Published on November 22nd, 2015 | by William Charles1
Chase Fairmont Card Adds Five New Benefits
Recently Chase Fairmont cardholders were notified that they would be receiving four new benefits on their card. They received the following e-mail (emphasis mine):
Whether you’re travelling afar and want to take advantage of our no foreign transaction fees, or planning a staycation at your favorite local hotel, there are plenty of great benefits to your Fairmont Visa Signature® Card, including one-of-a-kind experiences, exclusive to you. And remember, you earn Fairmont Rewards for every purchase:*
- 5 per $1 spent on Fairmont stays
- 2 per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies, and on local transit and commuting
- 1 per $1 spent on all other purchases
Enjoy the freedom to earn and maximize your Fairmont rewards at the millions of locations worldwide that Visa is accepted:
- Make travel plans, including flights and rental cars
- Dine out at your favorite restaurants
- Pay for everyday expenses, like gas and groceries
- Set up automatic payments for utilities and other monthly bills
Enjoy all this and more.
- Visa Signature Discount Air benefit
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
- Global entry application fee statement credit
- Airline incidental fees statement credit
One more great reason to use your card! Coming soon, one-of-a-kind experiences just for you! Starting in December, we’ll be granting you access to our first experience of 2016 with many more to follow throughout the year! Stay tuned.
Obviously this e-mail announces the addition of five new benefits, which are as follows:
- One of a kind experiences: First experience will be offered in December (with the ‘experience’ occurring in 2016). I assume these will be bookable with Fairmont points. A lot of other companies (namely SPG) offer similar experiences and they can be of good value (offering stuff like backstage access, workshops etc).
- Visa Signature Discount Air Benefit: The Chase Fairmont card is already a Visa Signature, so it looks like this is just unlocking a Visa Signature benefit (not all Visa sig cards offer the same Visa sig benefits). I can’t find any specific airline offers on the Visa website, but I suspect this will be discounts on premium cabin tickets which won’t be useful for the majority of people. Typically you need to book through their travel agency to receive these discounts as well.
- Priority Pass Select Airport Lounge Membership: This doesn’t give you free access to the lounges in the priority pass network, but it does allow you to buy passes to them for $27 per visit.
- Global Entry Application Fee Credit: Global entry costs $100 to apply for and if approved lasts for five years. More and more cards are offering this benefit, so I assume most people already have Global Entry.
- Airline Incidental Fees Credit: Given that the annual fee on this card is $95 per year, I can’t see Chase/Fairmont giving more than say $70 in airline incidentals (probably more like $50). Chase already offers an airline incidental fee credit of $300 on their Ritz-Carlton card (annual fee of $395). Officially this is what Chase considers an airline incidental for the Ritz-Carlton card:
Only the following types of non-ticket Net Purchases qualify for this offer: airline lounge day pass, or towards a yearly lounge membership of your choice; airline seat upgrades; airline baggage fees; in-flight internet/entertainment; in-flight meals; Global Entry fees.
Chase are a lot more strict that American Express when it comes to this, so don’t count on getting airline gift cards reimbursed.
I’m most interested about the airline incidental credit being added, I already have Global Entry and as mentioned previously so many cards are now offering this I don’t think it adds much value to the card. The airline discount could be interesting, but given it’s a Visa signature benefit I’m not expecting much of anything.
Priority pass lounge access would have been an amazing benefit, but unfortunately you still need to actually pay for lounge access so that’s lackluster new addition. Regardless it’s always good to see cards adding benefits without increasing the annual fee or removing other benefits at the same time.
It isn’t clear when these new benefits will come into effect yet or what the airline incidental credit will be. I’ve tried to contact Chase & Fairmont numerous times to ask this exact question and haven’t received a satisfactory answer.
Hat tip to Travel Codex