American Express $250 giftcard contest and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week experience

Reader Alert: Make it through this post and you will find out how to enter a Loyalty Traveler contest for a $250 American Express giftcard courtesy of SPG American Express.

Anyone who knows me would likely say I am the least qualified person to be writing about fashion week. I did put on a pair of pants for the show which is something I am reluctant to do when the temperature is over 65 degrees. It was 75 in New York.

I am definitely qualified as a leading candidate for an Extreme Makeover. Too bad designer Rachel Zoe was not my childhood friend. As an 8 year old she said she tired of a family friend who never wore anything but soccer outfits and she went to his house and planned his outfits for better style.

ny fw 007

SPG Amex Stars and guests at Lincoln Center, New York. I am guestless on the right.

My wife used to play the fashion designer role for me when I was in my 20s, but she quit the job after realizing I wasn’t going to continue climbing up the six-figure corporate ladder.

Fortunately I was on the back side of the camera for most of this fashion event. There was a lot of free Skyy vodka and Mionetto champagne being pounded back by attendees of the Rachel Zoe Runway Show exclusively for American Express cardmembers. Beer is not fashionable, so I remained sober enough to report what I experienced.

ny fw 022

What is New York Fashion Week?

Paris, London, Milan and New York are the four grand slam events of high fashion in the retail world. New York Fashion Week began in 1943 when industry fashion leaders were unable to travel to Paris during World War II and preview the latest trends.

Over 100,000 fashion industry insiders came to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York for more than 80 designer shows over 8 days from Sep 6 to Sep 13. American Express has been a main official sponsor of New York Fashion Week for 11 seasons.

ny fw 014

Amex cardmembers were able to buy tickets to this American Express cardmember exclusive event with designer Rachel Zoe for $50 to $150 depending on seating.

ny fw 025 

The unexpected thing for me with the event is learning a fashion runway show is only about 20 minutes long. This event was a bit longer with 30 minutes of pre-show drinking and mostly women attendees standing in line for swag bags.

ny fw 011

Pre-show reception was time for swag bags. 

ny fw 013

The pre-show reception lasted 30 minutes. The lines for the swag bags got really long as did the lines for drinks. The alcohol was promptly cutoff at 7pm sharp.

ny fw 031

Who is Rachel Zoe?

Rachel Zoe is a fashion designer with a Bravo TV show The Rachel Zoe Project. She sounded like a superwoman mom, wife, writer, TV star and fashion designer during a pre-runway Q&A interview by another fashion designer Prabal Gurung.

Now if you have ever seen the movie Father of the Bride I or II, Steve Martin versions, then you probably remember the Martin Short wedding designer character Franck Eggelhoffer. Prabal Gurung has a similar kind of accent.

And what about the fashion?

ny fw 051

The Runway Show

The 1960s are back baby. Austin Powers would feel right at home.

Well, it is kismet that I was seated in the second row at the end of the runway directly in front of where the fashion models turned around.

Amazingly I snapped some 51 photos of beautiful fashion models. Then I downloaded the pictures to find I have 49 photos of blurry fashion models with a perfectly in focus audience seated in the background of each shot.

Photographing people is not something I normally do as anyone who has read enough Loyalty Traveler posts has probably noticed.

I should have had my camera on ‘pets’ setting. Fashion models move quickly.

ny fw 074

Rachel Zoe collection runway show.

ny fw 125 


Loyalty Traveler’s American Express Giftcard Giveaway

You can enter to win a $250 American Express Giftcard by leaving a comment on this blog post about what shopping protection you can most benefit from and why.

American Express purchase protection and extended warranty benefits can be found on this webpage.

American Express Return Protection benefits

No More Shopping RegretsIn the event you change your mind about a purchase, Return Protection 1 offers an extended return policy on designated items purchased entirely with an eligible American Express® Card.
90 Days of ProtectionIf you try to return an eligible item purchased in the U.S. within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express® can refund the purchase price.
Up to $300 CoverageYou can be reimbursed for up to $300 per eligible item, excluding shipping and handling, up to $1,000 annually per Card account.

