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Going to Aspen Food & Wine? Don’t forget your Amex card to unlock exclusive experiences

Sept. 09, 2021
5 min read
Going to Aspen Food & Wine? Don’t forget your Amex card to unlock exclusive experiences
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Aspen's Food & Wine Classic event is regarded as one of the best gastronomic festivals in the U.S., with celebrity chef (think Martha Stewart and Andrew Zimmern) presentations, free-flowing wine, dynamic dishes from the best restaurants around and the opulence that only Aspen can offer.

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American Express, the presenting sponsor for the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, is hosting several in-person and virtual events for its cardholders from Sept. 10-14. And best of all, those attending this foodie event won't need an ultra-premium card like The Platinum Card® from American Express to unlock exclusive cardholder experiences, as any Amex card will suffice to gain access.

Read on for more details on what Amex cardholders attending the Aspen Food & Wine Classic can expect.

Cardholder experiences

CycleBar class

Given the sheer number of incredible wines offered at this event, it’s very likely that you’re going to overindulge just a bit. However, American Express and Marriott Bonvoy are teaming up to help you start the day on the right foot — or perhaps more accurately, the right pedal. The duo partnered with local studio CycleBar to host an outdoor spin class at The St. Regis Aspen on Friday and Saturday. There are two 45-minute silent disco-style classes, one at 8 a.m. and another at 9 a.m. Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis — and attendees will need to sign up in person at The St. Regis Aspen. Cardmembers will receive a fitness gift bag at check-in and can stick around after their ride for light refreshments.

Immersive dining experience

Chef Kwame Onwuachi has an impressive resume. He was included on the Forbes “30 under 30” list, was named one of the best new chefs of 2019 by Food & Wine, and was a James Beard Award winner. It’s safe to say the man knows how to make a dining experience memorable. On Friday and Saturday, Onwuachi is leading a series of 30-minute immersive experiences, involving 360-degree audiovisual clips projected on the walls, paired with tasty bites curated by the chef himself. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and can be made through Resy.

(Screenshot courtesy of Food & Wine Classic in Aspen)

Restaurant Trade Program

Considering the state of the world, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is somewhat abbreviated this year. But, for the first time ever, the American Express Restaurant Trade Program will be virtual and free for anyone to attend. The event will take place on Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. ET. It will feature a series of panels with restaurateurs, owners, chefs, sommeliers and other leaders within the restaurant industry, where they’ll discuss creative approaches to the myriad problems facing the industry right now. Registration can be found at amextradeprogram.com.

Coconut stand

In a partnership with Sunboy, a spiked sparkling coconut water company, Amex cardholders will receive complimentary fresh coconut water provided by Marriott Bonvoy and American Express for Food & Wine attendees throughout the weekend. You can find the booth at the Mill Street entrance, near The St. Regis, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

1 million points scavenger hunt

What would you do with 1 million Marriott Bonvoy points? It’s a question the winner of the American Express and Marriott Bonvoy scavenger hunt will have to ask themselves. The two brands have put together an interactive scavenger hunt that will take participants throughout scenic Aspen. Even if you don’t win the mother lode, each person who completes the scavenger hunt (snapping a photo at each site and sharing those with a brand ambassador) will earn a gift. To pick up a scavenger hunt passport (and complete the first stop), swing by the gondola photo experience in the Grand Tasting Pavilion.

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A surprise

If you’re staying at The St. Regis or W Aspen, keep an eye out for a surprise goodie bag drop-off courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy and American Express.

Amex cardholders staying at the W Aspen and attending the Food & Wine Classic may be in for a surprise treat. (Photo courtesy of American Express Travel)

Bottom line

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is all about pairing incredible bites and over-the-top experiences. Given that American Express is the presenting sponsor, it makes sense the brand would want to go above and beyond to give their cardholders something to talk about long afterward. American Express is no stranger to partnering with world-class events and delivering exciting perks and added value to their own cardholders.

Related: Which is the best American Express credit card for you in 2021?

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees