When it was just my husband and I traveling we often made decisions based on price, finding the cheapest getaway we could afford. As a family of five falling within a budget is still important but perks that add to our experience far outweigh the cost. It seems we’re not the only ones who feel this way.
According to a recent American Express survey of almost 300 travel experts, 34 per cent stated that extra amenities and upgrades are the number one priority when it comes to booking travel plans followed by destination (26 per cent) and finally budget (20 per cent). It can sometimes feel that perks are only available to the elite traveler but as an American Express Cardmember my family trips have also benefited from travel perks.
Most recently I used the American Express Travel site to book a family trip to California, including our flight and car rental. It’s true, there are a number of travel-booking sites out there but the American Express Travel site enabled me to not only use my points toward my trip expenses but I also earned points. The points are a nice perk but the service is even better. When I had questions about seat selection, the woman I spoke to was polite and very helpful. She even called me back later in the day to make sure I had sorter out my issues. You won’t find that through other portal sites.
Using the American Express Travel Site is just one perk Cardmembers can enjoy when planning travel but there are others:
Paying for Travel After the Fact. One of my favourite perks with my American Express Gold Reward Card is TripFlex. Whether I plan for a trip ahead of time or take advantage of a last minute deal, TripFlex enables me to use my points to cover all or even a portion of my travel related expenses. This means total freedom for me when planning a trip versus having to worry about available points or blackout periods.
Enjoy Premium Airport Services. Flying can be an exciting experience for families and the American Express Cloud10 services at the Toronto Pearson Airport add a nice VIP touch. Some Cardmembers can enjoy premium lounge access, a priority lane going through security and even complementary valet parking. A nice way to enjoy a stress-free start to your holiday.
VIP Lounge Access. Enjoying an event with the family can be fun but sometimes you need a little break. Where available American Express Candmembers can enjoy access to private VIP lounges at participating venues and events. As the official Card to the Universal Orlando Resort, Cardmembers can escape the crowds and enjoy complimentary snacks by ducking into American Express Lounge. We’ve also enjoyed lounge access at the Toronto Christmas Market and various concert events. It’s a nice perk that makes you feel extra special.
Being First in the Know. Perks are great but saving a little on a planned vacation is nice too. American Express gives Cardmembers a bit of both when they email exclusive deals and offerings. From Delight packages for a weekend away to the water park to bonus reward points or exclusive price discounts on hotels, American Express emails me the latest offers making it easy to plan for the next family getaway.
Don’t you agree that just because we travel with our families may not qualify us as regular jet setters, that doesn’t mean we don’t like receiving a few extras? I have no problem paying a little more for premium service, such as the Mandarin Oriental Tai Pan Club Level that we enjoyed on a family trip to Washington, D.C. because the perks and experience far out weight the additional cost. That’s the way I view my American Express Gold Reward Card. Being a Cardmember not only enables me to enjoy trips with my family without the added stress, but the travel perks and benefits add to our overall travel experience and fun.
What travel perks do you look for when vacationing with your family?
This post was sponsored by American Express Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.