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Here’s How To Enjoy A Fine Meal With Wine At A Special Rate

With so many restaurants, old and new, crowding the dining scene these days, it’s hard to know how to choose the best restaurant, and make sure you’re not overspending for a meal that may not be up to par. As a result, discerning diners are starting to get fairly savvy about how they spend their hard-earned cash. They love to eat out, and can certainly afford the finer things in life, but if they can enjoy an excellent meal with a good bottle of wine at less than full cost, then that makes the experience even better.

Enter the world of loyalty rewards programs, online discount coupons, club memberships, and such that tout great offers at select hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Many companies (e.g. banks, mobile carriers, airlines, etc.) give loyalty points that can be redeemed for discounted meals or hotel stays. The problem with such programs is the extra, and sometimes unwieldy, step of redeeming those points, which sometimes takes weeks to process.

Popular websites such as Groupon and Deal Grocer offer discounts on restaurants which you can buy in advance. But this requires extra planning and can’t accommodate those spur-of-the-moment decisions to eat out. You can also join hotel or resort memberships that offer significant savings, but these are limited to the restaurants within their properties.

 

(L-R) Visa Head of Products for Indonesia and the Philippines, Shabab Muhaddes; Chef Jessie Sincioco; and Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam, Stuart Tomlinson

 

One such program that has encountered continued success is Visa Epic Experiences, now on its fifth edition. With over 60 hotels and restaurants to choose from, Visa cardholders can simply visit the establishment, present their Visa credit or debit card, and avail of the special offer on the spot.

 

Brochette of Chicken Cordon Bleu with lemon butter sauce

 

That was the story at the program’s press launch recently held at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club where Chef Jessie Sincioco prepared a lavish French-inspired Chef’s Table. After enjoying slices of cochinillo carved on the spot and Smoked Milkfish with Bihod Pie (her localized version of a caviar pie), guests sat down for a classic French meal of Onion Soup, Chicken Cordon Bleu, U.S. Black Angus Beef in Café de Paris, and Demitasse Soufflé in vanilla or chocolate, paired with premium French wines, of course. The meal showcased the kind of dining experience that Visa cardholders can expect from Chef Jessie’s restaurants, which include Chef Jessie Grill at The Grove and Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie, which are all participating merchants in the program.

 

Roast U.S. Black Angus Beef in Café de Paris with romaine salad

 

During the launch, Stuart Tomlinson, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam, shared, “Filipinos love to travel and dine and that is proven from our data where we see almost half of all Filipino cardholders spend on these categories.” According to Visa research (from Q1 2018), Filipino cardholders use up to 20% of their total spend on dining out, with an average ticket size of P2,200.

 

Demitasse Chocolate Soufflé with crème anglaise

 

Other participating restaurants in the program include Argentinean steak restaurant, La Cabrera where you get 20% off when ordering an 800-gram steak, plus a complimentary bottle of wine with a minimum spend of P6,000. At Flame in Discovery Primea, for a dinner tasting menu for four, you get to pay for only three diners. At Pablo Bistro, steaks and paellas are 20% off, while at Paul Boulangerie, for a minimum spend of P1,000, you get 20% off. Provincial restaurants in Cebu and Tagaytay are also included in the program.

Hotels and resorts offer significant savings as well, like 60% off the published room rate at Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan, with discounts on dining and spa services thrown in. Other participating resorts include Anya Resort Tagaytay, Club Paradise Palawan, and Discovery Country Suites.

 

The Visa Premium Wine Series for Platinum, Signature, and Infinite cardholders

 

One new initiative to look forward to this year is the Visa Premium Wine Series, exclusive to Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, and Visa Infinite cardholders. Targeting this more affluent segment, the series offers a complimentary glass or bottle of wine at 21 of the country’s finest restaurants, including Chef Jessie, Antonio’s in Tagaytay, and Raging Bull in Shangri-La at The Fort.

The best part is Visa Epic Experiences is available for any Visa cardholders, whether local or foreign, with Visa cards issued anywhere in the world.

 

Visa Epic Experiences privileges can be availed by Visa cardholders until March 15, 2019. Visit www.visa.com.ph/epic for the complete list of offers.