In the course of running down one deal, I came upon another deal that started a couple of weeks ago and it is a promotional deal between American Express and Ritz-Cartlon. It offers such things as free breakfast, $50 or $100 daily credit for things like dining, and space-available room upgrades. Pretty nice deal, right? Not necessarily!
This is a good reminder that, as travel deal hunters, we have many deals and “hacks” at our disposal. We can put them all to use to find the best deals for our situations!
An Amex/Ritz-Carlton Deal…
Link: Amex Ritz-Carlton Deal
So, here is the deal:
- Overnight deluxe accommodations
- Daily American breakfast for two each morning in the restaurant
- Nightly Credits
- $50 USD nightly credit for city escape hotels
- $100 USD nightly credit for resort vacations
- Room upgrade, subject to availability at check in
- Must use American Express card
- Expires January 15, 2018
The first thing I thought when I saw this was – “sweet! Combined with the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts deal, this is a serious double dipping effort!” Except, they thought of that and you cannot stack deals. That means you cannot book through the Amex FHR and take advantage of the perks with them.
Still, these are some nice perks and especially so for someone without access to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (only Platinum and Centurion cardholders have access). But, before I posted this “deal” I wanted to play around with some dates and locations to see just how good this really could be.
…Doesn’t Seem To Be a Deal
I will say up front – I did not check every location so there very well may be some places that this will be a stunning deal. But, in the several locations I did check, this is not that great of a deal at all. Let’s break it down.
First of all, it is booking as a “Special Rates” deal which means you are not getting the bottom price for the room and then getting these perks. In the cases I checked, the daily rate of the Special Rate was anywhere from $100 – $200 more per night. Remember, here is what you are guaranteed with this rate:
- Daily American breakfast for two each morning in the restaurant (so, no room service)
- Either a $50 or $100 night credit to use while at the hotel
Yes, it says a room upgrade, but it is subject to availability at check-in so I would never book this rate hoping that would happen as part of the reason to book.
Regular Rates & Packages Could Give More Savings & Value
It would pretty much come down to how much you plan on getting with the nightly credit since there are package rates you can get that will give you breakfast each day and they still come in around $50 cheaper per day. And, remember, the city escape hotels only give $50 in credit. Sure, you are not in the running for a room upgrade but that could be hit and miss anyway, depending on the season and how full the hotel is.(the above package does not come with breakfast but does come with a $100 credit per stay).
Good Deal? Comparing the rate above, you get $100 for two nights vs $50 per night with the Amex/Ritz-Carlton offer and you trade free breakfast for $100 savings per day with the above rate.
Amex’s Own Fine Hotels and Resorts Could Be a Better Deal, Too
But, not only might you get a better deal with just booking the regular room rate or one of the breakfast package deals but if you do have access to the Fine Hotels and Resorts through Amex, you can actually get an even better deal there! Here is what they offer at my hotel example, the Ritz Carlton Central Park:
- Noon Check In, When Available
- Room Upgrade Upon Arrival, When Available*
- Daily Breakfast For Two People
- Guaranteed 4PM Late Check-Out
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Unique Property Amenity** US$100 Property Credit To Be Used During Your Stay.
Basically the same thing except you are only getting a $100 credit for the whole stay vs $50 per day. Of course, you could get around that by booking separate reservations – or just taking the savings between the two rates. You would also get an earlier check-in (when available) and a guaranteed late check out (one of my favorite perks). You would also get the same if-available-room-upgrade that you get with the Amex/Ritz-Carlton deal.
I am certainly not saying there are not some deals to be found amongst all the Ritz-Carlton properties with this Amex / Ritz-Carlton deal. But, I did want to demonstrate that just because something is a deal or special offer does not mean you are getting the best price. If you would rather hit someplace in town for dinner or you are not a breakfast person, this special rate is most likely not for you. Even if you do like those things, the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts option may work best – and save you money in the process!
I checked various properties and did not find a better deal with this offer at any of them on the nights I checked. Again, there could be a good deal out there for you but it is not so simple as it may seem.
Featured image is the Ritz-Carlton in Central Park and from the hotel website.