Disclosure: If you sign up for ClubW using the link in this blog post I will receive a couple free bottles of wine for referring you. I’m a longstanding, happy customer of ClubW (15+ orders at the time of writing) so all opinions expressed below are my own.
The whole purpose of the points game is two fold: earn free travel, save money in the process. Part of the game is played by “pre-buying” things in bulk in an effort to quickly and efficiently meet your minimum spend requirement on your card. One of the fun side effects that I’ve covered in a previous post is that when you prepay things, they tend to get cheaper.
Let’s look at one really fun example of a service you can use to pre-pay spend, save money and even earn ADDITIONAL points in the process.
I’ve been a member of ClubW since July 2014. What lured me in the most about this wine club is that they would ask you several questions to get to know your palate, then recommend three wines for you to try. Each bottle is $13 and shipping for 3 (to 5) bottles is only $6.
Even rookie wine buyers know that you CAN find very fun, tasty wines in the $6-9 per bottle range and here we’re looking at paying $15 per bottle. For me, one of the biggest values comes from that ClubW stands by their product 100% and that means you can order any wine and, in the unlikely event you didn’t like it, can send them an email and they’ll give you a credit towards a replacement bottle. No questions asked! I chalked the additional ~$6 per bottle up to “wine insurance” and gave it a go.
My first unboxing was great. When they ship you the wine, they include a card for each wine that has a description of the bottle as well tasting notes and notes on what kind of food it pairs well with. Most impressively, on the back of these cards will typically be a recipe for a meal you can cook that will perfectly pair with the wine.
When you drink the wine, in addition to the cards with the tasting notes you can jump back onto their site or use the app to lookup the wine you purchased. On the page for that wine will have similar tasting notes and food pairings asd the card but more importantly you’ll find a video of a wine pro showing you the wine and telling you a TON of information about how the wine is made what makes it special, and how it should smell and taste. Some videos go on to give you examples of occasions that the wine is good for. These videos are ridiculously informative. I was recently at a super fancy restaurant and got into a lengthy conversation with the sommelier about the Chateauneuf du Pape he was serving us based on what I had learned from a ClubW video for a comparable wine they were selling. Needless to say, these videos are also super helpful when you’re looking to try new wines out of your comfort zone.
My first three wines were great, so much so, that to date I have ordered from ClubW 15+ more times since that first experience.
So let’s get to it: how can we use ClubW to get more free travel this year?
They recently unveiled a program where you can pre-pay bulk credits at a pretty substantial discount. The package I went for sold me $600 that I can apply to future wine purchases for only $480 – this essentially means I’m buying all of my wine at a minimum 20% off the $13 retail price. Why minimum discount? Once you find a wine you like on ClubW, they offer half-case and full case discounts of 10% and 20% respectively. I will most often find a wine I like from them and order half a case, instantly saving me another 10%.
The cost savings is only one of the perks of the pre-payment program. You’ll also receive 2 high end wine glasses, a monthly phone consultation with a sommelier about your wine tastes to get recommendations and you’ll never pay shipping again, even if you only order 3 bottles. Now, if you order 6+ bottles, since you’d be exempted from shipping anyway, you’ll get that $6 off your order for even more savings.
You’re dying to know – how does TrueBlue play into this? In addition to all the savings you get while working towards hitting your spend minimum, you will receive 1,000 TrueBlue points for every 24 bottles of wine you order. If you take advantage of their prepay program you’re essentially buying your bottles at $10.40 per bottle. This means that 24 bottles will cost you about $250. Essentially, in addition to massive savings on wine and being able to hit your spend minimum (while earning points on that card) you’ll be earning ~4 TrueBlue points per dollar!
Sign up for ClubW and you’ll get your first bottle free, a $13 value. You’ll still need to order 2 more bottles as part of your order and pay tax and shipping on the order.