I’m hoping all readers are having a lovely Thanksgiving and holiday weekend! Yesterday I spent Turkey Day with Mr. Points Traveler and his family. One of the perks of having an extremely diverse family is having all kinds of food at your fingertips – aside from a traditional turkey dinner, we also had loads of yummy Filipino dishes, sushi on demand (yes, we have a sushi chef in the family!), and some Italian and Polish specialties. I think I am still recovering from my food coma. Hopefully everyone else got to enjoy some delicious meals and joyful times with their loved ones as well.
What I love most about Thanksgiving weekend is Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and now we have Orange Wednesday – what’s that about?) because I get the same rush from scoring amazing deals on gifts as I do from all things points and miles – love that feeling!
What’s depressing though, is hearing the stories about the violence and death that occurs over deals – especially at Walmart. On our way home last night we drove by a huge commotion that included firetrucks and police cars; you would think we were driving by a multi-car pile-up catastrophe, but nope – just traffic being directed into the infamous Walmart parking lot – jeez.
I tried to stay up until midnight last night to get in on some deals the second they were released, but I stood no chance with the amount of food I consumed – it was lights out before 9 pm for me.
I did, however, wake up bright and early, roll over, and tell Mr. Points Traveler to rise and shine – it’s mall time! I had a loaded AmEx (with sync offers), and I was ready to shop. Plus, I needed an excuse to check out one of the only two Chase/United VIP mall lounges in America this holiday season (I also wanted to try one of those hyped-up Cake Boss cupcakes).
Mr. Points Traveler and I headed to the Short Hills Mall in NJ at around 930 am. To our surprise, there was NO traffic and the mall wasn’t the slightest bit overwhelming. Here’s how I made out:
First things first – I had an AmEx offer for $50 off a $200 in-store purchase at Henri Bendel that was set to expire tomorrow. I was feeling like it was time to treat myself to a new purse, and with the 40% off sale that was going on in store, this would be perfect. I ended up going with a really nice deep teal purse with a $378 price tag on it. After the 40% off discount, it came to $226.80. I also got a free Henri Bendel mug and a $20 gift card for making the purchase. After I used my synced AmEx, I received notification that I would be getting a $50 statement credit in a few days – total price: $176.80. Here it is:
Next, I headed to White House Black Market where I also had an AmEx sync offer for $50 back on a $200 or more purchase. The entire store was 30% off and I had no problem getting a few new dresses and sweaters at great prices. I was planning on heading to Neiman Marcus to also take advantage of their $50 back on $200 AmEx sync promo as well, but I had stopped myself because it really isn’t a store within my budget.
After spending time shopping, it was time to check out the Chase/United VIP Lounge. The lounge is available for all United co-branded credit card holders + one guest (photo id required). Inside, there are large big screen TVs, lounging chairs, free wifi, phone charging stations, a complimentary coat check, free holiday gift wrapping, and refreshments.
Since it was Friday, they were featuring desserts and cupcakes from Carlo’s Bakery aka Cake Boss (so Jersey) so it was a madhouse in there (that, and because it was Black Friday). I had high hopes for these cupcakes, and while they were pretty, it could have fooled me that it didn’t come prepackaged from Walmart, to be honest. I still appreciated the complimentary refreshments (the bottled waters and hot beverages are always nice).
Speaking of United… and lounges, I have two United Club Passes that I want to extend to a reader so that you can experience a United Club lounge during your next trip to the airport. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment – share how you spent your Thanksgiving (or Black Friday if deals excite you as well) and why you could use the passes. I’ll choose a winner at random on Monday morning.
Safe and Happy Holidays to all!