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Using AMEX points for hotels

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Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:18 AM
  #1
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Using AMEX points for hotels

How difficult/easy is it to use AMEX points for hotels. Specifically, Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton. We're thinking of taking a trip this summer and have close to 300,000 AMEX points. We've only used them in the past to buy merchandise. This would be a car trip so using them for air fare isn't an option.
bucksguy14 is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 11:12 AM
  #2
 
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You need to contact the hotels now and find out availability for rooms for points. If the hotel is going to be full anyway they won't give you a room for points. If they don;t think they'll be full then they will be happy to do so.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:16 PM
  #3
yk
 
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You need to go to the Membership Rewards website of AMEX to do the work yourself. You have several choices, either transfer the AMEX points into a specific hotel loyalty program (eg, Hilton Honors; or Starwood Preferred etc) then book a room directly through the loyalty program. Or, you can do the AMEX 'pay with points' option without going through the loyalty programs.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:28 PM
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I've done everything through the amex/membership rewards website. Check it out to see if your hotel participates in the program. I believe the hotel exchange is 1.33333 amex points to $1. Sometimes it's worth it and other times it isn't. If your hotel does participate, you have the option to pay with part amex points and balance charged to your card.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 02:42 PM
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First of all, you've got to be a member of the hotel chain's rewards program to transfer over the points. If so, then contact the hotel rewards number and find out if there are rooms available using poihts at the hotel you want to stay at. Once you ascertain that you can use the points at the hotel of your choice, then you transfers over the points to the hotel program. Do NOT transfer over the points to the hotel program until you are sure that you can use them at the hotel! Once you transfer the points to a rewards program, the points stay in the program, i.e., you can't transfer them back.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 02:52 PM
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Just to clarify, you do not have to be a member of a hotel to use amex points on the amex website to book a hotel using your American Express points.

You are not transferring points from American Express to your hotel rewards program. You are simply using the American Express Membership Rewards booking for hotels.

Think of it as an Expedia format except you are on the American Express website and using your American Express points for your choice of hotel.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 02:55 PM
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And you do not need to contact the hotel. If the room shows available on the American Express website, you can book it and pay with points. The hotel doesn't know/care if you paid with credit card or points, as you can do both from Amex's website. All they see is a booking through American Express Travel.

This is not a reward room through the hotel. This is a reward booking through American Express.

I hope that helps.
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 04:19 PM
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I have never contacted the hotel directly unless I had a very specific question - I do everything online like Beach.

I will say that the Starwood program does not transfer well into the SPG account. It is GREAT if you have a starwood amex. There are many rewards that are "direct" like Beach is talking about - just browse the travel area on the Membership rewards. I generally travel on points - using Amex.

Marriott does not transfer points into the their program direct from Membership rewards but it does have "weekend stays" in the membership rewards area of the Amex website.

It depends on when and where you want to go.

I have found the points to be better used for my Delta miles - I have enough now for two business class tickets and am "saving" them.

I love Amex rewards
MomDDTravel is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Oh also - you can put the reward points directly into your hilton, and Sheraton is a part of SPG - (starwood)..
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Jun 4th, 2009, 07:38 AM
  #10
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I've never used the AMEX rewards website, but it sounds like that's the place to make the reservations and use the points for our trip. Thanks to everyone for the info, I had no idea how to go about doing this. My wife had called AMEX travel but was totally confused by the response and asked me to see if I could find out anything on-line. I found this forum and it looks like I have the info we need to get started. I'll give it a go and see what happens.
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Jun 4th, 2009, 07:48 AM
  #11
 
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We can try to help from here if you need it. But you go in through your Amex - you should have a long on and sign in and you can see your bill as well as the rewards points.
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Jun 4th, 2009, 08:04 AM
  #12
yk
 
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It's pretty straightforward. Go to the AMEX MembershipRewards website, and go to the Travel/Hotels section. Again, as mentioned above, there are more than one option:

1) "pay with points" - you book directly via the AMEX MR website and it'll tell you how many points you need for each hotel per night.

2) Transfer your AMEX points from MR to individual Hotel loyalty program. If you aren't a member of any loyalty programs, you need to sign up to be one. Then search for various hotels in PA and see how many points you need to book per night. Once you found your hotels and know how many points needed, then you can do the AMEX point transfer.

