I’m sure many of you saw this make the rounds yesterday in the blogosphere but Accor Hotels will be acquiring Fairmont Hotels (along with Raffles & Swissôtel hotels) and the deal is expected to close sometime in 2016. I was personally was shocked to see this announcement as it came out of left field from a chain, Accor, that many of us know nothing about except that they hand out their worthless top tier stauts like candy. After the annoucement of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood, it’s safe to say the hotel landscape has got markedly worse for us in the points & miles game.
This leads me to a point that I don’t think is being mentioned enough in light of this news and that is the last opportunity to apply for the Chase Fairmont Visa credit card. Historically, this card hasn’t got much play on the blogs due to it not being a great card to put any spend on, Fairmont’s crappy loyalty program (no other way to earn or transfer points in, a confusing reward program), and was probably also ignored due to the fact it didn’t pay bloggers any commission (just being honest here). Either way, the initial signup bonus of 2 free nights is comparable to the Chase Hyatt Visa or Citi Hilton Reserve credit cards and is a card I am now considering adding to my next round of credit card applications.
Key Details of the Offer:
- Two Free Nights at Any Fairmont Hotel after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Complimentary Fairmont Premier status – Bascially you get 2x $25 food certificates, 1 room upgrade certificate, 1 suite upgrade certificate and some other smaller perks
- $95 Annual Fee is Waived for the 1st Year
- 5 Fairmont Reward Points for every $1 spent on Fairmont stays, 2 for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines, at car rental agencies, and on transit and commuting, and 1 for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Annual Free Night after Spending $12,000 or more in a year
Basically if you want to take advantage of two free nights at any Fairmont this card should now be on your radar before Chase is forced to stop accepting applicants for this card. I am recommending this card only for the signup bonus of two free nights and I would not put a dime of spend over $3,000 on it as the rewards program is pretty awful. You earn Fairmont Rewards points but you can’t redeem them for free nights at Fairmont hotels as there is no award chart like most other hotel chains. Instead, you can basically redeem the points for a penny each for gift cards or apply them to the cost of a hotel or airline ticket at the same penny per point value. So that $3,000 of spending, assuming no bonus categories, gets you a $30 gift card somewhere – not enticing and you can do much better with other cards.
Unlike with other hotels mergers (and even airline consolidations) there is no guarantee you will be able to obtain a credit card that will enable you to earn points or free nights for these current Fairmont properites like the Chase Fairmont does now. In fact, Accor doesn’t even have an affiliated credit card that I am aware of and I highly doubt one will ever be made available to the US market. So essentially this is your last chance to get two free nights at any current Fairmont properties. With many Fairmonts being quite expensive and considered high end properties, this could be an easy way to enjoy a luxurious weekend at some premier properties. If both you and your significant other get this card, that’s 4 free nights- definitely enough for a long weekend.
There are some fantastic Fairmonts around the globe that I would love to enjoy two free nights at. I’ve personally visited the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui which gets great reviews, a friend enjoyed his stayed at the Fairmont Mayakoba, and the ones in Bermuda look inviting for a long weekend (in fact from the East Coast this card plus some Avios makes for an easy & free long weekend).Is anyone applying for this card before the Fairmont brand goes away for good?