Earning Rewards With American Express For Luxe Vacations

American Express has been one of my go-to cards of choice for the past (almost) two decades. From earning and paying with points, personalizing pre-trip vacation planning, enjoying members-only perks and so much more!

I’m constantly finding new ways to benefit from the rewards while maximizing my points, and this card does it all. For my recent trip to Napa, I decided to catalog my itinerary and share some of these perks and benefits that are exclusive to American Express Platinum cardholders. Ready? As you may know, if you follow me on Instagram, I recently visited San Francisco with my family. The husband and I have a long-standing tradition of getting away (he points out as husband-and-wife time) when in the Bay Area, usually up north, so we opted for a romantic day/night in Napa Valley, where we enjoyed excellent food, went wine tasting, and stayed at one of the region’s chicest spots, the Yountville Hotel. The 45-minute drive from our hotel located in Marin County to Napa Valley was relaxing and fun, and it made me realize how much I miss the Bay Area vibe. For this trip,  I went full tourist/blogger to get those shots, and I could not be happier with the results. For our transportation, we booked through the Emerald Club membership program offered by National Car Rental for American Express cardholders and the upgrade from a midsize to a luxury car was possible thanks to earned points. Reminder, American Express cardholders receive collision coverage up to $50,000 so no need getting an extra collision insurance. Photo Tip: The early bird always gets the shot! Get up early. The light is often at its best, the activity in towns is at its most interesting. You’ll be rewarded with experiences and images that most people miss.
After a few great shots along the way, it was time for our initial stop at Domaine Carneros, a French-inspired winery located on the Napa hills specializing in still & sparkling wines. As you can imagine, there are a ton of wineries in the region, but when I visit my husband, we tend to choose a handful of our favorite ones, Domain Carneros is definitely one of them. What we love about Domaine Carneros is that despite the bustle, the waiters could not have been more friendly and animated. Great table manners are surely appreciated. Platinum American Express cardholders can get one (1) extra Membership Rewards® point per eligible dollar you spend.*


The wine tasting was such a treat! We tried four different blends plus a vintage label and they were, oh so refreshing! My favorite was the Ultra Brut, a very-dry sparkling wine that’s light and fresh, a great choice in my opinion; because everybody deserves bubbles for breakfast once in a while, right? Domaine Carneros is definitely a place that we will return to whenever we are in the mood for quality wine in Napa Valley. After exploring the beautiful grounds at Domaine Carneros, we headed to Bouchon Bistro Yountville for our 12pm lunch reservation.

Bouchon is a French-style restaurant founded by 3-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller, an internationally renowned restaurant that serves up a perfect experience each time, from the service to the meal. With American Express’ new Global Dining Collection, customers can take advantage of one-of-a-kind dining experiences worldwide!*

To say that the meal we ate was outstanding is an understatement. Details like plating, presentation and portion size, and of course freshness and flavor mean a lot to me. And, when I say that there was not a single item that was served, either as an appetizer or as part of the dinner, that was anything short of perfection, you can trust me. 
Next stop (after the lavish lunch, that is), we checked at Yountville Hotel for the night to relax and enjoy its amenities. Featured by Condé Nast as one of North America’s top hotels to stay in 2017, the Yountville Hotel offers 80 air-conditioned rooms with fireplaces and private spa tubs in each room. The pillow-top bed comes with down comforters and Frette Italian sheets plus, all rooms have private balconies or patios. Featured amenities include limo/town car service, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services. With this booking, I’ve earned 5 points per every $1 spent on amextravel.com as a Platinum American Express cardholders benefit. Plus, trip-cancelation insurance. If for some reason you need to cancel your trip, just call Amex and ask for the trip cancellation insurance to kick in, and they’ll cover those fees. I nice added value to have just in case.

The hotel sure does have a romantic vibe. How about this lobby? SIMPLY STUNNING!

Everything about this hotel makes my romantic heart sing, especially the dreamy landscape and nature surrounding the property. We got back just in time to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc + local Artisan cheese while watching the sunset over the rolling hills that surround Yountville before heading to our room to shower and change for dinner at the inn’s restaurant, Heritage Oak. Yountville’s golden hour… cheers!I will have to say that this was one of the more pleasant experiences that I have had in Napa. The Yountville Hotel itself is a true retreat, and as I mentioned, the lush grounds are a perfect country setting for couples and families. Napa is considered to have more Michelin starred restaurants per capita than anywhere in North America, packed with world-class restaurants, tasting rooms, hotels, and spas. Yountville is also known for its cultural scene, which includes museums, an art walk, and a performing arts theater featuring international performers year-round.

On My Bucket List:
French Laundry by chef Thomas Keller.
• Bubbles on the patio at Domaine Chandon or the Maisonry tasting room
• Stay at Hotel Villagio.

Cardmember Perks:
The perks available to American Express Platinum cardholders are what truly distinguish this card, and the list I came up with is long — so grab a cup of coffee!

• The card charges NO foreign transaction fees.
• Platinum cardholders will earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines or booked through American Express Travel, 5 points per $1 spent on hotels booked on amextravel.com, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
• You’ll get $200 a year in credit to offset airline incidental expenses such as baggage fees or in-flight purchases.
• Once every four years, you can be reimbursed for the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre-Check ($85).
• Access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, including American Express’ own Centurion Lounges and International American Express lounges, as well as Delta’s Sky Clubs and Priority Pass Select and Airspace lounges. Simply the best lounge access to any premium card!
• The card’s hotel perks include Gold status in both the Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton HHonors programs.
• The card gives you $200 worth of Uber credits every year. The credits are issued on a monthly basis — $15 each month and $35 in December.
• American Express’ new Global Dining Collection promises cardholders access to “one-of-a-kind dining experiences,” special reserved seating and culinary events.

Sign Up Bonus:
The new cardmember bonus offer has been boosted by 50%: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Apply for The Platinum Card® with [this link] and earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points.*

That trip was much quicker than expected – turns out that Yountville is quite small yet very charmingWith all the perks and benefits, the Platinum Card® could be a great card option for someone like me who loves luxury travel and unique experiences without having to compromise their love for luxury and experiences as their family starts to grow.

*Terms and Conditions Apply. Visit www.AmericanExpress.com to learn more.

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