American Express Extended Warranty benefits

Embedded Protection Charge your eligible purchases that have a valid U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less to the Card.
Extend Your WarrantyExtended Warranty can extend the terms of the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year on eligible purchases with warranties of 5 years or less, when the eligible purchase is charged to the Card.

Loyalty Traveler contest entries will be accepted up to 11:59pm Monday, September 24 New York time.

Note: This is a contest and you actually have to provide a full response to the American Express shopping protection benefit and why to win the $250 giftcard.


Loyalty Traveler disclosure:This is a sponsored post as part of my experiences as a SPG Amex Star blogger. For this event I received airfare Monterey to New York, two nights at the W Union Square New York and a complimentary ticket to the American Express Rachel Zoe Collection Runway Fashion Show exclusively for American Express Cardmembers.

Loyalty Traveler post link:

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »



  1. I benefit most from the warranty extension. I love buying electronics, but in my experience they often malfunction early. I always buy electronics with my Amex as to buy with confidence.

  2. The extended warranty program has saved my rear more times than I can count. In almost 30 years of membership with AMEX, I am pretty sure I have saved my self over ten thousand dollars by having this extra coverage.

  3. I always use my AMEX for purchases that have a warranty. The extended warranty protection means that I can say “no thanks” when offered one at checkout. While I have only had to use the benefit one time, it sure is nice having the additional warranty and not having to pay for it.

  4. Warranty extension — Have only used it once but rest easy knowing it’s there for my other purchases.

  5. Without a doubt, the extended warranty protection is my favorite part. I have already used the protection twice. Once when my underwater camera began taking on water, and again when a stove failed after the manufacturers warranty was up. Both times the service was outstanding. This is a great benefit

  6. I like the fact that there are no more shopping regrets. I can use return protection and have that warm and fuzzy feeling that I can really buy something and if it doesn’t work for me, I can get a refund without having to deal with any trouble.

  7. I actually count on the extended warranty protection.

    When purchasing something with my AE card, I consciously decline the merchant’s offer of an extended warranty knowing that using my AE card gives me peace of mind with this benefit!

  8. For me hands down, Extend Your Warranty -Extended Warranty can extend the terms of the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year on eligible purchases with warranties of 5 years or less, when the eligible purchase is charged to the Card. Has saved me many times!

  9. Extended Warranty can extend the terms of the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year on eligible purchases with warranties of 5 years or less, when the eligible purchase is charged to the Card. This could prove very useful for electronic gadgets since they usually come with short manufacturer warranties!

  10. AMEX’ s Extended Warranty protection is imo one of the most useful & creative vendors ever offered by any credit card.

    Better yet, not only does it sound like something you want to have, it actually lives up to its promise! The few times I’ve needed to file a claim, service had been stellar.

  11. I like the 90 day return protection. I like to shop early for the holidays and it allows me to be able to return the gifts that don’t work out regardless of the store return policy.

  12. My favorite benefit is the extended warranty protection. I have this on my Amex credit card, and I just recently used it when almost exactly one year out of warranty, a “stainless steel” piece on my grill totally rusted into pieces. It’s great to be ale to get something like that covered by buying with my Amex.

  13. The warranty extension is great. So often big purchases come with short warranty periods of one year or less. This benefit from Amex really gives some extra peace of mind when making a major purchase.

  14. Warranty extension – once my dishwasher broke exactly one day after manufacture warranty expired. This saved me $250 in repair service

  15. The extended warranty protection works well for me. Sometimes a purchase just doesn’t work out. This Amex plan can come to the rescue if needed. Great to know when making purchases!

  16. Extended warranty is a major benefit, especially when buying expensive appliances or electtonics.

  17. I would not think of making a purchase without my Amex, if there is ever a warranty covering the item I’m buying. I have also used the 90 day return option, it was a godsend when I needed it.

