Fairmont Visa Ending, Signals the End of Valuable Hotel Loyalty Program

A year ago Accor Hotels bought Fairmont, and there was no world in which that would be a good thing for Fairmont Presidents Club members (just as over time the IHG purchase of Kimpton wouldn’t be a net plus for Kimpton members).

Years ago Avis rose to prominence with the slogan “We’re number 2. We Try Harder.” Eventually they dropped the “We’re number 2” part and then in 2012 they even dropped the claim that they try harder.


Lobby of the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

Smaller programs have to try harder, you can show up in any city and walk into a Marriott, Hilton, or IHG property without trying very hard but it takes effort to be loyal to Hyatt or Starwood (or Fairmont or Kimpton). Accor isn’t especially big in the US but they’re a huge chain worldwide. Here’s what the secret Accor loyalty manual says.

When the merger was announced I flagged two issue issues for consumers.

  • Le Club Accorhotels doesn’t have a ‘lifetime Platinum’ concept. Several folks took advantage of a Living Social deal that came with Lifetime Platinum status in Fairmont Presidents Club back in 2011 that was surprisingly honored. What happens to those Lifetime Platinums in an Accor future? Do they become Accor Platinums? Do they lose lifetime status altogether?

  • What will happen to the Fairmont Visa from Chase?

We know that Accor is going to integrate Fairmont Presidents Club members into the Le Club Accorhotels program which — while they improved elite benefits three years ago — pales in comparison.

We do not yet know:

  1. Whether the Accor program will get a co-brand credit card, let alone one in the U.S.

  2. Whether they will honor Fairmont lifetime status in Le Club Accorhotels (even though it would be a devaluation)

Yesterday a Chase spokesperson confirmed to me that “we are no-longer accepting applications for the Fairmont card.” However Doctor of Credit says it’s still possible to apply for the Fairmont Visa, albeit likely not for long.

It makes sense to end applications for the Fairmont Visa even if Chase is going to pick up an Accor co-brand because the benefits that are being advertised will change. They don’t want to promise something to cardholders that won’t be delivered (and they don’t want to open themselves up to regulatory risk for doing so).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I don’t even know if it’s worth trying to stay as a Fairmont elite this year as we have no idea what is going to happen 2018. It’s too bad as FPC was a nice program, especially for Canadians as we have so many iconic Fairmont properties here.

  2. I have spent $12,000 this year on the Fairmont card, but the free night is not scheduled to post until August. Will Chase and Accor honor the free night?

  3. So disappointing. I just used my two free night at the Fairmont in Kona and it was amazing. My husband was just about to get the card but maybe now we should wait and see?

  4. Maybe I’m missing something or you could at least provide a primer on why Fairmont is so valuable. I joined their club, stayed at 3 properties for a dozen or so nights, and received pretty much nothing. With any other major program I would have points and maybe even low level elite status.

  5. I am sad !!!

    I too waited to long…

    Really wish I applied when I first heard of the death of this card….

    If anyone finds anyway to still get this card, I would love you forever!

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