Attending the American Express card member event at New York Fashion Week (and how you can win a $250 American Express gift card)

Full disclosure: This experience is in conjunction with the Starwood AmEx Stars program I’m participating in, courtesy of the Starwood American Express. They covered the cost of my flights to New York, my two night stay at the W New York Union Square, and tickets to the American Express card member event at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. That being said, all opinions expressed are my own.

Of all the “AmEx Stars” events, this one was definitely the most out of my comfort zone… at least in theory. My love for fashion can most closely be compared to my love of Spirit’s carry-on policy, or maybe even the Delta SkyMiles program.

But that’s part of what made this so cool. American Express hosted an event exclusively for their card members, featuring a runway show by fashion designer Rachel Zoe. Tickets were around $50-100 for card members depending on the types of seats, and a great opportunity to get a glimpse at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

It was held at the Lincoln Center, and started at 6:30PM with a cocktail reception.


Lincoln Center


Fashion Week building

This was by far the biggest of any of the American Express events I attended, with hundreds of card members in attendance. While it was an American Express event, it wasn’t limited to the Starwood card, which is probably why it was so much bigger. Despite the huge crowd the event was extremely well organized, starting with a cocktail reception.


Cocktail reception

After about a 45 minute cocktail reception we were directed to the room where the show would be taking place.


The Runway Show

Like I said earlier the event was hosted by Rachel Zoe, and she was joined by another fashion designer, Prabal Gurung. The event started with a 30 minute introduction and Q&A by them.


Rachel Zoe and Prabal Gurung

And next was the runway show, which lasted about 20 minutes. I guess I never really thought about how long runway shows last, but they’re pretty quick, which makes sense given just how many styles they can showcase in a short period of time.

Throughout the runway show the following music track was being played, which I really like:

I won’t even begin to describe the “trends” out of fear of humiliating myself, though there were a few common themes. All the trends seemed “classic,” and more than anything else I noticed just how skinny, tall, and serious the models looked. Yow!


Runway show


Runway show


Runway show

After dozens of ladies walked down the runway individually, they all walked down the runway for one final appearance.


All at once

This isn’t something I would have otherwise ever thought of attending since fashion isn’t really my thing, though it was utterly fascinating. Thanks to American Express for the opportunity to attend!

And as usual every time I get to attend one of these events, you guys have the chance to win something cool as well.

What we’re giving away:

The Starwood American Express is sponsoring a giveaway for a $250 American Express gift card

How to enter:

This contest will be run entirely through the comments section of this post. One of the areas where American Express is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, in my opinion, is with shopper protection. Simply leave a comment below letting me know what shopping protection you could benefit most from and why. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Whether shopping online or at your local mall, Amex Cardmembers can be covered for eligible purchases when they use their Card.
  • If you see a charge that you didn’t make – let Amex know, Cardmembers are not liable for fraudulent charges.
  • Extended Warranty can extend the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less.
  • Purchase Protection can protect eligible purchases made with an Amex Card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.  This is a great benefit – we’ve all had those moment when we’ve bought something that was broken or is stolen within days of buying it.
  • Do you ever have regrets about a new pair of shoes? With Return Protection you can  get a refund for eligible items purchased on  your Card that you’re not able to return back to the store (up to $300/item for up to 90 days from purchase)

You can comment once per calendar day (let’s define that as 12:00AM EDT till 11:59PM EDT), and the contest will run through 11:59PM EDT on Sunday, September 30.

Basic terms:

While I won’t post the full four pages of terms and conditions, the main requirement is that you have to be at least 18 years old to win. The winner will also have to complete a W9 (ARV of prize is $250). If anyone needs any clarification, feel free to email me.

Picking a winner:

A winner will be picked at random within a week of the end of the giveaway. Each eligible comment counts as one entry, so the more days you enter, the better your chances of winning.

Good luck!

Comments

  1. I’ve used the extended warranty a number of times. Once, my ink jet printer expired the day after the warranty 🙂 AmEx came through without hassle.

  2. I’ve had the extended warranty benefit help me in so many occasions, from electronic gear to photo gear. Saves a ton of money because additional service plans run quite expensive in store.

  3. The extended warranty puts my mind at ease! Thanks AmEx! It’s just another example of great product features that have made me a loyal AmEx client for more than 25 years!

  4. If you see a charge that you didn’t make – let Amex know, Cardmembers are not liable for fraudulent charges.
    Just used this last month.

  5. I dropped my iphone 4s about 15 days after purchasing it, shattering the screen. American express came through under their purchase protection insurance under their accidental damage clause. Received funds for a new iphone!

