How To Save 25% On Any Fairmont Stay In Canada!

How To Save 25% On Any Fairmont Stay In Canada!

By |2018-12-30T19:14:48+00:00October 16th, 2017|Categories: How To Travel Hack, Sweet Spots|Tags: , , |

This is an amazing opportunity to save 25% on any stay in Canada booked directly with Fairmont! Best of all, this promotion can be stacked with most promotional rates already offered by the hotel, such as:

  • Early booking and prepaid discounted rates
  • Non-refundable/flexible rates
  • Special rates that include parking, resort credit, etc
  • CAA/AAA discounted rates

There is a bit of a process that requires about 24 hours advance notice to purchase the Fairmont gift certificates, but thankfully it’s relatively straightforward and certainly worth the effort!

Costco sells $100 Life Experiences gift cards online for $74.99, which can then be redeemed for a variety of services on the Life Experiences website. What is Life Experiences? Their website describes themselves as a Canadian experience provider with over 800 unique redemption options. Most importantly, though, are the $100 Fairmont gift certificates that can be purchased at face value using the discounted Life Experiences certificate purchased at Costco.

What’s the catch? Like anything, there are a few caveats to consider before rushing out and buying $10,000 worth of Life Experiences gift certificates:

  • The Fairmont gift certificates purchased through Life Experiences are valid at Canadian Fairmont properties only
  • The process is a bit convoluted… first you need to purchases life experiences gift cards online at Costco.ca, then you need to wait for the vouchers to be activated (generally 6-24 hours), at which point you can redeem them for Fairmont gift certificates on the Life Experiences website (detailed process below)
  • A maximum of 10 Fairmont gift certificates purchased through Life Experiences can be used per stay ($1000CAD/stay)
  • Fairmont gift certificates can’t be used to purchase physical gift cards and can’t be used on the Fairmont eStore, and can only be applied to the final bill (incidentals, spa, dining included)
  • Not applicable to third party, pre-paid bookings (online travel agencies such as Expedia) – must be booked directly through Fairmont
  • Not applicable to American Express Fine Hotel and Resort reservations, as they must be paid in-full with an American Express card

How To Buy

As mentioned above, the purchase process is a bit convoluted, involving a couple of steps on two different websites. First, visit Costco.ca and search for ‘life experiences’ from the home search bar.

Costco Homepage

Costco Homepage

There should be only one search result, which is the Life Experiences gift card for $74.99.

Costco Search Results

Costco Search Results – Life Experiences E-Certificate

Select as many as you want for your cart and check-out as you would for any regular online purchase. It should be noted that Costco memberships are not required for this online purchase and the e-certificates are not available for purchase in-store.

Here’s where things get a little strange. First, Costco will email you the standard purchase confirmation. Shortly after, you will get another email with a link to your online certificates. Clicking on the link will open a very dated screen to retrieve your Life Experiences certificate. Don’t be alarmed – this is normal.

Email From Costco To Retrieve Life Experiences Certificate

Email From Costco To Retrieve Life Experiences Certificate

Clicking on the link will open another page with your e-certificate number(s). If you ordered more than one, they will all be available through this page.

Life Experiences e-Certificate

Life Experiences e-Certificate

The certificate number and pin are what you’ll need to purchase a Fairmont certificate through the Life Experiences website (in the above example I’ve erased the number and pin for security reasons). I find it easiest to keep this page open when shopping on the Life Experiences website, as I can just copy and paste the certificate numbers into the payment area later.

Now that you’ve received your certificate number and pin, it’s time to purchase a Fairmont certificate. Unfortunately, there is a delay between the certificate being emailed and becoming activated for use. The website says there is a 24-48 hour delay for activation, but in my experience (3 times), they’ve been ready for use after about 6 hours. To check for card activation, simply go to Lifeexperiences.ca and find the ‘click to check card balance’ box near the top right side of the homepage.

Life Experiences Homepage

Life Experiences Homepage

To check balance and activation status, input your certificate number and pin. You can check multiple cards at once, if applicable.

Life Experiences Balance Inquiry

Life Experiences Balance Inquiry

When your cards are activated, return to the homepage and search for ‘Fairmont’ in the search bar near the top right hand side of the screen.

Life Experiences Search Bar

Life Experience Search Bar

The search results will populate various options for golf, dining, etc, with the $100 gift certificate available as one of the selections.

Fairmont Search Results

Fairmont Search Results

Click on the ‘Fairmont Hotels & Resorts – $100 Gift Certificate’ to add to your cart.

Fairmont $100 Gift Certificate

Fairmont $100 Gift Certificate

From the next screen you can adjust the number of certificates you wish to purchase, and apply any applicable gift certificates. Underneath the product area, select ‘pay with gift card/certificate’ and enter your certificate number and pin. Once it shows the available balance, hit apply, and you should notice the total price at the bottom of the screen change to reflect the certificate application. You can apply multiple certificates in a single transaction by clicking ‘Add Another Card’.

Life Experiences Shopping Cart

Life Experiences Shopping Cart

Since the shopping cart and checkout screen are on the same page, you will also need to include the name and email address of the Fairmont gift certificate recipient. I think this business is designed to send e-gifts but you can send it to yourself without any issue.

