Friday, May 18, 2012

Chase Fairmont Card

Chase just bagged another one! That's right, Chase just collected yet another respectable hotel chain in its massive arsenal of reward-rich credit card offerings. The Fairmont chain is a fairly upscale hotel chain with a decent number of locations around the world but generally more heavily focused on North America with just a smattering of hotels in the rest of the world.

The Fairmont visa card itself (application here) actually offers pretty similar benefits as the current Chase Hyatt card with two complimentary nights at any Fairmont hotel worldwide! To best the Hyatt offer however, they even toss in complimentary breakfast for two on those 2 nights, all for just spending $1000 in the first 3 months!

In addition to that, you also get Premier membership status (mid-level status with Fairmont President's Club), which actually offers some rather unique, non-standard privileges at what I like to call the Big Four (Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood). Some of these include free shoe-shining, free access to BMW bikes and vehicles at selected hotels, and complimentary use of golf clubs to list some of the more offbeat items. Not to mention, they tack on complimentary annual membership to the LOUNGE CLUB, tossing in 2 free lounge visits a year, at over 350 airport lounges worldwide.

As with most of the other Chase cards, this one comes with the no foreign transaction fees. And, to try to keep you hooked, the add in 1 complimentary night each anniversary year given that you spend a hefty $12k each year.

For those who are already Premier or Platinum members, you get an even more awesome deal as (until July 31, 2012), you'll receive an additional 2 Fairmont Gold Floor upgrade certificates for use and $150 to go towards Fairmont dining. Pretty sweet if you already have mid or upper tier status with Fairmont!

This credit card offer comes with:
  • Free 2 nights at any Fairmont worldwide after spending $1k in first 3 months
  • 1 complimentary night each year upon spending at least $12k annually
  • 5 points per $1 spend at Fairmont hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airlines, car rentals, transit and commuting
  • 1 point per $1 spend on everything else
  • Fairmont President's Club Premier Status
  • Complimentary annual membership to LOUNGE CLUB (with 2 free annual lounge visits)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Waived $95 annual fee for first year
While this seems like a fabulous card and awesome deal, the one thing that might be worth pointing out is that it is rather difficult to redeem nights at the Fairmont as you need to stay at least 50 nights to earn your first free night. You'll earn 1 additional night for every 10 more nights you stay beyond that but this seems like a pretty high barrier for the average Joe.

Additionally, the Fairmont Rewards is a bit of a yellow flag considering you need at least 25k points to redeem for a free night according to this chart. While their hotels are pretty upscale, this would pretty much cost more than the top Category 6 Hyatts in the world so the Hyatt card may be a better bet in this case.

Disclaimer: This card is only available to US residents.  Also, I am not paid by Chase to endorse their products.

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