Rebooking got me $400 in hotel value — reader success story

Jan 22, 2020

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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Joseph, who made use of a relatively-unheralded credit card benefit:

I recently made a reservation for four nights at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, and booked directly through the hotel with my American Express® Gold Card. A few weeks before the stay, I applied for the United Explorer Card, which I read gave me access to the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC).

Upon checking, I found the same property and dates through LHRC for $50 less per night, plus a $100 food and beverage credit, a great room upgrade, early check-in and delicious daily breakfast buffet for me and my friend! I got over $400 in value simply by booking through Chase LHRC, which made the $95 annual fee on my Explorer card very worthwhile.

I advise other readers who hold eligible Chase cards to learn about LHR and leverage it on their next trip!

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Programs like the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts are the first place I look when I’m booking a hotel stay and not planning to use points. Standard benefits include early check-in, late check-out and upgrades (when available), complimentary Wi-Fi, daily breakfast and an amenity unique to each property (like a food and beverage credit, spa credit or private airport transfer). You may also receive perks like VIP guest status (which waives certain fees, allows you to skip lines, etc.) or a complimentary night on longer stays. As Joseph’s story shows, these perks can add a lot of value to a hotel booking, especially at properties that don’t offer their own loyalty rewards.

These programs aren’t always the best option, however. Joseph found a better rate through LHRC, but that won’t always be the case. Many hotels have best rate guarantees — Fairmont offers to beat competing rates by 10% — so even if you do find a lower price from Chase or Amex, do the math to make sure you’re not overpaying for the added perks. Furthermore, you won’t consistently earn points or elite credits when booking through a third party, and your existing elite benefits might not be honored, so weigh the value you stand to gain against what you stand to lose by not booking directly.

Related: The best credit cards for luxury hotel stays

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Joseph a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually, but we’ll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured photo by Spencer Watson/Unsplash.

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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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