Last week the Blogosphere was rattled with news that Chase Fairmont Visa holders would have their cards converted to Chase Sapphire Preferred cards in August. For some this may not be so rattling, but, Fairmont, like SPG, attracts a rather dedicated bunch. If you don’t believe me, just check out my review of the Fairmont Southampton, which I did in two posts.
But, there is still something you can do to extract some remaining value from the Chase Fairmont Visa!
Getting the last of the Chase Fairmont Visa Benefits
First of all, the Chase Fairmont Visa is a great card. Its got some great benefits, but, at this point, this post only matters to you if you already have the card. You see, in addition to all of the great sign-up benefits that there were, there’s also a little bit of an Easter Egg in that if you spend $12,000 per year, you get a free night. So far as I am able to figure out, this annual free night is based on your card member anniversary–read: when your annual fee hits–rather than calendar year. Why is this important? Because, if your annual fee is in August or, probably the following 6 months, you might be able to get some reprieve from the $12,000 spend.
What to do?
Update #1: Start considering your spend now. If your annual fee is anytime from August to to the end of the card being offered, The letter says that the required spend drops down to $6,000 for the annual free night benefit.
Update #2: Of course, if your annual fee is in June or July and you aren’t quite at the $12,000, or even $6,000, you may want to call and see if they can move your anniversary date further out, so you can meet the necessary spend for the annual free night. That’s what my father was able to do (see comment below).
Its a big shame that Chase and Fairmont are parting ways. We’ve really enjoyed the benefits of the Chase Fairmont Visa, its just that good a card, and Fairmont is that good a hotel chain. But there is still some opportunity to get a bit of value from the Fairmont card, that is, putting some spend on it between now and 15 August when it gets converted to a Chase Sapphire Preferred. Spending $6,000 may either be huge, or not a big deal, depending on how you feel about manufactured spending, but, for some properties, this can be an arbitrage opportunity. I say that, because there is always a cost to spend, but many Fairmonts can be, well, pricey. So, do the math, make the phone call, and please share a comment on your experience.