The ever-lucrative Stay Vancouver promotion has returned yet again.
This time, it’s offering up to $250 in prepaid Mastercard gift cards for minimum two-night stays at Vancouver hotels between November 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024.
Stay Vancouver: Up to $250 in Mastercard Gift Cards for Two-Night Stays
Supported by Vancouver’s tourism council, Stay Vancouver is a promotion 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 Mastercard prepaid gift cards of up to $250 as long as you stay at least two nights at a participating hotel.
You’ll receive $150, $200, or $250 in gift cards upon check-in, depending on which hotel you’ve booked.
Note that this format is different from past promotions, in which guests received gift cards worth up to $125 for each night of their stay, or in which the highest-value gift card was offered only the first night, and a $50 gift card on subsequent nights.
The full terms and conditions of the current promotion are as below:
There are 43 participating hotels in the Downtown Vancouver area, and they’ll each offer gift cards of $150, $200, or $250 for a two-night stay, depending on the hotel’s underlying nightly rate.
Gift Card Usage
These gift cards will be delivered upon check-in. Typically, the check-in staff will ask whether you’d simply like to skip the physical gift card itself and 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 Mastercard 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.
Since the gift card is only offered for two-night stays, you obviously get a better deal if you limit your stays at a particular hotel to a maximum of two nights.
Some travellers may be incentivized to go “hotel-hopping” between various hotels every two nights to maximize their return. For this to work, you’ll actually need to pack up your belongings and move between hotels, as the terms state that “booking subsequent nights as separate reservations will be treated the same as a single reservation for multiple nights”.
The terms also 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 February 29, 2024. As always, be sure to check for the cancellation policy before you pay, as Stay Vancouver offers both flexible and non-refundable rates.
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, Visit Richmond, and Edmonton’s Best Hotels 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 This Promotion 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 Mastercard gift card of up to $250 for two 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.
For example, if you’re looking at the premier Marriott hotel in Vancouver, the regular rate at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is currently sitting at around $404 + tax on weekday nights.
That would be offset by a $250 gift card to result in a net cost of $279 + tax per night for the first two nights, which is a more attractive price point for an all-round excellent property. Furthermore, you can chance your way to a nice suite upgrade if you have Marriott Platinum Elite status or above.
If you happen to have the Spend $500, Get $100 Marriott Amex Offer on your account, you could earn another $100 off the cost of your stay by stacking the two promotions.
Other upscale hotels in Downtown Vancouver can be brought down to a lower net cost, too.
For example, you could book a two-night stay at the Fairmont Waterfront for $299 + tax, which would be offset by a $250 gift card. This brings down the nightly cost to just $174 + tax per night.
Or, if you’d like to live it up a bit with a stay at the Shangri-La Vancouver, you might find rates at around $384 + tax per night. The $250 gift card would offset this to an average of $259 + tax per night.
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.
The current Fall 2023 promotion brings back a few of the same cheap nightly cash rates that we’ve seen in the past, so make sure to book before the limited-quantity promotion ends if you’re interested in a discounted Vancouver hotel stay through the end of February 2024.