What’s going on with the Chase Fairmont Visa Signature card?

The Chase Fairmont Visa Signature is just the kind of product you’d expect to disappear without anyone noticing. Fairmont is a chain with fewer than 200 properties worldwide (albeit unique, luxury ones) and the card was never meant to appeal to mainstream travelers.

Yet travel bloggers and forums alike have noticed that the card no longer appears on Chase’s card landing pages. And this has unleashed a game of get-it-while-you-still-can, with churners digging up still-active application links.

So what, exactly, is going on with the card? And what are some alternatives if it’s gone for good?

Closed to new applicants, status for current cardholders TBD

We confirmed with Chase that the card is indeed closed to new applicants. Chase was unable to confirm what’s happening with current cardholders (whether they’ll get to keep their cards or will be product-changed to something else).

The various still-active application links the internet has dug up have since gone dark. So, suffice it to say, if you were thinking of getting this card, the chance has passed.

However, a Reddit user who reached out to Fairmont confirmed that free-night certificates will still be honored until their regular expiration dates.

The card’s demise may be due, in part, to the fact that Fairmont was recently bought by AccorHotels. Accor has a much bigger hotel portfolio (4,000 properties). So it will be interesting to see if it jumps into the loyalty-card game.

What made the Fairmont Visa desirable?

Fairmont is a small chain, but a luxurious one, which included SwissÔtel Hotels & Resorts. It frequently offered sign-up bonus of two free nights (no category restrictions) as well as a free annual night, assuming you spent $12,000 that year on the card.

The card also offered some luxury benefits, such as room/suite upgrades and automatic premier status. In short, the card had appeal for those who frequent Fairmont properties — and for those planning a fancy, special trip (a honeymoon, for example).

Other options

Because things are still up in the air for current Fairmont cardholders (and because Accor, which purchased Fairmont, doesn’t have a loyalty card), you’ll want to know your options. These cards will earn rewards on your Fairmont spending:

Chase Sapphire Preferred: This card has the same annual fee the Fairmont Visa Signature has ($95). You may miss the automatic luxury perks and free nights the Fairmont card offered, but the silver lining is that you’ll earn more flexible rewards. You get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on dining and on travel (it’s a broad category that includes ride-share options). These points can be redeemed for cash back, travel purchases via Chase’s portal (at a discount) and transfers to various hotel and airline programs. Chase’s hotel transfer partners include IHG, Hyatt and Marriott. Thanks to Marriott’s merger with Starwood, you can then transfer from Marriott to Starwood’s Preferred Guest program. That gives you a lot of hotel options, including luxury hotel options, for your points.

A hotel card that gives you automatic elite status at another chain: If automatic status is what you enjoyed the most about the Fairmont card, consider switching your chain- loyalty and opting for a card that gives you an automatic status boost at that chain. We have a list of such cards here.

 
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