Amex recently rolled out an enhancement for Fine Hotels & Resorts, a program open to Amex Platinum holders that guarantees some excellent benefits when booking luxury hotels. The key change is that if you book online and prepay for your stay, you can earn 5x Membership Rewards points. When we reported on this development, my strong expectation was that prepaid bookings would not earn hotel loyalty points, elite credit, or qualify for elite benefits. I was wrong. It turns out that prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings both earn 5x and qualify for elite credit / benefits. That’s awesome.
When I saw the screen above, I thought for sure the choice would ultimately be between earning 5x Membership Rewards points and earning hotel elite credit. In the past, bookings paid directly to the hotel have qualified for benefits and hotel points (unlike bookings through most online travel agencies — including most Amex Travel prepaid hotel bookings).
However, Katie Genter at The Points Guy confirms that she booked a Hyatt property through FHR, prepaid online, and earned World of Hyatt points for her stay. She doesn’t mention status benefits, though I expect that if you earn points you will also enjoy any status benefits you would otherwise enjoy when booking direct.
This is an awesome development as it means that it will be possible to earn a nice haul of Membership Rewards points in addition to the fantastic benefits of the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. For more on how Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts works (and a comparison to Chase’s Luxury Hotel Collection program), see this post: Chase Luxury Hotels & Resort Collection vs Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Now I still wonder whether or not prepaid bookings will trigger and Amex Travel offer like the current Amex Offer for 6,000 Membership Rewards on a prepaid hotel booking of $350+. If it does, a $350 booking paid for with a card loaded with that offer would earn a total of 7,750 Membership Rewards points — in addition to FHR benefits like daily breakfast for two, a ~$100 property amenity, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, etc. That’s a very solid deal indeed.
H/T: The Points Guy