From 15 April 2016, UK’s Platinum Amex is dropping Accor hotel as a partner. This means that Amex members will no longer be able to secure Platinum status under their matching arrangements. If you haven’t taken up your status match there is still time.
- If you are not currently enrolled – do it now and you match for a free year of Platinum membership. Do this by 15 April.
- If your current membership expires before 30 April – you will automatically get an extra year of Platinum membership.
- If your current membership expires after 1 May – you will be given the tier your have earned since you matched your status.
However, there is a some good news.
Hilton HHonors Gold is coming as a replacement. This secures free WiFi when you book directly or through Amex Platinum Service. Room upgrades to Preferred Rooms, digital check-in, late check-out and free access to some fitness centres and room upgrades. Hilton seems to give away this status like confetti, but if you have no status it’s better than nothing at most Hilton and Conrad properties.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts – Jade membership is also being offered. Guaranteed Room at 72 hours notice, 25% bonus points with 11am check-in and 4pm check-out. This is their mid-tier and usually needs 20 stays. It does come with free Continental Breakfast and a rather odd offering – “Priority upgrade to the next available best room category, if the reserved room type is not available at check-in”. This seems to suggest that if your room type is sold out, rather than downgrade your room they’ll give you priority for an upgrade! They offer a choice of three amenities, a free partner breakfast, Free local calls, and a choice of points or airline miles. (Fuller details here.)
Melia Hotels Gold – Free WiFi, 4pm late check-out at city hotels (2pm at other properties), three vouchers for 20% off stays and 13 points per Euro spent on your booking. This is their mid-tier and usually requires 15 stays. They also seem to offer a free breakfast for a companion, a birthday surprise and some welcome points for signing up. Not that excited! (You can read all about it here)
So, whilst I am sorry that we’re losing Accor, as I like their property at Heathrow Terminal 5 – some of the other levels might be useful.