Earlier this year my partner and I went to London for a quick escape; a long weekend to get away from some of the pressures here at home. London is a great city and I wanted to make the trip special. The only problem with London is that, well, it’s a little expensive – especially from an American point of view. I didn’t want to sacrifice amazing experiences though; for me travel is all about those experiences and to not enjoy them would defeat the entire purpose of getting away. So with the most expensive splurge of the trip I decided to use a perk that I sometimes forget I have, erasing the charge AFTER the fact with my Membership Rewards® points from American Express.
I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about how to use Membership Rewards. As such I was paid for my services, but all items selected and opinions about Membership Rewards are my own.
London has a lot of iconic experiences for visitors to enjoy, from touring the Tower of London to a bird’s eye view of the city from the London Eye. One of the most well known though is to see a play in London’s famous West End. Often called the Broadway of Europe, the West End is one of the most popular places in the world to see a play. With good reason, too, like Broadway hundreds of plays start and end every year in this busy commercial area of London and some of the world’s most beloved plays have had their beginnings here. That was my goal, to see a play in the West End without going broke in the process.
If you want to see a play in London there are certainly same-day budget options, but to guarantee tickets for that play you really want to see, it’s best to book months in advance, as soon as you know you’ll be in London. I booked our tickets about 6 months in advance, and even then the performance was nearly sold out. The play in question was one of the year’s most popular shows, “The Jersey Boys.” My partner loves the music of The Four Seasons and I knew that this would be a surprise like none-other. But that was the tricky part, how to keep an expensive charge a secret.
As soon as I got the statement from American Express, I checked my points and sure enough, I had more than enough to erase the charge. All you have to do is when you go into your account online, select the eligible charges for which you’d like to apply points and within 48 hours it’s done! Super easy and in my opinion a great way to use points.
The surprise went off without a hitch. My partner was indeed very surprised when I presented the tickets for excellent seats to one of the hottest shows in town. I’m also really glad I went ahead and splurged on the experience. That show and the dinner beforehand was our favorite moment of the trip. It was a really nice evening out and a great way for us to be together and enjoy the best that London has to offer.
While it’s fine to pay attention to a budget when you travel, it’s important that you don’t do so at the expense of actually experiencing the destination. There’s a reason, after all, why you went on vacation in the first place. You left home to relax, maybe learn a little and most importantly have fun. Don’t ignore that in pursuit of doing things as cheaply as possible.
Have you ever used Membership Rewards points to pay for experiences like this?