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By Jason Steele
December 11, 2020
Courtesy of Grand Reserve

There are hundreds of credit cards that appeal to nearly every consumer including fans of particular retailers, airlines and hotel programs. But now comes a new kind of product that’s designed to appeal to the specific niche of wine lovers including rewards and benefits that can be used to further enjoy and appreciate your favorite wines.

Key Terms

  • Rewards: 5x points at more than 400 wineries, wine clubs, and other Grand Reserve Partners 3x at any winery, wine club, wine or liquor store, 3x at any restaurant or bar including take-out & delivery services and 2x points per dollar everywhere else.
  • Annual Fee: $149, waived the first year.

How This Card Works

Cardholders will earn 5x points at more than 400 wineries, wine clubs, and other Grand Reserve Partners. You’ll earn 3x points you receive per dollar spent at any winery, wine club, wine or liquor store as well as 3x at restaurants, bars and purchases from take-out & delivery services. You’ll earn 2x per dollar spent elsewhere, and there are no limits on the amount of points you can earn. You even earn an additional two points per dollar spent at your top wine merchant each month.

Points can be redeemed for a sommelier curated catalog of more than 450 products and experiences designed specifically for wine lovers. For example, you can redeem 30,000 points for up to four people to enjoy a private small bite pairings experience at the Willamette Valley Vineyards, or 116,700 points for a two night Napa weekday getaway. You also receive a Priority Wine Pass Offer that includes more than 400 unique offers at leading wineries, hotels, restaurants, and tours across Napa, Sonoma, and other wine regions. Other benefits include mobile phone protection, ShopRunner membership (free 2-day shipping at 100+ stores) and a premium metal card. There’s a $149 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

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Advantages

The Grand Reserve card offers competitive rewards for purchases in bonus categories, but you’ll only realize this value if you appreciate the items and experiences offered by its catalog. You’ll enjoy more valuable rewards with this card than you would with many other cash back or travel rewards cards if you’re a regular visitor to the featured wineries.

But more importantly, this card is about the benefits like the Priority Wine tasting pass, mobile phone protection and ShopRunner Membership. You’ll also receive a metal card that has a premium feel to it. And while it’s $149 annual fee is a bit higher than many other rewards cards, it’s waived the first year.

Disadvantages

Currently, the rewards points offered can only be redeemed for about 450 products and experiences in the sommolier-curated catalog. This is great if these rewards appeal to you, but if not, then these reward points don’t offer the value necessary to make this a compelling card. Likewise, if you don’t plan on visiting the featured wineries, then this benefit will also have little value.

Alternatives

Chase Sapphire Preferred®. This popular travel rewards card offers new applicants 60,000 points worth $750 towards travel (when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. It also features 2x points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases and 2x can also be earned on grocery store purchases through April 30, 2021 on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases each month. As a Visa Signature card, it offers benefits at more than 50 select Sonoma County Visa Signature wineries. Winery benefits include the ability to purchase one standard tasting and receive complimentary tasting of equal or lesser value, preferred pricing on non-wine purchases over $50, and savings on wine purchased the same day in the Tasting Room. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card. You can read more about these benefits.

American Express® Gold Card. This card offers new applicants 60,000 Membership Rewards® after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening. This card offers you 4x points on restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 spent each year. You’ll also receive $120 in dining credits towards select restaurants, and in 2021, you’ll also get $120 in credits each year towards Uber and Uber Eats. There’s a $250 annual fee for this card.

Capital One Savor Rewards. This card is designed for foodies with 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. New applicants receive a one-time $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.

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Bottom Line

Wine lovers will rejoice in having the option of a card with rewards and benefits designed for for their tastes. But if you’re not serious about your wine, then there’s probably another credit card that’s better suited to you.

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