Change in terms: No more back-to-back Fine Hotels & Resorts stays

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American Express has officially changed the terms and conditions of booking Fine Hotels & Resorts. They have added new language that specifically prohibits booking back-to-back Fine Hotels & Resorts stays in the name of the same guest or someone else in the same party. I’m sure that enforcement of the new terms will still vary some, but the bad news is that there is now an official policy leg on which to stand in denying benefits on the second night of back-to-back reservations.

I recently enjoyed a Fine Hotels & Resorts stay at the Waldorf-Astoria Palm Jumeriah, but if I ever go back it looks like we won’t be able to get the $100 property credit twice.

New Terms

The following language has been added to the “Offer Terms” on the welcome offer for Platinum cards:

Back-to-back stays booked by a single Card Member, Card Members staying in the same room or Card Members traveling in the same party within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered one stay and are ineligible for additional FHR benefits (“Prohibited Action”). American Express and the Property reserve the right to modify or revoke FHR benefits at any time without notice if we or they determine, in our or their sole discretion, that you may have engaged in a Prohibited Action, or have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with your FHR benefits.

Over the years, there have been a number of times when both my wife and I had a Platinum card and a number of times we have booked back-to-back nights at Fine Hotels & Resorts properties. For example, I would book a night in my name and then my wife would book a night in her name. Explaining at the front desk that you’d like to keep the same room was often enough to not to need to move and we haven’t ever had an issue getting full Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits for both nights (including the $100 property credit), but it’s worth noting that we’ve periodically gotten reports over the years from readers who were denied the $100 experience credit on a second consecutive night at the same property in similar circumstances.

Unfortunately, this new change in the benefit terms makes it pretty clear that Amex does not support that practice. I’m sure that there are instances where you could still play this and get the benefits for both nights, but clearly Amex is not pleased with that behavior and is giving properties carte blanche to deny benefits if you do try any such shenanigans.

This is obviously disappointing news even if not shocking news. Of course, if all you really want is to use the consumer Platinum card’s $200 prepaid booking benefit and you’re not expecting a $100 local amenity on the second reservation, you should still be fine making back-to-back reservations so long as you go in expecting a single $100 amenity — the new terms do not actually prohibit back-to-back stays but rather trying to collect additional benefits. The only benefits that is unique to separate stays is the $100 “local amenity”, so I think if you do not try to collect that a second time your back-to-back stays should be fine.

H/T: Danny the Deal Guru

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34 Comments
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rdover1

Although one wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if this was disputed, the way around this is to check in for the first booking (without P2 being a named guest) and not mention the 2nd booking. Then when the 2nd booking is about to start have P2 check in, and can even ask to keep the same room (or just move room). This would be the same as a guest deciding to book a new reservation based on needing to stay longer. Hotel should see it as separate. Large corporate hotel groups like Marriott that see a lot of these types of bookings are the ones most likely to object, but the opportunity for them to do so is if you check in and attempt to link at the time of check in, which is when they are explaining the FHR benefits.

Kayexalate

I’m assuming on a 3 night stay you could use P1 for the first night and P2 for the 3rd night and pay for the 2nd night and that would be ok because the fhr nights are not back to back

Biggie F

Assume a can opener.

Kayexalate

Why?

Biggie F

You are assuming that things are the way you want them to be.

In the situation that you describe, the hotel might well say, “Look, this is one stay. Same party, same room, three nights. Your shenanigans with payment methods notwithstanding, our agreement with American Express stipulates only one $100 room credit per stay.”

You might be on firmer ground if you switched rooms all three nights (!) but then again, who knows? A “stay” to the hotel may well be independent of the room provided. Moving rooms does not in itself necessarily trigger a second bill.

Not saying I know what would happen – just that I would be disinclined to be sure that I knew.

JohnB

I think if you do not put both names on the reservations, and not stay every night in the same room, you would probably be ok with this scenario. We are going to try next year, in Las Vegas.

Lee

Unless operating in two-player mode?

Mark

“Shocking” news? Really? “Sheningans”? Disappointing, yes. I don’t know if I’d call it “shocking” news. And, while we do a lot of “shenanigans” in this game, booking two rooms in different names doesn’t fall in the shenanigans bucket for me. I dunno.

