A new round of the Visit Richmond promotion has arrived, this time offering up to $225 in American Express gift cards for staying at select Richmond hotels through January 1, 2024.
This is similar to the popular Stay Vancouver deal, but applicable in the City of Richmond, a different region of Metro Vancouver, instead.
Visit Richmond: $125 Amex Gift Card on Your First Night
The promotion is supported by Tourism Richmond, in partnership with both the Richmond Hotel Association and Pacific Authentic Richmond BC.
The goal is to incentivize Metro Vancouver residents to support local tourism, while also encouraging Canadians from further afield to visit the city, stay with its hotels, and spend money locally.
To that end, the promotion offers an American Express gift card of up to $125 on your first night’s stay at a participating hotel, followed by an additional $50 Amex gift card per night when you book two nights or more, up to a maximum of three nights.
The full terms and conditions of the promotion can be found on the Visit Richmond website.
There are 12 participating hotels in the Richmond area, and they’ll each offer gift cards of $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 checking into the hotel.
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.
However, you always have the option to pay 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. You can then save the Amex gift card for spending elsewhere along your travels, as once the card is received, there is no requirement to use it by a certain date.
Additionally, you can stack this promotion with the ongoing Marriott Amex Offer, which runs through to November 26, 2023, to unlock even further savings at, say, the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel.
If you’re staying at a hotel that’s offering more than $50 for the first night, then you’d get a better deal on the first night than on subsequent nights.
While some may be interested in maximizing their return by “hotel-hopping”, you’ll actually need to pack up your belongings and move between hotels every day for this to work. That’s because 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 state that the promotion is limited to “three bookings maximum per person”, but this seems to be very loosely enforced in my experience. 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 Visit Richmond, you must book your stay before December 21, 2023, and complete your stay between now and January 1, 2024. With these bookings, you’ll be able to cancel for no penalty up to 48 hours prior to check-in.
Does Visit Richmond Qualify for Hotel Loyalty Programs?
One key question among those of us who participate in hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy or Accor Live Limitless 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 stays under the Visit Richmond promotion.
After all, bookings at Marriott and other chain hotels made via third-party travel agencies are usually not entitled to participate in hotel loyalty programs.
The good news, however, is that Visit Richmond promotions typically don’t count as a third-party travel agency; instead, they arrange bookings directly at the participating hotels on your behalf.
Once the bookings are complete on the Visit Richmond portal, 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 of your loyalty program 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 can be valuable whether you’re considering a visit to the Vancouver region or you’re local to the area.
The City of Richmond is approximately 20 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, and a ride on the SkyTrain from Richmond–Brighouse Station can take you directly into downtown with ease. Locally, you can find world-class Asian cuisine, including my personal favourite of HK BBQ Master.
Richmond is also home to Vancouver International Airport, and it’s just a 25-minute drive from the US border, making it a convenient and affordable home base if you’re looking to explore all of Metro Vancouver or branch into the rest of the Pacific Northwest in one trip.
An Amex gift card of up to $125 for the first night, followed by $50 gift cards for subsequent nights, can significantly reduce the cost of your Richmond stay, whether you prefer higher-end hotels or budget accommodations.
For example, if you’re looking to enjoy a comfortable night’s stay at the airport prior to an early flight out, then the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is always a popular choice.
You can use the Visit Richmond promotion to get $125 off the room rate, which is a nice opportunity to score a discount at a property that otherwise doesn’t come cheap.
On the more affordable end, you can book at the Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Airport, Holiday Inn Vancouver Airport, or the Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport Hotel Resort.
That would be offset by a $100 gift card for the first night, which is sure to take a good chunk out of the cost of your stay.
The Visit Richmond promotion is an excellent opportunity to explore Metro Vancouver, whether you’re looking for a cheap stay in the area for an upcoming trip or you’re a local resident who’s craving a staycation.
The current Fall/Winter 2023 promotion provides some of the same cheap nightly cash rates that we’ve seen in similar promotions like Stay Vancouver, so make sure to book before the limited-quantity promotion ends for a hotel stay through January 1, 2024.
No matter which hotel you choose, the Visit Richmond promotion has limited quantities of cards available, so it’s best to take a look sooner rather than later.