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Comparison of luxury hotel programs from credit card issuers


The benefits of luxury hotel programs can feel pretty similar — as can their names. These programs have lots in common, so you could be forgiven for confusing them with each other.

However, there are important differences among Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection, Capital One’s Lifestyle Collection and Premier Collection, Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and Citi’s Hotel Collection and Luxury Collection (Citi) programs.

Booking through one of these programs can get you elite status-like perks — such as free breakfast — without actually having elite status at the hotel. Plus, you can receive these perks across many hotel brands, rather than having to stay loyal to just Marriott properties if you have status with Marriott Bonvoy, for example.

Let’s take a detailed look at these programs to understand their similarities and differences. We’ll cover the benefits these programs offer, how to book hotels correctly to unlock the benefits and who has access to these luxury hotel programs.

Luxury hotel programs overview

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts Amex The Hotel Collection Capital One Lifestyle Collection Capital One Premier Collection Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection Citi Hotel Collection Citi Luxury Collection
Who has access American Express cardholders with Platinum and Centurion cards (business or personal versions) American Express cardholders with Gold, Platinum and Centurion cards (business and personal versions) Holders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Business Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business Holders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Business Chase cardholders with certain Sapphire, United and Reserve cards Cardholders with ThankYou points-earning cards Those with the Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees) or Citi Prestige® Card
Minimum stay requirement None. Two nights. None. None. None. None. None.
How to book Amex Travel website or by calling 800-525-3355 Amex Travel website or by calling 800-297-2977 Lifestyle Collection section within Capital One Travel Premier Collection section within Capital One Travel LHRC website or by calling 855-234-2542 CitiTravel.com or by calling 800-THANK-YOU CitiTravel.com or by calling 800-THANK-YOU
Guaranteed benefits Daily breakfast for two

Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Daily credit equal to the Wi-Fi cost if Wi-Fi is part of a mandatory resort fee at that property

Elevated points-earning rates when using your Amex card to pay for these bookings

Elevated points-earning rates when using your Amex card to pay for these bookings. Complimentary Wi-Fi

Elevated points-earning rates when using your card to pay for these bookings

Daily breakfast for two

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Elevated points-earning rates when using your card to pay for these bookings

Daily breakfast for two

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Daily breakfast for two

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Daily breakfast for two.

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Potential benefits Room upgrades if available at check-in

Noon check-in when available

Room upgrades if available at check-in Room upgrades if available at check-in

Early check-in and late checkout when available

Room upgrades if available at check-in

Early check-in and late checkout when available

Room upgrades if available at check-in (at some properties)

Early check-in and late checkout at some properties, based on availability

Early check-in and late checkout when available Room upgrades if available at check-in

Early check-in and late checkout when available

On-property credit A unique property amenity, valued at $100 (typically a credit for spending at the spa or on food and beverage purchases). $100 to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities A $50 experience credit to use toward rooftop drinks, signature hotel restaurants, room service or other activities $100 credit; uses vary by hotel, and eligible expenses must be charged to your room to use the credit $100 credit; uses vary by hotel, and eligible expenses must be charged to your room to use the credit None $100 credit; uses vary by hotel, and eligible expenses must be charged to your room to use the credit
Hotel loyalty program status and points-earning Maybe; some people do get elite status recognition, stay credit or earn points with a hotel program, but it’s not guaranteed Unlikely, but some people do get stay credits Unlikely, but some people do get stay credits Unlikely, but some people do get stay credits Maybe; some people do get elite status recognition, stay credit or earn points with a hotel program, but it’s not guaranteed Not possible to add loyalty number when making booking; can inquire directly with the hotel but unlikely to receive benefits Not possible to add loyalty number when making booking; can inquire directly with the hotel but unlikely to receive benefits
Reimbursement credit for these bookings Up to $200 per calendar year with The Platinum Card® from American Express Up to $200 per calendar year with The Platinum Card® from American Express No reimbursement, but Venture X and Venture X Business cardholders can use their annual $300 Capital One Travel credit toward these bookings No reimbursement, but Venture X and Venture X Business cardholders can use their annual $300 Capital One Travel credit toward these bookings No reimbursement, but Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use their $300 in annual travel credits toward these bookings $100 hotel credit with the Citi Premier® Card; fourth night free with the Citi Prestige® Card $100 hotel credit with the Citi Premier Card; fourth night free with the Citi Prestige Card
Use of points/miles for these bookings Yes, at 1 cent per point Yes, at 0.7 cents per point Yes, at 1 cent per point Yes, at 1 cent per point Not possible Yes, at 1 cent per point Yes, at 1 cent per point

