Rocking Fairmont credit card free nights and elite benefits


Chase’s Fairmont credit card is no longer available to new applicants, but I know that many readers signed up for the card in January when I posted: The other Chase card you should consider today.  Since my wife and I signed up for the card I’ve had a chance to study up on some of the amazing opportunities that these cards offer.  Presented below are suggestions for getting huge value from the card’s free nights and elite status benefits.

Please note that I have not yet taken advantage of these perks at the time of this writing, so some of what you’ll find below is speculative.  I’ll update this post with new information if/when I learn more.


For review, the Fairmont card had the following signup bonus:

  • Earn 2 free nights after $3K spend in 3 months.  Free nights are good for 1 year from date of issue.
  • First year annual fee waived, then $95

And, even better, the card still offers the following ongoing perks:

  • Automatic Premier elite status, which gives you the following annual benefits:
    • $50 in dining or spa credits
    • 1 room upgrade
    • 1 suite upgrade
    • 1 free 3rd night on a 3 night stay (can’t be used with the card’s 2 free nights)
  • Earn a free night each year when you spend $12,000 on the card.
  • Earn 1 stay credit towards status for every $7,500.  Note that this is limited to 2 stay credits per year and 10 stays (or 30 nights) are required to earn the next level Platinum status.
  • Earn points from spend (worth about 1 cent per point):
    • 5x at Fairmont properties
    • 2x for airfare purchased directly from the airlines, car rental agencies, and transit and commuting
    • 1x everywhere else

I have no idea how long these perks will last before Chase retires the card altogether, but for now it’s a pretty sweet collection of perks.

Earning Free Nights (beyond the signup bonus)

If you signed up for the card and met the minimum spend requirements, you should have received certificates in your account for two free nights.  However, there are additional ways to earn free nights:

Annual free night with $12K spend

Normally I wouldn’t advocate spending much with these cards since you’ll usually earn just 1 point per dollar.  That’s a meager 1% return.  That said, the annual free night can be extremely valuable.  If you use it to offset a $600 room, for example, then your rate of return on that spend jumps up to about 6% (5% from the free night and 1% from the points earned).

Redeem points for free nights in one of two ways

Points can be redeemed for gift cards, including Fairmont gift cards, at a rate of 1 cent gift card value per point.  For example, a $100 gift card costs 10,000 points.

a screenshot of a gift card

Alternatively, you can exchange points for free nights.  These are called “Ovation Rewards.”  The point cost for the free night Ovation Rewards depends upon which Collection (A,B, C, or D) the hotel is in.  You can find a list of hotels by collection here.

Chase / Fairmont charges the following number of points for a standard room:

  • Collection A: 25,000
  • Collection B: 35,000
  • Collection C: 45,000
  • Collection D: 65,000

Depending upon the room rate when you want to go, you may do better redeeming points for gift cards.  For example, if the hotel is in Collection B (35K point redemption) and the room rate, after taxes, is substantially less than $350, then you might as well redeem points for gift cards and pay for your stay with those…  Unless you want free breakfast:

Ovation Rewards are valid for a one night stay in the indicated room type, and include applicable room taxes, full breakfast for two in the hotel’s all day dining restaurant with related taxes and gratuities only (excludes buffets and alcohol.) Ovation Rewards certificates are redeemable based upon last room availability in the room category purchased (some exceptions may apply.)

Blackout Dates

Free nights earned from the signup bonus and from annual $12K spend are subject to blackout dates which vary by property.  You can find a full list here.  I believe that Ovation Reward free nights (when you redeem points for free nights) do not have blackout dates, but of course the room type must be available.

Stacking Free Nights

It is possible to chain together all of the above free nights types into a single stay (credit card signup bonus, credit card spend bonus, and point redemptions).

Further, if a couple each has Fairmont free nights, then it is simple to book the free nights back to back in order to have a single longer stay.

For example, suppose a couple each signed up for the Fairmont card in January and then spent $12,000 on each card in order to earn two annual free nights.  At the end of their first membership year, there should be a period of time in which the annual free nights and the signup bonus free nights overlap.  This happens because the signup bonus free nights aren’t issued until minimum spend requirements are met and then the certificates are good for 12 months after that.  So, this hypothetical couple could book a completely free 6 night stay.  Of course if they earned enough points for additional free nights, they could use those too.

