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American Express recently raised the annual fee on the Platinum Card to $695 (See Rates), which is a big jump.
There are also new travel and lifestyle credits to help offset the fee increase, including up to $200 per calendar year toward prepaid hotels that are part of Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection. Together, they make up over 1,700 hotels around the world where you can potentially stay and receive $200 per calendar year as a statement credit after booking.
Read more: The Amex Platinum increased its annual fee to $695 — are the new benefits worth it?
Of all the new credits, this one is the most broadly appealing and easiest for most cardholders to use. In addition to the $200 credit, you’ll also receive exclusive perks during your stay, which vary by the hotel but usually include some sort of credit toward dining, an upgraded room, and late checkout.
There aren’t any stay requirements for Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings, but you must stay at least two nights at The Hotel Collection properties to receive the credit. Keep in mind, you’ll usually earn points or credit toward elite status if the hotel has its own loyalty program, but not always. Even if you don’t, the benefits you receive through Amex can be worth much more.
How to use the Amex Platinum $200 hotel credit
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100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership
To qualify for the Platinum Card’s hotel credit, you’ll need to book your stay through Amex Travel and select a hotel that’s part of either Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection. You’ll know which hotels qualify because you’ll see a banner in the search results and a box explaining what benefits you’ll receive for your booking.
You’ll also receive 5x Amex Membership Rewards points on your booking when you pay with your Platinum Card.
Read more: How to use the Amex Travel Portal to book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more — and make the most of your Membership Rewards points
For Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings, you’ll usually get a guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout, daily breakfast for two, and an experience credit that you can use for spa services or dining. The exact benefits vary by hotel, but usually add a lot of value to your overall stay.
The Hotel Collection bookings come with a $100 credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and other resort activities (but not room rates, taxes, gratuities, or fees) and a room upgrade at check-in, if available. Note that these bookings require a two-night minimum stay to redeem your $200 statement credit.
To receive your $200 annual statement credit, you’ll need to prepay for your stay using your Platinum Card, meaning you pay when you book and not when you check out of the hotel. Amex says it can take up to 90 days to see the credit on your account, but in practice, credits like this usually post much faster.
Read more: The Amex Platinum card gets you access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program for luxury hotel benefits — after a stay in Paris, I think it’s worth the hype
Note that credits may be canceled or reversed if you modify or cancel your stay, so be sure to use your credit for a hotel you actually want to visit. This credit is also “use it or lose it” — it doesn’t roll over so you can’t save it for a more expensive stay. Authorized users are eligible to receive the credit, but you can only receive up to $200 per calendar year across all the cards attached to your account.
How to maximize the Amex Platinum hotel credit
Amex Fine Resorts & Hotels properties tend to be more luxurious and upscale. For that reason, there aren’t many that cost around $200 per night, but you can come close. Considering all the other benefits you’ll receive, like free breakfast, late checkout, and an experience credit — on top of $200 back as a statement credit — you can do well with a one-night stay at nearly any of the hotels that participate. Using your $200 credit for a one-night stay that costs as close to $200 would be the sweet spot for these types of bookings.
The Hotel Collection properties tend to cost less, but Amex has a two-night minimum stay requirement, which means you’ll likely have to pay for a part of your stay. But you’ll receive $100 to use at the property and a room upgrade if one is available, so again, you can do well with finding a room that’s close to $200 for two nights.
Read more: The Amex Platinum has a long list of benefits, but 6 of them are especially easy to maximize
The best use would be on a stay where you’ll take advantage of all the benefits that are offered. That means enjoying the breakfast, requesting a late checkout, and hopefully getting an upgraded room. Even if you don’t have any trips planned, you could always use the statement credit for a stay in your hometown or within a short days’ drive. Or, as part of a trip, you could book a hotel to use your statement credit, and then switch to a cheaper (or free with points) hotel for some added luxury as part of a longer trip.
Other valuable Amex Platinum credits
In addition to up to $200 in hotel credits, the Platinum Card also comes with other credits you can use in your travels or closer to home, including:
For more details, check out our complete Amex Platinum review, and find out ways to use American Express Membership Rewards points toward travel.
If you have a Platinum Card, you can receive up to $200 per calendar year when you book a stay through Amex Travel at a hotel that’s part of Fine Resorts & Hotels or The Hotel Collection. The benefit is automatic when you prepay for your booking with your Platinum Card and resets every year.
Considering there are 1,700+ hotels included across both sets of eligible programs, this is probably the easiest statement credit for most people to use every year. For the most value, be sure to use all the offered amenities, like late checkout, breakfast, and any credits you receive to use at the property.
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3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months
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$200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
Good to Excellent