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Free Events and Special Access for Sapphire Cardholders in NYC This Summer

July 28, 2017
5 min read
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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.

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Chase Sapphire Lounge

Located at the Seaport's temporary Garden Bar on Fulton Street, the Chase Sapphire Lounge is accessible to Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 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?

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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases