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Fairmont Black Friday Gift Card Sale Returns!

Fairmont Black Friday Gift Card Sale Returns!

Old Apr 30, 2020, 9:00 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by habshabs444
Thanks for the heads up on this. On a side note, I just happened to check to see if Costco was selling the lifeexperiences gift cards and they aren't. I'm wondering if that is a permanent thing or just temporary given the lack of current demand/use for them?
Darn, I had not noticed this was gone. Even if demand is rock bottom I don't see what it would hurt to keep selling so it cannot be good news.
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Old Apr 30, 2020, 11:46 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by CanadaDH
It's back, and it's the same rate as before. But, it's not on the Friday this year. They announced today, that it will be next Wednesday, May 6, from 2 to 5 PM (Eastern Daylight Time).

Terms are the same as before. Use multiple credit cards when purchasing more than $5,000 worth of certificates.

https://www.fairmont.com/egiftcard-rules-regulations/

Ahh crap the time is horrible for me 2am-5am will be the time on Thursday the 7th of May. My wife is going to think I am mad and divorce me.
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Old Apr 30, 2020, 12:46 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by CanadaDH
Correct....

I'm calling them "cards", but they're actually electronic certificates. Don't order the plastic cards and expect the bonus, as the bonus on only on the electronic certificates (which are treated exactly the same at the hotel, but the bonus is only on the electronic certs).

Yes, they are as good as cash at the hotel. Apply as many as you like, and you can partially redeem them and leave a balance. As I said, they are treated just like a cash payment.
Thanks for the helpful information and confirmation that my understanding is correct. I had missed the part that these are all electronic - even better!

One other thing: I recall reading previously that, when paying with USD-denominated e-cards in non-US properties, the forex conversion rate is favorable. You had mentioned OANDA spot rate, of which I am not familiar. I usually use XE.com for benchmarking.

I have always paid with my credit card with no forex fee and thought that the hotel conversion rates are always terrible. (In the old days, some hotels would post a list of their forex rates at their reception desk against several major currencies, and so it was transparent and easy to see.)

Do Fairmont hotels use a different set of forex rates that are more honest for guests using their e-Cards? If so, do all Fairmont hotels adhere to this practice, or is it up to an individual hotel? And are those rates comparable to those I would get if using my credit cards that carry no forex fees?

Last edited by sfvoyage; Apr 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm
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Old Apr 30, 2020, 1:55 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by sfvoyage
Thanks for the helpful information and confirmation that my understanding is correct. I had missed the part that these are all electronic - even better!

One other thing: I recall reading previously that, when paying with USD-denominated e-cards in non-US properties, the forex conversion rate is favorable. You had mentioned OANDA spot rate, of which I am not familiar. I usually use XE.com for benchmarking.

I have always paid with my credit card with no forex fee and thought that the hotel conversion rates are always terrible. (In the old days, some hotels would post a list of their forex rates at their reception desk against several major currencies, and so it was transparent and easy to see.)

Do Fairmont hotels use a different set of forex rates that are more honest for guests using their e-Cards? If so, do all Fairmont hotels adhere to this practice, or is it up to an individual hotel? And are those rates comparable to those I would get if using my credit cards that carry no forex fees?
Fairmont hotels may set their own exchange rates for cash transactions, but not for gift cards. If you use a gift card at a hotel whose currency is in a different currency from your gift card, it is the gift card terminal that does the exchange conversion, not the hotel's crappy posted rate. Neither Fairmont nor the individual hotels have any control over that rate whatsoever. It simply uses the Oanda rate. You can use their currency converter below to see what sort of conversion you get, and compare to xe.com or other services:

https://www1.oanda.com/currency/converter/

I've pulled up the currency converter on my phone when redeeming a gift card, and can confirm that it uses that rate with no surcharge added. My various credit cards are all a bit different in the rate used, but none of my cards can get this rate.

Like many businesses, Fairmont doesn't manage their own gift card system. They use a company out of Vancouver called Buyatab, who runs the gift card programs for a lot of other brands.

https://web.buyatab.com/client-types/b2c/
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Old Apr 30, 2020, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by tris06
Ahh crap the time is horrible for me 2am-5am will be the time on Thursday the 7th of May. My wife is going to think I am mad and divorce me.
Fairmont is still managed out of their Toronto corporate office, so they use Toronto time for most things. It does seem a bit strange that they wouldn't extend the times for this promotion, because they do have hotels all around the world, but they've always done it this way. And even though you can purchase a Fairmont gift card directly from a hotel in any currency, this promotion is only good for USD and CAD currencies. Why they do that I suppose is known only to their marketing people. For all I know, they do similar promotions at other times in other currencies, announced through social media channels in other languages. Or, maybe it's just because >50% of their hotels are in North America.

