Which is the most valuable complimentary elite hotel status with the Platinum Card from American Express UK?
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Editor’s note 1/4/2021: As of 1 April 2021, Shangri-La Golden Circle status is no longer a benefit of the Platinum Card.
The Platinum Card from American Express U.K. comes with a long list of travel benefits, ranging from those on the ground in the airport to experiential things like concierge service.
One of its best features if you are a frequent traveller is that it provides you with not one, not two but five different elite hotel statuses that you can start using right away. These include:
- Hilton Honors (Gold)
- Marriott Bonvoy (Gold)
- Radisson Rewards (Gold)
- Melia Rewards (Gold)
- Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade)
These are called mid-tier statuses. They certainly have some benefits, but are not the top-tier status in their respective programmes. Let’s briefly look at the best features of each elite status:
|Status||Complimentary Room Upgrades||Late checkout||Free breakfast||Bonus points||Other benefits|
|Hilton Honors (Gold)||Subject to availability||Subject to availability||Yes||80%||2 free bottles of water, 5th night free on award stays|
|Marriott Bonvoy (Gold)||Subject to availability||2 p.m., subject to availability||No||25%||Additional welcome bonus points (250/500 points)|
|Radisson Rewards (Gold)||Subject to availability||Subject to availability (early check-in also available)||No||25%||2 free bottles of water, 15% discount on food and beverages|
|Melia Rewards (Gold)||No
|4 p.m. for city hotels, 2 p.m. for resorts||Yes||30%|
|Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade)||No||11a.m. check-in, 4 p.m. checkout||Yes||25%||Choice of welcome amenity|
So which one of these statuses do I find the most valuable?
For me, the Hilton Honors Gold status is the best of these five — primarily because of the free breakfast, which most of the other major hotel programmes don’t provide for Gold members. I find this enormously valuable, especially when I’m staying in an expensive destination. While some of the Hilton buffet breakfasts aren’t spectacular, I can easily save £50+ per day if two of us can utilise this benefit. I also enjoy the huge 80% points bonus for Hilton stays, noting that Hilton points are less valuable than Hyatt or Marriott points.
I have received some room upgrades in different programmes for free as part of my status (my success rate is probably 50% of the time), and overall, I’ve found hotels to be very generous with early check-in and late checkout.
If Marriott Bonvoy offered free breakfast to Gold members, it would probably replace Hilton Honors as my favourite programme, given it has so many thousands of properties around the world. But for now, the most valuable free status from my Platinum Card is Hilton Honors Gold.
Featured image by Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Hawaii
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