  18. I really like the extended warranty. It seems like one year warranties are the most common and many retailers push buying an additional year at inflated prices. With American Express, I don’t have to pay these unreasonable prices to get the peace of mind of extended protection.

  19. I like the “Extend Your Warranty” best, especially for laptops since they broke exactly one year after purchase!

  20. The extended warranty offered by American Express is second to none. I purchase a lot of electronics and have always had a pleasant outcome working with them. I always suggest my friends and family use American Express to make large purchases for this reason.

  21. The best purchase protection is the one never mentioned. Whenever I have had a disagreement with a retailer or service provider and they have refused to play ball with a refund or discount I have found that getting Amex involved (as long as I used the card!), invariably leads to a good outcome for me … and its so easy, using their website. They really are in your corner!

  22. 90 days of protection from theft, vandalism and accidental breakage is fantastic. Makes me put all bug purchases on my Amex.

  23. I like the Extend Your Warranty protection that adds a year to the underlying warranty. This is great for electronics and appliance purchases.

  24. The extended warranty is the best option, most cost saving. I bought an Droid device last year and the screen crack and made the phone almost impossible to use. I looked into the warranty coverage and filed a claim to amex to cover my phone value as it was under warranty. Saved me $300 by using my Amex to purchase the phone! Thank you Amex!

  25. The AMEX 90 Day Protection. I love to buy items for the home but need to see them in the actual room to know if they work. I’m free to return those that don’t with the 90 day benefit.

  26. I would benefit from the Return Protection. Sometimes I’m in such a hurry that I don’t realize I’ve bought an item in the wrong size or style, and having an extended return policy would help a lot.

  27. Haven’t had to use it yet, but extended warranties actually change my spending habits. I don’t put my significant electronics purchases on cards I’m churning to ensure that I maintain the additional protection.

  28. I always buy my electronics with the AMEX because of the extended manufacturers warranty. While I have never had to use it, the peace of mind and savings from buying an extended warranty are my favorite benefits.

  29. I like the 90 day protection when buying a clothing item online marked final sale that I have not been able to try on until it arrives in the mail. If it doesn’t fit, I can then still return it.

  30. I like the extended warranty. I purchased a release date xbox 360 that gave the RROD at 1.5 years. That was before Microsoft extended their own warranty to 3 for that particular failure. AmEx took care of me and credited me the purchase price so that I could go buy a new one.

  31. Extend Your Warranty is the benefit I think is very valuable on AMEX card, especially when I try to buy some electronic products.

  32. i love the warranty extension. i would be paying 7$/month for phone insurance but i know amex has me covered.

  33. Love the extended warranty protection. It’s like having insurance that you never use, but is there when you need it.

  34. Lucky you to be able to go Rachel Zoe Fashion Show! The 90 day protection and extended warranty safety features of the American Express is one of the many reasons why I keep my card.

  35. The extended warranty is great but the best is the embedded protection plan. Bought a new notebook to take on a European holiday (on points of course!) and promptly dropped it while squished into the hotel elevator. When I got home I was delighted to find that I’ld used my SPG card, and sent in my receipt. Got a full refund, no muss, no fuss. I now use Amex for all my major purchases.

  36. Personally, I have found the 90 day protection benefits to be most beneficial. I have called in claims and been reimbursed in less than a week. You can also claim up to $1000 per item vs Discover which is only $500.

  37. Personally, I have found the 90 days of protection benefits to be most beneficial. I have called in claims and been reimbursed in less than a week. You can also claim up to $1000 per item vs Discover which is only $500.

  38. I like the Extend Your Warranty protection for my camera purchases. I have purchased every camera and piece of electronics with my Amex for the past 6 years. I love the peace of mind I get from it.

