Buying CAD Fairmont Gift Cards from the USA

 
Old Feb 23, 15, 3:01 pm
  #1  
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Buying CAD Fairmont Gift Cards from the USA

With the Loonie dipping down to close to 79 cents at the end of the last week, I figured I'd lock in the good exchange rate by purchasing some Fairmont gift cards in CAD for a stay in Canada this summer. Obviously, it's not a huge amount, and I suppose CAD could drop even further, but I'm not greedy and I figured this will give me some budget certainty for our trip.

However, when I check my balance online, it shows as an initial purchase in CAD but it shows the value of the card in USD. Will it be treated as a US gift card at the property, using an exchange rate, or do all fairmont gift cards track the balance in USD?
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Old Feb 23, 15, 7:51 pm
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I think that's just how it's displayed. Did you try registering your gift card, or just use the balance inquiry function?

Here's an example of the summary page of some registered cards:



Note that the balance listed here shows one card in USD and another one in CAD, so it does record the different currencies on the summary page.

Here's what I see when clicking to see the 'History' of the second card on the list.



Note that the balance shown on the transaction history screen flips over to the USD equivalent. However, the transaction history details are shown in CAD, which is the true value of this particular card. The values shown in the image were all CAD transactions, which also net out to the correct CAD balance shown on the earlier screen.

Therefore, I think it's just a glitch in their system, where it shows the balance on that particular screen in USD only. I think you'll be OK and that it is really all in CAD.

On a different but related topic...

I wonder if the implied exchange rate shown is an indication of the exchange rate that would be used if you used a CAD gift card at a US property? At the moment, it's 1.2531 based on the amounts displayed of USD$113.59 = CAD$142.34. The market spot rate right now is 1.2566. If so, that means that the Fairmont gift card system is only taking an F/X premium of 0.35% over the spot rate, which is a far better conversion than I'd ever get with any credit card when making a foreign currency purchase.

Perhaps I should always be paying for Fairmont hotels using gift cards denominated in my home currency?
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Old Feb 23, 15, 8:33 pm
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Yes, that's how mine looks too. Ok, good. I guess if CAD drops lower, I'll be disappointed, but at this point the certainty is good.
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