Stacking Free Nights with 3rd Night Free

Fairmont Premier status grants a 3rd Night Free certificate each year.  You can use point redemption free nights (Ovation Rewards) to take advantage of this benefit (thanks go to a FTU attendee for this tip!).  For example, if you have enough points to redeem for two free nights, you can then also apply your 3rd Night Free certificate to that stay in order to get a total of 3 free nights.  Or, if you have enough points for only one night, you can use that, then pay for the 2nd night, then apply your certificate for the 3rd night.

Signup bonus free nights and annual $12K spend free nights cannot be used to trigger the 3rd night free benefit, but they can be used within the same stay.  For example, you could pay for two nights, get the 3rd night free, and then add however many additional free nights you have to the stay.  An individual who has earned 2 free nights from the credit card bonus could then get 5 nights for the price of 2.

Stacking 3rd Night Free certificate with promotional rate 3rd Night Free?

Many Fairmont properties offer a third night free promotional rate.  It should be possible to book this rate and then add another free night by applying your 3rd Night Free certificate.  In this way, you’ll get 4 nights for the price of 2.

a screenshot of a hotel

I talked with a Fairmont rep about this, and unfortunately you can’t directly stack the 3rd Night Free certificate with the 3rd Night Free promotional rate.  The best you could do is book 6 nights for the price of 4 so that the 3rd night is free from the promotional rate and the 6th night is free from the certificate.

Stacking 3rd Night Free with Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

Most premium credit cards offer some form of luxury hotel booking program.  The one I’m most used to is American Express’ Fine Hotels & Resorts.  If you have a Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card you can book through this website and automatically receive perks such as free breakfast, $100 property credit, early check-in and/or late check-out, etc.  Often the prices are the same or at least not much higher than the best rates you can find elsewhere.

Plus, sometimes these programs have access to 3rd night free benefits themselves.  For example, I found that through Fine Hotels & Resorts, you can book 3 nights for the price of 2 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar (near San Diego).  If you book this way, you will get valuable perks (such as daily free breakfast and $100 resort credit) and you can also apply your 3rd Night Free certificate or you can apply your 3rd Night Free certificate if that rate isn’t available.  In this way, you would get 3 nights for the price of 2 plus awesome perks!

Stacking 3rd Night Free with Citi Prestige 4th Night Free

The Citi Prestige card offers the 4th Night Free on 4 night or longer stays booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge.  See Complete Guide to Citi Prestige 4th Night Free. By booking four nights this way, you can then apply your 3rd Night Free certificate in order to get 4 nights for the price of 2.

As we mentioned above, many Fairmont properties offer a third night free promotional rate.  Let the Citi Prestige concierge know that you want to book that rate (I recommend providing a link to the offer web page) and you should then be able to get 4 nights for the price of 2 without using a certificate.

If you have free night certificates as well, then of course you can tack those on to this stay too.

Stacking with Upgrades

Your Premier Elite status room and suite upgrade certificates do stack with all types of Fairmont free nights.  Plus, even if you’ve cobbled together extra free nights through various means (as described above), you can apply a single certificate for your entire stay.  If two people combine their free nights into one stay, only one upgrade certificate needs to be used to cover the entire stay.  This leaves free the other person’s upgrade certificate for another stay.  And, don’t forget that the upgrade certificates are renewed each year.

If available, you can turn your extended free stay into an even more luxurious suite stay.  Sweet.

a room with a bed and a couch
This Fairmont Del Mar Prado Suite is bookable with free nights stacked with a suite upgrade certificate

Finding free night availability

I’m going to take the easy way out here and simply pass along advice from TravelBloggerBuzz (as written in the comments of one of my posts):

Some tips about Fairmont from a Lifetime Platinum…

Call the individual properties directly as the FPC line staff tend to be a little stingy with these Visa nights.

Best to book pay nights and then call in to “oh, look we have the free Visa nights”. If you do leave one paid night ahead of the free nights…even better! You may REALLY want to do this at Lake Louise to ensure you get a lake view room which is WORTH it!

Eat away the food certs and then you can apply the dining certs at check out. Do not try to apply them at the restaurants because not all staff know how to handle it. Or you may get lucky and get some free food if you go that route (as it happened to us).

Lake Louise has a “Breakfast in the lake” activity, so worth the money, go for it!

The hiking around Lake Louise is absolutely fantastic!

Morraine Lake is even more beautiful than Lake Louise!

