Rumored New Amex Platinum Perks Coming In 2018

In late 2016, American Express announced some changes to their Platinum Card (both the personal and business versions). Then in March 2017 we saw even further changes made to the personal version of the card.

With these changes, Amex increased the annual fee on the personal version of the card from $450 to $550, though introduced a $200 annual Uber credit, offer 5x points on airfare, 5x points on hotel bookings through amextravel.com, and more. Meanwhile on the business version of the card they added 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more, among other perks.

I considered these changes to be a net positive, and I continue to have the Amex Platinum Personal Card, while Ford has the Amex Platinum Business Card. There have been rumors of American Express adding more perks to the cards over the coming years, and it looks like we have a hint of what one of the next benefits may be.

Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program

I’m a big fan of the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which is available to those with the Amex Platinum Card. Through this program you receive additional benefits at over 975 luxury hotels around the world. These benefits include the following:

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • A unique property amenity (usually a $100 property credit, free massage, car transfer, etc.)
  • Guaranteed 4PM check-out
  • Noon check-in, subject to availability
  • Complimentary in-room wifi (exclusions apply)

Typically Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings are an especially good deal for short stays, since you get the ~$100 credit once per stay, including for a one night stay. So it’s tough to beat a cheap rate at a hotel while getting an upgrade, free breakfast, guaranteed late check-out, and a $100 credit of some sort.

On top of that, Fine Hotels & Resorts often has third or fourth night free offers, so you can combine the above benefits with that to really get a lot of value. The rate available through Fine Hotels & Resorts is typically the same as the best available/flexible rate through the hotel. So you can’t get these benefits in conjunction with promotional rates, AAA rates, points bookings, etc.

The awesome thing about Fine Hotels & Resorts is that you still earn points in your preferred loyalty program when making one of these bookings, unlike other hotel bookings through amextravel.com.

The rumored new Amex Platinum benefit

Presently the Amex Platinum Card offers 5x points on hotels booked through amextravel.com. This only includes prepaid hotel bookings, and not Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings.

A reader who works at a hotel that belongs to Fine Hotels & Resorts reports that Amex is getting backend and billing information from hotels participating in this program so that they can introduce two benefits:

  • Offering 5x points on Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings with the Amex Platinum Card
  • Allowing Pay With Points to be used for Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings; on the personal version of the card you can only get at most one cent per point, while on the business version they offer up to a 35% on points redeemed through this method, though we’d have to see if this is extended to hotel bookings

Apparently the timeline for this is “early 2018,” though it might take a bit longer than that for them to get everything up and running. Once again, this is just a rumor at this point, and if it happens I’m sure there will be an official announcement soon.

While I wouldn’t consider this benefit to be a game changer, I’d certainly welcome it, as I’d finally get some value out of earning 5x points on hotel bookings, given that I’ve never made a prepaid hotel booking through amextravel.com.

Would you find value if the Amex Platinum Card added the above benefits?

Comments

  1. I’ve always found it odd that Amex gives you hotel elite status with the platinum but then doesn’t actually offer any incentive to put such spending on the card. For those who don’t use Uber domestically on a regular basis, ANY enhancements to the platinum are most welcome.

  2. Won’t the increased earning of MR points create an “inflation” scenario where an abundance of MR points leads to a decrease in value?

  3. This would definitely make me more likely to book FHR. Currently I often face a choice between FHR perks at a really nice independent property, or a 15-20% points rebate at an SPG/Marriott property. 5x MR on FHR rates (i.e, a 10% rebate) would take that some of that edge away from the non-FHR booking.

  4. I seem to find that the FHR rates are so much higher than the hotel’s rates, that’s it not worth it. It would be for one night, but I’m never staying one night at a five star hotel, it is usually for 3-4 nights while on vacation.

  5. Wouldn’t use it. I would rather see a higher airline bonus on any airline charge. Incidentals are not competitive with other cards. Also, primary rental car coverage to make it more competitive

  6. I always book my lodging directly with the hotel, never through a third-party portal, and I never prepay. Chase gives me three Ultimate Rewards points for such bookings. Amex gives only one Membership Rewards point — unless you use their portal and prepay. I don’t see this “added benefit” to be worth my switching from Chase to Amex.

