Amex limits Platinum benefit, Hyatt expands in Europe and even Rick Steves gets pickpocketed, (Saturday Selection)


Hyatt expands its European footprint, American Express makes its Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts credit more difficult to use, and Greg the Frequent Miler joins Rick Steves in the “getting robbed in a foreign country club.” All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

Greg the Frequent Miler joins Rick Steves in the “I got robbed in a foreign country club”

two men in a car
Nick and I in the Ritz’s car on the way to one of several police stations in Santiago

During our recent “Party of 5” Challenge, Greg’s backpack was stolen by a thief at the airport in Santiago, Chile. He was able to track the bag’s location using ear pods that were still inside of it but, unfortunately, trying to find it just led to he and Nick going on a wild goose chase that involved a tour of various police precincts in Santiago. This reminded me of when “travel-guru” Rick Steves was pickpocketed in France several years ago (linked above). He was very humble and had took away good lessons from the experience (as I’m sure Greg does as well).

United automates rebooking flights and providing meal coupons for flight disruptions

a white airplane on a runway

United isn’t exactly known for the efficiency of its operations. When I used to have to fly it home to Nebraska over the holidays, I could count on getting stuck overnight in Denver at least one-way each year(once both ways) and getting meal vouchers for the food court that took care of about half the price of a Sbarro. Now, United is trying to automate the entire irregular operations process, letting passengers re-book and get meal and/or hotel vouchers directly through the app. That’s handy, although it does mean that you miss out on the profound sense of community that comes with waiting in the customer service line for hours with 80 other similarly-stranded compatriots.

New and improved British Airways Qatar partner award chart

a group of logos on a sign

British Airways has long had a strange approach to partners awards on Qatar Airways. Instead of just folding Qatar into its normal partner award chart, BA had a completely different chart that was relatively poor value, with the exception of some low-priced short-distance connecting flights to/from Doha. BA recently updated its Qatar award chart and, while the well-priced short-distance flights are gone, there are some significant improvements; notably a decrease in the cost to fly from US-Asia and US-India. JT Genter breaks it down wonderfully in the post linked above.

World of Hyatt expands European footprint by adding Lindner hotels

a room with tables and chairs
Lindner Hotel Antwerp (image courtesy of Lindner Hotels

Hyatt’s oft-described “limited” footprint has historically been downright skeletal when it comes to Europe. While this improved a few years ago when Hyatt’s partnered with Small, Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), many of the (admittedly, quite nice) properties are priced at the higher end of redemptions, usually 25,000+ points per night. Last year, Hyatt announced another European partnership, with Lindner Hotels. Lindner has 29 hotels in seven countries, but the vast majority are in Germany. On the opposite end of the spectrum from SLH, these tend to be more mid-range hotels with very reasonable prices, both in cash and points. While Ben, in the article above, says that all 29 properties are able to be booked through WOH, I’ve found that it’s a little spottier than that, with many hotels requiring you to book directly through the hotel website instead of through World of Hyatt. That said, I was able to score a Lindner next month near Frankfurt for around 45 Euros/night when booking through the app. I’ll be interested to see what the experience is like.

These properties are being listed under the JdV moniker in World of Hyatt, so they’ll tick off that brand explorer box for those who need it.

American Express makes Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts Credit slightly more difficult to use

a pool inside a building
Rooftop pool at Ritz Carlton Santiago, where the whole FM team recently stayed using FHR credits

One of the more enjoyable Amex Platinum coupons to try and maximize is the $200 Fine and Hotels Resorts (FHR) credit. This is an annual $200 credit for booking a stay through Amex Travel at a property that’s in the Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) portfolio. These can be a great deal, as they include room upgrades, 4pm checkout, free breakfast for two and some sort of property or spa credit as well. During Party of 5, the FM team was able to use FHR credit to great value at the Four Seasons Macau (where the team got to sample century eggs) and the Ritz Carlton Santiago. In the case of the Ritz, each room was only $39 after the $200 credit and we were able to get 8:30am check-in, 4pm check-out, suite upgrades and $300 in total food and beverage. That’s a great deal for $39/night.

These credits require prepayment and reset on the calendar year, so it’s long been possible to stack them by making a reservation at a property for the following year and then adding a second night once the credits reset on January 1st. This also helps when you’re cancelling a card as you can make a reservation well in the future, pay for it, get the credit and then cancel the card. Well, Miles to Memories discovered that Amex is trying to put the kabosh on that. Currently, it’s not possible to make a 2024 FHR reservation through Amex Travel and MtM was told that it wouldn’t be possible until November/December of this year, making it much more difficult to use a current-year credit in the next calendar year.

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James Russell

Don’t know why there’s the game to play with back-to-back or whatever with the FHR credit. I travel a bit so when there’s an interesting FHR in a city, I use it.
I was planning a holiday for February 2023, and I was on the FHR website at 12:05am 1/1 to book it since I already used my 2022 credit, in February 2022 strangely enough.

Not sure why I’d wait until December to book the next year. Sure $200 is a nice perk but spending thousands already it’s a splash in the ocean.

Last edited 9 months ago by James Russell

Considering the hullabaloo about Lindner hotels you’d think that someone would push a description of their market segment and what to expect from their brands. Are they upscale or luxury? Pastoral or city? What are standard room sizes and amenities? What differentiates their brands from each other?


The Amex Platinum FHR credit is a total non-issue.

You can’t really double/triple dip till December anyhow – FH&R bookings, Its not like trying to book award/points stays with limited availability (IMHO).

The loss of back to back bookings and the property “Experience credits ($100-$150)” was a devaluation IMO.

The Saks $9.95 S&H charge for <$100 is more annoying (no Saks B&M to buy GC in PDX).


So they made “scamming”by cancelling the card after paying for the reservation more difficult. Cry me a river


There’s a reason i put ” scamming” in quotes.


The Amex Platinum FHR credit is a total non-issue. It always takes a little while before they allow bookings for the following year, and a couple days ago the system started allowing bookings for 2024. Not sure why MilestoMemories got so upset about absolutely nothing.

Harrison Carvalho

I second this, I am fully able to see FHR bookings in 2024 for every location I’m planning to visit


If I had to guess the hotels part of FH&R/HC contract with Amex on a year to year basis ( some probably re-up earlier in the calendar year.

As I can find properties for 2024 but not allmof them are displaying for 2024 yet.

I do knownthat one property we stayed at in November 2021, when I went to book another Staycation for Jan 2022 in December 2021 (but I think they changed it to a minimum of 3 nights in order to book as FH&R otherwise it showed unavailable dates for 1 or 2 nights – its a Hilton we could triple dip with Diamond benefits and earned points (15-20K HH points and stay was only $208 for our stay in Nov 2021. It was FH&R group not part of Hotel collection group.

So I belive they changed the T&C when the re-uped thier contract with FH&R.