  6. I’d benefit most from the ‘Purchase Protection’ – protecting my eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days of purchase….I tend to purchase ‘NEW’ items for most every trip I’ve been take lately. Having the piece of mind of ‘Purchase Protection’ would definitely help. I had a new piece of luggage damaged on a recent trip and this would have been great to have.

  7. Extended warranty, especially on electronics. One tip, for apple products, if I buy their appelcare (extended warranty), then AMEX Extended warranty will add another year TO the extended warranty (because extended warranty is offered by the manufacturer of the equipment). The one time I used it, they offered to either repair or just refund the purchase price. Heck of a deal either way!

  8. Not being liable for fraudulent charges is a major benefit. I recently had a card number stolen, where covering fraudulent charges came very much in handy.

  9. I’m a bit confused if the above are existing shopper protections Amex offers, or if we are supposed to pick one which we’d wish Amex offered.. but

    the return protection is awesome!

    also, one feature I really like with some of my other cards is online virtual numbers! It definitely makes me feel safer about purchasing things online.

  10. not liable for fraudulent charges; I am guessing that it is so much easier than having to deal w/ fraudulent charges made to a bank debit account.

  11. While I rarely pay for extended warranty, it’s always nice to get a free extended warranty with my AMEX card!

  12. the extended warranty is beyond fantastic. I’ve used it twice before with no issues – on a laptop that just broke out of nowhere a few weeks after the warranty was up (always how it works, aint it?) and a phone. so great to have.

  13. Saved me many hours on the phone when a Hawaii luau double charged me for their event. Amex took care of it without hassle.

  14. I benefit the most from the Extended Warranty feature which can extend the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less. Thanks.

  15. I almost made use of the “oopsie” protection a few years ago. A new digital camera slipped out of the box and was heading for the concrete below but somehow I caught it while it was on its way. Was glad I used Amex to buy it just in case!

  16. Definitely fraud protection. Now that I shop online so often, my card #s have been compromised a couple times. Amex has been great in response!

  17. Not a unique benefit by any means, but since I’ve had two cards compromised by fraud in the last few months, not being held liable for fraudulent purchases is a great benefit for me!

  18. I always like the extra warranty protection American Express offers. I know it has saved my rear a few times over the last decade of card membership.

  19. Extended Warranty can extend the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less.

  20. Extended warranty is amazing with American Express. I had a quick and painless experience years back with an MP3 Player that I had bought with an Amex.

    I recently had a very unpleasant experience going through VISA’s warranty protection. At least 3 attempts were made by them to deny the claim and every one of their rejection letters required me to call them and tell them why their reasoning to deny the claim was incorrect. Finally they made me mail the thing back and they gave me the $50 cheque.

    Amex, your customer service is unparalleled. I will always buy my large items using an Amex.

  21. I love the extended warranty protection, up to 1 year extra. it is easy to file a claim & the reps are very helpful.

  22. Fraud protection and getting replacement card expedited! Stolen on Saturday and new one on Tuesday! Thanks Amex!

  23. I enjoy the Purchase Protection feature. It seems retailers want you to deal with the manufacturers these days instead of returning an item to the store. This is just one more route to go if all goes wrong.

  24. Having experienced first hand the warranty claims associated with Amex, I can say their handling of my claim was unparalleled in both speed and reimbursement! Great feature from Amex!

  25. Purchase Protection – I used this benefit when I first got my Plat card and was out in NYC…I left my new jacket on a couch while out and turned around and it was gone. Luckily I had recently purchased it and Amex fully refunded me with no questions asked. Totally paid the annual fee multiple times over. Love Amex!

  26. If you see a charge that you didn’t make – let Amex know, Cardmembers are not liable for fraudulent charges.

  27. I really like the fraud protection. It is nice to know I don’t need to be covered by another company to have this.

  28. I can use my card and return a product after I bought it even if the store does not allow me to do so. So good! $300/item is fine for me 🙂

  29. I know about and have used many of these great benefits, but wasn’t aware of this return protection and funny enough, It’s likely I might need it for shoe purchases- as in your example! Shoe purchases are always the toughest, especially if you have problem feet and are on the road a good deal of the time! Pardon the pun, but I could’t resist: hope I’m a shoe in as a winner! 🙂

  30. Purchase Protection can protect eligible purchases made with an Amex Card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.  This is a great benefit – we’ve all had those moment when we’ve bought something that was broken or is stolen within days of buying it.

  31. Extended warranty. It allows for things to break outside of the time that manufacturers plan their warranty for and still get it fixed!

