Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Shopping with American Express and $250 Giveaway Winner

So Christmas is like two seconds away and I am finally finished with my Christmas shopping.  I haven't started wrapping or even figuring out where I have stashed things over the last week, but I do know that it is all purchased and tucked away somewhere.

I finally finished using the American Express gift card and American Express Rewards Points.

On Small Business Saturday I headed out shopping and ended up buying the only present I purchased before the month of December, a gift card to The Alamo Draft House.  The Alamo is a fun little theater where you can eat dinner while watching a movie.  It is a great date destination, so I picked up a gift card for my Hubby's stocking.  If you used your Amex to make a purchase from a small business on Small Business Saturday, American Express gave you a $20 credit on your statement.  So $20 of my gift card was basically free to me.

In college I never started Christmas shopping until finals were over, around the middle of December.  I have continued to carry on that tradition even though I graduated from college in 2000.  I didn't have a lot of time to have items shipped, so I used the rewards points to purchase eGift Cards.  The eGIft Cards are in your email box within three hours of ordering them.  You print them out and head to a local store to shop away.  I used some points to purchase a Barnes & Noble eGift Card.

Magazines are a traditional stocking stuffer in my husbands family, so I headed over to the closest Barnes and Noble store and ended up with a stack of magazines for everyone.

(please excuse the picture I took while hiding from my children in the laundry room)

I also picked up a Blu-Ray box set:

And the new Guinness World Records book for 2012.  My son gets one every year for Christmas.
I picked up another eGift Card on the American Express Rewards site.  This Banana Republic gift card is actually going to someone as a gift.
I used part of the $250 American Express gift card to purchase some items that we shared with people we don't know.  One of those items was an iPod shuffle.  There are a few ways I could have picked up this iPod shuffle with American Express.  I could have used points to order it directly from the American Express Rewards site, I could have used the points to purchase the item on Amazon, but because of the last minute nature I used the American Express gift card to pick it up at Target.

There were plenty of points left over for me to purchase some board games from Amazon that won't show up until after Christmas, but since my birthday is at the beginning of January I will just count them as birthday gifts to myself.

There are a ton of fun ways to spend your American Express Rewards points.  I could have easily done all of my Christmas shopping that way.  I typically save all of my points for one large purchase.  We purchased a television from Amazon with out points last Christmas and our refrigerator using Home Depot gift cards when we moved to Austin.  But it is great for smaller purchases too.  I might use some of our accumulated points to pick up a couple of magazine subscriptions for next year too.  

That is enough of my fun shopping adventures.  Now it is time for one of you to win a $250 Gift Card and do some shopping of your own.  The lucky winner is Susan from Poca Cosas.  Congratulations Susan and Happy Shopping!!!

I hope you all have a Very Happy Holiday!! 

I was given a $250 American Express Gift Card and 40,000 American Express Rewards points to purchase gifts this holiday season.