Many of you remember how in the middle of January we got a word that application link for Chase Fairmont credit card was on its last legs. Even though other bloggers reported it first, I was glad that I had a chance to give my readers a heads up. A quick plug for Miles for Family Twitter account where I retweet important miles and points news items as they hit the web.
I know for a fact that at least several of you applied for this card without having a specific use in mind. That’s perfectly fine because sometimes you have to take a leap of faith when it comes to miles and points hobby. So now many of you are in the middle of completing minimum spending on Fairmont card and perhaps, you still don’t know where or when you will be using the certificates. In that case, this post is for you.
I suggest these few strategies:
1) Send a secure message to Chase and find out the date by which you have to complete minimum spending requirements.
Even though the language on the offer says you have to spend $3,000 in 3 months, in reality, Chase usually gives you 115 days. This has been mentioned in the DoC post and confirmed by many people. The Fairmont certificates are valid for 12 months after issuance, so the longer you take when it comes to meeting the spending, the longer time frame you will have to utilize them.
My reader Natasha who applied on January 13th, reached out to Chase to confirm the cut-off date and here is the response:
“Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Fairmont
Visa with Chase.
Natasha, let me confirm your account enrollment offer is
– Earn 2 Complimentary Nights after you make $3,000 in
purchases within your first 3 months of account opening.
– Earn 1 Complimentary Night each anniversary year that
you make $12,000 in purchases with your card.
Purchases do not include balance transfers, cash advances,
cash-like charges such as travelers checks, foreign
currency, and money orders, any checks that access your
account,overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or
fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including an
annual fee, if applicable.
Let me confirm, this offer is available to use until
Obviously, you need to save it in case Chase decides to backtrack.
2) Once you have these details confirmed, change the statement closing date to the end of the month.
You can request it via secure message as well. Why does it mater? Well, let’s take the above example. Let’s say Natasha is able to change the closing date to 30th of each month. If she really wants to push it, she should complete the spending on the 1st of May.
That way, her Fairmont certificates will be deposited at the beginning of June. By that logic, they will also expire at the beginning of June 2018. Obviously, you need to be very careful so not to miss the deadline.
3) Don’t try to maximize the heck out of these certificates, but work them into your existing plans.
Yes, it would be amazing (AMAZING!) to stay in a $1,000-per-night room. But if you need to put together an extra trip, with airfare and extra expenses, it may not be the best strategy. Can you burn these certificates on a more humble Fairmont property that happens to be in a destination where you are going to already? Consider doing that.
4) If you can’t fit them into existing plans, consider a trip to a destination you were going to visit in a distant future.
You may have to reshuffle your plans, but it might be worth it to do so. Obviously, I’m assuming that there is no penalty to cancel your existing reservations.
There are many amazing Fairmont properties. I haven’t stayed in this hotel, but we did tour it while vacationing in Canada few years ago: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise It really is spectacular and if you can burn your certificates here, you won’t regret it. The scenery around the hotel is stunning and I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places.
I also put together a post on some nice USA properties you may want to consider. The two most obvious ones are hotels in Maui and Big Island, but there are many others. Still confused? I’ve linked to this post before, but you may want to check out analysis of best-bang-for-your-cert Fairmont redemptions. As always, you should be as flexible as possible when it comes to dates. You may prefer to use the certificates over New Year’s holidays, but so do many other people.
5) Call Fairmont and ask them if you can reserve the room now and later apply the certificates once they are deposited.
Many people were successful in doing so, including my reader Doug. You may want to go this route even if you don’t yet have airfare in place. The most desirable Fairmont properties are very popular during high season, plus, remember, you are now competing with all the other eleventh-hour Chase Fairmont card applicants.
I can’t guarantee that you’ll be successful, but it doesn’t hurt to try. You may have to do HUCA (hang up call again). If your plans fall through, you can always cancel your reservation and use the certificates for something else. Once again, don’t be too picky!
This was a very lucrative offer for some people, and I can certainly understand why many of you rushed to apply. Now you just need to make sure that you put these certificates to good use. And remember, it’s better to redeem them on a $150 per-night room then to lose them due to expiration.
Readers, what other strategies would you like to add to this list?
P.S. Here is a comment from reader Stephanie: “@Leana just fyi…we had earned 2 free Fairmont Certs last year and they were to expire this April 2017. However, the Free Upgrade to a Suite that was deposited into our account had a different expiration date of February 2017. Well that sure changed my plans as I was planning to use those free nights during March, but I wouldn’t have been able to use the Free Suite Upgrade. Make sure your readers take note of the dates when planning their stays.”
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.