In my job, I can never take a lot of time off.  So my wife and I take several long weekend vacations a year – which also works to rack up a bunch of FF miles.  Valentine’s Day was fortunately on a long weekend this year, so I took the wife to Sonoma for wine tasting and sightseeing via Alaska Airlines which flies directly into the Charles M. Schultz Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, CA.

At the airport, I picked up the usual visitor’s guide so I could get a map of all the wineries.  It conveniently listed about half the wineries in red and explained that these were wineries that had a wine tasting room with VISA Signature benefits.  I had never checked out VISA Signature benefits and looked them up.  After all, I have six VISA Signature cards and I think you’ll find most of the miles and points cards are VISA Signature.  Now I had taken advantage of American Express Sync offers many times.  If you are not familiar with these, check out Jen’s Deals We Like blog which I think details these deals better than any of my fellow bloggers.

The VISA Signature were new to me and I was thrilled to see that one of them is free wine tasting and discounts on purchases at over 60 Sonoma wineries.  After a morning driving through Bodega Bay and the Russian River we hit several wineries in the Kenwood area.  Each one had a slightly different deal, but free wine was part of all of them.  The standard at the wineries we visited was a guest paying $15 for 5 wine tastings.  The VISA Signature benefit at most was two free tastings.  Between the wife and I this meant four tasting which frankly was plenty for us.  More than that and I am afraid I would end up with a DUI.  And for those of you who say you should spit, not swallow, I understand but didn’t see a single person following that rule.  Although we did pour a lot of remnants into the little spittoons on the counter.  We easily saved over $100 with this VISA Signature benefit.

I found that VISA Signature offers a lot more deals than just wine tasting in Sonoma.  They include the following:

  • Discount for BCBGMaxazria (my wife and daughter like this place, but I don’t get the name)
  • 20% off of Food on Foot Tours in NYC (this is one I would love to try)
  • 10-20% off of Greyline double decker bus tours (I can’t count the number of sities that we have done this in)
  • 10% off of Super Shuttle
  • A free 8×10 at JCPenney family portraits
  • Six months free CLEAR membership to speed you through the airport
  • A ton of discounts/ free nights at resort properties

As you would expect, these deals all require you to use a VISA Signature card which should be no problem as you are already using them to collect points and miles.Vacation 1158

Vacation 1154

For the record, we visited St. Francis, Chateau St. Jean, Landmark, Muscardini, and Anaba.  We liked St. Francis the best and bought a wonderful Port there.  It was really nice to enjoy 75 degrees after spending all winter on the East Coast!



Posted by glenn | 7 Comments

7 responses to “Free Wine and Other Benefits of VISA Signature Cards”

  1. Patrick says:

    Do you have a link to the visa benefits you mentioned? I google it but I couldn’t find anything matched what you said.

  2. A says:

    This is a great perk! I used this last fall and loved it. Highly recommend Twomey. Wines are great, but a bit pricey.

  3. Mary says:

    I’ve used Visa Signature benefits a few times here and there and they have always worked great!

  4. […] wrote back in February about Visa Signature benefits that are well known such as free wine tasting in Sonoma Valley.  Well there are similar benefits […]

  5. Tam says:

    “BCBG” is French slang for “bon chic, bon genre.” It refers to stylish people, old-money types. Just FYI.

  6. […] wife and I had a great time a couple of years ago wine tasting by flying into Sonoma, CA (STS) via Alaska Airlines.  It was great getting out of the D.C. cold and […]

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