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Don’t leave money on the table: How I used my Amex FHR benefit to save $897 and you can too

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Back in September, the TPG staff started to see targeted offers in the American Express Offer portal which were stackable with the annual Fine Hotels + Resorts $200 hotel benefit. The additional FHR offer is $200 dollars back if you book by Nov. 12 and spend $850 on a prepaid reservation.

amex offer

Marriott’s and Hilton’s luxury brands both currently have other Amex Offers for cash back — such as spending $500 and getting $100 back as a statement credit — but the FHR offers were more lucrative for my situation. The specific Marriott and Hilton offers are only valid if you book on their sites directly.

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Not wanting to leave free money on the table, I booked a solo trip to Washington, D.C., to visit my son since he was celebrating a milestone birthday.

In my research, I noticed the Conrad Washington DC was an FHR hotel in the Amex travel portal. It offered prices starting at $302 per night for a king room or $320 per night for two queen beds and a third night free.

conrad price

Since Hilton always advertises the best price if booking directly, I did a quick search on its site and found that the same room I was eyeing was $439 per night — even with my Hilton Honors membership. It did not include any of the perks I would receive with my FHR benefits like complimentary breakfast for two daily, $100 on-site credit, 12 p.m. early check-in if available and a room upgrade.

room prices

Needless to say, I wanted to take full advantage of the perks and benefits that holding The Platinum Card® from American Express brings with it, so I booked through the Amex Travel portal.

My total booking for three nights at the Conrad before any applied Amex travel credits was $1,105.06, which saved me $497 compared to booking directly with Hilton. It is unusual for the FHR rate to be lower than the price when booking directly; if anything, it’s usually more expensive. The Hilton direct price would have been $1,602.99. Additionally, I also received two $200 Amex credits on my statement: one for the annual Amex FHR hotel benefit and one for spending more than $850 with that targeted offer mentioned above. This further knocked down my total stay to $705.06, which averages out to be $235.02 per night.

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I originally opened my Amex Platinum card more than a year ago before I started working at TPG. I used the stories and reviews on the website to make a decision about which credit card would be best for me and provide elite travel benefits. I’ve enjoyed using the card over the last 18 months and I have more than covered the $695 annual fee by leveraging benefits and lucrative cash-back offers.

I was able to save $897 by booking with Amex FHR versus booking directly. Let this be a reminder to check the Amex Offers portal for any targeted offers, and book that hotel stay before the end of the year so your credits post before Dec. 31.