  7. I’ll stick with fourth night free and 3x hotel stay with Citi. I get more bang out of it. Wish Aspire is a virtuoso member.

  8. What Amex really needs to add is trip cancellation, misconnection, etc. Insurance. Unless I am purchasing a very expensive ticket would rather use Citi Prestige or CSR for the insurance and only 3x points.

  9. I think this is good, with these new perks in place, AMEX may restart the 100k signup bonus for a limited time.

  10. No reason to keep this after the current fee year is completed. I’ve had some flight delays and baggage issues recently and have found just how deficient Amex is in supporting travelers vs the CSR. The extra points on FHR is a joke. Four Seasons Tahiti offers fourth night free for the same price that Amex charges all four nights. Of course I’m giving up the $100 credit to save $1700 on the fourth night. The more I compare the past year plus the more I need the CSR only.

  11. Wouldn’t be of any particular value to me. I keep hoping someone will come out with a card where they offer a long list of benefits and you pick a pre-determined number of them that you want. This way you’re not paying for benefits of no value to you. Would probably be a nightmare to put it together, but just a thought.

  12. Make me want to spend money on the card. Better status? MQM? Something to get me to spend. My plat is now relegated to holding for lounge access and hotel status.

  13. I have a CSR Card vs the Amex Card for one simple reason – Flexibilty. I can use my travel reimbursement in ways that fit my normal usage (Parking, tolls, baggage fees) instead of thier preference- Uber. Everything is easy.

  14. If no-annual fee cards can offer 3X points on travel plus $100 GE/TSA pre credit AND a $100 travel incidentals credit, the least Amex Platinum should do is offer better MR multipliers on travel and dining in general.

  15. Yes, true. Our hotel has been involved in these rate code loading and training calls as well.

    Regarding FHR rates being higher than some of the hotel direct rates it doesn’t hurt to ask your FHR agent to check directly with the hotel. Only one rate code can be loaded to FHR so we load our best available rates. We don’t participate in their 3rd/4th night free rates as we often have a longer length of stay at our property but we have various longer free night offers and prepaid discount rates.

    We can combine these manually with the FHR benefits but the agent will have to contact us. Not every hotel will do this but some do. We are frequently in the call center offices and include notes in our contracts but the agents have a lot of information to digest so they don’t always know this.

  16. anything is better than nothing but we’re not putting any spend on our card at this point.

    And, Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program has never once won the day with me vs. other prices in the marketplace, even on the buy 3 get 1 hotels with perks factored in. We’ve held an Amex card since 1992. Lucky you must not be searching for hotel deals too hard. Total Zero.

    Bring back the 50% MR pay with points bonus, then we can talk.

  17. Amex Platinum used to mean something – like best in breed, except for the suckers who pay for Centurion. After re-reading this post, its even more laughable. Hope someone at Amex is reading this board – here’s your focus group.

  18. not much so Lucky I have seen all of you bloggers write about Amex PLT and the Sapphire Reserve, I have both yet none of you will pull the trigger and recommend one over the other. Is it the money all of you get from them or is anyone willing to stick out their neck and say one is better than the other?

    Just asking

  19. Based on the article title I thought this would be something meaningful, but 5x on FHR is a pretty niche/sporadic benefit for most people.

    Amex’s turn-around with the 50% points refund within less than a year was pretty sad. That combined with the Prestige’s 4th night free and better travel benefits, and the CSR/CSP’s lower annual costs, better bonus earning, etc. make the Amex Platinum a far distant 3rd for my needs and travel patterns. I mostly only keep it around for Centurion lounge access, and now that AA has solid Flagship Lounges in the US, I might not even keep the Amex Platinum anymore.

  20. Sorry, this doesn’t make the card any more appealing. Honestly, one would have to be braindead to book the rates FHR hotels charge. It’s always cheaper to book with an OTA or with the hotel directly. The FHR benefits add a significant premium to the typical discounted rate.

  21. Mr lucky,

    You are not selling this card well. We are disappointed. We may need to adjust your commissions if this continues. These dumb shills don’t sound too bright. You should be able to fool a few of them easily.

    Donald J Lyingscum
    Amex mass delusion products
    New York

  22. FHR is ALWAYS sooooo much more expensive than booking through the hotel directly. I am definitely canceling this card at the end of the year. CSR is much more useful.

