As the winter wind whips through the city streets, travelers dream of spa retreats, warm sunny beaches and exotic distant lands. That’s why American Express will heat things up this February when it reveals some of the top travel packages of 2008 and asks Cardmembers – how much do you want to pay for these dream vacations? From February 4 -14, American Express(R) Cardmembers can have the opportunity to stop dreaming and start buying at the Going Once website (http://www.amexnetwork.com/goingonce). One unbelievable new destination will be posted each day – and once the travel package goes on sale at noon, the price drops every twenty minutes until 8:00 pm ET or until the package sells out, whichever comes first. The site will also feature a limited amount of nine fixed price packages under $2,500 and more than 70 exclusive, premium travel offers. Last year, Cardmembers experienced an average savings of 32% (over retail prices) on packages purchased through the Going Once website.
“Our goal with Going Once is to provide Cardmembers with the vacation destinations they most desire at amazing prices — whether it’s exploring the Alaskan wilderness or touring the vineyards of Tuscany,” said Luke Gebb, vice president, Network and Merchant Marketing, American Express Merchant Services. “This year, through extensive research we determined the most sought-after vacation destinations and worked with our valued merchants to create exclusive vacation packages for Cardmembers — in the formats and prices that are right for them.”
With Going Once, Cardmembers have the opportunity to choose from top vacation destinations, each offered in a full travel package with varying quantities, ranging from 10 to 30. Cardmembers can keep track of the quantities remaining as the prices drop to ensure they snag the package they want before it’s gone. The following nine declining price packages include some of the top destinations of 2008, according to American Express’ recent research and insights(i):
— Cabo San Lucas (Package provided by Ultimate Resort Luxury Destination Clubs)
— This seven-night trip for six people in a private luxury villa (normally only available for club member use) includes a pool, hot tub and chef’s kitchen, concierge services such as pre-stocking requested groceries and a $600 dinner. Package also includes round- trip, coach-class airfare for six people from anywhere in the U.S. and a rental car (mini-van or SUV standard vehicle) for the duration of the trip.
— On sale: February 4th
— Price starts at: $15,000
— Tuscany (Package provided by American Express Vacations)
— Six nights at the Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort, a wellness hotel located at the foot of Saturnia in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma region, includes original spring-fed thermal baths, rebalancing massages, tours of the Tuscan countryside and select four-course meals. Package also includes round-trip, coach-class airfare for two people from New York/JFK International Airport, Miami International Airport, Chicago/O’Hare International Airport or the Los Angeles International Airport.
— On sale: February 5th
— Price starts at: $9,000
— Alaskan Expedition (Package provided by Lindblad Expeditions)
— Eight days on this Alaskan cruise includes exploring Glacier Bay, meandering the icebergs of Tracy Arm and searching for whales by kayak near Point Adolphus. Package also includes round-trip, economy-class airfare for two people from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
— On sale: February 6th
— Price starts at: $12,480
— Tanzania (Package provided by American Express Vacations)
— This seven-night African adventure includes daily game drives, full board and lodging at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, the Grumeti River Camp, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and a tree house at the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Package also includes round-trip, economy-class airfare for two people from New York/JFK International Airport to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
— On sale: February 7th
— Price starts at: $18,590
— Croatia (Package provided by Abercrombie & Kent)
— This five-night stay at the Le Meridien Lav Hotel and Villa Argentina in Dubrovnik includes a tour of Dubrovnik’s UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, a full day visit to Montenegro and a walk through Diocletian’s Palace. Package also includes round-trip, economy-class airfare for two from New York/JFK International Airport.
— On sale: February 8th
— Price starts at: $13,570
— Polynesia (Package provided by Abercrombie & Kent)
— A 14-night trip in the Polynesian Islands includes two nights at the Radisson Plaza Resort in Papeete, Tahiti and a 12-day cruise aboard the Clipper Odyssey with snorkeling amidst the barrier reef of Bora Bora, exploring volcanic caverns and relaxing on the sun drenched beaches of Mataiva. Package also includes round-trip ground transportation.
