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Experience booking hotels through Amex?

robtemt

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Does anyone book personal travel through Amex?

I've looked at booking things a few times on the Amex travel website (looking to use travel credits). I've always found their prices to be significantly more than booking direct, and the only reason I've still booked, is to use up travel credits, using the theory "well it's still $xxx saved since its not out of pocket".

An example from a search today. I need to book one night at the Crown Plaza Changi due to overnight layover. I looked at the most basic room, a Deluxe King Room Non-Smoking (no views, no breakfast, just the room).
Amex= $436
Direct on IHG = $326

Yes, both in AUD.
Yes, same room type.
Both are non-refundable. Amex because you can't get a refund when you use travel credits. IHG because its an advanced purchase rate. Even the full flex rate was $363, so still $70 less than Amex).
 

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Coops1

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Pointless, other than using travel credits. Cry everytime I pay more or lose bonus points etc. Saying that, at times prices can be the same as other booking mechanisms, eg direct with hotel, aggregators etc.
 

aikman

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I don't think its a secret that Amex hotels are usually more expensive.

Flights too in a lot of cases.
 

knagelli

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Have been comparing hotel rates within Aus and also international. The Amex rates always seem to be on higher side.

As @robtemt mentioned , Only time we use Amex travel is to use the travel credits.

Not sure why Amex does not do anything about it.
 

Daver6

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I don't think its a secret that Amex hotels are usually more expensive.

Flights too in a lot of cases.
QF flights have always been the same...until recently. I was about to book PER - ADL return and noticed it was significantly dearer than booking direct with QF. I called Amex Travel. The prices they saw on the phone were identical to the QF website. There appears to be something wrong where the website isn't pulling the cheapest fare buckets. I'm not sure if this has been remedied or not though.
 

lovetravellingoz

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Yes often more expensive, but can be cheaper on occasion. Particularly when Amex has a special deal on some properties.

This has included:
- the Crown Plaza Changi for $242.52 (April 2018)
- Hotel in Athens
- Two resorts in Koh Samui ( I found a number to choose from , and at that time the 4th night free offer made them cheaper)

I have just used a $400 Travel Credit for a 14 Day Car Hire in Koh Samui as they were as cheap as other direct options, plus I gained a $50 cashback to make them cheapest.

I have also used the TC on:
- tours in London and Dublin.
- airport transfers


TIP: Apart from cashback deals, Amex also offers Promo Points on booking. ie I currently have a 3,000MR point offer. So this can help to make them cheaper. So when these offers come up it can be a good time to use your TC up.
 

muppet

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Does anyone book personal travel through Amex?

I've looked at booking things a few times on the Amex travel website (looking to use travel credits). I've always found their prices to be significantly more than booking direct, and the only reason I've still booked, is to use up travel credits, using the theory "well it's still $xxx saved since its not out of pocket".

An example from a search today. I need to book one night at the Crown Plaza Changi due to overnight layover. I looked at the most basic room, a Deluxe King Room Non-Smoking (no views, no breakfast, just the room).
Amex= $436
Direct on IHG = $326

Yes, both in AUD.
Yes, same room type.
Both are non-refundable. Amex because you can't get a refund when you use travel credits. IHG because its an advanced purchase rate. Even the full flex rate was $363, so still $70 less than Amex).

Have you gone all the way to the end of the payment on IHG?

That initial page doesn’t include taxes whereas Amex travel for Australia usually includes all taxes and fees up front.
 

Spongbob

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And another problem with AMEX hotel booking website I have found is the options do not display the room size etc.
I need to get this information from the hotel website.
 

SeaWolf

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And another problem with AMEX hotel booking website I have found is the options do not display the room size etc.
I've usually found AmEx's room descriptions to be sparse, at best. Sometimes they also seem to be missing room types or rate types that are available through other online agents or direct with the hotels themselves.
Generally I've found AmEx travel to be disappointing when it comes to hotels. Perhaps it's better in the US?
 

SeaWolf

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Have you gone all the way to the end of the payment on IHG?

That initial page doesn’t include taxes whereas Amex travel for Australia usually includes all taxes and fees up front.
That's a good point @muppet , I've frequently been lulled into thinking the direct hotels sites are cheaper than online agencies only to get stung with the taxes when I go to checkout. That's an advantage of using an Australian based online travel agent, the rules around 'surprise' pricing additions are much more strict.
 

Dr Ralph

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I've used AMEX travel for more than just the travel credit. They can definitely be more expensive than other options, but I have found occasions where they have been cheaper, so suggesting that they are 'always more expensive' is incorrect.
 

twiningb

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Also, depending on the Amex cards you have, you can get outsized value from the Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts. These are flexible, pay-on-arrival rates though.
 

Revolutionary String

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I've used Amex Travel outside of the travel credit, and I've found it to be approximately as good as other aggregators after you factor in other fees etc. I do agree, however, that more information on the rooms would be helpful.
 

Quattro

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The room description is horrendous. Like Spongbob, I have to go directly to the hotel to find more info.

I've only used it once, outside of TC, booking Hotel Collection Hilton Tokyo. Was fantastic.
 

BriarFlyer

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I've booked a hotel tonight using them; same price as direct but I get the $100 food and bev credit thrown in for using my Amex.
 

Quattro

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I've booked a hotel tonight using them; same price as direct but I get the $100 food and bev credit thrown in for using my Amex.
Same here, using hotel collection yeah?
Didn't realise but it credited Hilton honors in my case. Thought that only happened when booking direct.
 

BriarFlyer

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Yep. It's a good deal. I thought the same re loyalty pts, but they do ask for your number so even better deal if pts credit.
 

SeaWolf

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I thought the same re loyalty pts, but they do ask for your number so even better deal if pts credit.
They do credit, or at least they have the few times I've used it. Seems to be a special deal with AmEx Travel for booking through Hotel Collection or Fine Hotels.
 

Quattro

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They do credit, or at least they have the few times I've used it. Seems to be a special deal with AmEx Travel for booking through Hotel Collection or Fine Hotels.
Wonder what the case would be if you didn't book the HC or FH version, but still through Amex Travel.
 

Lawlass

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I don't think its a secret that Amex hotels are usually more expensive.

Flights too in a lot of cases.
Ugh, I've found using the $450 credit for Amex QF platinum card can only be used on the most expensive QF flights you can find. It doesn't feel like a good deal if you have to use it on a flight that you could get at half the price through the QF site on a red e-deal :(
 

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