Interested on the Kenya property and safari…so, how do we get to Kenya with miles? 🙂

For more details, check out my trip report:

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I’m interested in the reply to Dan’s q, but have another: If I were to use the Amex Fine Hotels to book for the perks, and book 5-6 nights, do I then call Fairmont and apply my free night certs (I’ll have 3 once the latest one from Chase hits)? What if they say they are not good for the dates I booked? Thanks!




hi greg,
related to jimjam’s post/question on aug. 23rd, as the maui’s location offers a promo 5th night free, so to clarify that we could call citi to book 5 nights to get the 4th & 5th night free (excluding taxes & fees); then call fairmont to apply the 2 free night cert & the one 3rd night free cert; therefore once could stay all 5 nights w/o paying for any night, correct? if so, when will a best time to call fairmont to apply the 3 certificates? after booking, around when will citi issue the 4th night credit? TIA


I don’t think you’ll be able to get the third night free. I tried, but it doesn’t seem the the third night free certificate can be combined with citi prestige. Would love to be proven wrong though…


I don’t think step 1 works. I called a couple of different citi concierge reps, and they called fairmont with me on the line. Because fairmont bills the 3rd night as $0 rather than prorating it as a discount across all four nights, Citi Prestige said they could not apply the Citi 4th night free benefit. I think your reader who reported otherwise, may have gotten lucky, or more likely, got in before a policy change.


Hi Greg (and all),
I got the Fairmont card at the beginning of the year before the window shut, and made the minimum spend for 2 free nights, and then spent $6k before August to get the extra night cert. I’ve just looked in my Fairmont acc but can’t see the certs only some of the dining certs etc. I called the old number and the first Chase rep (for Sapphire preferred now) recommended calling the Fairmont number. Fairmont said Chase had to issues the certs. The next Chae agent I spoke to said the 3 night certs should be issued 6-8 weeks after the Aug15th close-out. Does that seem right? I thiught the first two nights should have been posted pretty wuickly – any thoughts would be great as I’m sure there’llbe a rush soon to book the certs before the end of Feb 2018. thanks in advance!


Can’t speak to the 3rd certificate as I didn’t earn it, but I can tell you that I had a similar situation with my 2 free nights. I earned them, they posted (I received the letter and actually saw them in my Fairmont account), then they disappeared. I found out when I called Fairmont to make a reservation and they didn’t see the certificates. My wife and I signed up at the same time and her certificates did appear, so the rep put me on hold, talked to a supervisor for a while, then came back to apologize and say it was their mistake and I should have the certificates. No call to Chase or other documentation necessary. Sorry for your run-around — maybe hang up and explain the situation to another rep.

BTW, we’re now booked for 4 nights at the Orchid on Big Island in a suite. Thx for the heads-up on the card, Greg!

Myk Brown

Since this card is going away I assume that the suite upgrade certificates will be as well. I have 3 nights that don’t expire until April, but my suite upgrade expires in Feb and i want to stay at the Mayakoba in March. Any ideas on getting a suite upgrade?


Reading through the comments, I’m trying to figure out if the following would be possible and how I would pull it off:

Book 6 nights in Maui using two chase free nights, one third night free certificate, and one fourth night free benefit from citi prestige.

Would it be possible to pay for only two of these nights? Do I call Citi Concierge to book the four night stay and then call fairmont to apply my certificates?


hi greg,
on jimjam’s post/question, as the maui’s location offers a promo 5th night free, so to clarify that we could call citi to book 5 nights to get the 4th & 5th night free (excluding taxes & fees); then call fairmont to apply the 2 free night cert & the one 3rd night free cert; therefore once could stay all 5 nights w/o paying for any night, correct? if so, when will a best time to call fairmont to apply the 3 certificates? after booking, around when will citi issue the 4th night credit? TIA

sanjay sharma


I’d love some help or advice on how to get the most value. I hope to stay at the Fairmont SF this fall.

I’m a legacy Fairmont card holder and currently have 1 free night certificate w/ Fairmont from $12K in spend in my account. I should actually earn a 2nd free night certificate from Chase’s promo offer to spend another $12K before they convert the card over to a Sapphire Preferred.

I also have a 3rd night free certificate in my account and am Citi Prestige card holder w/ the 4th night free benefit.

I was hoping to book a 4 night stay at the SF property and am trying to figure out the best way to do so! How would you suggest optimizing? It looks like that property also offers a 3rd night free AND 4th night free rate offer.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Are the Free Night certificated earned from $12,000 spend (or $6,000 depending on your eligibility) considered Ovation Certificates? E.g. can they be applied at checkout?


Got it, thanks!