  39. I always go for the warranty extension. I did that with my PS3 and it broke within the warranty time frame so all I did was send it back and they sent me a new one. The thing is, it could have broke for anything, and I could have been protected. I guess it makes me sleep easy. The second best thing that adds value to this is AMEX’s customer promises, they say what they mean and they mean what they say.

  40. I like the extended warranty. I have always declined it when offered by the retailer, knowing that the cost/benefit ratio was poor. Getting it “free” as a cardmember benefit is great.

  41. I love them all, but the stars are the ‘No More Shopping Regrets’ and ‘Extend Your Warranty’

  42. Extended warranty protection since so many things can go wrong with electronics in a short period of time.

  43. I definitely benefit from and appreciate the extended return option because I often change my mind on my purchases.

  44. I dropped my brand-new Macbook Pro at an airport a few days after purchase. Freaked out! Amex to the rescue – paid for repair (up to $1000), and because it was within 90 days, I didn’t even have to dig into my Squaretrade warranty. Also love the extended warranty protection. They are SO easy to work with!

  45. I like the extended warranty: I don’t have to purchase the retailer’s extended warranty plan, so I save money, but I still get extra protection.

  46. I prefer the 90-day purchase protection and extended warranty programs. Unfortunately, they don’t make ’em like they used to and this helps to protect our investment to get what we intend to purchase.

  47. I love the feature of having the extended warranty – using this card to give me added protection (without sticking me with the price tag of the manufacturers extended warranty) is a great, great benefit.

  48. The “extend your warranty” perk is great! If you buy an iPhone, you don’t have to worry about buying a warranty for the second year!

  49. I like the warranty extension especially for electronic products.. u never know when a product may stop working just after warranty has run out.

  50. Love the Warranty extension. I haven’t had to use it yet, but it’s nice to know I have it especially when I have to buy lawn and garden equipment that never holds up!

  51. Extended warranty (1 additional year) is a benefit that thankfully I have not had to use, but one that always makes me pull out my AMEX before other cards for electronics purchases.

  52. I like extended warranty. It is great when buying new laptop or consumer electronics. You know it will not have any issues in first year but will start having problem in year 3.

  53. The extended warranty is what I like the most–especially on electronics where they try and make you buy an extended warranty for a huge chunk of change, it’s awesome to have Amex’s automatic extended warranty and not have to worry about it (or shell out the extra cash!).

  54. Though I’ve never had to use it, the extended warranty option provides me the most peace of mind when buying expensive electronics.

  55. Extended warranty protection is extremely important since many things can go wrong with electronics given their complexity.

  56. I like the No More Shopping Regrets. I once bought a “shirt” online and it looked nothing like what was pictured and ended up being more of a dress! I regret that purchase but now that I know about the purchase protection I think I am going to return it w/ the purchase protection! Thanks!

  57. International travel! Its always a challenge and would love purchase protection on all the various items because some don’t even make it make to the US without falling apart.

  58. I like the ability to extend the warranty on products. Standard warranties seem to run out the week before the product breaks. I haven’t had to use it yet though and hope that I don’t have to. Thanks!

  59. The extended warranty is a great benefit. Often this would cost you quite a few extra bucks, so it’s nice to have the extended protection for free.

  60. In the past I was charged incorrectly for an item and the store refused to do anything about it or refund me my money. I filed a claim with american express saying the store would not take a return and got my refund that way. (Basically I was charged twice for the same item and amex processed it as a return on their end).

  61. For someone as indecisive as me, the No More Shopping Regrets protection is a great way to get some peace of mind about purchases that I make but am still not 100% behind.

  62. Extended warranty always wins hands down. It usually takes a full year to fully test electronics and the second year is when the parts start to show wear and tear.

  63. No more shopping regrets wins for me because I’m a huge impulsive buyer and it gives me the peace of mind to be okay with that knowing I can return it if I do get buyer’s remorse

  64. I used the warranty extension for my son’s laptop which crashed 2 weeks outside of the manufacturer’s warranty. The claim process went so smoothly and I promptly received a statement credit for the purchase price of the computer.

