As a huge fan of traveling, I think there’s never a wrong time for travel-themed gifts. But the circle I buy for at this time of year falls into two distinct groups: those who always travel, and those who never do. And this presents a problem. The ones who do it a lot have such a practiced routine that they’re reluctant to disrupt it by trying something new. And the ones who never leave their own zip code are often baffled by the process of booking travel.
My solution: go to the pros. Most people forget (or, more likely, never knew) that American Express started as a travel company, and the thrill of going over the horizon is still in its bones. Obviously you can use points for trips, which is always the best way to go, but you can also get cool swag that will make the trip smoother and more enjoyable.
Here are the top three ways that I’ll be putting American Express Membership Rewards® points into play this season.
1. The Gift of Travel
There’s one way you can be sure you’re giving the right thing for any traveler: give the trip itself! American Express’s mobile “Pay with Points” gives you this flexibility to pay for any airline tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, meals – all the things that just about every traveler needs to get going. You can opt to “Pay with Points” to book specific trips or purchase gift cards for your loved ones that they can use for spa treatments or nights on the town (see the quick “How-To” in the infographic to the left).
You can also choose themed journeys via Membership Rewards®- experiences that range from couples or family trips to city or beach destinations.
One destination I can personally recommend: Puerto Rico, which I recently explored completely on points. It’s close to the US, travelers don’t need to clear customs or change currency, and the beaches, caves and culture offer a diversity of activities (and non-activities!) that every traveler will love.
2. The Gift of Technology
Whenever I travel, I try to use my cellphone and computer as little as possible; they’re the trappings of my home life. But there are devices out there that will make traveling easier and more enjoyable. You can find most of them in the “Cool Gadgets” section of shopAmex®, the online shopping site where you can use points. One of my favorites is the Oakley Airwave 1.5 Goggle.They make it easy to see incoming calls and texts (the ones you just can’t skip) while leaving your hands free to enjoy what you’re actually doing.
AmEx Card Members can use points for a variety of entertainment gifts when purchasing directly through Ticketmaster. From New Year’s Eve events in New York City to parties and shows in Las Vegas, there is plenty choose from over the holidays (and all year long). Once you’re logged in with your American Express account, you can opt to use Points instead of cash to pay for your tickets.
I was selected by American Express as to help educate consumers about how to use Membership Rewards points. As such I was paid for my services, but all gift choices selected and opinions about the gifts and American Express are my own. http://paid-po.st/3Nfrb0