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Bonus On Fairmont Gift Cards For A (Very) Limited Time Only!
Fairmont is one of my favourite hotel chains in the world, with a great mix of modern city hotels and historic buildings rich with Canadian history. I generally find the value to be good at most Fairmont properties, but especially appreciate the many ways to get discounted stays or added value. That said, I got a bit excited when I saw that Fairmont had recently announced on their Facebook page a bonus on Fairmont gift cards, just in time for Mother’s Day!
Fairmont regularly runs these promotions once or twice a year, though last time we saw only a 15% bonus. It should be noted that this bonus is only valid for electronic gift cards purchased on Wednesday May 9th between 2-5pm ETD – so if you plan to take advantage I would recommend setting a reminder!
The full terms and conditions of the promotion can be found here, but key bullet points include:
- Valid for electronic gift card purchases only
- Promotion is valid between 2pm-5pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 9th only
- Can be purchased in CAD or USD funds
- Eligible for rates booked directly with Fairmont
- Maximum of $5,000 in gift card purchases per person ($1,000 bonus)
- Minimum $25 purchase
- Valid at Fairmont properties worldwide for room rate, taxes, fees, and incidentals
- Cannot be used at other Accor properties (Sofitel, Raffles, etc)
- No expiry date
Should you consider the bonus on Fairmont gift cards?
For anyone with upcoming travel to the United States or abroad, I would say absolutely yes! Even if you think you might, I would consider grabbing a few hundred dollars worth of cards. No expiry date means there’s basically no risk, so long as you eventually use them.
For those with reservations in Canada, I would rather choose Life Experiences Gift Certificates available through Costco. While the process of purchasing and redeeming these certficiates can be a bit cumbersome at first, this method guarantees an additional 25% off any properties in Canada, which is really tough to beat!
Also remember that the Fairmont President’s Club is ending on July 2, 2018, though Fairmont announced that current Premier and Platinum members would be eligible for a second set of elite certificates for having two recorded stays before July 1, 2018. Leveraging this bonus on Fairmont gift cards or using the Life Experience method through Costco could be a great way to get your qualifying nights for your second set of certificates!
Something To Consider Before Purchasing
While the promotion itself is fairly straightforward, there is one caveat I want to mention that could deter some from taking advantage of the bonus on Fairmont gift cards:
Gift cards cannot be used to settle bills when booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
Fine Hotels and Resorts is one of my favourite programs out there for added value on luxury hotel stays, but unfortunately all hotel bills must be settled in full using an American Express Card in the name of the person who made the reservation (doesn’t necessarily need to be the Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card used to make the booking, but needs to be an Amex).
I’ve heard reports of people being able to apply certificates for part of the bill, and settling the remainder with an Amex, though technically the terms say the entire bill must be paid with American Express, so I wouldn’t count on it.
To give you an example of the value you may have to forego, I’ll use our stay at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler this past weekend:
We booked the best available rate through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, which came to $297 taxes included.
With that, we got a $100USD food/beverage credit ($123 using the hotel’s conversion rate), daily breakfast, and guaranteed late check-out. We also received a complimentary Gold Floor upgrade, which is definitely not the norm for a FHR booking (expect more of a better view or perhaps a suite, but usually not Gold Floor). The breakfast is valued at about $70 per day for two, so not even considering the upgrade or other benefits, we had about $275 in added value just by booking with my Platinum Card.
If I had booked direct with the same rate, I would have been able to get two nights (definitely not in a Gold Floor room), $123 worth of food/beverage and daily breakfast for a total of $869.56, which would have been $724.63 ‘out of pocket’ before factoring in the 20% bonus earned when purchasing the gift card.
Clearly in this example it made more sense to book through Amex for the added value, rather than booking direct and using a gift card purchased with a 20% bonus. If you don’t have an American Express Platinum Card yet, consider applying before your next luxury hotel stay to take advantage of this incredible program!
New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn Welcome Bonus points
American Express is currently offering Membership Reward welcome bonus points on the Business Platinum Card .
Bonus On Fairmont Gift Cards Bottom Line
I think most people should consider taking advantage of this bonus on Fairmont gift cards, though the amount you purchase will definitely depend on any upcoming travel plans.
For myself, I only have one stay in the US planned for the rest of the year, which is a 3-night stay at The Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego. We plan to use our last certificates for a 3-night stay (1 from this year plus 1 more for each of us that will be awarded in July for the 2 additional qualifying nights) but know there will be some expenses on top of it. I suspect we will eat breakfast at the resort, have a nice dinner, and be subject to parking and resort fees. Conservatively I would expect this to cost $500USD, so that’s exactly what I plan to purchase during this promotion, which will net a $100USD bonus for a total of $600USD (which, let’s face it, will probably still not be enough given how much I tend to spend on vacation).
However, even if our plans change, I know I’ll eventually stay at another Fairmont property, and with no expiry date, I’ll be able to use the gift certificates at a later date (though I would definitely hold-off to use it at an American property as the conversion rate offered in Canada at the hotel would be less than ideal).
If you’re wanting to save money at Canadian Fairmont properties, I would instead encourage you to consider using Life Experience Certificates available online through Costco. This method will save you 25% on any rate booked directly through Fairmont at any property across Canada.
I would also recommend checking if your preferred property participates in American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, as the added value will generally be more lucrative than the savings by booking direct and paying with a gift card purchased during the promotion.
Gift cards can be purchased electronically through this link. Remember that the bonus only applies to electronic gift cards and not plastic ones, and only between 2-5pm ETD on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018.
Do you plan to take advantage of the bonus on Fairmont gift cards this Wednesday?