  65. I love the extended warranty. I never have to purchase the retailer’s extended warranty plan, but I still get extra protection.

  66. I like the 90 days protection and the no more shopping regrets… especially as I do more shopping on line.

  67. I always buy specific products on my Amex because of the extended warranty. I have terrible luck with electronics, and it’s nice to know that I am protected for an additional year.

  68. I’ve used the 90 days protection plan multiple times. Accidents happen to electronics – even when they’re new. Got me a new netbook when I intelligently decided to store it under the couch cushion and then plopped down on it.

  69. The fact that you can be reimbursed up to $300 per item is really nice. When I make a large purchase, I’m sometimes worried about the amount I might lose if I can’t return it. This definitely makes me less hesitant to buy items that are a bit more expensive.

  70. I love the warranty extension so I don’t have to pay the really high fees that stores charge for their own extended warranties.

  71. Warranty Extension for sure! I used it once and not only was the claim easy to file, the response was quick too! They refunded my purchase in no time. This is a very valuable benefit, especially for expensive electronics like laptops, TVs, and such, and is the exact reason I put all my big purchases on my AMEX.

  72. The No More Shopping Regrets feature is unique to American Express. Who wants to buy something and have it break or prove to be defective in 31 days? Who wants to discover that their purchase does not meet all their needs 10 weeks after purchse? This card feature lifts that cloud of regret or remorse and gives me peace and security with every purchase.

  73. I benefit from the No More Shopping Regrets. It seems that I buy something before an extended trip, realize it wasn’t what I actually needed, but get home a week after the return deadline has passed.

  74. Having extended warranty protection gives me peace of mind. With all of the expensive electronics I use I know my Amex will offer me protection in the event something goes wrong.

  75. I benefit from the 90 day protection for returns if the merchant won’t take it back, that’s awesome!

  76. I think the extended warranty would help me most. It seems like there are a lot of things I buy that are warranted for less than 5 years and then they break!

  77. The extended warranty is definitely the biggest reason I purchase with American Express. It helps that it is the only accepted card as Costco, where I make the majority of my electronics purchases. But outside of Costco as well, when making electronics purchases I steer towards the AMEX cards because I know they will give me that extra year, just in case.

  78. Warranty extension! I recently had an issue with a tv I bought for my son and really wish I had had it. Lesson learned. :-/

  79. I have never used any AMEX protection features and hope to never have to, but the extended warranty give me peace of mind

  80. I like the American Express Return Protection. I have used it when I purchased something online that was not what I expected and that I was not able to return to the retailer.

  81. I love the extended warranty available with my AMX card. It just seems that electronics are programmed to get buggy just after the warranty expires, and American Express Extended Warranty saves the day!

  82. Exgended warranty protection is a big asset to me. The security of an additional year of warranty coverage provides some peace of mind and extra financial support.

  83. The extended warranty is what does it for me . . . too many expensive electronic items are not without their problems, and too many of those manufacturers have short (1 yr. or less) warranties.

  84. The extended warranty is my most desired since we are a large family and can’t afford to have high ticket items going bad since we don’t have the extra money to just replace them. I also loved that American Express fully refunded my wife and I’s tickets to Hawaii when Aloha Airlines went out of business. We thought we had gotten amazing ticket prices – only to be hit with the news they were going bankrupt a few weeks later. American Express had AWESOME customer service! They took care of the issue quickly and without a hint of a problem. Thanks AE!!!

  85. The extended warranty is so important. A lot of stuff I purchase tends to have very limited warranties, so AMEX’s extended warranty gives me extra peace of mind!

  86. Love the 90 day hassle free return policy and extended warranty is a godsend specially if you’ve lived elsewhere in the world!

  87. The extended warranty option is the benefit that helps me the most. Often you need to pay extra money for warranty extensions on electronics, but with american express its often as if you get the same benefit for free!