  23. I guess I’m in the group of meh. Amex is no longer the premier product. They’re a has been. Did they happen to hire the WOH exec who got canned to come up with the ground breaking perk. Amex platinum means nothing anymore and unless you’re a delta ho or captive, have a centurion lounge in your home airport or just love FHR or live in NYC and use Uber like it’s going out of style why in the hell would you keep this card? I canceled mine last week. Amex needs to get with the program.

  24. Do you think AMEX will offer World of Hyatt elite benefits in the future for platinum and centurion card holders? I got an AMEX platinum and centurion in Australia, and I saw World of Hyatt loyalty program being advertised in Centurion magazine.

    Reaching out there to anyone in USA if they know of heard anything of this..?..

  25. Do you think AMEX will offer World of Hyatt elite benefits in the future for platinum and centurion card holders? I got an AMEX platinum and centurion in Australia, and I saw World of Hyatt loyalty program being advertised in Centurion magazine.

    Reaching out there to anyone in USA if they know of heard anything of this..?..

  26. Benefits people will actually appreciate:
    1. Reduce fee to 500
    2. Airline credit to be used for tickets
    3. Get rid off Hilton status (it’s totally worthless) and introduce some kinda airline priority status like SPG CROSSOVER.
    4. Uber credits should be additive
    5. Real primary auto/trip delay insurance
    6. FHR is not a real benefit. Savvy shoppers bet much better deals! – switch that with 3x booked at hotel website
    7. Boingo- another nonsense benefit. Everyone has data on their phones and most airports have WiFi. Gogo in flight certs make more sense.

    I feel if not for the centurion lounges this card would be dead in the water

  27. After a great year with the CSR card I am about to cancel the Amex plat, if not counting the lounges they lose out on about every other aspect

  28. These changes won’t make much difference to me, and don’t offset the fact that FHR has been quietly devalued as properties switch from $100 food and beverage credit to a $100 spa credit. The spa credit is useless to me, particularly on a one night stay when the spa may not be open or is booked. I put no value on a spa credit when deciding whether to pay the higher FHR rate. I must not be the only one who feels this way, as FHR has stopped disclosing exactly what the credit is on their website for many properties. Inevitably when you check in at the hotel, it’s a spa credit.

  29. Very hard to compare Amex Plat. vs. CSR completely objectively. Each has its own purposes and strengths. The same goes for FHR bookings: for last-minute bookings for which no advanced purchase rate is available, you will pay the identical price via FHR and get so much more bang for your buck. This obviously is less the case if there are cheaper advanced booking rates available.

    Also, for those in the know, Amex Plat. can be a real points factory. The same cannot be said for the CSR. (No, not referring to MS…)

  30. They need to bring this to the Canadian card as well as it is $699 per year and really falling behind US product. I do find some good rates on FHR quite often but even though I make the booking on plat I pay with gold as Canadian gold offers 2 points on all travel. Unfortunately that is as good as it gets up here.

  31. Yawn…

    Let’s see… What does the AMEX Plat get me as a HH Diamond, who would stay preferentially at a Hilton if there is one at destination, and now has the Aspire card?

    Existing Amex Plat Fine Hotels & Resorts program benefits — tale of the tape:

    – 975 “luxury” properties to choose from vs. 5K Hilton properties to choose from, including many “luxury” ones.
    – Daily breakfast for two people: Already get that as a HH Diamond.
    – Room upgrade upon arrival, when available: Already get that as a HH Diamond.
    – A unique property amenity: already get that at various properties, including now a $250 resort fee and $100 folio credit at Conrad or WA with the Aspire.
    – Guaranteed 4PM check-out: never been denied a late check-out request in 8 straight years as a HH Diamond, including being approved for a 6pm late check-out.
    – Noon check-in, subject to availability: depends on the property and also subject to availability.
    – Complimentary in-room wifi (exclusions apply): High-speed internet *guaranteed* as a HH Diamond (no exclusions).

    And the two new AMEX FHR perks:

    – Offering 5x points on Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings with the Amex Platinum Card: I now get whopping 14X for stays at Hilton properties with the Aspire.

    – Allowing Pay With Points to be used for Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings: been paying with points at Hilton for properties, like, forever!

    Like I said… yawn.

