Amex Business Platinum Hotel Credit – As we approach the end of the year, I’ve been able to get a little extra credit that can be used on prepaid bookings with Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. As you may recall, one of the new benefits launched with the Amex Platinum card in 2021 is a $200 annual credit on prepaid Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings. Here’s what I did to sort out my leftovers.
One of the benefits of the consumer version of the Amex Platinum card is the opportunity to earn up to $200 in statement credits per year with prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings or The Hotel Collection bookings. Here are some important things to know about how it works:
Amex Business Platinum Hotel Credit
While many Fine Hotels & Resorts properties are very expensive (especially if you’re used to using points for hotels), there are a few properties that at least occasionally work for something like two hundred dollars (more or less) . Usually you won’t find properties in cities like New York or Milan, but if you look further afield you can sometimes find properties that can be free or close to it after the credit (which better value on Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings because you also get free breakfast for two and a local amenity such as a $100 property credit, which in some cases can be used for dining at the hotel).
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Greg previously published a great post on how to find your own deals at Fine Hotels & Resorts. If you’re looking for strategies to find FHR properties of value (and more importantly how to search wider areas for properties to qualify), check out this post: Find your own deals at Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Check out Fine Hotels & Resorts when I’m looking to use the credit. That’s in part because I value free hotel breakfast, especially at the type of properties typically included in the FHR portfolio (and you don’t get free breakfast at The Hotel Collection properties, even at properties where you get a $100 credit, you can use that credit toward the cost of breakfast).
However, it may be worth checking out the Hotel Collection in addition to Fine Hotels & Resorts. Many times I have come across cases where two nights are almost completely covered by the $200 credit (in some cases it is possible to cover the entire cost of two nights). So it might be worth checking both.
If you’re logged into your Amex account, you can just go to AmexTravel.com to search for both programs at once.
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While I have some stays planned to use the 2022 Fine Hotels & Resorts credits on my household Platinum cards, plans have changed a few times this year and our 3 Cards 3 Continents trip overlapped with the time I was supposed to use my credits, so I canceled the stay.
It is challenging (to say the least) to determine which of the credits have been recovered. Just understanding which lines of activity on your statement are bookings, credits, and clawbacks can be a little tricky to sort out. However, if you draw a specific line and click the little link on the right that says “show more information”, it provides enough information to tell the difference between a new reservation:
See the “Additional Information” section on the right where it shows the hotel where I made this booking.
In this case, I canceled a reservation at Delano Las Vegas and it shows the name of the hotel.
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As you can see, “Additional Information” is “Amex Hotel Credit” as in the first $200 prepaid hotel credit.
Again, to find that information, click on a line item in your statement and then click on the link that says “Show More Information”.
I can say with certainty that making a reservation, getting the credit, and then canceling that reservation a month or two later pretty consistently results in a quick clawback of the $200 credit. Over time, clawbacks are harder to trace back. For example, last year, on a Platinum card, I made several reservations on December 31, 2021 for travel in September 2022. Then, I made a couple more reservations on January 1, 2022 also for travel in September 2022 (to match the reservations I made the day before). I received $200 in statement credits for 2021 and 2022 in January 2022.
Then, in August 2022, I made another new reservation with Fine Hotels and Resorts for September 2022 and I canceled all the reservations I made on December 31 and January 1. About two weeks later, I received a clawback that $174.88. I don’t know why the clawback is at that amount; I expect to lose the full amount of the $200 Fine Hotels & Resorts credit from 2021. I have checked my activity and can confirm that the other $25.12 was never refunded and I have no reservations equal to the amount of $174.88 . The reservations I first made to use the credit were all domestic, so there was no currency conversion at play. I really don’t understand the partial clawback. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amex comes back another six months from now for another $25.12.
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Due to the long time between my 12/31 & 1/1 reservations being made and credited and then canceled and mostly reversed (I canceled on August 31st and got the clawback two weeks later), found out I think Amex has a long memory. I’ve seen a data point or two from people who got lucky in similar situations and didn’t get credit (yet), but those situations seem like rare exceptions (and I have high confidence in arm of Amex.clawback to finally get to that situation).
Instead, I’ll try a scattershot approach. I thought I had a clearer data point about this, but going back to my own records it seems I don’t (did I mention how painful it is to look back through cards with multiple bookings and cancellations FHR and trying to figure out which credits are hurt and which aren’t?). I hope to create a new data point in 2023 (but I welcome reader input if you keep good records and have a data point on this method).
My plan is to make several reservations at Fine Hotels & Resorts before the end of 2022 for travel in 2023. We have some loosely planned trips in the first half of 2022, two of which may fit in FHR stay. I plan to make at least two FHR bookings for stays during the first half of 2023 that I think we can use.
However, if I’ve learned anything in recent years, expect plans to be cancelled. So I will also make an “insurance” reservation (or possibly two).
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We sometimes travel to the east coast to visit family and I’ve mentioned before on the podcast that the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner is conveniently located off the highway outside of Washington, DC and it’s in Fine Hotels and Resorts. It’s a convenient road trip stop and it’s always reasonably priced (between $200-$300 in more normal times, over $300 lately). It’s not the most luxurious Ritz property and it’s not located in DC so it doesn’t make sense for someone looking to visit the city itself. But it’s definitely a night at a SpringHill Suites. I will make a reservation in the fall of 2023 for that property knowing that we are
I would do the same thing with a Las Vegas reservation, where I know we can usually get a reasonable enough flight on Southwest (if they can recover from the epic meltdown that is plaguing them right now) and there are plenty of Fine Hotels & Resort properties with good prices.
My thinking on these late 2023 reservations is that they can serve as a “backup” if Plan A or Plan B doesn’t work out in the first half of 2023.
The rationale for this approach is this: Let’s say today (12/27/22) I made an April 2023 reservation to use the 2022 prepaid FHR credit and I received that $200 credit today. Then, in April 2023, I will cancel my stay (before the cancellation deadline). I am hoping the $200 credit will be refunded
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Credit back. In other words, if I make a qualifying booking now for April 2023 and another for June 2023 and a third for October 2023, I believe the credit will not be refunded if I later cancel the stay in April 2023 while there I’m still June 2023 and October 2023 remain booked (so I still have eligible 2022 credit usage). If I eventually cancel all three bookings, I hope to get a clawback of the $200 credit – but only until I qualify in 2022
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