific locale — at the corner of Wazee and 19th streets — is particularly noteworthy.

For starters, Denver’s Union Station is just three blocks from the hotel, and with the A-line train from Denver International Airport (DEN), you can utilize public transportation to easily reach the hotel. The ride takes just 37 minutes and will set you back $10.50 each way — far cheaper than renting a car or using a ride-hailing service. And with departures every 15-30 minutes in each direction, you won’t be waiting long for a train.

Baseball fans will also appreciate the fact that The Maven is just one block from Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. In fact, you could see the stadium from Marc’s balcony, making the property an ideal spot for those looking to enjoy the national pastime on a trip to Denver.

Finally, the LoDo neighborhood boasts dozens of restaurants, bars and shopping outlets, but the Dairy Block — where The Maven sits — warrants special mention. Formerly the home of Windsor Dairy, the up-and-coming area now features 15 shops, 19 restaurants and seven bars, giving guests plenty to explore during their stay.

Related: Your definitive guide to the American Express Global Dining Collection

Marc made sure to sample Denver's well-known beer scene. (Photo by The Points Guy)

The experience

While his room was comfortable, Marc wanted to experience all that LoDo has to offer. He started by whetting his appetite in Kachina Cantina, the restaurant in the lobby of The Maven. The Southwestern-inspired menu puts unique twists on a number of classic dishes — and was a perfect spot to use the $100 experience credit he received by booking his two-night stay through The Hotel Collection and American Express Travel.

Now it’s virtually impossible to visit Denver without trying out the city’s notable craft beer scene, so during his time at The Maven, Marc ventured out to Great Divide Brewing Company, one of several breweries within walking distance of the property. His flight of local beers was perfect for the warm afternoon.

Of course, the city is also a jumping off point for the great outdoors, and there are dozens of hiking trails a short drive away from downtown. A rental car can be a great help here, but with several companies in the downtown area, it’s easy to grab a vehicle just for the day rather than paying for one across the entire trip.

Getting some fresh air and exercise away from the relative bustle of Denver was the perfect way for Marc to wrap up his trip.

Bottom line

Visiting a destination for the first time can be a great experience, but doing so by booking accommodations through American Express Travel can add even more value. Marc’s visit to Denver was proof of that, as he had a terrific (and rewarding) stay at The Maven Hotel thanks to The Platinum Card® from American Express.

With $200 in annual statement credits for prepaid hotel reservations booked and paid for with your Platinum Card through American Express Travel at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties, which requires a minimum two-night stay plus an array of perks during your stay, this could be the perfect way to plan your next vacation — whether you’re looking for a city getaway, an outdoor adventure or a combination of the two.

To see more properties available through these programs, check out the homepages for The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts — and be sure to watch the video of Marc’s experience below.

To see the terms and conditions for the benefits mentioned above, please visit these links:

Full video

Featured image by Getty Images

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
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

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more