— On sale: February 11th
— Price starts at: $18,790
— Greece and Turkey (Package provided by Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
— This nine-night European trip includes a seven-night cruise aboard Seven Seas Voyager between the destinations of Istanbul and Athens as well as a half-day tour of Istanbul and a two-night pre or post cruise stay at the Four Seasons Hotel. Package also includes round- trip, economy-class airfare for two people from 86 U.S. cities.
— On sale: February 12th
— Price starts at: $13,240
— Buenos Aires (Package provided by American Express Vacations)
— A six-night trip to Buenos Aires includes accommodations in an executive suite at the Hotel Pan Americano, jet-lag recovery massages, private guided tours, horse shows performed by local gauchos and tango entertainment. Package also includes round-trip, coach-class airfare for two people from any American Airlines (codeshare gateways excluded) U.S. gateway in the lower 48 states.
— On sale: February 13th
— Price starts at: $6,713
— Hawaii (Package provided by American Express Vacations)
— Eight nights in the Grand Hyatt, includes access to lagoons for kayaking, championship golf or tennis grounds and a unique tubing adventure through an old sugarcane plantation. Price also includes round-trip, economy-class airfare for two people from New York/JFK International Airport, Chicago/O’Hare and Los Angeles International Airports.
— On sale: February 14th
— Price starts: $7,100
American Express Cardmembers can also take advantage of nine different vacation packages offered at special reduced fixed rates, averaging a 29 percent savings off retail prices, including a vacation at the Hotel Du Louvre in Paris, an all-inclusive stay at a hideaway in Costa Rica and a vacation at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. Additional premium travel offers include vacations in the Mexican Riviera, Napa Valley, Aruba, Prague and more. Many of these packages are “land-only” (car and hotel), offering additional flexibility for Cardmembers who may want to book flights through a rewards points program (if applicable) or on a preferred airline. All of the offers on Going Once provide the value of last minute deals but with flexibility in travel timeframes-typically six to 12 months.
“Travelers are becoming more discerning in their travel tastes and luxury vacations are not just for the wealthy anymore — consumers want vacations to their dream destinations at the right price for them,” said Rudy Maxa, host and co-executive producer of 65 public television episodes on travel to Europe and the Pacific Rim. “American Express’ Going Once offers exclusive, unique vacation packages to the current hot destinations, while at the same time providing great deals.”
Additional information on all of the travel packages is available at Going Once for Cardmembers to preview. One declining-price package and one fixed- price package will be offered each weekday beginning at 12:00 pm ET from February 4 to February 14, 2008.
The promotion takes place at http://www.amexnetwork.com/goingonce and is open to all U.S. consumers with a U.S. American Express-branded Cards(ii).
About American Express
Merchant Services is the merchant network of American Express, which acquires and maintains relationships with millions of merchants around the globe, which welcome American Express-branded Cards. American Express Company is a leading global payments, network, travel and banking company founded in 1850.
(i) American Express looked at its own proprietary data on where Cardmembers are traveling and took into account the opinions of travel experts as well as a wide range of industry publications’ “hot lists.” American Express then assigned values to each of these lists and created a formula to determine what they consider the top destinations for 2008.
(ii) There are 3 components to the Going Once Travel Promotion: Premium Travel Offers, Declining Price travel packages and Fixed Price travel packages. To participate in the Going Once Travel Promotion, you must be 18 or older, a resident of the United States and a holder of a U.S. American Express(R) Credit or Charge Card. Declining Price travel packages go on sale beginning February 4, 2008, and end February 14, 2008. Each weekday, one Declining Price travel package will go on sale at 12:00pm ET, and prices will decline by random amounts at 20-minute intervals until 8:00pm ET or while supplies last. Each weekday, Fixed Price travel packages will also be available for purchase while supplies last until February 14, 2008. There are 9 Declining Price travel packages and 9 Fixed Price travel packages. Travel offers valid January 21, 2008 to February 29, 2008. Destinations are subject to change. See amexnetwork.com/ (Issuer URL) to learn more. Payment must be made on any American Express Card. All sales are final. Void where prohibited. Restrictions apply. Offers are subject to full terms and conditions available on amexnetwork.com/goterms. In order to redeem rewards your Card must be enrolled in the rewards program associated with your Card at the time of charge. Individual terms and conditions apply. See your program agreement for details.