Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's Official - Fairmont President's Club will end on July 2, 2018, to be integrated into Le Club AccorHotels

Last week we were discussing the fact that Visa Infinite Privilege cards were losing the Fairmont Elite Status benefit tied into the cards and one of our readers mentioned the same thing is happening for the Platinum Card from American Express. We speculated the reasoning behind it was due to the fact that Fairmont President's Club may soon be absorbed into its parent company's program Le Club AccorHotels.

We now have confirmation that this will happen from the email sent to us today from Fairmont:

Fairmont President’s Club has enjoyed the pleasure of welcoming members to our family of hotels for nearly 20 years. Today we are delighted to share the news that as of July 2018, Le Club AccorHotels will welcome us into its world, an award-winning program with a remarkable collection of luxury brands, including Raffles, Sofitel, SwissĂ´tel, MGallery, and Pullman.

On July 2, 2018, your membership in Fairmont President’s Club will merge with your existing Le Club AccorHotels membership, making your member experience even more rewarding than it is today. With the simplicity of one loyalty card, you will soon have more earning power, more benefits and more rewards.

Rest assured that while your loyalty program is changing, the personal recognition and familiar perks you have come to appreciate while staying at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will not change. We are committed to exceeding your expectations on each and every stay.

It is important to know that between now and July 2, 2018, your Fairmont President’s Club program will not change. Your annual membership status will renew as usual on March 1, 2018, based on your 2017 activity and stay history. Your status in Le Club AccorHotels will be updated to reflect the integration of your Fairmont President’s Club status (as of March 1, 2018) and boosted by your qualifying nights and stays with both programs in 2018. 

This means that as of July 2, 2018 Fairmont President's Club will come to an end. It will be the first of two hotel programs that will disappear over the next few years - SPG will be next when it is combined with Marriott Rewards in 2019.

Here is the timeline of the integration of the programs:

The biggest question that most Fairmont President's Club members will have will be around elite status. Many of us have thanks to the accelerated offers from our Platinum Card from Amex or Visa Infinite Privilege cards. Your status will be matched in Le Club AccorHotels as follows:

Also if you have status with Le Club AccorHotel's they'll look at the combination of status between the two programs to offer status as follows:
The big winner in that list seems to be FPC Premier + Le Club Gold as they get boosted to Platinum status!

One of the beloved benefits of having status with Fairmont President's Club was all the free room and upgrade certificates you'd get each year that you qualified for status. Those will be awarded for one more year, 2018, after which they appear to disappear based on the charts of benefits:

When reading the FAQ's of the integration this is confirmed:
Basically they are saying you'll get an upgrade if you have Le Club AccorHotels Gold or Platinum status if there is availability - but only to the next best room, not suites like FPC offered.

Stays at Fairmont Hotels after July 2nd will earn Le Club AccorHotels points at the currently published earn rate:

Classic members earn 25 points per €10
Silver members earn 31 points per €10
Gold members earn 37 points per €10
Platinum members earn 44 points per €10

If you are familiar with the FPC program you'll know it wasn't points based however they would award airline miles from several airline programs for your stays - typically 500 miles per stay.  Le Club AccorHotels is partnered with many more airlines than FPC and do have Aeroplan as one of those partners. This will mean that you will more than likely be able to earn more miles in the new program at Fairmont Hotels, especially for stays with more than one night. Most conversions to airlines run at 4,000 Le Club AccorHotels Points to 2,000 airline miles. This means spending 160EUR at Fairmont hotels which, depending on the location, could be achieved with a one night stay so the airline mileage earning definitely gets boosted with the integration.

Overall the integration seems pretty straight forward with status matching and stand alone benefits outside of what was awarded each year by FPC. Those will be greatly missed by all elite FPC members, especially the suite upgrades however there is the distinct possibility that elite members may come out ahead with more upgrades since you won't be limited to the several certificates that Fairmont provided.

Learn more about the integration here.

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