Cavedweller

They read FM every day like we do so this will always happen..

Swede

Glad my husband didn’t take my name when we married.

Dave

If hotel have both your names for the first night, you will not be eligible per the new terms.

Cavedweller

I agree But if u get the booking and show up what happens NO ??

Swede

If the hotel has both of our names listed for the first night, after knowing what we know, I don’t deserve to be in this hobby.

YoniPDX

Makes this really hard to do outside the US where many places scan all regustered guest passports at check-in.

Ktc

Wow we had no problems during our 2-day stays in Vegas 3 weeks ago. Now we have to split the stay into 2 different hotels in order to get the Experience credits?

Raghu Narayanan

My wife and daughter are planning 4 night stay at palm jumeriah on the way back from India
We have 4 platinum cards between the 3 of us
Damn it this thing came at a very inoppurtune moment
Raghy

Raghu Narayanan

Okay no property credit for $100 but what about free breakfast for 2 and room upgrade on all back to back nights
Raghu

Chris

You still get free breakfast for two

Raghu Narayanan

Thanks Chris

Biggie F

Do we know this? Isn’t breakfast an “additional benefit” of FHR? Late checkout?

Biggie F

Hmmm … I guess maybe not, not in the same sense. Okay, you get breakfast.

chris

yes breakfast you still get but you cannot say make three reservations to get a $100 credit each day though might be YMMV

Gary

This policy still reads weirdly to me: “that you may have engaged in a Prohibited Action”

I just want to book back-to-back stays to use up the $200 credits. If the hotel gives me benefits for only 1 night or all nights, I don’t care, that’s up to them.

If they did give more than 1 benefit, does that mean I’ve “engaged” in a “Prohibited Action” because I’ve somehow tricked them? Or is it only if someone is demanding that the hotel give them multiple benefits?

John

My read on it is that someone booked back-to-back nights, didn’t get the property credit for every night, and threw a hissy fit with the hotel and Amex (probably arguing that there was no language allowing the denial of the property credit for the additional nights), and so Amex did this. I think this gives hotels something to point to when they refuse multiple property credits (to avoid these hissy fits), but you’ll still get the free breakfast every day and one property credit.

Dave

What is means is that if you booked 1 night under your name and the 2nd night under another name but that person satyed in your room the first night without letting the hotel know.

JohnB

How would they know if they weren’t listed on the reservation? You don’t have to check in together? The way the breakfast credit is set as a total credit for each night. Most properties it is $60, but there a few exceptions where it is more than $60. But it is $60 whether 2 stay in the room or one.

peggy Mueller

Assuming if a person moved to a different property in the second night then there would be no problem collecting the $100 bonus at noth stays?

jeremy

I am wondering the same thing. I would assume yes.

YoniPDX

This was the only way I could see work around and early check-in is guaranteed (like 4PM checkout) but the hassle/expense if packing and transferring to and from a property (ride share) kinda of kills the value.

It also kills the most benefit of having multiple personal plats.

Jay

I wonder if old reservations will be grandfathered with the old terms? Are there any recent data points?

D.W.

Wondering the same thing. I booked a back-to-back-to-back stay (3 nights total) for Jan ‘23 before the net terms were added. Frankly I doubt I would be grandfathered in under the old terms, though.

loungeabuser

STRAIGHT TO JAIL!!!

Michael (TravelZork)

This was always the “rule,” it was just not codified. So, in essence, there is nothing to “grandfather.”

JohnB

No, it wasn’t the always the rule. Two years in a row, in Las Vegas, staying at a FHR, we have done back to back to nights. Reservations were in 2 different names. We received absolutely no push back whatsoever from the front desk. The credits were automatically deducted from our total bills. We even added 2-3 comp nights to each stay and we had no questions.

For us, we could just make one FHR night under one name then a comp night or 2. Then followed that with another FHR under the other name.

And every knows someone that did FHR Vegas vacation at 4 different hotels. I have not, and have no desire to play musical hotels.

Last edited 2 months ago by JohnB