The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts

The FHR offering from American Express has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths include a lack of minimum stay requirements and the most robust set of guaranteed benefits among all four programs. You’ll have guaranteed daily breakfast for two people, a 4 p.m. late checkout and complimentary Wi-Fi during your stay. Plus, if you’re staying at a property that has a resort fee and includes Wi-Fi in that fee, then you will receive a daily credit to offset this — ensuring you aren’t paying for something that should be free. There’s also the $100 on-property amenity as a guaranteed benefit on FHR stays.

Related: Get free breakfast, upgrades and more with the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program

Cardholders also have the option to earn bonus points on these bookings — 5 points per dollar with The Platinum Card® from American Express (on up to $500,000 per calendar year) or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express — or redeem points at 1 cent apiece to cover the cost of their reservation. Another perk is reserved for those with the Platinum card: up to $200 in annual credits on prepaid hotel bookings with Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection (two-night minimum stay required). Enrollment is required.

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RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

And while it’s not a guarantee, I (and other TPG staffers) have had excellent luck with crediting FHR stays to hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt and Hilton Honors. This includes not only receiving credit for the stays, which helps with earning elite status, but also recognizing your status for perks like room upgrades and earning bonus points.

Now, let’s look at the downsides. First, only cardmembers of these four cards have access to Fine Hotels + Resorts bookings: The Platinum Card from American Express, The Business Platinum Card from American Express, The Centurion® Card from American Express and The Business Centurion® Card from American Express. Additionally, the latter two cards are available by invitation only.

The information for the Centurion and Business Centurion cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Another downside is that FHR bookings often are more expensive than booking directly with the hotel or its loyalty program. Add to this the fact that you can’t split payment across multiple credit cards, which can be a negative if you have multiple Platinum cards with $200 in credits to use and can’t combine these.

Read more on how to book Fine Hotels + Resorts stays.

Amex The Hotel Collection

American Express has a second hotel program: The Hotel Collection. While it does have some similarities to Fine Hotels + Resorts, there also are differences.

A positive is that more cardmembers can access THC, providing above-average availability in this comparison. Anyone with a Gold, Platinum or Centurion card has access to THC bookings, including personal and business versions of those cards. Another positive is that the on-property credit is more predictable: It’s a $100 credit to use for expenses charged to your room, typically good for spending at the hotel’s restaurant or spa or on activities at the hotel. This can be more useful than a fringe benefit, saving money on the necessity of eating every day.

Related: How to use Amex’s The Hotel Collection to snag extra perks on hotel stays

As with Fine Hotels + Resorts bookings, Amex Platinum cardmembers can use their $200 in annual hotel credits for bookings with The Hotel Collection. There’s also the option to use Membership Rewards points to pay for stays. Enrollment is required

However, this leads us to the negatives. Point redemptions here are poor, providing just 0.7 cents per point in value. That’s just over a third of the 2-cents-per-point value for Amex points in TPG’s latest valuations.

Other negatives include a requirement for a two-night minimum stay on all bookings and a very short list of guaranteed benefits. The only item on that list of benefits is elevated points-earning. While you would earn 1 point per dollar on hotel bookings made directly with a hotel using your Amex Platinum Card, you could earn 5 points per dollar when booking through Amex Travel.

Perks like free breakfast and room upgrades are not guaranteed benefits here; an on-property credit also isn’t guaranteed. That’s not to say that some hotels don’t include these benefits, but these are not promised in the terms and conditions for THC reservations.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Lastly, The Hotel Collection bookings have a lower success rate than Fine Hotels + Resorts bookings when it comes to pairing with hotel loyalty programs. This means you’re less likely to receive points, upgrades or stay credits when booking with THC and staying at a property that participates in IHG One Rewards or World of Hyatt, for example.

Maybe a good summary is that perks are much more varied on THC bookings. It can be difficult to know what you’ll get at the property. Maybe you’ll receive upgrades, late checkout or free breakfast, but none of those are guaranteed.

