Just in time for “drink wine day,” your credit card could unlock perks and savings

Feb 18, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information. 

Happy National Wine Day!

Holding the right travel rewards credit card can unlock numerous valuable perks. Naturally these benefits tend to revolve around travel, including things such as lounge access. However, there are also several more obscure benefits to holding certain cards — and one is the potential to save on wine purchases and winery experiences.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways your credit card could give you access to special discounts and invite-only events.

Wine-related Amex Offers

If you’re an Amex cardholder, you may be able to save through Amex Offers.

For those unfamiliar with the program, it provides limited-time offers with a variety of merchants across American Express cards. These offers are targeted and don’t always appear on every card (or even for every holder of a specific card).

The type and value of offers run the gamut, ranging from earning an additional Membership Rewards point per dollar spent at J. Crew to earning 6,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $350 at certain Hilton hotels in Puerto Rico to getting $15 back after spending $50 at 1800Flowers.com.

Oftentimes, you’ll fine wine companies and subscription services included in Amex Offers.

Rosé wine is poured into glasses at vineyard Klosterhof Toplitz in the sunshine in Toplitz, Germany, 10 September 2016. The ecologically managed vineyard has 2.5 hectars of land and a tavern selling homegrown vine. Pinot gris and pinot blanc, riesling and regent are cultivated here. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Amex Offers could help you save the next time you order wine. (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Because these offers are targeted, the only way to check your eligibility is through your account. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Log in to your account at AmericanExpress.com
  2. Select the card you want to view
  3. Scroll down to the “Amex Offers and Benefits” section (below your recent activity)
  4. Read through the offers on the card, clicking “Load More” if necessary

My American Express® Gold Card currently has quite a few offers available to me.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amex)
  • First Bottle – Spend $250 or more, get $50 back (expires 4/30/21)
  • B Cellars Vineyard & Winery – Spend $250 or more, get $75 back (expires 5/11/21)
  • Parcelle – Spend $75 or more, get $15 back (expires 3/2/21)
  • Last Bottle – Spend $100 or more, get $30 back (expires 4/30/21)
  • Zachys – Spend $150 or more, get $30 back (expires 3/22/21)
  • Wine Enthusiast – Spend $250 or more, get $50 back (expires 2/28/21)
  • Wine Access – Spend $100 or more, get $30 back up to 3 times (expires 2/28/21)

Some TPG staffers have reported up to 9x Membership Rewards points for certain wine purchases.

Visa Signature benefits

If you have a Visa Signature or Visa Infinite credit card, you can get exclusive benefits and offers at participating wineries and vineyards.

Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders receive the following perks at more than 50 Visa Signature wineries:

  • Buy one standard wine tasting using your eligible card, receive a complimentary tasting of equal or lesser value
  • Preferred pricing on applicable non-wine purchases over $50
  • Savings on same-day wine purchases in the Tasting Room
  • Savings on Reserve tastings or special wine and food pairings

You can check out the full list of participating wineries on Visa’s website, including which wineries also offer these benefits to Canada-issued Visa Infinite and Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders. To redeem the benefits, simply show your eligible card at the participating winery. Visa does encourage cardholders to contact the winery ahead of time to confirm the offers.

Visa also offers eligible cardholders certain special offers (not entirely unlike the Amex Offers program). Currently, Visa Signature cardholders can receive 10% off on all purchases, plus complimentary wine tasting and hotel delivery, at Mantequerias Bravo, a gourmet wine and food shop in Madrid, Spain.

So, what cards are eligible? All Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cards will have that status noted on the bottom corner of your physical card right below the Visa logo. Examples of popular Visa Signature Cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and all of the Chase Ink Business credit cards. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the most common Visa Infinite card.

Special events and experiences

Some issuers offer exclusive events and experiences to cardholders. Occasionally, you’ll get targeted offers and invites mailed or emailed to you, but Amex, Chase and Citi both have online resources (due to the pandemic) for looking up cardholder events and experiences. These curated packages typically cost a pretty penny, but they can be part of once-in-a-lifetime trips and unforgettable experiences; plus, many of them are impossible to recreate outside of these cardholder offers.

Amex is currently offering eligible cardholders access to the virtual Burgundy wine festival, happening March 10–21, 2021. Some of the sessions as part of the event are free for registration, but others require ticket purchases. Here’s a peek at the agenda:

  • American Express Card Members get a $50 credit good towards your La Paulée Wine Pack Purchase with Zachys! Details in your ticket confirmation email.
  • Get a complimentary Coravin Pilot system to accompany your order of $1,000 or more with Zachys. Terms apply.
  • Seminars exploring specific vineyards site, conversations with winemakers, introductions with wine personalities (such as La Paulée’s founder Daniel Johnnes).
  • Exclusive content from winemakers including Aubert de Villaine, Guillaume d’Angerville, Véronique Drouhin, Brice de la Morandière, Pierre and Anne Morey, Eric Rousseau, Christophe Roumier, Frédéric Mugnier, and more.

Citi is offering cardholders a Virtual Wine Tasting with Halleck Vineyard. You can request a booking now through Aug. 1, 2021. There are three different packages you can buy ranging from $199 to $499. Here’s a look at what’s included in all packages:

  • Teleconference with Ross Halleck (Halleck Vineyard vinter) or Sephanie Culen (Halleck Vineyard educator and certified sommelier) in a live and fully interactive virtual experience.
  • Citi cardmembers will receive a branded Halleck Vineyard apron at no charge.
  • Each package comes with an assortment of wines and additional accessories.

I didn’t see any current Chase experiences that were wine-related, but that could change later in 2021.

Photo of North California winery by Spencer Spellman.
Your card could give you access to exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. (Photo of a northern California winery by Spencer Spellman)

Potential bonus category earnings

Yet another way to take advantage of your rewards credit cards to maximize wine-related purchases is by earning bonus rewards. While there isn’t a credit card that explicitly lists vineyards or wineries as a bonus category, there are still ways that your wine purchases could earn bonus points.

Grocery stores and supermarkets often carry select wines, depending on what state you live in. I use my Amex Gold to earn 4x on wine when I shop at Harris Teeter, for example (the 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on the Amex Gold is limited to the first $25,000 spent in purchases each calendar year, then 1x point). The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card also earns 2% at grocery stores and some specialty markets (though it’s no guarantee that a wine store would code as such).

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

In addition, you may find that some wineries are classified as “Entertainment” under their merchant category codes, giving you the opportunity to earn 4% back on the Capital One Savor. Of course, the only way to really know what will code as entertainment verses another category is to test it out and see for future purchases.

You can also always use a flat-rate card such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited to ensure you’re at least getting something back on your wine-related expenses.

Finally, be sure to click through an online shopping portal in addition to using a rewarding credit card if you’re making online wine purchases. I typically check CashBackMonitor.com to compare the different portals and decide on the best earning rate.

Alaska’s Fly Wine For Free Deal

Though not specifically a credit card perk, I still feel like the Wine Flies Free on Alaska Airlines benefit is worth mentioning here. Mileage Plan members can bring home an entire case of wine with no baggage fees when you fly to one of Alaska Airlines’ 30 Wine Flies Free destinations along the U.S. West Coast.

(Photo by Digital Media Pro/Shutterstock.)
Shipping an entire case of wine home with no baggage costs is a great deal if you fly Alaska Airlines. (Photo by Digital Media Pro/Shutterstock.)

All you have to do is book a domestic flight to one of the 30 eligible destinations (including Sonoma and Monterey, Calif., Sun Valley, Idaho, and more), add your Mileage Plan number to your reservation and check your properly packed case of wine in with an Alaska Airlines customer service representative at the ticketing counter on your way home.

One case of wine will fit 12 bottles, and the cost of shipping that home from your trip could be quite expensive without this deal.

You can check out the Alaska Airlines website for more details on how to properly pack wine to fly and which Alaska Airlines destinations qualify for this offer.

Bottom line

Whether you’re a true wine connoisseur or just someone who enjoys a casual glass with dinner, your credit card could unlock major savings and unforgettable experiences. Make sure to check your Citi, Amex and Chase accounts for special offers.

Of course, you probably shouldn’t choose a credit card based purely on the wine perks it gives. It’s better to pick a card that fits your spending and travel habits overall. But there are plenty of top credit cards (such as The Platinum Card® from American Express) that give you the best of both worlds.

Additional reporting by Nick Ewen.

Featured photo by FreezeFrames/Shutterstock

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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