Select An Email Recipient

Select An Email Recipient

Because my gift certificate covered the entire purchase, there is no need to enter credit card information on the payment screen.

After submitting your order, you should receive a confirmation page as follows:

Submitted Order Screen

Submitted Order Screen

The hard part is over. Now just wait for an email from life experiences with your attached PDF Fairmont gift certificate(s). This email usually arrives within minutes and is ready to use right away.

All The Hard Work Has Paid Off

All The Hard Work Has Paid Off

Although it gives specific instructions on how to redeem, you can just book online through Fairmont.com and select any of their available rates, including pre-paid and non-refundable stays. If your credit card is charged in advance of arrival, you can simply apply the certificates at check-out and have the total refunded without much hassle.

Pay special attention to the terms and conditions though, as there are a couple of limitations regarding maximum number of certificates per stay, validity, etc.

Life Experiences Fairmont Gift Certificate Terms And Conditions

Life Experiences Fairmont Gift Certificate Terms And Conditions

Also very important, these certificates cannot be used for any third party bookings (online travel agencies such as Expedia or Hotwire) as you’re actually paying those companies directly for the booking, not the hotel.

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Is It Worth The Effort?

Absolutely! Well, it depends, do you like free money? Buying gift certificates at 25 percent off face value is an incredible deal, especially since those gift certificates can be redeemed with few restrictions, including on discounted and pre-paid stays. Admittedly, the Life Experiences website is a bit clunky and tired, but I’ve gone through the process a few times now and have saved hundred and hundreds of dollars.

Here’s a real world example of how I leveraged this promotion, along with my Fairmont President’s Club status, to get one heck of a deal at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria this fall:

I called Fairmont to inquire about availability for a three night stay. As a Fairmont Platinum member, I had received a 3rd night free certificate a few months ago celebrating Canada’s birthday and was wanting to use it for this stay. The agent found a fully-flexible rate for $349 per night, plus taxes, for a Fairmont King room.

I asked if there were any prepaid, non-refunadble rates available and she came back with a good promotion for $261 per night, plus taxes, including parking. While I used to hate booking non-refundable travel, I knew this trip would be happening, save for a medical emergency, which my American Express Platinum Card would cover since I was using it to pay for the reservation.

Since Brad and I both have Platinum status, we also had a bunch of room and suite upgrade certificates left to use before the end of the year. I asked about availability using our 3rd night free certificate and a suite upgrade, to which she was able to confirm a 650 square foot, one-bedroom suite at the time of booking. Nice! This particular suite was selling for $499 per night, plus taxes, at the time of booking.

To recap, I was able to book a one-bedroom suite with early check-in, late checkout and parking for three nights with trip cancellation insurance for a grand total of $600.58. Not bad at all considering the same room without Platinum status perks would sell for almost $2000 without early check-in or late checkout for the same three nights.

As good a deal as it was, the travel hacker side of me knew I could get it even cheaper. I took a few minutes to go through the above process and ordered $600 worth of Fairmont Gift Certificates through Life Experiences from Costco (what a mouthful), for a total of $449.94. The cherry on top: Costco is an Aeroplan partner for online shopping, so I was able to pick up an additional 450 Aeroplan miles for the purchase!

For $449.94, we will be staying at one of the most iconic Fairmont properties in North America in a recently renovated one-bedroom suite for three nights with parking, early check-in, and late checkout! I just love a great deal!

 

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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.

10 Comments

  1. Karl March 1, 2018 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Awesome….works a charm….. Thanks Tyler!

  2. Rob May 18, 2018 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Just did this to reduce the cost of Fairmont Tremblant – thanks!

    • Tyler Weatherup May 18, 2018 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Hey Rob,

      Happy to hear! Enjoy your stay at The Fairmont Tremblant – a property I’d really like to visit!

  3. Laurie June 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Amazing! Thank you for the tip. Have you ever tried applying the Fairmont life experiences GC to a spa package?

    I’m not planning on a using it with a hotel stay. It looks like the GC is just a regular Fairmont GC so I (hopefully) shouldn’t have an issues with just using it at the spa?

    • Tyler Weatherup June 4, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Hi Laurie,

      Technically, as per the terms and conditions, the Life Experiences gift certificates can only be used towards a folio during check-out, which implies they wouldn’t be valid for a spa package booked without a hotel stay. However, I’d say there’s very little harm in emailing the property in advance and asking, as I usually find most Fairmont employees accommodating, and maybe they would make an exception.

      Another timely option is the current promotion on Willow Stream Spa Gift Cards purchased through Fairmont. From now until June 11, you can save 20% on Willow Stream electronic gift cards. Full details can be found here.

      Hope this helps!

      -Tyler

      • Laurie June 5, 2018 at 10:23 am - Reply

        Thanks – we called and Willow Stream Spa advised they would be able to apply the life experiences Fairmont GC to our spa package! We saw the 20% but the 25% is even better 😉

        • Tyler Weatherup June 5, 2018 at 10:49 am - Reply

          That’s great! Thanks for reporting back, and enjoy your spa experience!

          -Tyler

  4. Rob October 26, 2018 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Do you know if the recent merger with Accor hotels has changed this at all?

  5. Bob November 1, 2018 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Hi, sorry if this posted twice, but does this still work after the merger?

    Thanks

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