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For football fans — especially those of the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers this time around — the Super Bowl is one of the highlights of the year. If you’re planning on going to the Big Game this weekend, you probably know who you’re rooting for. What you may not know is that before the game even reaches kickoff, there are some events worth taking advantage of in the Bay Area.
Select credit card issuers are now offering cardholders special access to events and services while they’re in the Bay Area for the Super Bowl. While there will be some amenities available to all attendees at the Super Bowl and its events — such as free high-speed Wi-Fi, access to Super Bowl City and the Puppy Bowl Cafe, among other — other experiences will be more exclusive.
If you’re a cardholder of the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card, the United MileagePlus Club Card, the United MileagePlus Club Business Card or any other United MileagePlus card, you and up to three guests will have complimentary access to an exclusive lounge. To get in to the VIP Lounge at MarketBar in the San Francisco Ferry Building from February 4-7, just show your card. There aren’t many details as to what will be inside, but there will be a variety of tailgate and California cuisine, as well as hot and cold drinks and “surprises” — no details on what that entails.
In addition to the complimentary Lounge access at MarketBar, there are two other options you’ll be granted access to with your card, but these will cost you additional cash. At the Westfield San Francisco Centre from February 4-6, you’ll be able to meet several football greats. As a United Mileage Plus cardholder, for $75 per person, per athlete, you can talk and take photos with Joe Namath (February 4), Steve Young (February 5), Jerry Rice (February 5), Dan Marino (February 6) and Brandon Marshall (February 6).
Finally, the Big Game Party, which is available for $75 for Chase United MileagePlus cardholders, will be held the afternoon of the Big Game itself. It will be at the VIP Lounge — where you hopefully were able to spend some time on one of the days leading up to the game — and will feature tailgate-inspired food, an open bar and TVs to watch the pre-game action.
Visit the event page for specific details about each event and location.
Although you don’t have to be a cardholder for this, the NFL Extra Points Card from Barclaycard is offering those who follow it on Twitter and Facebook (@NFLExtraPoints) the chance to win prizes — the best of which are two tickets to the Super Bowl. In order for a chance to win, fans must follow along on a scavenger hunt via clues from the card’s social media accounts. The first person to arrive at the given location will be given the chance to win tickets. Although the grand prize is two tickets to the Super Bowl and a Super Bowl prize pack (there will be three sets total), there will also be four first prizes (two tickets to the Golden Gala dinner and a Super Bowl prize pack), two second prizes (a $250 NFLShop.com gift card and a signed memorabilia item) and 40 general prizes (a $25 NFLShop.com gift card).
However, one of the added benefits of this promotion is that even if you’re not in the Bay Area for the Big Game, you still have the chance to win a gift card. You still must follow the account on both Facebook and Twitter, and if you correctly guess the location online, NFL Extra Points will randomly select a social winner who will receive a gift card to NFLShop.com. Official rules can be found on the card’s Facebook page.
The NFL Extra Points Card from Barclaycard is currently offering 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days. You’ll earn 2x points on NFL and team purchases (game tickets, in-stadium and team pro shop purchases) and 1x points elsewhere. If you’re a big football fan, this card can be a great option for you with value in the way of rewards exclusive to your favorite team, including team jerseys, regular season game tickets and NFLshop.com gift cards.
Don’t want to miss a second of the football action while you’re in the stadium — or rather, want to avoid the masses of people all waiting in line for a drink? Visa is checking out and purchasing items a quicker and more effortless process at the Super Bowl. Levi Stadium will be equipped with nearly 700 NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals, and Visa Checkout users can use their smartphone for purchases at the game. Cardholders with Visa Checkout will be able to order drinks from their seats using the Super Bowl 50 app. Unfortunately, this is only good for drinks and does not include food.
In addition, Visa cardholders can visit the NFL Shop at the Moscone Center. If cardholders go through a Samsung Pay demo, they’ll receive a $5 coupon for their purchase at the NFL Shop, and those who upload their Visa card to Samsung Pay or already have it loaded will receive a $10 coupon.
Popular Visa Signature cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card and the Ink Plus Business Card, among others.
If you haven’t already booked your ticket to the Bay Area for the Big Game, there’s still time to do so. Several airlines have taken advantage of the high demand and added flights to existing routes. United, JetBlue, Southwest, Delta and American have all confirmed additional flights between Denver (DEN) and Charlotte (CLT) and San Francisco (SFO), and in some cases additional flights to and from San Jose (SJC). All of the added flights are between Friday, February 5 and Monday, February 8.
If you decide to book a last-minute ticket, be sure to use a card that will earn you the most rewards on your purchase. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express has a current sign-up bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months and will earn you 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines. The Citi Prestige has a current sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months and will earn you 3x points on air travel.
If you’re headed to the Super Bowl this weekend, there are a few credit card perks, events and promotions you can look forward to taking advantage of. From complimentary access to a VIP Lounge at MarketBar as a United MileagePlus cardholder to a scavenger hunt across the Bay Area to win Super Bowl tickets, there are plenty of ways to maximize your time at the Big Game. 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.
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.