  32. the fraud protection gives me peace of mind & I did not realize you could return a non returnable item for up to 90 days, thats a great feature

  33. Love the different protections AmEx offers, especially the—-Return Protection. Sometimes shoes just don’t feel good after a few days of use. Return Protection gives me peace of mind……!

  34. Being safe against fraudulent charges is one of the main reason I love Amex. Others say they offer this benefit, but Amex ensures I don’t have to worry about someone using my number without knowledge.

  35. I have to say that my favorite “purchase” protection is through their return policy. Even after a debacle with a DOA item, I ran into a store that would not accept the laptop back. Amex to the rescue!

  36. I think the best thing is purchase protection. You can be rest assure that you get your money back if the store is not allowing you to return.

  37. The Extended Warranty protection is excellent because it applies to products purchased anywhere in the world with the Amex Card, provided the manufacturer’s warranty is valid in the U.S. and Canada.

  38. I can benefit most from : “If you see a charge that you didn’t make – let Amex know, Cardmembers are not liable for fraudulent charges.” Not only is this a solid protection in case of fraud, it also gives me piece of mind even if fraud is not happening. It lets me know that Amex has me covered, no matter what.

  39. I would benefit from ‘Purchase Protection’ – I sometimes break things, accidentally or course after recently purchasing them. The accidental coverage from ‘Purchase Protection’ would cover it 100%.

  40. Purchase Protection! You never know who or when someone will steal your credit card information and make purchases

  41. I like the purchase protection because I have had to use this benefit twice when things have been stolen from me 🙂

  42. Purchase Protection is a HUGE plus. I’m a klutz; so this is actually protection from myself. This is message #2 but I still think this is the best benefit.

  43. I like the extended warranty protection. My husband always likes to buy the extended warranty option, so this is a great money saver.

  44. Return protection is outstanding. I once needed to use it and American Express makes it so simple that I was actually shocked.

  45. Extended warranty protection. My husband always likes to buy the extended warranty option, so this is a great money saver.

  46. I would benefit from ‘Purchase Protection’ – especially when traveling. Knock on wood, I’ve never had anything stolen, but this would be a great benefit if it happened while on vacation.

  47. I could benefit from ‘Return Protection’ – while I rarely return items I purchase, this would be a great feature when I have buyers remorse.

  48. The extended warranty protection is great for my family. My husband always likes to buy the extended warranty option, so this is a great money saver.

  49. I love that cardmembers are not liable for fraudulent charges! That’s happened to me before and it was a pain to get taken care of.

  50. As someone who’s had her (late daughter’s) identity stolen and purchases made, I feel reassured by American Express’ fraudulent charge protection. That is something that is such a violation as an ethical person…to know someone has your back is priceless.

  51. With Return Protection you can get a refund for eligible items purchased on your Card that you’re not able to return back to the store (up to $300/item for up to 90 days from purchase).

  52. I like the fact that I am not responsible for fraudulent charges. If for some reason I lose the card and not realize it, no worries.

  53. The benefit I would like most for AMEX cardholders is the accidental damage protection good for 90 days. Most store returns are only good for 30 days so this would offer much more protection especially for electronics and big ticket items.

  54. purchase protection – managed to destroy 2 new pacifiers for my daughter (burned them up while boiling them) tonight. Glad I can file to get reimbursed for them!

  55. I love the purchase protection that Amex offers. I’ve been a card ember since 1984 when I was in the first grade, (sure)!

  56. I need purchase protection! One time I didn’t even get out the door of Crate and Barrel when I smashed the glass candel holder I had just purchased. Klutz-R-Me!

  57. I like the extended warranty because I do not have to purchase on overpriced warranty for small electronics.

  58. I’d benefit from ‘Purchase Protection’, I never know when I might damaged something after I get it home from the store.

  59. The speed and efficiency with which they process complaints regarding unauthorized charges – much better than the competition, in my experience.

  60. Extended Warranty can extend the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less.

  61. The Purchase Protection would be the best benefit for me, especially given my tendency to leave things in airports!

  62. #1 is extended Warranty #2 purchase protection #3. Protection against fraudulent charges. this is the best card to have ever!

  63. Purchase protection for sure.

    Fortunately I haven’t had to use it yet but good to know its there if I need it!

    Cheers

  64. Love to get the call that questions and puts a hold on that strange purchase from India or Russia or Nigeria. Fraud protection is the best!

