|View from Outside the Fairmont San Francisco|
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Fairmont Rewards Chase Credit Card Program
Fairmont Presidents Club (FPC) is less about rewarding spend and more about customizing the onsite experience (I did score a four night stay in Barbados from them for spending 61 nights in a year along with 4 other free nights and several meals, so it is somewhat rewarding). Since free nights are awarded based on number of nights stayed, not dollars spent, this model doesn't work for a credit card points program. Rather than fit into FPC, Chase made up their own program. I confirmed with Fairmont that FPC is not switching to Chase's model and all hotels will be ranked the same in FPC. I don't think Chase's chart is the most rewarding award chat around, but it isn't terrible. The sign up bonus is two free nights, not bad, but I don't need to stay at a Fairmont any time soon, so I won't get the card. Also, The Plaza in New York has special rules constraining awards, so don't plan on booking a free night there soon.
Here's the trick for booking The Plaza. There is a limited number of free nights Fairmont is allotted at The Plaza per month. You can call Fairmont, find a month that's open, usually six or more out, and book a room for the number of nights you want. This holds those free nights for you. Call back later and shift the reservation to another time that month when your plans are finalized, the nights are yours and you can use them any time that month. There is no fee and as long as standard rooms are available on your new dates, no hassle.