Advertiser Disclosure: UponArriving has partnered with affiliate partners and may receive a commission from card issuers. UponArriving does not display all credit card offers and affiliate relationships may impact how offers are presented. Amex Disclosure: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
There’s nothing better than wiping out an entire annual fee with one use of one perk.
Below, I’ll show you an example of how to make out like a bandit with the American Express FHR benefit. It’s all based on a special offer that is still active and that you can still take advantage of if you have the right credit card.
Amex FHR program
Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts, also known as “Amex FHR,” is a luxury hotel program that offers special perks at world-class properties all around the globe.
The perks are very similar to what you receive as a typical hotel elite member but the perks get even sweeter as you’ll see below.
When you stay at an FHR property, you’ll receive the following:
- Noon check-in, when available
- Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily breakfast for two people
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Special amenity unique to each property
If you want to take advantage of FHR, you’ll need to have a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Making FHR even sweeter
With the addition of the $200 hotel credit on the Platinum Card, it’s now more tempting for cardholders to utilize FHR. As long as you book the prepaid route, you’ll trigger the $200 credit which essentially gives you a $200 discount.
Many popular luxury resorts in the desert drop their prices by a large margin when those crazy summer temps arrive which can work out very well with this credit.
Last year, I used this credit to cover a $200 stay at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson and this year I used it to cover a night at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.
It’s a really cool historic property that every US president has stayed at since Hoover and was known for being a hotspot for Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe.
It also has unique qualities like a mystery room that once housed a hidden speakeasy and the resort boasts a thrilling (by my standards) 65 foot drop water slide.
You can check out the full review of my Arizona Biltmore stay here.
With all of the taxes and fees, the first night came out to $336 so with the $200 FHR credit I was out of pocket about $136 (earned 5X on the $136).
Finding special promotions
Another way to sweeten the FHR deal is to find properties offering special promotions.
You can often find properties offering additional benefits like the third night or fourth night free or offering you property credits that stack in addition to the $100 property credit you receive automatically.
We jumped on a promotion offered at the historic Arizona Biltmore which offered a $250 property credit on top of all of the other benefits. (This offer is going through October so you still have time to take advantage of it.)
So going back to the $136 out-of-pocket I spent for the first night at the Arizona Biltmore….
Take a look at the line-up of credits that came along with that:
- $60 FHR breakfast credit
- $50 Diamond food and beverage credit
- $100 FHR Property food and beverage credit
- $250 FHR Promotional Property credit
- Two free drink coupons up to $25 in value each
All of that was just for the first night so we had $510 to spend in food and beverage credits in 24 hours.
The biggest challenge was actually using the credit but luckily, my brother-in-law accompanied us one night so we didn’t leave anything unspent.
The annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express is $695 (rates & fees).
So it’s pretty crazy that with the $200 credit and all of the special $500+ FHR benefits, I offset the entire annual fee with a one night stay — at least from a value received perspective.
Adding other cards to the mix
You can also make these FHR redemptions workout by utilizing other credit cards.
For example, for the second night we used one of our free night certificates issued from the Hilton Aspire.
Our upgraded room total ended up coming out to around $488 with all taxes and fees so that was pretty good value for the free night certificate.
Obviously, we didn’t receive all the FHR benefits but we did get a $50 food and beverage credit and the additional night helped us to really enjoy the resort a lot more.
The other great thing about the Aspire and Hilton resorts like this is that you can use the $250 resort credit. So you could use that towards the room rate or for charges such as the resort fee.
Benefits like the FHR program can already be really lucrative. But when you can combine these with additional credits and time them with special promotional offers, the value you receive can start to get ridiculous. If you can handle the desert heat, look for amazing deals to use this credit in the desert during the summer.
If you want to take advantage of FHR, look into a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Advertiser Disclosure: UponArriving has partnered with affiliate partners and may receive a commission from card issuers. UponArriving does not display all credit card offers and affiliate relationships may impact how offers are presented.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analysis & recommendations are UponArriving’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Amex Disclosure: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.