Better than expected: Earn 5x & get loyalty credit w/ FHR prepaid bookings

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

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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[…] Update: When I wrote this post, I strongly suspected that prepaid FHR bookings would not earn hotel elite credit or qualify for status benefits or loyalty points. I was wrong. See this update: Better than expected: Earn 5x & get loyalty credit w/ FHR prepaid bookings. […]

RKToledo
Guest
RKToledo

I just completed a Westin Hotel stay booked using Amex Travel. I took advantage of the current Amex offer of $100 off a prepaid booking. I did not receive elite benefits during my stay nor did I accrue Marriott points for the cost of the reservation. I did receive minimal points based on fee I paid for the daily parking.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Yeah, it’s known that booking through Amex Travel doesn’t offer elite benefits or hotel points EXCEPT when booking a Fine Hotels & Resorts stay. Somehow they handle those differently.

bill
Guest
bill

The final paragraph suggests that a prepaid FHR stay would trigger the 6,000 MR for $350+ offer. Is that true? My impression was that FHR stays would not trigger that offer.

AnameOfaguy
Guest
AnameOfaguy

Pretty much every FHR hotel I’ve wanted to book recently gives the “To check for availability call…” message. Boo. I saw in one of the various blog threads that this was a result of them updating the system and not all hotels have been re-entered. Do you know anything about this?

Elias
Guest
Elias

Yes. It happens at the end of the year always. Amex updates the contracts for the next year very late.

AnameOfaguy
Guest
AnameOfaguy

I’m looking at bookings for this year though. They have availability when I call Amex, but the website doesn’t show it.

Thread on FT about this issue: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-express-membership-rewards/1939327-amex-fhr-hotels-not-bookable-online.html

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[…] FHR Prepaid Booking Changes:  Amex has been rolling out changes with their cards and other programs.  Recently they made a some changes with their Fine Hotels & Resorts program which is an all around win for us. […]

AAHA
Guest
AAHA

It won’t be able to trigger amex offer.

Mark R.
Guest
Mark R.

Hmm…I thought certain hotel chains (including Hyatt) do allow you to earn elite night credits, points, and have elite benefits recognized when booking via 3rd party OTA. Others do not. Have you booked other major hotel chains via Amex FHR yet (IHG, Marriott, etc.)?