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From time to time, loyalty programs and credit card issuers sponsor major events around the world — and, more often than not, members are invited to attend, either for free or a (typically) reasonable fee. For example, last year I had a blast at Vegas Uncork’d and I almost scored free PGA Tour tickets from United. TPG’s had a blast at the Cayman Cookout, a Ritz-Carlton production, and I’ve been dying to go myself. But my most recent stop was an event much closer to home — just a few blocks, to be exact.

This summer, Chase is sponsoring a couple venues at the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan — a Chase Sapphire Lounge (with for-purchase food and drinks), and improved access to the in-demand Seaport Food Lab pop-up restaurant.

Chase Sapphire Lounge

Located at the Seaport’s temporary Garden Bar on Fulton Street, the Chase Sapphire Lounge is accessible to Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders — just flash your card to get inside.

Chase Seaport Food Lab

There you’ll find “grass” (the best you can hope for in Lower Manhattan), covered picnic tables and some games.

Chase Seaport Food Lab

There’s also a (modest) exclusive food and beverage menu, seen below, and you can order from a much larger venue-wide menu as well.

IMG_1753

Cardholders also get access during some of the free concerts at the Seaport, which means you’ll have a (potentially) less crowded place to hang and more attentive service (but you’ll still pay for food and drinks).

For example, upcoming scheduled events include:

  • August 3: Robert DeLong concert — life-sized Lite Brite boards, face painting and cotton candy from 5:00-10:00pm.
  • August 7-13: PGA Championship — watch broadcasts from the venue, with golf tee and marker giveaways, plus a putting green (with prizes) from August 10-13.

Seaport Food Lab

Meanwhile, just around the corner…

Chase Seaport Food Lab

Sapphire cardholders get improved access to the Seaport Food Lab, where the visiting chefs below will present multi-course meals through mid-October:

  • July 30-August 12: Alon Shaya (Israeli dishes — New Orleans)
  • August 20-September 2: Jessica Koslow (Breakfast dishes — Los Angeles)
  • September 10-23: Dale Talde (TBA)
  • September 29-October 11: Wylie Dufresne (TBA)

Tickets are typically available a couple weeks in advance, and most dinners cost $100 (or 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points) per person. You can sign up with Resy (link here) or, if the times you want aren’t available there, via Chase by logging in to your account here.

Chase Seaport Food Lab

I had a chance to join a media dinner with Hugh Acheson, a Georgia-based restauranteur and Top Chef judge. He presented a healthier take on Southern cuisine — the food was fantastic and fresh.

Chase Seaport Food Lab

Shortly after arriving, we were presented with one of my favorite dishes of all — sushi-grade tuna with beans and okra. We had five courses (some with multiple dishes each), but this one wasn’t even on the menu. Bonus tuna!

Chase Seaport Food Lab

Another highlight was the Southern Fish Stew, consisting of shrimp, clams and catfish.

Chase Seaport Food Lab

Dessert was something called a “Buttermilk Chess Pie” — it was superb.

Chase Seaport Food Lab

Bottom Line

If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, it’s definitely worth stopping by the Seaport at some point this summer. I highly recommend spending the 100 bucks for a ticket to the Food Lab (I’ll be returning soon!), but the Sapphire Lounge could be worth a stop as well — especially if your visit coincides with a free concert or event.

Chase is also offering access to paid concerts — the next one posted is for August 3, and includes performances by snny, Baio and Robert Delong. Tickets (available here) cost $40 and include food and beverages, plus access to the private viewing area. There are also opportunities to join an “eat and greet” with various artists. Check out the roster and purchase tickets here (note that you’ll need to sign into your Chase account to get access). Also keep an eye out for other events around the US, including the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, where you can purchase otherwise-sold-out 3-day passes, and PGA Championship packages — or if you’re already headed to to the PGA, you can get access to the onsite Chase Sapphire Lounge just by flashing your card.

Have you flashed your Sapphire card at the Seaport this summer?

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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