  65. this is good. With Return Protection you can get a refund for eligible items purchased on your Card that you’re not able to return back to the store (up to $300/item for up to 90 days from purchase)

  66. Without a doubt Return Protection is one of the most useful things to have especially if shopping online or trying to take advantage of a point per dollar offer. If the merchant wants to renege on the terms you don’t end up with a ton of gear you don’t want.

  67. Extended warranty rocks! My laptop bit the dust 4 days after warranty ran out. Thank goodness I bought it with my American Express. We buy all our electronics on American Express!

  68. Fraud protection – saved us from the over $5000 in charges when someone intercepted (stole) the new card sent in the mail. Great relief!

  69. I love how Amex will alert you if it looks like a charge might be fraudulent – and better still they don’t hold you liable if the charge is fraudulent

  70. I love that a unique and hard to come by experience was offered to card members. I hope to hear about more in the future!

  71. As indecisive as I am, return protection is actually a benefit that I could see coming in handy quite a bit for me.

  72. I wish I had my Amex when my brand new iPhone 4s got washed only 2 weeks after I bought it. Now I put all my major purchases on my Amex just in case.

  73. The extended warranty is awesome. With it, I can confidently tell the Best Buy clerk to take a hike while checking out and he tries to sell me the BB extended plan.

  74. Being on the road constantly means that my gear gets put through a lot. I love the extended warranty protection and the accident coverage that I get from my Amex cards.

  75. The worry-free/liberal return and satisfaction of product part. Sometimes it’s needed, but often times not. Having this policy means alot.

  76. I tend to do as much shopping as possible through the Ultimate Rewards mall, and the return protection is great for products that show up looking a little less exciting than they did at purchase!

  77. The Return Protection would be great for me, since I’m the one who does all the shopping for my family, and sometimes I need to return things when people are not happy with my choices. 🙂

  78. I’ve never tried the extended warranty or purchase protection yet but the fraudulent charges has been easily taken care of…

  79. Extended Warranty can extend the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less.

  80. I bought a mtn. bike with my AMEX. It was in my garage, right next to my car. I was late for work one day and pulled out of my garage quickly, not noticing that my bike had fallen behind my car. I ran right over it-less than 24 hours after purchasing it! AMEX covered it and I got a replacement bike the next week! That was in 1997-still have that same AMEX account .This is an awesome benefit!

  81. I love that I’m not liable for fraudulent charges. I had to take advantage of this feature on my AMEX this year

  82. Always nice to know that I’m protected from sketchy charges–as cardmembers are not liable for fraudulent charges

  83. In 2010 i had bought a brand new MacBook Air then that weekend went to college and spolled a glass of water on it- but it still worked, till that night when it dird. AmEx got me back up and running in a matter of days and i refuse to lets my good friends use Visa or MasterCard ever since

  84. I like that AMEX tells you exactly where your purchase took place and what it was that you bought. Some credit cards are very vague on there online information where you don’t know what the merchant is or what you may have purchased. AMEX on the other hand tells you pretty much where & what you may have bought.

  85. AMEX always covers you if a merchant may have charged you the wrong price or overcharged you for something.

  86. Purchase warranty is my favorite benefit of the Amex cards. I was able to get an iPod replaced after it was stolen.

  87. Buyer Protection! I once used it when I bought a 8′ tall wooden giraffe in Cape Town, SA. I had to negotiate the credit card fees (compared to paying cash) but it was worth it knowing I had piece of mind that if I didn’t get it delivered, I wouldn’t have to pay for it.

  88. Return protection is always great when you have buyer’s remorse. When you return to the store only hours later, the employee swears they told you at the checkout counter about their no return policy, even though they never did.

  89. I’ve used the extended warranty several times, it is an extremely useful “peace of mind” guarantee. I trust amex more than most companies anyways.

  90. love knowing that I can call Amex if a bogus charge appears on my account and they take care of it with no hassle.

  91. I could benefit most from the extended warranty. It saves you a lot of money because Retailers generally charge a lot for a less comparable warranty

  92. I love the Extended Warranty… although I still have extremely fond memories of busting a brand new bicycle on Day 88 and AmEx taking care of everything, no hassles.

  93. I like the return protection benefit, since most merchants’ policies are limited to 30 days. Sometimes one needs more than that to evaluate a product, so this is a great benefit!

  94. I like the desert purchase protection where Amex sends me a text after I finish my entree at a restaurant reminding me I’m on a diet.

  95. Do you ever have regrets about a new pair of shoes? With Return Protection you can get a refund for eligible items purchased on your Card that you’re not able to return back to the store (up to $300/item for up to 90 days from purchase)

    No other Cards have this protection but AMEX, very creative!

