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American Express’ The Hotel Collection vs. Fine Hotels & Resorts – Benefits & Perks Compared

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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American Express’ The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts may sound similar, but the benefits they offer are different.

What they both do is offer perks that are only available to cardholders of select American Express credit cards when booking travel through Amex.

We’ll show you what you need to know about each of these programs and how they could save you money!

What Is American Express’ The Hotel Collection?

First up is American Express’ The Hotel Collection, which is sort of like the little sister to Fine Hotels & Resorts.

Benefits of The Hotel Collection

American Express’ The Hotel Collection is a group of hotels that offer premium benefits on stays of at least 2 nights at select properties across the globe. You will receive:

  • $100 credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities
  • Room upgrade at check-in, if available

To be eligible to receive benefits at Hotel Collection locations, you need to hold one of the following credit cards:

Your reservation must be paid for with an American Express card, and the cardholder must travel on the booked itinerary to receive benefits. Those who hold the Amex Platinum card will receive a $200 credit each year towards their hotel booking when booking with The Hotel Collection.

A hotel credit will be awarded upon check out for each dollar of qualifying dining, spa, and resort activity, up to $100. Qualifying charges do not include taxes, gratuities, fees, or the cost of the room.

Hot Tip: Your hotel credit cannot be carried over to another stay or redeemed for cash — so make sure to use it!

You can only receive 1 credit per room, but you can book up to 3 rooms, making this an especially nice benefit if you are traveling with a group.

Earn 5x Points on Your Hotel Collection Reservation

If you prepay for your reservation using your Amex Platinum card, you will be able to earn 5x points on your purchase!

In addition to earning 5x points on prepaid hotels and flights booked through AmexTravel.com, the Amex Platinum card offers other great benefits like a $200 airline fee credit, Uber credits, travel insurance, and access to the Global Lounge Collection.

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros

  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Drawbacks of The Hotel Collection

The properties in the Hotel Collection are generally high-end locations — you probably aren’t going to be able to combine the $100 credit with a budget hotel stay.

How to Book a Hotel Collection Property

  1. To book a Hotel Collection property, first, log in to your American Express account. Click on Menu in the upper left corner then select Travel>Book a Trip. Or go directly to the AmexTravel.com website.
How To book Amex Hotel Collection
Image Credit: American Express
  • Select Hotels and search as you normally would.
  • How To book Amex Hotel Collection
    Image Credit: American Express.
  • If there are Hotel Collection properties available to book, you will be able to check the box at the left to filter your results. If there aren’t any Hotel Collection properties available, this box will be grayed out.
  • How To book Amex Hotel Collection
    Image Credit: American Express
  • Select the hotel you would like to book. If you are eligible for Hotel Collection benefits, they will be clearly displayed within the hotel listing.
  • How To book Amex Hotel Collection
    Image Credit: American Express
  • You can pay for your room using an Amex credit card or American Express Membership Rewards points to be eligible.
  • Hotel Collection Properties

    Let’s take a look at how the Hotel Collection’s pricing stands up to booking directly with the hotel.

    In the example below, you’ll see price breakdown for 3 Hotel Collection properties in Chicago — we’ve looked at refundable and nonrefundable rates from the hotels as well as the price when booked through the Hotel Collection. Each of these is for a 4-night stay.

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Hotel NamePrice Booked Through Hotel CollectionPrice Booked Through Hotel’s Website (With Similar Cancellation Policy)Best Price Available Through Hotel’s Website (Usually a Prepaid, Nonrefundable Price)
    Kimpton Gray Hotel$1,357.17$1,357.14$1,088.30
    Park Hyatt Chicago$1,761.04$1,761.00$1,584.90

    If you value a flexible reservation with free cancellation, then booking these properties through American Express might be a good idea. The hotels are almost the same price across the board, so the $100 Amex credit can be a valuable perk.

    But if you are just looking for the lowest price, booking a nonrefundable reservation through the hotel’s website is universally a cheaper option. In fact, for our search, we would have saved $269 by booking the Kimpton Gray at a non-refundable rate directly through the hotel.

