Fairmont

Fairmont Card $95 Fee Waived & 2 Free Nights In A Suite

Fairmont Credit Card

While on a point to point basis I value airline miles much higher than hotel points, with the recent United & Delta devaluations, I think it is important to take another look at hotel credit cards.

While everyone and their mother are aware of the Hyatt card & the Citi Hilton Reserve cards, which both are great and come with 2 free nights each as a sign up bonus, one of the most underrated and overlooked hotel credit cards is from Fairmont. 

I got the Fairmont card last year and redeemed the 2 free nights at the Fairmont Mission Inn in Napa (my review can be found here).

Although the Fairmont card has an annual fee of $95 (currently waived for the first year!) and a minimum spend requirement of $1,000, both are extremely reasonable for the perks that this card provides.

Link To Fairmont Card

By signing up for the Fairmont card and spending $1,000 in 3 months, you will receive the following:

  • 2 Free Night Certificates for any Fairmont worldwide
  • 4 $25 Breakfast Vouchers
  • Premier Status

Overlooked Premier Status Benefits

When I first signed up for the Fairmont card last year, to be honest, I was really only concerned about the 2 free nights and free breakfast that came with the card.

Since Fairmont properties are on the pricer side, I didn’t think I’d ever stay with Fairmont for a paid stay so the card’s additional benefits like Premier Status didn’t really resonate with me.

Many of the other credit cards like Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, etc also give you “Elite Status” with their loyalty program BUT it is typically the lowest rung and doesn’t have any real benefits. So I was conditioned to be skeptical of Fairmont’s Premier Status and believed it to be like all the other credit card statuses out there. Little did I know…

By sheer coincidence, before my trip last year, an FFU reader named James tipped me off about his experience at Fairmont and said that he was able to get an upgrade on an award stay using his Fairmont Premier Status.

Following his instructions, I logged into my Fairmont account and clicked on “My Certificates” and noticed that not only were my 2 free night certificates and 4 $25 breakfast vouchers from the Fairmont credit card in there, but also as a Premier Member in Fairmont’s President’s Club, there was also a $50 dining certificate, 3rd night free voucher, complimentary room upgrade, and complimentary suite upgrade!

"Fairmont Account"

“Awesome Surprise”

Unbeknownst to me, Fairmont Premier Status (which comes with the Fairmont credit card), has a whole host of extremely valuable benefits!

And It Gets Better…

Although I was happy to get $50 in additional dining credit, I didn’t think much of the upgrade certificates.

Perhaps I am just a bit jaded by hotel loyalty programs over the years but I just naturally assumed that the complimentary room upgrade and suite upgrade could not be used on award stays.

However to my surprise, James said it could be used on awards…

Although I hoped he was right, I was still a bit skeptical, so I ended up calling Fairmont and asked to redeem my suite upgrade for my award stay at Fairmont Mission Inn. To my shock, they said that wasn’t a problem!

We ended up getting upgraded to a Wine Country Junior Suite!!!

"Sweet Upgrade"

“Sweet Upgrade”

Unfortunately you are not allowed to stack your suite upgrade certificate with the room upgrade certificate. However if you would like a bigger suite, you can pay a small upgrade fee (we were quoted $50 – $100 extra per a night depending on the suite).

Other Examples Of Fairmont Suites

While the Fairmont Mission Inn was on the “cheaper side” of redemption value, there are many other properties where getting the Fairmont card would save you some serious cash!

A full list of Fairmont Hotels worldwide can be found here.

From what I am told, there are capacity controls on using the free night awards earned from the Fairmont credit card.

Unfortunately, you can’t search for award inventory online, so the only way to check to see if you can use your free nights is to call into Fairmont. This is not a huge deal but I just wish you could search online!

The Plaza Hotel – New York City

With your 2 free nights, you could redeem them for 2 nights at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

A normal room at The Plaza is $625 a night, while a suite is $1,455 a night!

"$625 a night!"

“$625 a Night!”

"$1,455 a night!"

“$1,455 a Night!”

The Savoy – London

If The Plaza doesn’t impress you, perhaps 2 nights at The Savoy in London might.

Basic rooms there start at the cheap rate of 606 GBP ($995 USD) a night, while Junior Suites start at 996 GBP ($1,636 USD) a night.

"995 USD a Night!"

“$995 USD a Night!”

"$1636 USD a Night!"

“$1,636 USD a Night!”

If you redeemed your 2 free nights here in a Suite, you would be getting a return of $3,272!

Fairmont Singapore

My Parents got the Fairmont Card last year and redeemed their 2 free nights at the Fairmont Singapore this past November.

Thanks to the free suite upgrade voucher, they were upgraded to the $1,800 USD a night Penthouse Suite!

"$1,800 USD a Night!"

“$1,800 USD a Night!”

Put This Offer In Perspective

If you still aren‘t impressed at the potential “value” of these 2 free Fairmont nights, let me try to put it in perspective.

In my case, in addition to the 2 free Fairmont nights, I also had 2 free Hyatt nights in a suite that I received from the Hyatt credit card.

By paying $999 to go on the SMD4 in 2012, Hyatt gave all participants Diamond Status for 4 months. Because I had Diamond Status when I applied for the Hyatt card, I received 2 free nights in a suite, as opposed to the normal offer of 2 free nights in a basic room.

