A complete guide to American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program

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The cost of travel is going up; from hotels to flights, you’ll be expected to pay more for your next vacation. So it’s comforting to know you can still get VIP perks without so much as lifting a finger. Booking your next hotel stay through the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program offers instant elite status-level benefits without having to stay dozens of nights in a hotel each year — think free breakfast, room upgrades and late checkout, as well as credits to use at the hotel during your stay.

Access to the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program — colloquially known as Amex FHR — comes free as a benefit of holding The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or an American Express Centurion-branded credit card. In other words, just for holding one of these cards, you’re entitled to cost-saving perks like free breakfast for two during your next hotel stay, room upgrades and more. And, as an added bonus, booking through Amex FHR is easy to do online.

Read our full review of the American Express Platinum Card here.

Interested in taking advantage of the program? Here’s what you need to know about American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts before you book your next trip.

The American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program is a collection of more than 1,300 top-rated, high-end hotels around the world that offer a suite of perks. The selection of properties is eclectic, with a choice of brand names as well as independent hotels, from domestic properties to those around the globe. And though these are upscale stays, you can find some lower-priced options that won’t completely blow your budget.

For instance, in Las Vegas, you can find stays via Amex FHR for as low as $260 per night — sometimes even less — at the swank Wynn Las Vegas. Meanwhile, the hotel’s website is offering the same room for $309. So not only are you paying less for the stay with FHR in this case, but you’re also getting perks like a room upgrade, on-property credit, free breakfast for two and more.

It’s worth mentioning that you won’t always find a cheaper booking option when searching through Amex FHR. However, you will always get the added program benefits by booking with the service. Ultimately, it pays to do your research when booking. If you value free breakfast for two, have plans to use the on-property credit and will appreciate a room upgrade, an FHR stay can make all of the difference for a nicer stay.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of six Amex cards that provide access to Centurion Lounges.

Getting access to the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts collection is as simple as holding an Amex Platinum, Business Platinum or Centurion-branded American Express card. The Amex Platinum is our favorite credit for luxury travel perks thanks to the slew of benefits it comes with. In addition to access to the Amex FHR program, Amex Platinum card holders can also take advantage of complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status, up to $200 in credits to use annually with Uber, a $189 annual statement with CLEAR airport security, up to $25 in monthly statement credits on eligible entertainment purchases and much more (enrollment is required for some benefits). While the card does come with a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), if you’re able to maximize the card’s benefits, you can offset the fee.

If you’ve got an Amex Platinum, Business Platinum or Centurion card, using Amex FHR to book your next hotel stay is simple. To find a hotel, log in to your Amex account and head to the dedicated Amex FHR booking page. Here, you can peruse hotels worldwide or choose a specific location to fine-tune your search, in addition to selecting dates.

You’ll see results of properties in your location and set of dates, as well as whether there are any special deals on offer. Amex FHR is known to offer deals such as a fifth night for free when booking a longer stay or discounts on the nightly room rate at select properties. It’s worth taking these discounts into account when considering booking with Amex FHR or through a different booking engine.

Keep in mind, too, that by booking prepaid stays via Amex FHR with your Amex Platinum card, you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. In other words, your stay will help you earn points toward your next vacation. Additionally, if you’re looking to save cash on your FHR booking and would sooner use your Membership Rewards points, you can pay with points and still unlock FHR benefits.

The Amex FHR program offers a suite of benefits that can give travelers supreme value in return for booking through the platform. In fact, American Express says that booking through the FHR portal provides an average of $600 in value for a two-night stay, though that, of course, depends on the cost of your stay and how much you’ll use the benefits that come with FHR.

Speaking of the benefits, here are are the six perks you receive for booking you next stay through Amex FHR:

  • 12 p.m. check-in ensures you can relax from that long plane ride or just settle in quicker to enjoy your stay.
  • A room upgrade will be offered if available when you arrive, though some room categories are not eligible so you may want to check with the hotel if this is important to you.
  • Daily breakfast for two is on the house, which will save you both money and time.
  • A $100 experience credit (or more) will vary depending on the property, but can typically be used at a property’s spa, dining establishments and more.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi will keep you connected during your stay.
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout will help you enjoy your last day and maximize your stay with a few extra stress-free hours.

