Jun 16, 2023



Why Fora

Fora vs. Amex: Why it’s Better to Book through a Fora Advisor

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

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“Why should I book with Fora when I could just book through Amex?”

At Fora, this is one of the most common questions we get, along with…

“Aren’t the hotel perks the same? And what about that 5x points value? Why is booking with Fora better?”

And we’ve got answers. Read on to learn why booking travel with Fora means a better booking & travel experience.

Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to customize and plan your trip today.

Reason 1: Fora offers a highly personalized booking experience; Amex bookings are made via an online booking site or call center.

When you book travel with a Fora Advisor, you’re working one-on-one with a real person who takes the time to understand your travel style, needs and budget – and they’re able to provide highly personalized recommendations and support along the way.

When it comes to your hotel booking, Fora Advisors take time to match-make you to the perfect stay and add extras along the way.

“I was planning a client’s bachelor party in Chicago,” said Fora Advisor Daniel Goldstein. “They had specifics in mind – they wanted a hotel with a pool, were looking to stay in a suite and wanted to be in a certain neighborhood. They started with Amex, and got nowhere. I was able to find a property that ticked all the boxes.”

Booking via Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts – or Amex FHR, the brand’s booking platform – means you’re sacrificing that level of personalization.

“It’s essentially [like booking on] Expedia,” said Daniel Goldstein, who has years of experience booking through Amex’s FHR booking platform (spoiler alert: he now only books with Fora).

Amex’s other option to its FHR booking platform is waiting on hold to speak with a call center agent. And, with Amex’s nearly 7,000 agents, you’re never getting the same person twice.

Plus, when you book with a Fora Advisor, you know the little things are taken care of. They can confirm your suite will be connected to a room next-door, or that a crib can fit by your bed. They can triple-check that your room is on the same floor as your teenagers. You won’t get the same care and attention to detail when booking through Amex.

Reason 2: When you book with Fora, you get prioritized for room upgrades.

Yes we know: Amex offers perks like free breakfast and up to $200 resort credit. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: booking with Fora means you’re getting all the same perks, but you are prioritized for room upgrades above Amex (more on that below).

“My clients booked three times with Amex, and they never got an upgrade,” advisor Amy Haefeli recalled. “Since then, I’ve booked them two hotel stays. They got upgraded both times.”

Why? Because the travel industry is all about relationships.

Over our decades spent in the industry, we’ve built meaningful relationships with hotels around the world (more than 4,500, to be exact). We attend all the industry events and use our rolodexes daily to provide the best possible experiences for our travelers. And while Amex provides perks for card holders (at roughly 2,300 hotels), there’s no real relationship with many Amex travel agents. The partnership is with Amex’s corporate brand, as a whole.

And it doesn’t stop at upgrades. Fora is part of nearly every major preferred partner program, including Four Seasons Preferred, Hilton Impresario, Hyatt Privé, IHG Luxury and Lifestyle and Virtuoso Travel

Preferred partnerships are not easy to get – these are selective, invitation-only programs developed and cultivated by hotels to reward agencies who deliver consistent, high-quality clientele at significant volume. Clients who come from Fora and other preferred agencies book higher room categories, spend more at the property and are more loyal than any other channel. You benefit from the many years of this track record.

What does this mean? 

Beyond getting priority above Amex for room upgrades, you’re going to be at the top of the food chain. When you book a hotel with Fora, you’re a client that comes to them via a preferred partnership. This means you’ll be the hotel’s top priority, always marked as a VIP prior to your arrival at the hotel. This is where you land the above-and-beyond hospitality.

Reason 3: Booking with Fora means you have dedicated, 1:1 support to square away all the details.

Fora Advisor Fallon Alexandria

Remember those relationships we were talking about? These come in handy before, during & after your trip. 

Since Fora Advisors have relationships and book directly with the hotel, they are ready to double-check reservations, make sure all of the details are squared away and also problem-solve for you if something goes awry when you’re traveling.

When you book through a Fora Advisor, it’s basically like having a best friend who has the General Manager on speed dial. No corporate back-and-forth, or waiting on hold with call centers.

“I’m always texting with my clients during their trip,” said Fora Advisor Daniel Goldstein. “I tell them: if they need anything, ‘call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me.’”

This level of attention and personalization is especially valuable if you’re interested in a multi-stop trip, or one that requires logistical planning (like a safari) or on-the-ground resources (like tours & transfers). 

Reason 4: Booking with a Fora Advisor means you’re supporting a small business.

Fora Advisor Gaya Vinay

Our Fora Advisors are passionate travel lovers from around the globe, from full-time parents to teachers to history nerds. As a Fora Advisor, they are building a small business of their own because they find fulfillment in planning & booking incredible trips for others. 

Whenever you book with a Fora Advisor, you’re directly supporting their dreams and their careers. And that’s vacation planning that we can feel really good about.

But wait… how should I use my Amex?

We are Amex cardholders ourselves and love American Express benefits. Amex has a great points program, lounge access, and numerous other perks that we as cardholders love.

Our advice? Book your flights with Amex and rack up points on other expenses — but save the hotel bookings for your Fora Advisor. They’ll do all the legwork and unlock a smoother, more personalized & VIP experience.

Learn more about working with a Fora Advisor.

Interested in joining us? Learn how to become a travel agent with Fora.

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