The lucrative Stay Vancouver promotion is back for another round, this time offering up to a $125 Visa prepaid gift card for staying at Vancouver hotels all the way up to Thanksgiving long weekend on October 11, 2021.
Stay Vancouver: $125 Visa Gift Card on Your First Night
Stay Vancouver is supported by Vancouver’s tourism council, incentivizing travellers to visit the city, stay with its hotels, and spend money locally to support the local tourism sector.
To that end, the promotion offers a Visa prepaid gift card of up to $125 on your first night’s stay at a participating hotel, followed by gift cards of $50 per night for each subsequent night, up to a maximum of three nights.
The full terms and conditions of the promotion are as below:
There are 39 participating hotels in the Downtown Vancouver area, and they’ll each offer gift cards of $50, $75, $100, or $125 for the first night’s stay, depending on the hotel’s underlying nightly rate.
Gift Card Usage
These gift cards will be delivered upon check-in, and in my experience, the check-in staff will often ask whether you’d simply like to skip the physical gift card itself and simply use the amount to offset against your room charge, so you can think of the gift card as essentially a straight-up discount against the nightly rate.
Of course, you also have the option of keeping the Visa gift card for spending elsewhere along your travels, and paying for the full amount of your hotel bill using a co-branded credit card (such as the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card) to maximize your points earnings.
Obviously, if you’re staying at a hotel that’s offering more than $50 for the first night, then you’ll get a better deal on the first night than on subsequent nights.
Some travellers may be incentivized to go “hotel-hopping” between various hotels to maximize their return – for this to work, you’ll actually need to pack up your belongings and move between hotels every day, as the terms above do state that “booking subsequent nights as separate reservations will be treated the same as a single reservation for multiple nights”.
The terms also do state that the promotion is limited to “three bookings maximum per person”; however, based on anecdotal evidence, this seems to be very loosely enforced. If you’re travelling as a couple, you can always make additional bookings in your partner’s name to be on the safe side.
For this round of Stay Vancouver, you must book and stay by October 11, 2021. With these bookings, you’ll be able to cancel for no penalty up to 48 hours in advance.
Does Stay Vancouver Qualify for Hotel Loyalty Programs?
One key question among those of us who participate in hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy is whether we’ll receive rewards points and elite night credits, as well as whether we’ll be able to enjoy our existing elite benefits, for our stays under the Stay Vancouver promotion.
After all, bookings at Marriott and other chain hotels made via third-party travel agencies are typically not entitled to participate in hotel loyalty programs.
The good news, however, is that Stay Vancouver and Visit Richmond promotions typically don’t count as a third-party travel agency; instead, what they do is take bookings via their portal and then subsequently make bookings directly at the participating hotels on your behalf.
Once these bookings are complete, you can typically get in touch with the hotel via email and request to add your elite membership number to the file, after which the booking will show up in your “Upcoming Trips” section just like any booking you’ve made yourself. You’ll be able to earn points, earn elite qualifying nights, qualify for promotions, and enjoy your elite benefits during the stay all the same.
Maximize These Promotions for Your Trips to Vancouver
Let’s discuss a few different ways to maximize this promotion, which should be interesting to folks all across Canada, whether you’re considering a visit to Vancouver or you’re local to the lower mainland.
Clearly, a Visa gift card of up to $125 for the first night followed by $50 gift cards for subsequent nights can make visits to Downtown Vancouver a lot more affordable. This will be true whether you typically like to patronize high-end luxury hotels or prefer to stay at more budget-friendly accommodations.
That would be offset by a $125 gift card to result in a net cost of $321, which helps you save on a luxury hotel stay during a fairly busy weekeend – especially if you have Marriott Platinum Elite status or above and can chance your way to a nice suite upgrade.
Other decent hotels in Downtown Vancouver can be brought down to an even lower net cost.
For example, you could book directly into a suite at the Hilton Vancouver Downtown, for example, can be booked for $270 after taxes, offset by a $100 gift card to a net cost of $170.
You could then seek a further upgrade on the basis of your Hilton Gold or Diamond status, the first of which you get as an instant perk on the American Express Platinum Card.
However, if you’re intending to visit Vancouver for a longer period and you’d rather not pack up your stuff every day to go hotel-hopping, then perhaps one of the lower-end properties will be the right fit, given that you’ll get a $50 gift card to offset the cost for each of the first three nights.
A stay at the Executive Hotel Vintage Park, for example, can be as low as $130 after taxes, which is offset by a $50 gift card to result in a net cost of only $80 per night, for up to three nights.
It won’t be a luxurious space by any means and you won’t be earning any meaningful hotel rewards points, but it doesn’t get much better in terms of a budget-friendly place to rest your head in an otherwise relatively expensive travel season (and apparently there’s wine tasting included in the room rate at the Executive Hotel Vintage Park, too).
No matter which hotel you choose, previous Stay Vancouver promotions have seen certain hotel deals selling out pretty quickly, so I’d recommend taking a look sooner rather than later!
The Stay Vancouver promotion has been a perennial favourite in the Canadian travel scene, whether you’re looking for a cheap stay in Downtown Vancouver for an upcoming trip or you’re a local resident who’s craving a staycation.
While the current Fall 2021 promotion doesn’t quite result in the same bargain-bin nightly cash rates due to the continued higher underlying prices, it’s still a fantastic way to score a better deal on your Vancouver hotel stays this fall – especially if you can combine it with the Discover British Columbia and Marriott Amex Offers for even further savings.