Read more on how to book The Hotel Collection stays.

Capital One Lifestyle Collection

The Lifestyle Collection is “a curated selection of hotels hand-picked by Capital One’s team of experts,” per Capital One. The collection includes boutique properties in popular locations, along with quality dining and unique entertainment access. It includes brands like Virgin Hotels, The Standard, Design Hotels and The Line, plus boutique hotels like The Ludlow in New York City and The Lyle in Washington, D.C.

It’s not quite as nice as the Premier Collection, but it offers cardholders some value, including a $50 experience credit to use toward rooftop drinks, signature hotel restaurants, room service or other activities, complimentary Wi-Fi, and room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout, when available.

CAPITAL ONE TRAVEL

Cardholders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Business , Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business can access the collection.

Read more on how to book Lifestyle Collection stays.

Capital One Premier Collection

An interesting aspect of this program is the possibility of combining Premier Collection and hotel program benefits. It will depend on whether the hotel honors your rewards program benefits on top of the Premier Collection benefits.

Related: Capital One Premier Collection now live: Get free breakfast, experience credits and room upgrades on hotel bookings

If this works, it would allow you to book a Six Senses property that participates in IHG One Rewards, add your loyalty number to this booking and then receive appropriate benefits like bonus points on your stay or suite upgrades — depending on what status level you hold. The same would apply to Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties that participate in World of Hyatt.

However, it’s not guaranteed. Hotels are not obligated to recognize your status on bookings in those programs, as they are considered third-party reservations. For many people, not receiving your elite status benefits or stay credits in a hotel program is one of the main deterrents to booking a hotel through a travel portal.

Positives of the Premier Collection include the fact that there are no mandatory minimum reservations in the program — unless a hotel imposes its own minimum stays. Plus, there is a quality amount of guaranteed benefits: daily breakfast for two, a $100 property credit, Wi-Fi and bonus points earned on these bookings if paying with your eligible card instead of redeeming Capital One miles. If you choose to redeem miles, this can be done at the standard rate of 1 cent apiece.

A person walks by a tranquil pool at a luxury resort
IHG ONE REWARDS

As for the negatives, the Premier Collection is only available to those with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Business.

Read more on how to book Premier Collection stays.

Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

The LHRC program has both positives and negatives.

Positives include the fact that there is no minimum stay requirement (though certain properties may have their own minimums) and that Wi-Fi and daily breakfast are guaranteed benefits. There’s also a guaranteed on-property amenity, typically valued at around $100.

Related: Get elite-like perks without status: Your guide to Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

Another strength of Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is that it is available to far more people than the other programs. You have access to the LHRC if you have one of the following cards:

While it was previously possible to access the booking portal using other credit cards, a recent update has changed that. Only the Sapphire Reserve, United credit cards and the J.P. Morgan Reserve provide access at this point. However, it’s still worth testing your Chase credit cards at the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection website to verify whether you can make a booking.

The information for the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The most obvious drawback to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is that you can’t pay with points. While you must use your Chase credit card to secure the reservation, you will pay at the hotel. Thus, you can’t redeem Ultimate Rewards points on these bookings.

Other drawbacks include the lack of annual statement credits that can offset your spending, mixed results on trying to get stay credit with hotel loyalty programs on these nights and no guarantee for early check-in or late checkout.

Read more on how to book Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection stays.

Citi Hotel Collection

While it has a similar-sounding name, Citi’s Hotel Collection (HC) shouldn’t be confused with American Express’ The Hotel Collection.

First, there is relatively open access to this program. Anyone with a Citi credit card that earns ThankYou points has access — even if your card doesn’t have an annual fee.

Moreover, there are no minimum stay requirements for HC reservations. And you’ll get two guaranteed benefits: daily breakfast for two people and complimentary Wi-Fi. Early check-in and late checkout privileges may be offered, subject to availability at the hotel.

The Axiom Hotel San Francisco is part of Citi’s Hotel Collection. AXIOMHOTEL.COM

However, there are drawbacks. You can’t add your hotel program loyalty number within Citi’s travel portal. Thus, you won’t earn points with the hotel’s rewards program and likely won’t receive any benefits associated with your elite status, if any.