While Hyatt is similar to Fairmont in that if you sign up for their credit card, they will give you Elite Status. Even at Hyatt’s top Elite tier (Diamond) where they give you 4 free suite upgrades annually, those upgrades CAN ONLY BE USED ON PAID STAYS!

So not only is Fairmont giving anyone who applies for their card 2 free nights but because you also receive Fairmont’s Premier Elite Status with the card, those 2 free nights basically turn into 2 FREE NIGHTS IN A SUITE!

The ability to redeem a suite upgrade on an award stay is something that Hyatt doesn’t even provide to their top tier Diamond Elites who have to stay 50 nights a year but Fairmont is willing to give that benefit to ANYONE who applies for their credit card!

There really isn’t anything more you could ask for from a hotel credit card since you are getting the following:

  • $95 Annual Fee Waived For First Year
  • 2 Free Nights
  • A Suite Upgrade
  • $100 in Breakfast Credits
  • $50 in Dining / Spa Credits

Recap

While the Fairmont Card was a good card to begin with due to the 2 free nights, I think the revelation that the 2 FREE NIGHTS CAN ACTUALLY BE USED IN A SUITE is a real game changer!

There is no other hotel card out there that offers this large of a benefit to ANYONE that signs up!

HUGE thanks again to FFU reader James for pointing this out!

Not only are the 2 free nights in a suite fairly amazing but I think the $100 in free breakfast and $50 in dining / spa credits is a nice touch. Not to mention that all members enrolled in Fairmont’s loyalty program automatically get free internet!

That being said, there isn’t an affiliate link for this card so it is hard to say if it gets promoted as much as the other hotel cards.

As I have said in earlier posts about the Fairmont Card and perhaps the reason why many people overlook Fairmont to begin with, is that while Fairmont doesn’t have the large international presence as Hyatt, Marriott, or Starwood, what they lack in quantity, they certainly make up in quality properties like The Savoy, The Plaza Hotel, etc.

As usual, if you and your travel partner were to both sign up for the Fairmont Card, depending on where you redeem your 4 free nights, you could easily get $3,500 value or more from this credit card!

-Parag


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21 Comments

  • Han says:

    How long did you have to wait after meeting the minimum spending requirement to get your free night certificates?

  • worthit52 says:

    Thanks!! I just received my certificates last week! After your post I checked my Fairmont status And sure enough..Premier!!.it was in there just like you said. Do you know why the premier status expires in February 2014 but I have until next June of next year use of certificates? Yours is the same it appears. That means I only have a couple more months to be able to upgrade to a suite instead of almost a year it seems.

  • worthit52 says:

    @ Han.. I signed up in June.The awards were on my july account statement as soon as I met the min spend because I checked as soon as I read about this here on July 29th. I already had the certificates in hand but had no idea of their value until I read this post and then actually looked up my account…jackpot! wow was I happy!

  • egwg says:

    The issue dates on my Fairmont Visa Signature Card Certificates are the exact same as yours. My Fairmont President’s Club Certificates issue dates are very close to yours. We must have signed up around the same time.

    I need to call & apply the suite upgrade to an upcoming stay.

    FYI, you can't use the suite upgrade at the Savoy.

  • Steven says:

    Wow! This is amazing. Thanks for posting this. Signing up for the Fairmont Card now!

  • Michelle S. says:

    Wow, glad I read this! Have a stay coming up next week that we are redeeming our free nights for. Just called to upgrade to a suite. Thanks for the tip. Keep them coming!

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Worthit52 – So the reason it expires is because that is when all Elite Statuses expire every year. As long as you have the credit card, Fairmont will continue to give you the premier status every February. So even though it expires, you will still have it going forward. Every February, you will get a whole new set of Suite Upgrades, Dining Credits, etc for the year.

    • Jay K says:

      So…If one got the card a few months before Feb, then they’d get two sets of everything before the annual fee hit?

      • Parag says:

        Well in Feb, I believe Fairmont resets all their loyalty accounts and gives you a whole new set of benefits that expire the following February, so unless you could use your certs before the end of Feb, it wouldn’t really be worth it. The annual fee hits 1 year after you get the card.

  • ShoNuffHarlem says:

    Is this card churnable?

  • ShoNuffHarlem says:

    Also do you have to call to find out if availability or does it display on website?

  • Vishal says:

    Hi,

    I just received my Fairmont credit card, however I have not been assigned a Fairmont Loyalty Program Membership number yet. Should I created one by myself? I called up Chase and they told me that I don’t to create one as it is already linked. The answer didn’t seem too convincing.

  • Jatin K says:

    Err.. Why was my question moderated?

  • choi says:

    I was hoping you would dwell on the spending of this card, such as categories and or points for award redemption. or is this card just good for the free two nights and then castaway in the bin ?

    • Parag says:

      @Choi – They don’t even display the points or award stuff on their website. I have looked at it once and it is really high and not worth it. So I just got it for the 2 free nights.

  • GreyGoose says:

    hmm….

  • GreyGoose says:

    this doesn’t seem to work at the Plaza. Cannot use suite upgrade or free certificates back to back making them a lot less useful than stated in the post. If you intended to use these at the plaza then you may want to rethink your application.

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