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

Nov 7, 2020

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Last summer, I had an opportunity to experience something extraordinary — the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, a few miles outside of Phoenix. There was only one catch: midday temperatures easily exceeded 110 degrees, making some quality pool time an absolute must.

Those peak-summer temperatures also made for significantly reduced demand and the far more affordable hotel rates that often follow. So, while the Four Seasons might be out of reach during peak season — fall and winter rates can easily approach $500 — I managed to score a base rate of $230 per night.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Better yet, I used The Platinum Card® from American Express to book my stay through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Although Amex’s rates can sometimes be higher than what you’ll find when booking directly, the perks can far outweigh any price difference. In this case, though, the rates were identical. So, booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts was the obvious choice.

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Benefits of booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

Since my 2017 stay at Amanjena in Marrakesh, Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts has changed the way I think about hotel stays. Assuming I have enough time to make the most of a hotel and its amenities, it can make a lot of sense to spend more than I otherwise would to make the trip even more memorable, if only for a day.

The Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program is accessible to cardmembers with a Platinum- or Centurion-branded card, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. If you pay with an Amex card and book directly through the program — either online or over the phone — you’ll be able to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late checkout
  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • $100 experience credit, which varies by property
Amex FHR perks in summer 2019 at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Amex FHR perks in the summer of 2019 at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

During my stay last summer at the Four Seasons Scottsdale, I was given a $100 property credit to cover anything from in-room dining to spa treatments (and even a haircut, which Amex treated me to the second day).

Technically, the experience credit is only available once per stay. But when I booked a second night after enjoying my first so much, the $100 credit was applied a second time, too.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

I also scored an upgrade from a base “casita” room to a room with a better view of the desert. It was spectacular dining with a sunset backdrop both evenings. And dinner was free thanks to the $100 property credit.

Dinner at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)
Dinner at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts also got me a continental breakfast each morning at Proof, one of the Four Seasons’ on-site restaurants.

Breakfast at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)
Breakfast at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

The hotel applied the breakfast amenity as a flat $30 credit. So, I could order whatever I wanted off the menu. I went a hair over with a matcha bowl ($15) and juice trio ($14) after tax and tip, but the hotel removed the full amount from my bill.

Breakfast at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)
Matcha bowl and juice trio during breakfast at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

From now on, I’m going to make a point of always checking the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts offerings, given how much value the program added with this stay. And while I’d prefer to stay put at one hotel during each stop, it could make sense to bounce around just to experience something extra special.

Related: Is your premium travel card offering enough perks during the pandemic? A card-by-card guide

Bottom line

Ultimately, you can get a ton of value out of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express even without the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. After all, top-notch perks like Centurion Lounge access, an up to $200 annual airline fee credit and hotel elite status provide significant value to frequent travelers. But, having access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and its elite-like benefits certainly sweetens the deal.

Featured image of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 75,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,500

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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