  96. I could benefit from the ‘Extended Warranty’ – shopping protection – extending the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less. This has worked for me more than once when purchasing a laptop after I had issues with it just after the original manufacturer’s warranty was up after one year.

  97. Purchase protection (90 days) is a blessing for those items that might initially seem to work but don’t. Amex, save me from wasting my $100 on Toni Richard shorts that pucker in all the _wrong_ places!

  98. Purchase Protection – I ordered something that was stolen off my front porch after delivery, and it covered that loss, no problems!

  99. Purchase Protection against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. I have had to replace more than a few cell phones that came up missing or were accidentally damaged within 90 days of purchase.

  100. Return Protection – it takes the stress out of making instant decisions and lets me work out what something looks like with my other things, with no risk.

  101. Extended Warranty can extend the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year, on warranties of 5 years or less. I love that feature most of all.

  102. i like the extended warranty and fraud protection, although the latter is pretty standard with cards these days! I’d like to see more cards offer built in travel delay insurance and similar type benefits for frequent travelers!

  103. Purchase protection and fraud protection, have used both in the past year and they are the reason why I continue to stay true to AMEX.

  104. I also enjoy the fraud protection from Amex since if you see a charge that you did not make, contact Amex Customer Service, and that problem would be taken care of. Thanks.

  105. While I love the return protection, the benefit that I think is the most valuable is the extended warranty. Amex came through for me last year when my new TV stopped working 3weeks after the 1 year warranty ended. TV repaired within a short time, and I was happy again!

  106. The extende dwarrant is my pick. I don’t have to buy the store’s purchase protection program, so I save money.

  107. I like most the Purchase Protection can protect eligible purchases made with an AMEX Card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. Use my card specifically for many purchases for this benefit.

  108. I consider Return Protection where I can get a refund for eligible items purchased on your Card that I am not able to return back to the store. Several times I have been in this situation and this benefit has come though for me.

  109. Purchase Protection is absolutely the most vital to protect eligible purchases made with an Amex Card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. This is a great benefit – we’ve all had those moment when we’ve bought something that was broken or is stolen within days of buying it.

  110. Recently we put IRS taxes on our Delta Amex Reserve card, and we thought the charge did not go through. So my husband did it again. Of course the charge did go through and we were panicked as to how we were going to get back this huge sum of money from the IRS. No problem with American Express. They immediately credited our account and handled everything for us.

  111. Purchase protection for online purchases! I usually lose things before I can make use of the extended warranty! LOL.

  112. Amex is amazing when dealing with potential fraudulent charges. Although it is a multistep procedure, you are informed throughout the entire process.

  113. With little kids int he house, the Purchase Protection is genius! I love that.

    soluckyducky at gmail dot com

  114. Purchase Protection! Cracked screen on #Samsung Galaxy S3 after 5 days. Insurance wanted $150 deductible @AMEX covered it in full. #thebest

  115. I worry a out fraud since I had that happen to me before (and the thieves used the card at a Christian bookstore)so that assurance means a lot to me.

  116. The extended warranty is very useful! I had things the broke days after the 1 year manufacture warranty expires.

  117. i found my amex skymile card was charged $39.99 last month without my knowledge. i filed a dispute online and amex website asked me to call the merchant. i hated to spend time and argue with any merchant, so i ignored the request. (I thought i may have to call later if i can’t avoid it.) after a few days, amex website credited $39.99 back to my account. i am so glad because it saved my time. in the past, i filed such disputes at citicards.com. citcards usually gave my money back but they asked me to do a lot of things — fill in form, fax or mail, explanation in detail, so on and so forth. so, i find amex card is more favorable!

  118. i almost always purchase extended warrenty when i purchase big items with either amex card or visa.master cards. however, it is seldom useful because expensive items usually run well beyond the warrenty. but i still buy it for safety sake. any comments or advice?

  119. The protection is awesome to have when I leave something on an airplane after buying and don’t get it back (like a camera I left on a Lufthansa flight last year).

  120. PS- I just posted my previous comment and it showed a time of 9:49pm. It’s actually 11:49pm EST. Weird.

  121. Although other card companies may have purchase protection, I think AmEx continues to shine with its exceptional customer service and this service. Many of ny receipts and goods are lost or damaged in days and purchase protection can really come in handy for me.
    B.Positive

  122. I would say that definitely is the purchase protection because it frees my mind of problems during shipping and handling process.

  123. Car rental insurance! For $24.95 per rental, I can avoid paying the car rental usurious rates.

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