This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with The Points Guy.
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Following years of pandemic-era restrictions, there has never been a greater demand for in-person events. Major acts like Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran are packing arenas worldwide with unprecedented sales, while sporting venues are once again packed with spectators. Not only are tickets harder to get, they are substantially more expensive than in the pre-pandemic world. The Taylor Swift-Ticketmaster debacle proved just how difficult (and costly) it can be for fans to see the shows they’ve been waiting years for.
Luckily, you can get tickets to your favorite events and save cash in the process – with the right credit card. Credit card issuers have recognized the allure of live entertainment and forged partnerships. In response, they have created programs that grant cardholders access to premium experiences. Several banks have their own entertainment portals through which members can access discounts and presale tickets to global events. All you need is a qualifying credit card and you’ll get access to these exclusive perks.
Regardless of whether you’re a music fan or looking to cheer on your favorite team, you will probably end up paying for your tickets with a credit card. If you have the right one in your wallet, you might get better seats and stretch your budget further. Here’s a look at how to get valuable perks at global events and concerts with your credit card:
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American Express Experiences
American Express Experiences is a premium program that provides cardholders with exclusive access to a range of curated events and events spanning entertainment, travel, dining and more. The program is open to select American Express cardholders, including The Platinum Card® from American Express*, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express* and The American Express® Gold Card*, to name a few.
One of the standout features of American Express Experiences is the “By Invitation Only” initiative, which is open to Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders. This grants select cardholders access to highly sought-after events, like VIP packages to Wimbledon, art exhibitions and culinary experiences.
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Another key aspect is the “Card Member Access” feature, which provides cardholders access to tickets for popular concerts, Broadway shows and sporting events, often before they’re released to the general public. Currently, Card Member Earty Access events include the renowned Hamilton on Broadway, Katy Perry’s PLAY residency in Las Vegas and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.
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Furthermore, “Card Member Access” offers exclusive entry to various experiences and amenities at partner venues. This includes access to VIP lounges, preferred seating, complimentary drinks, discounted concessions, dedicated entrance and other privileges.
Through Preferred Access Seating, cardholders can access premium seats to many of the above-mentioned events. You don’t necessarily need a premium Platinum or Gold card to access these seats. They’re also available to card members with the following cards:
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Capital One Entertainment
Capital One Entertainment stole the spotlight last year as the exclusive pre-sale partner for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. With Swifties scrambling to get their hands on highly sought-after concert tickets, Capital One reserved a batch of seats exclusively for its cardholders on the Capital One Entertainment portal.
The ticketing platform is available to Capital One rewards cardholders and provides access to tickets for concerts, sporting events, theater shows, dining experiences and more. Cardholders can pay for tickets with their credit cards, use points or combine both.
Capital One credit cards eligible for Capital One Entertainment access include the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards and Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card. The Savor Cash Card is the best card for Capital One Entertainment purchases since it earns 4% cash back on dining entertainment services and 8% on Capital One Entertainment bookings. With the other eligible cards, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent, which is still generous.
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Chase Experiences is a booking platform offered by Chase Bank that provides eligible customers with access to a range of exclusive experiences and card member perks across different event categories such as travel, entertainment, sports, dining and more. Qualifying cardholders can gain early access or reserved seating to concerts, shows, sports events, and other entertainment activities.
It’s important to note that the specific offerings and benefits of Chase Experiences can vary based on the type of Chase credit card held by the individual cardholder. For example, United MileagePlus credit cardholders can book exclusive vacation packages, culinary experiences and preferred seating at select concerts through United Card Events.
Meanwhile, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can buy tickets to select events and access exclusive lounges through Reserved by Sapphire. Chase Sound Check provides unique festival perks, including fast lanes, discounts on concessions, merchandise, early ticket offers and more. Cardholders can also access Chase lounges at Madison Square Garden and Chase Center in San Francisco, where they’ll receive access to preferred seating, dining and merchandise discounts at Madison Square Garden and the Chase Center in San Francisco.
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The Citi Entertainment portal functions like any other credit card events site we’ve covered. It provides Citi credit cardholders access to presale and preferred tickets to popular music, theater, sporting events and beyond. Currently, Citi Entertainment is selling presale tickets for Usher’s Vegas residency and preferred tickets to the Lauryn Hill & The Fugees tour.
Citi Entertainment is available to nearly all Citi credit card customers, including the Citi Premier® Card, Citi Double Cash Card, Citi Rewards+, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card and Citi Custom Cash® Card. The Custom Cash Card qualifies for 5% cash back in your top monthly spending category, including entertainment, making it an excellent choice for Citi Entertainment bookings.
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From VIP packages to concession discounts and exclusive lounges, there are plenty of ways to get major perks with credit cards. Credit cards can open the door to VIP experiences and presale tickets that would otherwise be out of reach. With the right credit card, you can get early access to tickets and even score access to exclusive meet-and-greets with your favorite artists. While American Express provides the most well-known and comprehensive global events platform, it’s certainly not the only one.
Chances are, you have a qualifying credit card that can get you access to one of the above portals. Just be sure to sign up to receive alerts, and you’ll get notified when your entertainment portal releases a batch of exclusive tickets or premium packages to your favorite event.
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*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.