Keep in mind that in order to ensure you get these Amex FHR benefits, you need to book your eligible stay through the Amex FHR portal using your Amex Platinum, Business Platinum or Amex Centurion credit card. The stay must be paid entirely with your card or by using Pay with Points.

Ready to choose your next destination? Here are five of our favorite Amex FHR properties offering worthwhile savings and perks for your next vacation.

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Edition Hotels

Barcelona is a city for everyone. From the stunning architecture — Gaudi to gothic — to the sunny coastal location, memorable art and design and, of course, delectable food and drink, this city enjoys a joyful spirit all its own. You’ll find The Barcelona Edition in the hopping El Born District, just blocks from the Santa Catarina Market, Museo Picasso and the awe-inspiring Barcelona Cathedral. During our recent stay, we used the $100 on-property credit for Asian tapas on the roof deck as well as curated cocktails in the newly reopened speakeasy The Punch Room. And the extra hours we got courtesy of the 4 p.m. late checkout allowed us to snag some time to hang by the pool before we got our last bits of shopping in.

NoMad London, England

NoMad London

NoMad London

After opening in 2021, the NoMad London has made a name for itself in a city that’s filled to the brim with luxury accommodations. Located in London’s idyllic Covent Garden neighborhood where shops, eateries and entertainment abound, the NoMad is within a historic grade II-listed building. Inside, you’ll find that the modern decor blends New York and London arts and culture across its lobby, rooms, suites and restaurants and bars. Speaking of, there are two restaurants and three bars within the hotel. With a $100 property credit available to use during your stay by booking through FHR, you can grab a couple of rounds of drinks at the cutting-edge cocktail den with a speakeasy feel, Common Decency.

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Four Seasons

If it’s paradise you’re looking for, this opulent Four Seasons resort on the Big Island of Hawaii can do no wrong. The design is more like a naturalist’s hidden village rather than a luxury high-rise, with each two-story bungalow featuring huge granite bathrooms and glass-enclosed outdoor showers. You can choose to relax by one of the eight pools or join the tortoises by the beach for some prime snorkeling. Use your $100 food and beverage credit at one of the tiki bars or restaurants, or put it toward a private omakase sushi dinner for something extra special.

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Carlisle Bay

This sun-drenched resort, nestled between forest and sea, sits on the southern coast of Antigua. Known for its pristine white beaches, which Carlisle Bay is lucky to use as a stunning centerpiece of its sprawling grounds, this low-key Caribbean country also boasts adventure travel for those looking for a break from all that relaxation. Carlisle Bay offers 87 luxurious suites, all of which offer private outdoor space with day bed loungers, perfect for that “me time” you’ve been searching for. And when you’re ready to join the world, you can order a full afternoon tea service, reserve space on the tennis courts, go for a nature walk in the on-site tropical gardens or book a zip-lining experience in the adjoining rainforest. Use your $100 on-property credit at the Jetty Grill’s Friday night beachside bonfires with live music.

Conrad Tokyo

Conrad Tokyo

See Tokyo from above at the Conrad Tokyo. A sleek skyscraper with panoramic views of the city, this hotel’s glass towers directly overlook Tokyo Bay and the Hamarikyu Gardens. A classic hotel with contemporary flair, it also enjoys the minimalist design this renowned city is so well known for. And whether you’re there for business or pleasure, it’s worth booking the onsite spa’s signature Mizuki Spirit treatment, which includes a traditional hinoki bath. Though there are four restaurants and a stunning cocktail bar to choose from, you may want to consider investing your $125 experience credit in a sommelier-chosen wine and Japanese sake pairing.

Click here to see rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express.
Click here to see rates and fees of The American Express Business Platinum Card.

Looking for a new travel credit card? Check out CNN Underscored’s list of the best credit cards currently available.