By Diet Immarie Salazar
To suit their lifestyle, travelers and luxury lovers seek fun-filled moments that are worth remembering. But often it takes so much trouble you would rather forget to make memorable moments possible. Credit cards make it a lot easier and more convenient, even hassle-free.
Now even the search for that memorable moment—purchasing airline tickets, booking a hotel room, ordering a meal—has become a luxury that comes with rewards. For a grander experience, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Visa Signature Card is the perfect credit card. It offers privileges such as travel benefits, global access, and exclusive benefits.
Travelers can enjoy BPI Signature’s rewards such as lounge access, and special rates on various foreign exchange currencies. There is also the BPI myVoyage that lets globetrotters book flights, hotels, and car or limo services using the points earned.
“If you’re traveling with a Visa Signature card and you want an exchange of currency, you just go to any BPI branch and you get the preferential rate of a private banking client,” explains Jenny Lacerna, vice president of BPI Credit Cards.
Cardholders are also entitled to special discounts from high-end hotels, dining privileges, and premium rewards from points earned. Until Jan. 31, 2019, premium clients can enjoy a luxury five-star experience at Fairmont Makati at a discounted price.
Last week, I had one of the best hotel experiences in my life at Fairmont. Lunch at Mirèio was prepared personally by the Provence-raised chef de cuisine Hervé Clair. With his culinary expertise in French cuisine, he created a menu offering fine choices for the three-course meal. While waiting for our choice of meals, we helped ourselves to a platter of sliced cheese and berries. It was an authentic Provençal gastronomic experience, especially when I had the blue tuna fin tartar and zucchini cannelloni, beef sirloin with Béarnaise sauce, and mint ice cream on top of a cream tart as the BPI Signature surprise dessert.
Upon entering the famed Gold Room, fully sated after the delicious lunch, the Stearns and Foster bed welcomed me with its heavenly mattress and soft pillows. Aside from the separate shower area inside the marble bathroom, you can relax in a warm bath with a metal bathtub caddy to hold that book that you’ve been meaning to read. You can also finish your work efficiently with the executive desk near the floor-to-ceiling windows and fast internet cable connection and Wi-Fi for a convenient working space.
In the Willow Stream Spa, I had a revitalizing Executive Recharge massage together with a 30-minute facial treatment. I walked out of the spa feeling pampered and refreshed, relieved from all the stress, and giving off an aroma of luxury.
Gold Room guests have exclusive access to the Gold Lounge, conveniently placed on the same floor as their rooms, where complimentary snacks and drinks are offered as long as the lounge is open. Cocktails are served from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, and a buffet is spread out for breakfast as part of the package.
This Fairmont experience is just a glimpse of what the BPI Visa Signature Card has to offer. Besides discounts on other hotel accommodations and restaurants such as Nobu Hotel, Nikkei Restaurant, and City of Dreams, 90,000 points can be redeemed for free flights to Hong Kong or for a shopping credit of about R14,000 to R15,000.
“When you apply for the card, we’ll give you 90,000 points for a three-month period if you’re able to use the card in the amount of R300,000 within three months. So that’s just about R100,000 spend per month,” says Jenny.
But unlike other cards where you get one point for every R35 spent, product management head Rowina Caraso adds, “the BPI Visa Signature Card has the lowest spend required at only R20 to get one point.”