    One more thing to consider is that these particular hotels are each a part of a major hotel loyalty program. If you book your stay at these hotels through American Express, you won’t earn hotel points, and any status you have may not be recognized.

    What Is American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts?

    The American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program is the big daddy of Amex’s hotel benefits programs. It offers select Amex cardholders elite benefits and perks at over 1,000 luxury hotels worldwide when booked through American Express.

    Benefits of Fine Hotels & Resorts

    The benefits of American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts are much more robust than those offers by the Amex Hotel Collection. When you book a FHR property, you will receive:

    • Room upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability)
    • Daily breakfast for 2 people
    • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
    • Noon check-in (subject to availability)
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi
    • A unique property amenity valued at $100 (spa or food and beverage credit)

    Hot Tip: Unlike The Hotel Collection, there is no minimum number of nights required to earn Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits. You will be able to get all of these benefits even on a 1-night stay!

    These awesome benefits are available to cardholders of Amex’s most elite cards.

    We mentioned above that those who hold the Amex Platinum Card receive a $200 annual credit towards their stays with The Hotel Collection; this benefit also applies to Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings.

    Drawbacks of Fine Hotels & Resorts

    • Many properties aren’t available to book online. If you are anything like me, this can be a big deterrent to getting a vacation booked!
    • Hotel prices offered by American Express can sometimes be higher than booking the hotel directly. This price difference could negate any benefit you receive through FHR.
    • These are all high-end hotels. While that’s not necessarily a drawback, it does make this benefit out of reach for a lot of people.

    Hot Tip: The FHR benefits are limited to 1 “package” per room per stay, but each cardmember can book up to 3 rooms per stay.

    How to Book an Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts Property

    You can access Fine Hotel & Resorts properties in 2 ways: through your American Express account or through the Fine Hotels & Resorts website.

    To access FHR through your American Express account, click on Menu in the upper left corner, then click on Travel>Fine Hotels & Resorts. Or you can go directly to americanexpressfhr.com.

    How To Book Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
    Image Credit: American Express

    Once you are on the Fine Hotels & Resorts homepage, follow these easy steps to book your stay.

    1. Input a hotel name or destination city, dates of travel, number of rooms, and number of travelers in the main search box and click Search.
    How To Search For Fine Hotels and Resorts
    Image Credit: American Express
  • You might notice that some properties can’t be booked online. You will need to call 800-525-3355 to check availability and book those hotels. Otherwise, just click Select once you know which property you would like to book. In each results box, you will also be able to see which unique property amenity comes with your booking.
  • How To Search For Fine Hotels and Resorts
    Image Credit: American Express
  • Next, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to see the rates for each room type available in both dollars and Amex Membership Rewards points. Be sure to check the cancellation policy for the hotel, as these can vary between properties. Click Book to continue.
  • How To Search For Fine Hotels and Resorts
    Image Credit: American Express
  • You can then choose to pay now or pay at the hotel. If you pay at the time of booking you’ll be able to use Membership Rewards points, or you can earn 5x points by using your Amex Platinum card.
  • How To Search For Fine Hotels and Resorts
    If you choose to prepay for your reservation, you can use Membership Rewards points or earn 5x points by using your Platinum Card® from American Express. Image Credit: American Express
  • All you need to do to complete your booking is fill out the traveler and payment information. If you would like to pay with points, you can choose how many points you want to use — either enough to cover the whole bill or just a portion of it.
  • How To Search For Fine Hotels and Resorts
    Image Credit: American Express

    Hot Tip: You can use American Express Membership Rewards points to pay for prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings. If you don’t see the price in points, make sure you are logged in to your account! You can choose to pay for the entire stay or just a portion with your points.

    Earn 5x Points on Your Fine Hotels & Resorts Reservation

    Similar to using it with the Hotel Collection, you can prepay for your Fine Hotels & Resorts reservation using your Amex Platinum Card and earn 5x points on your purchase!

