Making the Most of AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts Experience

by joeheg

When I needed a one-night stay at the Park Hyatt Saigon, my first place to look was the Hyatt website. The Park Hyatt recently moved to category 5, so a free night will cost from 17,000 to 23,000 World of Hyatt points. This was my original reservation.

It wasn’t until the end of the year that I realized I could book through the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts website and redeem the $200 yearly travel rebate. I canceled my points reservation and rebooked through FH&R, paying $339 for the one-night stay.

After subtracting the $200 rebate, which was scheduled to expire in a few days, I paid $139 out of pocket, which is better than paying with Hyatt points.

a large white building with palm trees and a road

What’d I think of my first AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts stay?

First of all, I’m not a big fan of prepaying for hotel stays. While I had to pay for the room two months in advance, I could cancel and get a full refund until three days before the stay.

Reminder: Whenever booking a hotel, look at the cancellation policies. The more expensive the room, the more important it is to know what you’re responsible for if you cancel or no-show. 

When we entered the lobby, we were blown away. This isn’t the first Park Hyatt we’ve seen, but the Saigon hotel was on another level.

a man standing in a room with a staircase and flowers

We arrived at the hotel around 1 PM. I had pre-arranged for us to be in the same room for our entire three-night stay, as the next 2 nights would be as part of our tour group.

When we checked in, the agent welcomed us to the hotel and explained the benefits of booking through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts.

a letter to a hotel

We were already taking advantage of the early check-in as our room was ready when we arrived. I wasn’t looking for a room upgrade as I was more concerned about staying in the same room for our entire stay (after our first night, the room would paid for as part of the group tour we were on). Besides, honestly, would you complain about getting this room?

a bedroom with a large bed and a television

We’d be leaving early, so we didn’t need a late checkout.

We did take advantage of the breakfast benefit at Opera, which was amazing.

a group of people cooking in a kitchen

We also used the $100 property credit to pay for dinner the day we arrived. We were jetlagged and didn’t feel like leaving the hotel. Our Italian dinner was excellent and it didn’t even use up the entire credit.

I did learn some things during our stay.

When I checked in, the front desk agent said I needed to leave my Platinum AMEX card on the account to pay any incidental charges. When I checked out, a different person allowed me to charge the bill to my World of Hyatt Visa.

He said the room needed to be paid for with the AMEX Platinum Card, but since our room was prepaid, we could use any card to pay for the additional room charges.

The FH&R night qualified for World of Hyatt benefits, including marking Park Hyatt off my Brand Explorer list.

In addition, my World of Hyatt Discoverist status provided us with additional perks, including two welcome cocktails at the hotel bar. This isn’t a listed Discoverist benefit, but a perk the hotel provides to guests. No guarantees that it will still be offered during your stay.

two drinks on a table

Final Thoughts

Does booking through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts make sense?

It most definitely does if you were going to pay for your room anyway. Since we still had a $200 credit to spend, it was a no-brainer to use FH&R. We paid $133 for the room, received a $100 property credit and a free breakfast costing $30 per person.

Having an AMEX Platinum Card becomes even more valuable if you can use the $200 benefit every year.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


BC March 2, 2023 - 5:02 pm

Is the “not limited to” a typo? I’m trying to figure out what the amenity was as I am headed there soon. Great article and sounds like a great hotel.

joeheg March 2, 2023 - 10:00 pm

Not the best wording on my part. I meant to say that on top of the FH&R perks, we also received two free drinks at the bar for being a Discoverist.

Tran March 2, 2023 - 5:22 pm

I have stayed here a handful of times with all three statuses : discoverist, explorist and globalist. I have never been offer or advise that one of the perks are welcome drinks at the hotel’s bar. Where or how did you come across this perk? I have a few additional stays here this year as an explorist. Thanks.

joeheg March 2, 2023 - 10:02 pm

We received a card at check-in thanking us for being World of Hyatt Discoverist members. It said we could bring the card to 2 Lam Son for welcome drinks.

Scottacat March 3, 2023 - 6:41 pm

One thing to be aware of when using AmEx FH& R is that while they do say if you have to cancel within a few days of your stay, you will get a refund, the “refund” offered is not really a refund in the traditional sense. It is simply a credit to your AmEx account. I had booked one of their listed hotels last summer for several nights in Vancouver, prepaid the $2000+ For the room, but then had to cancel well within the timeframe of their cancellation policy. Well, while some might consider a $2000+ credit to their credit card account a refund, I do not. Some might be able to use that credit quickly, however, I am not one of those people — and using the word “refund” is misleading at best. It is most assuredly NOT a refund if you don’t get the funds back.

joeheg March 3, 2023 - 6:53 pm

Did you call AMEX to see if they could send you a check for the balance? I’ve had a bank do this before when I had a large credit on a card I no longer used.

Peter May 28, 2024 - 7:30 pm

In a way that’s somehow different from other credit card purchase refunds??


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