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One of my favorite things about being The Points Guy is the chance to interact with readers and fans as I travel, especially when I get to hear about how my tips have inspired them to use points and miles to take their own dream trips.
Of course, hanging with celebs is pretty fun, too. Somewhere in between testing out Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER first-class product and launching Season 1 of TPGtv, I stopped in Park City, Utah, to attend the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
My original plan was to fly straight to Utah from New York on Thursday to get to Sundance, but unfortunately all the direct flights to the area were sold out by then. The good news is that I did end up finding a flight on Wednesday from New York to Las Vegas on Virgin America (review coming soon!), and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go check out J.Lo’s legendary opening night performance at Planet Hollywood. Isn’t it great when things just fall into place?
Before long, I was off to Sundance. Because I’m a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder, I was given special access to Chase Sapphire on Main, an awesome (and warm!) lounge where I could stop and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the festival. I picked up my screening tickets from the Chase Priority Box Office and was able to attend various parties and snag impossible-to-get reservations at places like The Farm and The Mustang thanks to the dining concierge perk.
I had a great time meeting celebrities like Spike Lee and Allison Janney, who stopped by the TPG-sponsored house at 364 Main. There, our team had set up a first-class lounge so people could stop by to recharge their devices, share their Sundance experiences via complimentary Wi-Fi and warm up with a fresh-brewed soup station sponsored by Campbell’s — the V8 Bar was also a fun spot to hang out and sip smoothies and Bloody Marys.
I also hosted a TPG Reader meet-up happy hour and ran a special giveaway where a few lucky winners walked away with $500 Barclaycard Arrival Cards and a grand prize of two $1,000 Barclaycard Arrival Cards with two tickets to a Sundance screening. Stay tuned for a special episode of TPGtv all about our trip — plus, exclusive interviews with celebrities who also attended the Festival.
The atmosphere at Sundance was electric, with A-list celebs like John Legend, Viggo Mortensen and Daniel Radcliffe roaming the crowd. At one point, we even bumped into Katie Couric! I couldn’t resist asking her about her favorite airlines, hotels and other important travel tidbits like whether she’s a fan of the aisle or window seat — check out the video below to see her answers to our red carpet rapid-fire travel questions.
While this was the first TPG event of 2016, it definitely won’t be the last. Keep an eye on this page to see posts and pictures from all our TPG events, including the official launch party for Season 2 of TPGtv in LA later this spring and a special TPG reader meet-up in Austin before I speak at SXSW in March.
Follow along with all my travel adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (thepointsguy) for a behind-the-scenes look at what I’m working on next — don’t forget to subscribe to The Points Guy on YouTube for new episodes of TPGtv every Monday.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards