Dare we say it? The holiday season is just around the corner, ladies and gents! Santa’s elves are hard at work cobbling those red-soled shoe beauties on your wish list, the department stores are readying their cheerful window displays, and we Backseat Stylers – armed with our American Express ChoicePlus Card – are preparing ourselves for our most successful year for holiday shopping to date.
We want you to have a fun and pain-free holiday shopping experience too, so we’ve rounded up our very best tips for you fellow fashion addicts:
- Give the gift of kitsch! Spread the holiday cheer with festive fashion accessories that are both chic and delightfully tacky. Gift bow stud earrings, holly-adorned shoe clips, and red and green tartan socks make for fun stocking stuffers.
- When it comes to gifting clothing and accessories, choose tried-and-true classics – think timeless, not boring. You can never go wrong with a chic watch, a well-made cashmere sweater or a pair of snazzy cufflinks that will be a favourite for years to come.
- Sizing can be tough to navigate when attempting to buy clothing items. If you’re not sure, stick to one-size-fits-all accessories like a stunning statement necklace, a dapper bow tie, or a chic oversized clutch.
- Don’t forget to treat yourself! You’ll inevitably discover a gorgeous LBD or the boots of your dreams during a holiday shopping trip. Tracking down the perfect gifts for your loves ones is hard work, so there’s no shame in rewarding yourself with a little something as well.
- Holiday shopping on a budget? Be on the lookout for winter end-of-season sales, limited-time-only promotions and flash sales at the retailers on your shopping list. There’s no shortage of discounts to be taken advantage of during the holiday season.
- Stretch your dollars even further by earning loyalty program points – like American Express Membership Rewards points – on your holiday purchases, and then redeeming them for gifts or a little pat-on-the-back for yourself (see tip #4 above!).
Select American Express Cardmembers earn Membership Rewards points for purchases charged to their Card, including everyday spend on gas for your car, a Friday night dinner date, or an adorable reindeer sweater. When it comes to Membership Rewards, American Express offers something for everyone; points can be redeemed for travel, top-brand merchandise and entertainment rewards from over 500 major brands.
Bonus tip for American Express Cardmembers: this year’s edition of the Membership Rewards holiday catalogue has officially launched, and it’s chock full of fabulous fashion items to reward yourself with or to bestow on your most stylish of friends. For jewelry lovers, there’s the Swarovski Crystalline watch, diamond and pearl jewelry pieces by Birks, and the popular PANDORA charm bracelet.
Other stylish highlights include chic leather bags from Ferragamo and BCBGMAXAZRIA, a Nikon 1 S1 camera perfect for snapping street style photos, and that Michael Kors mid-size rose gold stainless steel watch you and your BFF have both been daydreaming about all year. Excited? So are we! Click on over here to see the Membership Rewards holiday catalogue in all its glory.
Not currently an American Express Cardmember? Don’t fret – it’s not too late to fix that in time to earn points on your holiday purchases and redeem from the holiday catalogue. May we suggest the Choice and ChoicePlus Cards?
Happy holiday shopping, everyone!
This post was sponsored by Amex Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own. Feature image: Harper’s Bazaar
Confession: I’ve shopped a lot over the last few months. But it’s not as devastating to my wallet as it may seem. Why? Because I charged everything to the brand new American Express ChoicePlus Card I’m currently test driving, and earned up to double points on my purchases. A pretty fantastic deal, wouldn’t you say?
The new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards give me the freedom to earn points everywhere I use my Card and the power to choose five places from over 100 retailers where I want to earn double points. Remember when I selected The Bay, H&M and Flight Centre to be on my list of 5 retailers? I chose wisely, because I earned double points on the contribution I made to my sister-in-law’s upcoming honeymoon to Bora Bora, and even some seasonal sale items from The Room at The Bay (hello Mary Katrantzou and Roland Mouret!).
Now, of course, comes the fun part: redeeming all those points I’ve racked up! With so many options available through American Express Choice by Membership Rewards, I can save up my points and redeem for rewards I really want and love. Gift cards to retailers like Banana Republic, Sporting Life and The Keg, concert and event tickets through Ticketmaster, merchandise rewards from brands like Apple, Sony and KitchenAid – the possibilities are endless.
First item on my list? I’m making winter a bit brighter and have redeemed some of my points for gift cards for essentials like gas and Cineplex movie passes (yes these qualify as ‘essential’!). As for my remaining points balance, I’m going to save it for now and keep building it up until I have enough for a really big reward down the line. In the meantime, I’ll be daydreaming about redeeming them on TripFlex travel rewards for an exotic beach getaway or on a Holt Renfrew gift card for a swanky new handbag. Decisions, decisions…
The Choice and ChoicePlus Cards are tailored to your unique shopping habits and lifestyle. You get to choose the five retailers, from an extensive list of American Express merchants, where you can earn double points and then redeem them for fun rewards – what more could you ask for from a credit card?
Image Credit: Harper’s Bazaar
Sponsored by American Express Canada
I was recently asked by American Express to test-drive their new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards. My mission, which I happily chose to accept, was to sign up for the Choice or ChoicePlus Card, go shopping with it and earn points whilst doing so, and then redeem said points for rewards. In short: easiest assignment ever!
That’s because the new cards are tailored to your unique shopping habits and lifestyle. They give you the freedom to earn points everywhere you use your Card and the power to choose five places from over 100 retailers where you want to earn double points. As you collect your points, you can choose how you’d like to redeem them. First step? Apply for the card. Check! Second step: choose five retailers that fit my lifestyle and where I’ll earn double points at.
Whittling down to just five when there’s such a long list of great options is easier said than done, but after much deliberation I finally settled on these:
1. The Bay – What doesn’t The Bay carry? Whether I’m buying a swanky Hugo Boss suit for the Mister, a lovely new fragrance for me, or the latest and greatest washer and dryer set for the house, Canada’s oldest retailer has got me covered. The Bay is a no-brainer as one of my chosen five retailers.
2. GO Transit – The Mister and I recently made the move to the suburbs of Toronto and have become a GO train-riding family. We’re already spending big dollars to travel from home in the suburbs to work in the city, so we might as well earn double rewards points while we’re at it.
3. Oliver & Bonacini – If the mac and cheese at Oliver & Bonacini Cafe & Grill, the incredible 54th floor view of the Toronto skyline at Canoe, or the duck poutine pizza at Bannock aren’t enough, perhaps the allure of double rewards points will entice the Mister to plan more date nights for us! O&B is a strategic choice, for sure.
4. H&M – I rather enjoy my cheap and cheerful finds from the fast fashion retailer. Rarely a month goes by when I haven’t purchased a trendy piece or two for me or cute new duds for my son. I definitely want to be earning double points on those big purchases I make from the designer collaborations in particular.
5. Flight Centre – I have big plans to travel more over the next few years. A return visit to Europe with the Mister, a Disney cruise for the family, my first New York Fashion Week with my fellow blogger pals – the wish list is long. I intend to make these trips happen and earn double points through my Flight Centre bookings when I do.
There you have it – the five retailers where I’ll be earning double points. Amazon, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Shell Canada, and the Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy family were this close to making the cut too. Which of the 100+ retailers would you choose as your five? Check out the entire list of participating retailers, and read more about the new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards by American Express, right over here.
Sponsored by American Express Canada
Photo booth fun with Nelia Belkova and Richard Fabregui
Over-the-knee stiletto boots or patent leather brogues? Python-print skinny jeans or metallic brocade skirt? My wardrobe presents me with rather critical sartorial choices on a daily basis, and, frankly, I relish in every single one I’m called to make. As a legitimate fashion addict, I enjoy debating such things as the merits of purchasing an oxblood leather doctor bag for everyday vs. a skull-clasp minaudière for evenings out, and making the decision that’s right for me and my closet, i.e. both! An equally important choice is which credit card I use to make those fabulous handbag purchases, a decision that just got a whole lot more exciting.
Chatting with chef Mark McEwan
Meet my next must-have acquisition: the new Choice or ChoicePlus Card from American Express. At the launch event on November 5, I was treated to an evening of choose-your-own-adventure fun, wherein my choices led to a night of cocktails with chef Mark McEwan at his restaurant Fabbrica, stylish caricatures and caviar manicures by The Ten Spot at Browns Shoes, and some good old fashioned shopping and photo booth shenanigans at Roots. It was a creative and clever way to remind me and the other attendees just how much fun it is to decide your own fate, sartorial or otherwise.
The likeness is uncanny
The freshly-introduced Choice and ChoicePlus Cards present me with the same power of choice that I have over my closet rotation. Where do I earn rewards? How do I redeem my points? I decide. These new offerings from American Express are designed to fit your lifestyle and unique shopping habits. You have the freedom to earn points everywhere you use your Card and the power to choose five places from over 100 retailers where you want to earn double points. As you collect your points, you have the power to choose how you’d like to use them. In other words, you can shop and earn points wherever you like and reward yourself with the things you love.
Earn double points on the purchase of a new fall/winter wardrobe at my favourite stores, and then redeem for a sunny getaway from the cold with TripFlex rewards? Sounds perfect to me! I’ve been tasked by American Express with test-driving either the Choice or ChoicePlus Card over the coming months, and I can’t wait to take it out for a spin on my upcoming holiday fashion shopping expedition. Stay tuned for my next report! In the meantime, read all about the Choice and ChoicePlus Cards here and check out this cute introductory video here.
Sponsored by American Express Canada