  88. The warranty and protection are great when buying items that only a 30 day manufacturer warranty. My son plays high school hockey and hockey sticks are known to conveniently break right after the 30 days warranty is up. AMEX helped me get 2 sticks replaced with the protection their cards provice.

  89. I like the extended warranty as there is often no need to purchase the manufacturer or 3rd party extended warranty.

  90. I love the return protection and warranty protection from all of my Amex cards. I’ve used this benefit about 5 times over the past 8 years and I can’t complain. Great service, great benefits, and great value!

  91. Personally, the extended warranty appeals to me the most. It is a definite added value when purchasing a big ticket item.

  92. I like having the warranty protection. With today’s electronics, you never know when something will break.

  93. The shopping protection I benefit from the most is the extended warranty. It allows me to decline the stores overpriced warranty.

  94. I really like the Extend Your Warranty. It never fails that you buy a pricy item, and just after the warranty is up, the product no longer works, or breaks, or something. With an extended warranty, you have the piece of mind that if anything goes wrong, after the original warranty is up, your item is still protected.

  95. I use the AMEX card for the warranty protection, especially on electronics since the warranties there always seem too short. But I’ve actually used the 90 protection from an item being broken(which you don’t seem to mention – I haven’t used it in a couple of years. Is it still around?). Easy to use. Unfortunately, the item was no longer on sale. 🙁

  96. I like the return protection. I frequently buy stuff I don’t really want or need and did that I can’t return it later due to some draconian return policy or a misplace receipt.

  97. Extended warranty protection is fantastic for small electronics that are easily broken, or have meager 90-day warranties. It wasn’t detailed above, but purchase protection against theft has saved me several times the annual fee of my card, when I had a practically-brand-new camera stolen out of my pack.

  98. I like 90 days of protection. I buy so many things on the internet for convenience and internet merchants often have horrible return policies.

  99. I always pay with Amex for purchases of electronic items because of its extended warranty benefits~

  100. My favorite aspect of AMEX purchase protection is the $300 coverage. Often when I return an item, I have to pay the shipping. Over time, these charges add up so it would be nice to be able to recuperate some of the fees thru this policy. Thanks!

  101. I love the extended warranty benefit since many electronics only come with a one year warranty. You don’t usually need the warranty but once in a while early in the second year of a one year only warranty the device fails. Every bit helps!

  102. I love the extended warranty. Have used it a couple of times for electronics. Just bought my kids I touches and instead of AppleCare I can have extended warranty coverage for free from Amex!

  103. American Express Return Protection is especially valuable to me for those times when a merchant won’t accept a return. You just file a claim with Amex for a purchase you made with their card and get a check! Love it!

  104. I love the extended warranty protection offered by Amex! It is great knowing that I can receive up to an additional one year warranty on purchases – like appliances and electronics – that I charge to the card. I don’t have to pay the manufacturer extra to extend the warranty!

  105. The extended warranty is the most valuable feature to me. It allowed me to extend the warranty on my new refrigerator an extra year!!

  106. The best feature? By far the extended warranty protection that gives me up to an additional one year warranty on purchases charged to my AmEx card. I NEVER buy any manufacturer extended warranty, AND I get something even better: AmEx service! The Best!

  107. Extended warranty is a great benefit when purchasing with my AmEx, and especially useful on electronics items!

  108. I definitely value the return protection the most, I have had issues with troublesome retailers in the past and Amex has been there to save the day!!

  109. The 90 day purchase protection. Used it(twice) on new glasses my college aged son dropped and stepped on.

  110. definitely the warranty extension. great peace of mind knowing that 366 days later, I can still get that piece of technology fixed!

  111. WINNER of the $250 gift card is from Oakland, NJ and has been notified and replied back to me.

    This contest is done.

    Loyalty Traveler will have three more SPG American Express points giveaways (25,000 to 50,000 points?)in late October, November and the final giveaway in December.

Comments are closed.