There are no dedicated spending credits for these bookings, either. However, you can apply your fourth-night-free benefit or $100 hotel credit to these reservations, depending on what cards you have.

On top of sacrificing your elite status benefits, you also might trade convenience for redemption value. You can use Citi ThankYou points to pay for these bookings, but your points will be worth just 1 cent each. That’s far below TPG’s valuation of 1.8 cents per Citi point.

Additionally, you may pay more than it’s worth to book your hotel this way. Not all room rates in Citi’s travel portal qualify for Hotel Collection benefits; the elevated price may be higher than the value of the benefits received. This is especially true at the program’s all-inclusive properties, where you’re already guaranteed to receive breakfast (in fact, all of your meals) and Wi-Fi. A big drawback is that the terms say you won’t receive any alternate benefits or compensation if the property already provides breakfast or Wi-Fi.

Related: Citi’s Hotel Collection and Luxury Collection: Get free breakfast and premium perks

Citi Luxury Collection

Citi’s premium offering is more exclusive. Only those with the Citi Premier (see rates and fees) or Citi Prestige cards can access the Luxury Collection (LC), and the Prestige card is no longer open to new applicants.

On top of the Hotel Collection perks (daily breakfast for two and complimentary Wi-Fi), you’ll also get a $100 on-property credit to use during your stay. What this covers will vary by property, however. It may be valid for on-property restaurants at some hotels, but it may have more uses at others, such as resort activities or parking. You need to charge eligible spending to your room for the credit to apply.

Additionally, benefits based on availability include room upgrades at check-in, early check-in and late checkout.

HYATT.COM

Citi’s LC has many of the same drawbacks as its lower-tier program.

You can’t add your hotel rewards program number to these bookings, so it’s unlikely your elite status will be recognized. It’s also unlikely that your stay will count toward the nights you need to earn elite status.

Since you must have a Premier or Prestige card to access this program, you also could use your cardholder benefits on top of the LC benefits to get a fourth night free or a $100 credit. However, there’s no guaranteed spending credit, and those perks have limited numbers of uses.

Again, you can pay with points, but they may be more valuable when using them in other ways. There’s also the issue of paying extra for additional perks that might not add value to your stay — or might already be included. If you aren’t maximizing the on-property credit or tend to skip breakfast, it’s likely not worth paying extra for a Luxury Collection room rate. This same idea applies to all-inclusive properties where you already get breakfast and Wi-Fi daily. Since Citi’s website says you won’t receive alternate benefits, ensure you’re not paying twice to receive something once.

The biggest drawback, however, may be accessing these bookings. At launch, properties are available only in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. There’s also a glitch preventing users from accessing LC properties if there’s also a no-annual-fee card attached to their Citi account. Citi is working on a resolution; we will update this section when this problem is fixed.

Issues common to all programs

Before booking your next hotel stay with any of these four programs, it’s worth considering some drawbacks they share.

First, you must book in advance (through the correct method). You cannot show up at a hotel and make a booking that will include these benefits. Additionally, booking through these travel portals for short-notice reservations — especially for a same-day check-in — can be difficult. There may not be any available rooms online; you may need to call, which often requires waiting on hold.

Additionally, not all hotels participate in these programs. While searching for hotels in Las Vegas or Miami may yield many results, that doesn’t mean all of them participate in the these credit card luxury hotel programs. You must book in a specific way; otherwise, you will not receive your program-specific benefits.

Once you use the correct website and filter your results, the number of hotels available will decrease significantly. This may include removing any hotels you’re interested in, and you may be unable to use these hotel programs on your next trip.

SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLD

Bottom line

There are many similarities among the luxury hotel programs offered by American Express, Capital One, Chase and Citi.

Chase’s LHRC and Citi’s Hotel Collection are available to the widest range of cardholders. Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program has the most guaranteed benefits, but Amex’s The Hotel Collection is open to more cardholders than FHR. Capital One’s two programs are working hard to offer integration with hotel loyalty programs. Citi’s Luxury Collection has the broadest mix of access, benefits and the ability to pay with points.

The luxury hotel programs available from credit card issuers have strengths and weaknesses. When it’s time to make your next hotel booking, reference the information above to ensure you know exactly what is and isn’t included so you can book through the best program for you.

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