    In addition to earning 5x points on prepaid hotels and flights booked through AmexTravel.com, the Amex Platinum card offers other benefits like a $200 airline fee credit, Uber credits, travel insurance, and access to the coveted Centurion Lounges!

    How Do Fine Hotels & Resorts Prices Stack Up?

    I wanted to check to see how the cost of a reservation booked through Amex stacked up to booking directly through the hotel’s website, so I priced out a week-long stay at a few different hotels to see how the prices matched up.

    Here is what I found:

    SCROLL FOR MORE
    Hotel NamePrice Booked Through Amex FHRPrice Booked Through Hotel’s Website (With Similar Cancellation Policy)Best Price Available Through Hotel’s Website (Usually a Prepaid, Nonrefundable Price)
    The Mark New York$4,780.94$3,316.00N/A
    Saint James Paris$3,201.57$3,166.89$2,850.20
    Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton$4,130.91$4,165.88$3,879.81

    I am actually really surprised at these results! I was expecting the Fine Hotels & Resorts deals to be a slam dunk in every case — but they aren’t. These examples are all over the map.

    • The discrepancy in the prices for The Mark is a bit absurd, and in this case, it would absolutely make no sense to book through Amex.
    • Booking the Saint James costs a bit more (about $34) through Amex, but the Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits could absolutely make up for the difference. But if you can handle a nonrefundable rate, the difference in price soars to about $351! However, this difference could be made up through the $100 credit and the price of daily breakfast for 2 (especially in an expensive city like Paris). In that case, you need to decide the value you’d get from a potential room upgrade, late checkout, and free Wi-Fi.
    • The Casa Marina Key West is another example where the answer depends on what you value. This hotel is part of the Hilton collection, and the member price is $251 lower than booking through Amex. Again, the free breakfast credit and $100 hotel credit could make up for that, so you need to decide how important the other benefits are to you.

    Another thing to consider with any chain hotel is the loyalty program. When booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts, you may not earn any hotel loyalty points, and any elite status you have with the hotel chain might not be recognized. Based on crowdsourced data, most bookings for Hyatt and Hilton hotels earned loyalty points while most bookings at Marriott hotels did not.

    For some people, those things might be more important than the benefits offered by Fine Hotels & Resorts.

    Hot Tip: One thing to keep in mind when deciding to book directly or through Fine Hotels & Resorts is the duration of your stay. Since there is no minimum stay required to earn FHR benefits, shorter stays can often be the sweet spot of this program. You will get the same $100 credit whether you are booking 1 night or 7 nights! Need some inspiration? Check out these 26 Fine Hotels & Resorts properties that offer max value.

    Final Thoughts

    While The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts sound similar, they offer different perks. The Hotel Collection is available to a larger group of American Express cardmembers but offers fewer perks than Fine Hotels & Resorts.

    When booking properties through either program, be sure to compare your price and benefits to what you can get when booking directly. Sometimes it can be cheaper to book directly with the hotel, but the perks offered through these 2 programs could outweigh any increased price you might see when booking through American Express.

    The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

    For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
    For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
    For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
    For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What's the difference between the American Express Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts?

    American Express’ The Hotel Collection offers a $100 credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities plus a room upgrade (if available) to qualifying reservations booked through Amex. This benefit is only available to folks who have:

    • Amex Platinum card
    • Amex Business Platinum card
    • Amex Gold card
    • Amex Business Gold card
    • Centurion card

    American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts comes with benefits like daily breakfast for 2 people, 4 p.m. late checkout, free Wi-Fi, and a unique property amenity valued at $100. This benefit is only available to holders of:

    • Amex Platinum card
    • Amex Business Platinum card
    • Centurion card

    Where can I find a list of Fine Hotels & Resorts properties?

    To find a full list of properties available through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you can check out the FHR Directory.

    Can I pay for Hotel Collection or Fine Hotels & Resorts reservations with points?

    Yes, if you are prepaying for your reservation you can use your Amex Membership Rewards points to pay for all or part of your bill. Otherwise, you will need to pay using an American Express credit card.

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    About Katie Seemann

    Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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