I recently applied for the Chase Fairmont Visa Signature card which has a welcome bonus marketed as two free nights. At first glance it sounds like a fairly attractive card offer considering some Fairmont properties run over $500 per night.

However, taking a further look at the bonus and benefits associated with the card, the deal is much sweeter than it appears.

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Here's a look at what the Fairmont Visa card offers along with the welcome bonus:

  • 2 free nights after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • Automatic Premier status as long as you have the card
  • Free anniversary night when you spend $12,000/year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee waived the first year, then $95 per year

What Does Premier Status Get You

Fairmonts loyalty program is called President's Club and has three tiers: Club, Premier, and Platinum.

Here is how you can earn each status level:

Club: Earned upon enrolling in the program
Premier: Earned with 5 stays or 10 room nights within 1 calendar year.
Platinum: Earned with 10 stays or 30 room nights within 1 calendar year.

One of the benefits of the Fairmont Visa Signature card offers is automatic Premier status. The major perks that stand out include:

  • 1 room upgrade certificate per year
  • 1 suite upgrade certificate per year
  • Fairmont $50 dining or spa credit

The room upgrade certificate is a straightforward room upgrade to the next level room, excluding suits. You also get 1 suite upgrade certificate to the suite level designated by the property, most likely this is the standard or entry level suite at the hotel.

What is exceptional about these certificate is that they can be applied to award stays. This is much more generous than Hyatt's Diamond suite upgrades which are only valid on paid stays. Since you are upgraded to Premier status upon card approval this also makes the two free nights earned from the cards bonus essentially two free nights in a suite.

There are only a few limitations to the suite upgrade certificate. It can be applied to a maximize stay of 5 nights and several top properties are excluded.

Per the terms and conditions:

"Certificate may not be used at Fairmont Heritage Place Residences, Fairmont Makati, The Plaza Hotel, The Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Fairmont Tremblant, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport or The Savoy."

There are also some black-out dates to be aware of. Check here for black-out dates and limited access information.

Also full Fairmont President's Club program terms can be found here.

How Much are the 2 Free Nights Worth?

Given that the two free nights earned from the welcome bonus can be redeem for a suite when combined with the suite upgrade certificate, the welcome bonus is even more valuable.

For instance, when the two free nights are redeemed at the Monte Carlo Fairmont the stay would be worth 2,438 Euros!

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When redeemed at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Switzerland the two nights would cost $1,624.

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The bottom line is the Fairmont Visa Signature card offers a great welcome bonus for ultra-luxury hotel stays. You'll get two free nights in a suite, which is above most hotel credit card welcome bonuses which get you a free night or two in a standard room.