I like my wedding presents boring and traditional. How boring and traditional? Extremely.
In my opinion, a wedding present isn't any good unless the bride leaves it in its original box for a minimum of 5 years after her wedding. Sure, she'll get a kick out of the inflatable Munch's The Scream punching bag or the hilariously retro Conestoga Wagon lamp, but someday she'll have a real dinner party, and matching place settings will start to seem like a good idea. This is when I shine.
At my age, you'd think I'd be done buying wedding presents until a niece or nephew gets married, but I'm not. And recently I needed to come up with something nice for my brother and his fiancée.
They registered for gifts at Crate and Barrel, William Sonoma, and Bloomingdales. Their Crate and Barrel and William Sonoma lists were OK, but not exciting, because they revolved way too much around cooking appliances. And the problem with cooking appliances is that is that this year's panini maker is next year's yogurt maker. Or bread machine. Or electric wok. With a teflon lining.
And that's why my default present is something like china, crystal, or silver.
In this case, the bride had selected Waterford's Lismore crystal pattern, and I had to wade through a couple of screens full of highball glasses and port glasses and such before I hit pay dirt. Behold the crystal ship's decanter:
Which retails at Bloomingdale's for a cool $375.
So here's how to get one for free. First, sign up for the Amazon.com Visa card.
With every 2,500 reward points you accumulate, you receive a $25 Amazon.com Reward Certificate. So start accumulating points.
How do you get points? Well:
You get 3 points for purchases made on Amazon or through Amazon.
You get 2 points for purchases of gasoline, drugstores, and some restaurants.
You get 1 point for purchases made anyplace else.
How many points have we accumulated? I'm not exactly sure, but in the past year and a half, I shaved about $300 off a Nikon camera, $400 off the price of my MacBook, and snagged the Waterford crystal decanter for free.
Before this, we used the Citibank American Airlines card. But that only gets us free travel on American Airlines, and sometimes I'm not in the mood for travel. I also have a Brooks Brothers platinum card, which yields me a $20 gift card once in a while--but that's only useful at Brooks Brothers.
The beauty of the Amazon.com card is that it gives us substantial discounts on anything you can buy through Amazon, whether it's Me & Ro jewelry, Gwen Stefani dolls, iPods, or PG Tips tea.
And this means that you can use your Amazon.com Visa card for boring stuff like groceries and gas and dry cleaning and little Tommy's cello lessons--basic, utilitarian stuff--and build up a little stack of discounts on much more fun stuff like Waterford crystal decanters.
Or you can use your discount to buy the Clearisil Ultra Acne Solution System for $21.95. It's your call.