The ever-lucrative Stay Vancouver promotion has returned yet again, offering up to a $250 in prepaid Mastercard gift cards for staying at Vancouver hotels between October 17 and February 28, 2023.
Stay Vancouver: $125 Mastercard Gift Card on Your First Two Nights
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 a Mastercard prepaid gift card of up to $125 as long as you stay at least one night at a participating hotel.
Both the first and second night will quality for a prepaid Mastercard of up to $125 (equivalent to up to $250 in gift cards per stay). Note this is different from past promotions, 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 promotion are as below:
There are 42 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. 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 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.
Indeed, you can stack this promotion with the ongoing Marriott Amex US Offer or Shangri-La Amex Offer to unlock even further savings!
Since the gift card is only offered the first two nights, you obviously get a better deal on the first two nights than on any subsequent 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 between October 17, 2022 and February 28, 2023. 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 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 $125 for the first 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 $309 + tax on weekday nights.
That would be offset by a $125 gift card to result in a net cost of $184 + 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.
Other decent hotels in Downtown Vancouver can be brought down to an even lower net cost.
For example, you could book the Westin Bayshore Vancouver for $225 before taxes, offset by a $125 gift card to a net cost of $100 + tax.
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 2022 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 2023.