  32. BTW, is *guaranteed* executive lounge access one of the benefits of the AMEX Plat FHR program benefits?

    Inquiring minds wanna know…

  33. @Morris — That is, in my book, a significant downside of the FHR program vs. a bona fide hotel loyalty program…

  34. Well said DCS. Every post of yours is understated and underappreciated brilliance. Just as our smart leader trump. Sometimes I wonder if you are the same people. You both know so much about hotels.

  35. I don’t get this card at all. I am a elite with the airlines, so the $200 airline credit literally gets me nothing. I only take Uber 2-3 times a year, so this isn’t really a benefit I can use. I have Priority Pass via the CSR, so the AMEX lounge is only a benefit in the rare places where there are limited options (ie SFO). The hotel aspect isn’t a draw either.

    I think this just another over-hyped card…….

  36. @Debit – Got anything substantive to contribute? I did not think so as that would be nothing short of a miracle, which leaves no doubt about who is America’s all-time worst and dumbest “president’s” alter ego.

    Now, get lost and join him in that mental disorders ward that used to be called the White House…

  37. I used the Fine Hotels & Resorts package at the Bangkok St. Regis Hotel last September; what a smashing hotel that was… and the $100 free dinner was awesome. Turns out they were having a special NYC Chef cooking in their Italian restaurant while we were there, and we got an amazing dinner for free. They cut off a few courses (I think the dinner was something like $250 US) but it was still plenty and really wonderful food. Love to go back there some day. Great location too.

    Be nice to get 5% MR instead of 1%.

    My biggest gripe with the American Express Business Plat card is that I hardly use it. I use my 2% Amex Business Blue Plus or my Chase Sapphire Reserve (where I get 3%) instead for most travel-related stuff. They should offer 2% on travel with this Plat card, and I would use it more. Though do like the perks like Hilton Gold and SPG Gold.

    Also my other gripe is them making us choose an airline by the end of January. I have no idea who I’m going to use to fly on my trips in the fall.

  38. Better than nothing I suppose. It is very unlikely that I would ever use this beneift, but some would frequently. Adding this benefit would not increase the chances of me obtaining this card.

  39. I’ve never used FHR, but the extra points would definitely help offset the inflated flexible rate we have to use.

  40. What i’d really like to see is them to replace the travel credits with a straight $400 travel credit that’s as flexible as the one for the Chase Sapphire Reserve…but I don’t think we’ll get that. I’d settle for the $200 travel credit to be usable on airline tickets directly, and even better if you didn’t have to lock the credit into a single airline. and allow the entire uber credit all year instead of breaking it down into monthly credits – or at the very least, how about quarterly? 4 x $50 credits per quarter.

  41. @Rob — You put the finger exactly on what makes the AMEX Plat benefits less valuable than the same or similar benefits from the CSR: AMEX’s are greatly restricted [got to purchase tickets through their travel services to get 5x, or travel credit is good only with one airline], whereas CSR’s are not.

  42. Even someone without elite status this card is not worth the cost. The credits are not flexible and there is huge potential for those credits to go wasted. The CSR is by far the most flexible card and the one I’ll recommend to people looking for a premium product.

  43. Yeah, I’m principally concerned with and mainly getting the card for the Centurion lounge access. I fly out of DFW and since it has one of the best Centurion lounges, it’s kind of a no brainer for me personally.

  44. Chase is eating American Express’ lunch. I left AmEx Platinum when the Chase Reserve came out. I’m seriously now considering Chase Ritz Carlton before I would jump back in with AmEx.

  45. Amex Platinum Points ~$.006 in value ($1000 = 1000 points = $.60 in value)

    2% Cash back Cards ($1000 = $2.00 in value)

    Amex, you’re going to end up losing your members unless you do something.

  46. Hi Lucky, you wrote that “The awesome thing about Fine Hotels & Resorts is that you still earn points in your preferred loyalty program when making one of these bookings, unlike other hotel bookings through amextravel.com.”
    So as a Hyatt Explorist, would the nights booked through FHR count toward my Hyatt elite renewal? Even the 3rd or 4th night complimentary? i messaged world of Hyatt and the rep gave conflicting answers. Thanks!

  47. @ Gio — You earn elite nights, but technically the third or fourth night free (or whatever it is) wouldn’t be a qualifying night. It still sometimes does post, but it’s not supposed to.

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