Fairmont gift cards have a great exchange rate

 
Old Sep 3, 15, 11:28 pm
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Thumbs up Fairmont gift cards have a great exchange rate

I know this question has come up occasionally in other threads, so I wanted to post a data point. I stayed at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace this week and paid by Fairmont gift cards.

The rate used by the gift card terminal on Sep 3 when applying the cards was 1 CHF = 1.3738 CAD.

The live rate at the same time, obtained from xe.com, was 1 CHF = 1.3693 CAD.

Rates used by my Visa and Amex around the same time were all north of 1 CHF = 1.42 CAD.

From now on, for any of my international Fairmont stays, I plan to always pay with CAD Fairmont gift cards and not my Amex or Visa!
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Old Oct 1, 15, 8:01 pm
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Good to hear

Planning to use my USD certificates and maybe CAD GC at UAE Fairmonts for Dining
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Old Oct 14, 15, 8:06 pm
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Here's another data point. Stayed at the Copley Plaza in Boston and used CAD gift cards to settle the USD bill.

Gift cards converted at USD/CAD = 1.2942 on Monday.

At the same time as my purchase, I checked the buy and sell rates on OANDA. The rates on their website were:
- Buy USD: 1.29487
- Sell USD: 1.29418 (which matches what the gift card converted at)

xe.com was showing 1.29417 at the same time, and kitco.com was 1.2943.

That's a damn good exchange rate to pay, if you assume the market spot rate to be mid-way between their published buy and sell rates. I'm actually a little surprised that the gift card didn't convert at 1.2949 instead.

For comparison, all of my Amex purchases the same day converted at 1.331.

Last edited by CanadaDH; Oct 14, 15 at 8:11 pm
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Old Oct 16, 15, 4:29 pm
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good find.. I plan on going to the montreux palace next year around this time. Do you mind sharing what rate you paid?
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Old Oct 16, 15, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by mintcilantro View Post
good find.. I plan on going to the montreux palace next year around this time. Do you mind sharing what rate you paid?
I booked using my Air Canada Aeroplan distinction promo code, which is essentially paying the full BAR, but with free breakfast for 2 each day (and I think a $25 food and beverage credit). There was a 15%-off prepaid rate available, but based on the cost of breakfast there (and in Switzerland in general), the free breakfast was the better deal, and it was a very good breakfast. The Amex rate was 'stay 3 nights and get the 4th free', which is good if you plan to stay 4 nights, or 5 if you want to add a free night cert to extend it further.

We used Free Night Cert and Suite Upgrade Cert. Paid CHF 359 x 2 nights at the end of August and got 3 nights in a Jr. Lakeview Suite, which compared to the other places we stayed during our 3 weeks in Switzerland, it ended up being our cheapest accommodation by a wide margin. They provided the free breakfast on all days, including the day the free night cert was used, which I wasn't sure if they would do or not. It's a very good property to use FPC certificates. And since I purchased my Fairmont gift cards during the last online promo (for every $250 purchased get a $50 GC free), it made it even cheaper.
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Old Oct 17, 15, 5:57 pm
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Thanks for the info. I'm assuming you are referring to these amex offers.
http://www.fairmont.com/promotions/axpapac/..

it will still be many months before my dates next sept becomes available for this property. It doesn't look like this hotel is part of FHR or virtuoso. I have no status with aeroplan so I think I'll either have to go with amex or citi prestige.
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Old Nov 27, 15, 12:20 pm
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I just bought some gift cards in the ongoing promo for my stays next year
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Old Nov 27, 15, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
Good to hear

Planning to use my USD certificates and maybe CAD GC at UAE Fairmonts for Dining
Data point from my early Nov trip, bad rate at Fairmont Abu Dhabi Frankie Italian restaruant

$150 USD dining certificates should be close to $550 AED (pegged at 3.67), but I only got 520 AED according to the manager... I never saw any official "FX/exchange", they probably just pull it out of nowhere
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Old Nov 27, 15, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
Data point from my early Nov trip, bad rate at Fairmont Abu Dhabi Frankie Italian restaruant

$150 USD dining certificates should be close to $550 AED (pegged at 3.67), but I only got 520 AED according to the manager... I never saw any official "FX/exchange", they probably just pull it out of nowhere
The FPC dining certs have a really crappy exchange rate. They use the hotel's posted cash exchange rate on the day. It's the gift cards that have the great rate.
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Old Nov 27, 15, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by CanadaDH View Post
The FPC dining certs have a really crappy exchange rate. They use the hotel's posted cash exchange rate on the day. It's the gift cards that have the great rate.
Did not know that, thanks
What an inconsistent system
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Old Jan 13, 16, 3:45 am
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Just settled my bill at Fairmont SIN. As CanadaDH says, the FPC certificates converted from USD to SGD at 93% of the XE rate.

However my gift cards converted at a fraction above the XE rate.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 9:58 am
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This just prompted me to check. I checked out on December 28 at the Fairmont Chicago. My gift card was in CAD.

I got a rate of 1.3847 CAD = 1 USD.
The market closing rate on Dec 27 was 1.3805 CAD = 1 USD.

I'm definitely happy with that rate.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 5:57 pm
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Wow I've had a totally different experience. Went to the restaurant at Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Market rate was 1.39, they gave me 1.30.
Perhaps the restaurants use a separate rate than the hotels, I'm not sure, but I'll try again at a different Fairmont and see what they offer.
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Old Jan 14, 16, 1:30 am
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Originally Posted by chawk12 View Post
Wow I've had a totally different experience. Went to the restaurant at Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Market rate was 1.39, they gave me 1.30.
Perhaps the restaurants use a separate rate than the hotels, I'm not sure, but I'll try again at a different Fairmont and see what they offer.
Were you using FPC certificates or purchased gift cards? They are very different. See posts #9 and #11.
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Old Jan 15, 16, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
Were you using FPC certificates or purchased gift cards? They are very different. See posts #9 and #11.
Right, mine were FPC certs. That'll teach me to skim through the thread
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