Amex Platinum Hotel Status Guide: (Marriott, SPG, & Hilton) [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

The Amex Platinum comes with a host of valuable travel benefits and one area where the Platinum Card shines is with hotel status. But what exactly are these elite status benefits and how valuable are they? 

In this article, I’ll show you everything you need to know about the hotel elite status offered by the Platinum Card which includes status with Hilton and Marriott.

I’ll talk about the types of benefits offered by these statuses like free breakfasts and upgrades and also discuss some lesser-known hotel perks that you may not have realized the Platinum Card also comes with.

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 


What hotel status does the Amex Platinum offer?

The Amex Platinum Card offers elite status with the following hotels:

In addition, the Platinum provides you with access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts which offers a lot of elite-like perks.

Below, I’ll highlight the key benefits you’ll get with Hilton Gold and Marriott Gold but first here’s a quick refresher on all of the major benefits that you’ll receive with the Amex Platinum Card.


Amex Platinum benefits

  • 60,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months (75K offer in Google Incognito and there are even methods to get 100K offers)
  • $200 annual airline credit
  • $200 annual Uber credit
  • Priority Pass access for you and two guests
  • Centurion lounges access for you and two guests
  • Delta SkyClub access when flying with Delta
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status
  • Marriott Gold
  • 5X on airfare and 5X on hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal
  • TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry $100 credit

You can read more in-depth about all of these benefits here


Hilton Honors Gold

Hilton Honors Gold is one of my favorite mid-tier hotel elite statuses because it provides you with meaningful benefits that add real value to your hotel stay.

These benefits include the following:

  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • 80% elite status bonus
  • Late check out
  • Upgrades
  • Lounge access (sometimes 

Complimentary Breakfast

Let’s face it, most hotels like you price gouge you when it comes to breakfast. But many of us allow this to happen because grabbing a bite to eat at the hotel is super-convenient and many hotels offer some pretty tasty breakfasts. So when a hotel elite status offers a free option for breakfast, this is something that catches the attention of a lot of people. 

Hilton Honors Gold provides you with a complimentary breakfast for you and a travel companion. If you are traveling with kids or other people you can sometimes get a free breakfast for them but this will come down to the discretion of the hotel.

For many travelers, this elite status benefit is the primary concern and is what makes obtaining Hilton Gold status truly worth it.

80% elite status bonus

Hilton allows you to earn 10 base points per dollar spent on Hilton stays. As a Gold member, you’ll receive an 80% bonus on your base points so you’ll be earning a total of 18 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent which is only two fewer points than what Hilton Diamond members earn.

At a valuation of .5 cent per point, that’s the equivalent of getting 9% back on Hilton stays which is actually pretty a nice return. Hilton likes to run promos throughout the year so you can often increase those earnings by jumping on these promos. You can also earn more Hilton points by using a Hilton co-branded credit card to increase your earnings.

The take-a-way here is that the Platinum Card gets your a nice bonus on your Hilton earnings which can allow you to cash in on savings.

Late check out

Hilton offers late check out but in my experience they often limit late check out to 12 or 1pm, though it’s possible to get a much later check out time. It all depends on the property and what type of events are going on/capacity at that time. You can find recent data points for Hilton late check out here

Upgrades

With Hilton Gold you’ll be entitled to upgrades. Hilton excludes “executive suites, villas and specialty accommodations […] subject to the discretion of the hotel,” which means that it’s possible to get bumped up to a suite with mere Gold status, it’s just going to depend on the property. More likely, you’ll just get bumped to a bigger room or a room with a better view assuming that’s available.

Executive Floor Lounge Access Policy

While Diamond Members are granted access to the executive lounges, Gold Members are only given these privileges when they “receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.”

So it’s possible to get lounge access as a Gold member, but first you’ll need to get upgraded to an Executive level floor for that to happen.

You can read more about Hilton Gold here

The Bow Suite at the Hilton Auckland, New Zealand.

Marriott Rewards Gold/(formerly SPG Gold)

The American Express Platinum Card used to provide Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold which translated into a matched status of Marriott Gold. However, with the recent merger between SPG and Marriott, you’ll only have Marriott Gold status going forward.

That normally would not be a problem except that Marriott Gold status was devalued after the merger. Marriott added new elite tiers for Platinum and by doing so Gold status lost some of its key benefits like a free breakfast. As a result, the new Marriott Gold is much more on par with the old Marriott Silver.

Here are the three key benefits of the new Marriott Gold:

  • 25% bonus points 
  • 2pm late check out
  • Upgrades

25% bonus points

Marriott offers you 10 base points per dollar spent at eligible properties (which is a lot of properties after the merger). With the Gold 25% bonus, that’s 12.5 points earned per dollar spent on your stays.

You might think that’s not as good as Hilton since you earn 18 points per dollar spent but Marriott points are worth more than Hilton points. I value Marriott points at .8 cent per point so 12.5 Marriott points is like getting 10% back on your stays which is better than what Hilton offers. Marriott also offers promotions and co-branded cards for earning Marriott points, so it’s also a very rewarding program.

2pm late check out

The 2pm late check out is based on availability so you might not always be able to get it. In my experience, Marriott has been pretty good at honoring my late check-out requests, so I put a good amount of value in this benefit since it makes my travels more convenient.

Upgrades

Here’s what the official Marriott terms and conditions say about upgrades:

This benefit is based on room availability at check-in and is limited to a Member’s personal guestroom at no additional charge.  Suite upgrades are excluded for Gold Elite Members.  Enhanced rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors.  At The Ritz-Carlton, rooms with direct Club access are excluded.

So like Hilton Gold suites are excluded and most likely you’ll be put in a room with a better view or more room. But note that you could be upgraded to an executive floor which would provide you with lounge access which is great since that means you’d likely be able to enjoy a complimentary breakfast.

Marriott Renaissance Phoenix Lobby.

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts

The Platinum offers access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts.

This isn’t an actual hotel elite status but it’s a program where you can receive elite-level perks like like upgrades, free breakfast, $100 credits, free wifi, and late check-out. And it’s also possible to still earn your points for your preferred hotel loyalty program.

The rates are usually among the best rates for the hotels and they’ve got a full roster of popular five-star luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Conrad, Four Seasons, etc. And there’s even a rumor that the Platinum Card will eventually earn 5X on Fine Hotels and Resorts. Read more about the program here.

I would seriously give this program a look if you were trying to stay at a luxury hotel but didn’t have elite status with that program.


Hilton Aspire Card

If you are really interested in getting the best status with Hilton you might want to check out the Hilton Aspire card. It’s another premium Amex card and it offers top-tier Hilton Diamond status. Here’s a rundown of all of the benefits offered by the Aspire.

Hilton Aspire Bonus

  • 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (upon opening account and on account anniversary)
  • Weekend night after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • $450 Annual Fee 

You can read my comparison on the Platinum Card vs the Hilton Aspire card to see a closer look at how these cards stack up to each other.


Final word

The Amex Platinum is a benefits-rich card and a lot of its value comes from perks like its amazing airport lounge access. But the hotel elite perks are very strong for the Amex Platinum as well, especially for Hilton. By just taking advantage of them on a couple of occasions one can help offset the high annual fee of the Platinum Card.

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