Home Comparing Benefits Always Book Your Hotel Stays Through Your Premium Credit Card

Always Book Your Hotel Stays Through Your Premium Credit Card

Free upgrades, welcome amenities, and late checkouts are just the beginning.

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Always Book Your Hotel Stays Through Your Premium Credit Card
Always Book Your Hotel Stays Through Your Premium Credit Card
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As part of their core benefits to cardholders, premium credit cards have upped the stakes to help sweeten the nightly deal at hotels worldwide. Each credit card has a bespoke program of benefits available to its members when booking through the respective online portal or card concierge, but the bottom line is the same across all: Booking through your credit card pays off and often in a big way. Free upgrades, lavish breakfasts, welcome amenities, spa credits, and 4 p.m. checkouts are just some of the perks to look forward to. And, best of all, rates are competitive with best available rates on the hotel websites themselves. Here, we look at the general hotel benefits by credit card to show why you should always book your hotel through your premium credit card.


American Express Platinum

American Express’ Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program is available to Platinum, Business Platinum, and Centurion cardholders at 975 luxury properties worldwide. Booking through the FHR portal typically yields best available rates (equivalent to those on the hotel’s direct website) plus a surfeit of additional benefits, including:

  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late check-out (Pro Tip: FHR is the only program that guarantees late checkout.)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • A unique property amenity, which varies among properties (typically along the lines of a $100 spa or dining credit)
  • Select hotels offer the third or fourth night complimentary through FHR. At press time, such hotels included Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, and The St. Regis Deer Valley in Colorado, United States.

So how much does the average Amex cardholder save by booking with FHR? American Express has been kind enough to do the math, informing us that cardholders save an average of $550 per stay. (Pro Tip: FHR is exclusive to Platinum and Centurion cardholders and those who possess gold cards can book through The Hotel Collection Program by American Express, which provides just two perks: room upgrade upon arrival, when available, and a $75 resort credit.)


Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection program is available to Chase cardholders at over 900 hotels and resorts around the world. This program is not exclusive to Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders. It is open to many of Chase’s fee-based credit card members, including the United Explorer card. Benefits of the program include:

  • Early check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Late check-out, when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • A unique property amenity, which varies among properties (typically along the lines of a $100 spa or dining credit)

Citi Prestige® Card

Citi Prestige’s “Fourth Night Free” benefit is the very reason many swear by this luxury credit card. Unlike other programs, which have affiliations with specific hotels, there seem to be very few restrictions on which hotels are eligible to get the complimentary night—score! As of August 2017, this benefit is accessible online through the ThankYou portal, but we still recommend calling the Citi Concierge for bookings to access best competitive rates and to get elite benefits associated with specific hotel brands. Though you don’t automatically get all the perks associated with other cards, many will gladly take a fourth night free instead!


Luxury Cards: Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, Mastercard® Titanium Card™

The Luxury Card VIP Hotel & Travel Program is available to cardholders of all three Luxury Cards at 3,000 properties worldwide when booking over the telephone through the Luxury Card Concierge or emailing the concierge team. Amenities may include room upgrades, spa credits, and complimentary food and beverage. Specifics are detailed by property on the Luxury Card Concierge website (This information is also provided in a guide mailed to cardholders). Though amenities vary by property, some are standard by hotel brand. For example, at all St. Regis, Luxury Collection, and W Hotels, Luxury cardholders will get:

  • Early check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Late check-out, if available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Up to $100 unique property amenity, which varies among properties (typically along the lines of a $100 spa or dining credit)

And at all Mandarin Oriental properties, Luxury Card members will get:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Welcome amenity
  • VIP status
  • $50 credit for suite bookings (per stay)

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® cardholders can book through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection at 900 hotels worldwide and get the standard seven Premium Benefits of Visa Luxury Hotel Collection properties (accessible to all Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders), plus an additional eighth benefit, exclusive to Altitude cardholders. These benefits are:

  • Best available rate guarantee
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two
  • 3 p.m. check-out upon request, when available
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
  • $25 USD food or beverage credit
  • VIP Guest status

A special amenity, which varies by property, either in the form of a $100 credit for spa, hotel services, room rates, or golf or an additional $75 toward dining. (Pro Tip: This amenity is only available at 200 of the 900 properties in the Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, so look up the hotel benefits online before booking.)

 

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 132 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Florida Design, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Robb Report.