FYI, I've never booked hotels using AMEX points. IMO, that's not the best way to use the points. Most hotels require a lot of points per night, like 20000 - 25000 per room per night. Like MomDDTravel said, the better deal is to use the points for airline tickets. [I value the points approx 1 point = 1 cent; so 20000 points = $200. Most of the time, I can book a 4* hotel via Priceline for less than $100.]

If there's no reason for you to use your AMEX points right away, why not save them for a future trip when you can use them on airline tickets? With 300K miles, you can fly r/t on Biz class to Europe or Asia for 2 people!

OTOH, if this is a budget trip and you want to cash out your AMEX points, then don't worry about how much your points are "worth" and consider this as a free trip.
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Jun 4th, 2009, 09:31 AM
  #13
 
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Excellent tips YK. We recently used AA miles to book tickets for our two daughters to fly back east. Now, the tickets are not currently very expensive - we would have spent around 700.00 plus 100.00 for unaccompanied minor fee - so 800.00 and change.

The only tickets available were at a 50,000 award fee (they get to fly business class so they are thrilled of course) generally speaking we would never use 100,000 miles nor would I ever suggest someone do that. BUT we decided that we are not going to be traveling and need miles for a while SO we opted to use the miles and save the 800.00. I still have almost 300,000 delta miles - so if we 'need" to use miles in the future we have them - but having over 425,000 miles (between delta and aa) and based on budget factors we opted to use them...

We used Hilton points via Amex and stayed at the Waldorf last summer - 2 rooms for 2 nights and felt it was worth it - again you have to play it all out.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 02:25 PM
  #14
 
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BE ADVISED! AMERICAN EXPRESS POINTS RIP OFF!

American Express points are not always redeemable at 100 points per dollar. I tried to book a trip today and they wanted 133 points per dollar for the hotel. For this trip, I would have lost 70,000 points on the deal. Nowhere do they publish this information. I have over a $1 million dollars worth of purchases on this card, and they still would not give me 100 points per dollar on the hotel. I spoke with supervisors on both the sales side and the rewards program side... no accomodation, no help, nothing. I guess the rewards program is part of their sales prevention program. Guess where this card is going next. Hint: It's not the beach!
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Mar 24th, 2012, 05:55 PM
  #15
 
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AmEx does not determine how many points are needed for a hotel room. the hotels do that. And there are different rates in high seasons and for special events. If you are mad at anybody it should be the hotel.
nytraveler is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2012, 06:50 PM
  #16
 
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NYT, what do expect from someone whose first and only post was to revive a two-year-old thread in order to blast Amex? It's obvious that Curt didn't get what he wanted -- irrespective of whether or not he had any right to expect he would get it -- and then blew off steam by posting on a travel site. Curt probably thinks even one person will avoid using Amex because he didn't read or understand the user agreement on points.

You stated that you didn't want to expend 133 points to get a dollar's worth of hotel usage, instead of 100 points to do the same, because you would have "lost 70,000 points on the deal." That math requires you intended to spend $350,000 to obtain lodging. Forgive me if I have trouble feeling sorry for any person who spends that much for one lodging transaction.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 08:36 PM
  #17
 
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Hey...wish I still had those 300,000 plus Delta miles! I am tapped out
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Mar 25th, 2012, 05:18 AM
  #18
 
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Easy to do just booked up 2 weeks in Europe with 150000 Amex Open points personally. go to amex.com site your account click use points for hotels and follow the prompts. Amex does all your bookings hotels do not know squat. Do points a lot Amex is generous easy and great recently for me for my April Trip

Hotel Hilton Stuky Molino Venice 5 star suite 40000 points per nite Budapest Marriott 20000 points per nite was a piece of cake for me.

Good luck!
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Mar 25th, 2012, 05:23 AM
  #19
 
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Also you do NOT need to "switch" or xfer your hotel points
Amex.com does it all and selection is quite wide they use Travelocity.com from their site so you have all those hotels to select from.

It is a good idea to join Hotel preferred guest programs though to get club/suite upgrades to best available and points I always do.

Happy Trails!
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Mar 25th, 2012, 05:28 AM
  #20
 
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www.americanexpress.com the one I use
Sorry link above too abbreviated.
openforum.com more good info.
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