Cashing Out Chase Fairmont Visa Rewards

Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation or referral credit for the Chase Fairmont Visa Signature card. The link used is the public offer, which is the best of which I am aware.

My wife and I both got the Chase Fairmont Visa Signature cards last year for one of the best credit card sign-ups going: 2 nights plus breakfast at any Fairmont property worldwide, subject to some blackout dates. Free upgrade to Fairmont President’s Club Premier status that comes with annual 2 x $25 in dining/spa certificates, a 3rd night free certificate (not combinable with free nights) and a suite upgrade (combinable with free nights at most hotels). We just used mine at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Switzerland, by far the best hotel I have ever stayed at.

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace 01

It being Switzerland, I forgave the absurd breakfast prices that required not only all 4 of our $25 breakfast certs, plus my 2 $25 dining certs, plus $14 – and one day I only got the continental breakfast (“Bread table and juice only.” No cheese, no fruit, no, no, no, no).

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Continental Breakfast

The card and Premier status have other benefits that are attractive for frequent guests, but relatively little to offer infrequent guests for the $95 annual fee. The $50 in dining/spa from Premier stats can help rationalize the annual fee, as can the 2 annual airport lounge passes from Lounge Club, however earning a free night requires $12,000 spend each year. That free night is good at any Fairmont hotel worldwidem, and these are not generic chain hotels, so I would go for it if it were easy for me to generate spend.

The rewards chart for spend on the card is daunting, too. Even high-flyer Lucky at One Mile at a Time finds the prices exorbitant, and he will do a lot for luxury digs. The rewards chart is specific to the card, as President’s Club only awards airline miles for stays, so stays won’t help except in terms of paying for them with the card.

That leaves me looking to cancel the card as the annual fee approaches. I’ve got just over 1,000 points from meeting my minimum spend and that Swiss breakfast. I have exactly one rewards option: a Starbuck’s $10 gift card. Even the charity options are 2,500 points and up. But heck, $10 is $10 and I will make sure to cash out before bidding adieu to a card that I wish got me more nights at such incredible hotels.

Chase Fairmont Rewards 01

Chase Fairmont Rewards 02

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  • Joel

    Interestingly, it would require less of those Fairmont points to redeem for Fairmont gift cards that can be used to pay for the needed rooms – and that would count towards status too!

  • @Joel – good point, the award chart seems really absurd, though if just going by spend, the Marriott, Hilton and IHG cards don’t do well either.

  • Billy

    The Montreux Palace is quite nice for a Grande Dame hotel.

  • Ketan S

    Stefan, can you please do a detailed trip report for this hotel and areas near Montreux? I have an upcoming stay at this hotel for couple of nights in July and it would be very helpful.

  • @Ketan S – I will, thanks to my wife who remembered to take pictures. This was my first time to Switzerland and it is beautiful but incredibly expensive, even IKEA charges for parking!

  • choi

    do they send the annual Cert at the time of annual due or after the fee is paid ?

  • choi, checking the FT thread starting from this post, it seems it posts within about 2 weeks of the anniversary and stays in the account even if the card is subsequently closed, so it is possible to get the cert and cancel within the window to get the annual fee refunded.

  • Ketan S

    Is there a way you can do review on this soon I am leaving July 10th and it will be great to see this before then. If you have some tips please PM me.

  • @Ketan – sorry, I just emailed you. I have fallen behind again.

  • mintcilantro

    good to know this hotel is awesome.. I will plan on spending a couple of nights here on my swiss trip. We will also spend 4 nights and radisson blu lucerne and maybe a couple at a B&B in grindelwald.

    do you think it would make sense to go to davos. The IHG there is nice and i have some free night certs

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @mintcilandto – have not been to Davos, everywhere in Switz seems beautiful, that hotel looks cool, and their currency is way down against the dollar, go for it.