Grand Reserve World Mastercard Review: How a credit card welcome bonus turned into a $1,000 bottle of Harlan Napa Cab

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

I wanted to circle back on something I've mentioned in passing and that's a new credit card focused on earning wine rewards rather than travel or cash back.

Grand Reserve World Mastercard
What are Points Worth?

About 0.6 cents a piece towards wine and wine accessories. So 60,000 points would be worth about $360.

There is another redemption they recently introduced called The Vault. Points are worth 1 cent a piece for a limited assortment which this month included Cristal, a bottle of 1990 Chateau Margaux, or a 1997 Harlan Napa Cab.

Earning Points

The card's earning structure is:
  • 5x at partner wineries
  • 3x at any other winery, wine store, wine club, wine storage, liquor store, restaurant, or bar (take-out & delivery included)
  • 2x additional points on your top wine merchant of the month (where you spent the most that month) for up to 7x points on wine purchases (7x from partners or 5x from non-partners)
  • 2x everywhere else
You can also earn points through promotions at their partner wineries and referrals.

How Did I Wind Up with 100,000 Points for a Bottle of Harlan?

Between the welcome bonus, meeting the min spend at partner wineries, and bumbling into a couple of limited time promotions I found myself with 110,000 points.

I debated whether I'd rather have $600 to spend on wine and wine accessories -or- one $1,000 gonzo bottle of Napa Cab. All good rewards programs have an aspirational redemption and psychologically through this example I can see why.

The opportunity cost of splurging on the $1,000 bottle of Harlan is worth $600 of some really good wines. If I spread that out over time that would surely deliver a lot of enjoyment.

But when would I splurge on a $1,000 bottle of wine? Never.

And what an experience it will be to enjoy an actual glass of Harlan after tasting all these NDA wines?

It's always good to have a relatable frame of reference for the great wines of the world. 

Plus, I'd really like an opportunity to celebrate with friends after being vaccinated, with an eye towards a return to normal.


I've interacted with a lot of credit cards. I probably control 50 active cards right now.

While interacting with these cards I've seen a wide range of quality in terms of the overall user experience. Although Grand Reserve has partnered with a small bank to issue this card, it's been a joy.
  • Transactions post quickly
  • Categorical characterization (partner winery vs. winery vs. other) is very clear
  • Bonuses post and are available for redemption quickly
Bottom Line

Signing up for this card was even more lucrative than I imagined. I figured it would be a straight-forward $450 worth of wine for the signup at 0.6 cents a piece. But thanks to the 1 cent per point redemption for select high end wines, it turned out even better.


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