Last edited by CanadaDH; Apr 30, 2020 at 2:13 pm
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Old Apr 30, 2020, 7:07 pm
  #51  
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Same for me, I never had a beef with the exchange rate they used
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Old Apr 30, 2020, 9:06 pm
  #52  
 
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I'll give you an example of an actual exchange rate. The last time I used a Fairmont gift card in a different currency, was last fall when I used a CAD gift card at The Plaza in New York, which was charged in USD. I just ran a report online from the Fairmont gift card site of the redemption history of one of the cards I used.



You can see I used a CAD$2,000 card, and they were able to redeem USD$1,512.97 from the card. That works out to a USD/CAD rate of 1.3219.

I just went to the Bank of Canada website and downloaded historical exchange rates, and on October 15, 2019, the 'average' (I can't get historical spot rates for a specific time of day) rate that day was 1.3211.
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Old May 1, 2020, 4:23 am
  #53  
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Originally Posted by sfvoyage
I have always paid with my credit card with no forex fee and thought that the hotel conversion rates are always terrible. (In the old days, some hotels would post a list of their forex rates at their reception desk against several major currencies, and so it was transparent and easy to see.)
Exchange rates for foreign currency conversion (which is what gets posted on the boards at reception) is very different to the bank-determined foreign exchange rates for payment.

In the case of foreign currency conversion, the hotel takes a percentage, which is why the rates are not favourable.
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Last edited by Maelstrom; May 5, 2020 at 2:34 am
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Old May 4, 2020, 8:06 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4
Darn, I had not noticed this was gone. Even if demand is rock bottom I don't see what it would hurt to keep selling so it cannot be good news.
I was just browsing the Costco site, and it doesn't seem like the removal of the LE certificates is specific to the LE program. It appears that Costco has pulled a lot of their certificates. What's rather amusing, is if you select "Gift Cards & Tickets" from the main shopping menu, guess what image is used to drill into the "Gift Certificates" sub-category?


When you follow that link, the only thing available right now is a vehicle roadside assistance program membership. No other retailers or programs certificates for sale. Maybe if you're based in other parts of the country, you get other options (some of Costco's items are regional), but that's all I see available.

This gives me a bit of hope that they might return in the future, and perhaps Costco just pulled all certificates relating to travel and other activities that are effectively shut down right now. Given these are electronic certificates that don't take up shelf space, and are issued when purchases, there is no inventory cost for Costco to still offer them. Maybe they just don't want to be selling something that their members can't redeem, preventing future complaints from people then wanting to reverse the sale.

Fortunately, I still have ~$5,000 worth of these LE certs in my stash, but hopefully they bring them back again before 2021 travel starts to pick up.
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Old May 5, 2020, 12:22 pm
  #55  
 
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It looks like somebody messed up with a marketing e-mail!

The Fairmont facebook feed keeps reminding followers of the gift card sale, May 6 at 2PM. Like below.



But, just arriving in my e-mail inbox, at 2:03 PM on May 5 (24 hours before the sale begins), they send this! No mention of the sale, but sending an e-mail, through the official [MENTION=780528]acco[/MENTION]r-mail.com channel, promoting a gift card purchase, exactly 24 hours before the sale starts? That's either poor coordination, or somebody scheduled the auto-email for the wrong date!

If anybody received this e-mail, don't jump online and buy anything... the sale is tomorrow!

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Old May 6, 2020, 12:21 am
  #56  
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What is the validity of the Fairmont e-gift cards, one year?

To make use of the upcoming 20% bonus promotion, I just need to buy it within the given timeframe on the Fairmont Gift shop, right?
https://www.fairmont.com/gift-shop/

I assume they are good to use in Fairmont hotels is Asia as well. Thanks.
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Old May 6, 2020, 1:46 am
  #57  
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no expiration date
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Old May 6, 2020, 12:00 pm
  #58  
 
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Does anyone have any concern that "this time might be different" Meaning, what is Accor or Fairmont goes bankrupt during this once in a century global downturn in hospitality consumption?
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Old May 6, 2020, 12:10 pm
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Be Sure to specify whether you want your gift cards in Canadian Dollars or US dollars. There is a pulldown selector on the first order page. I'm in the US and mine defaulted to Canadian. So, it's easy to not notice.
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Old May 6, 2020, 12:32 pm
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Well, grabbed 1x2000 and 1x1000.. we'll see.
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