Here’s another scenario, assuming you have a new Fairmont CC with 2x free night certs, 1x cert from spending, 3rd night free cert, room upgrade, and a Prestige card:

Book 4 nights paid using Citi Prestige. Apply 3rd night free cert and 4th night free from Prestige. Make a separate reservation for 3 nights using free certs. Ask to combine both reservations. Apply room and/or suite upgrade.

In this scenario, you’d get 7 nights in a suite for the price of 3. IIRC, both the 3rd night free cert and Citi Prestige 4th nt free should stack because they are both taken off at checkout.

Any reason why this wouldn’t work?


Could not disagree more, Greg. Right now I am staying in a self-standing Signature Bungalow at the Fairmont Miramar Santa Monica using a Collection A Ovation Certificate. I used an accumulated 25k Fairmont points on a $1,000 garden room with a private patio:

You can leverage the value of your Ovation certs by combining them with the FPC certs. My strategy is exact opposite of yours – accumulate as many additional Chase Fairmont points (towards Ovation certs) as I can before my personal statement cutoff 8.1 & then redeem them for free rooms before the 8.15 Chase cutoff. Any 5x points I earn on this stay will contribute nicely towards that!


Correction: I am currently using a 35k Collection B cert at the Fairmont Miramar nut plan on accululating Coll A certs for the Canada promotion going on til Nov!


The Fairmont Kea Lani is offering 5th night free. So would I be able to book a five night stay through citi prestige and get the 4th night free.Then stack this with the 3rd night free certificate. So essentially paying for five nights for the price of two?


I think you might be able to ask the citi concierge for the 5th night free rate, and apply the 3rd night cert at checkin.


You wrote “By booking four nights this way (Citi Prestige), you can then apply your 3rd Night Free certificate in order to get 4 nights for the price of 2.”

Doesn’t this invalidate the 4th night rebate if I do this? Essentially, Fairmont is going into the rez, modifying it so that I am paying an amount that’s less than what Citi is expecting. I am working under the assumption that 4th night free prestige bookings cannot be “touched” with the exception of SPG SNA and Hyatt Suite certs. is this not true?

[…] Rocking Fairmont credit card free nights and elite benefits […]

[…] Rocking Fairmont credit card free nights and elite benefits. I am expecting Accor to announce the end of Fairmont President’s Club any day now. I am checking out two new Fairmonts later this summer: San Francisco and Claremont Club & Spa at Berkeley. I will miss being lifetime Platinum so so much, thanks for your understanding. […]


Anyone know how quickly the Free Night cert posts after meeting the $12k spend? I have a stay coming up in a few months and would like to add this night on top, but I’m afraid they won’t add it until I’ve had the card for a year. Any DPs?

Kids in Tow

My hubby, sister, and I (along with 3 little ones) were able to apply 3 suite upgrades to our 4-night free stay at the Fairmont Orchid. We used mine and my husband’s free Chase card nights to book a standard room. Then we used a room upgrade cert to upgrade our standard to a deluxe, a suite upgrade to an Executive Garden suite, another suite upgrade to an Executive Ocean suite, and my sister’s suite upgrade to get a ground floor, one-bedroom Oceanfront suite right off of Pauoa Bay. It was more than large enough to accommodate 2 cribs for our twins and allowed them to crawl from the room right to the beach!


Greg I am contemplating whether to go for that $12k spend or not, esp since I am already $3k in and I have an upcoming stay at a Fairmont where I expect the bill to be a couple grand. Anyway, if chase / Accor does away w fairmont loyalty program do you think they will screw me on the $12k free night cert? I’m worried that I am $1k away from $12k and the dreadful announcement gets made.


Since you already know you will be spending thousands at a Fairmont property in the foreseeable future, you might consider “prepaying” the stay by buying a Fairmont gift card. This both increases your spend now towards your $12k free night goal + earn 5 points/$ towards rewards if you buy the card directly thru Fairmont (on-site or on their website). $2k translates to 10,000 rewards points, or 40% towards a base property Collection A (25,000 rewards points) free night + breakfast certificate.

I find the Fairmont CC + President’s Club Premier membership esp valuable as you earn free nights both with dollar spend AND points. Like the soon-to-be departed Citi Hilton Reserve card, another dying breed…sigh. Even better, though, FPC throws in free dining/spa/suite upgrades; it will be sorely missed for providing unique opportunities unparalleled in the modern luxury travel world.


Can you find any dates with the 3rd night free at Grand Del Mar? Every date I have searched for says “We were unable to find rates that matched the Rate Type you requested. Alternate rates for your selected dates are below.” So while it’s nice in theory, I can’t seem to duplicate it.