TPG Readers Share Their Credit Card Perk “Magic Moments”

Jan 28, 2018

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Many of the stories we write at The Points Guy focus on maximizing potential earnings and the most effective techniques for booking award travel. However, the benefits of playing the points and miles game extend far beyond monetary value: one of the most rewarding perks is the opportunity to create and share timeless memories with loved ones. TPG himself has shared how his passion allowed him to score VIP seats at a Knicks game with his father, and take his mother to Chile for Mother’s Day.

To that end, we asked TPG readers to share some credit card perks that have led to awesome experiences or events that they wouldn’t have otherwise done or had access to. They gave us quite a list, including some terrific redemptions as well.

Exclusive, early, or discounted access to shows

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27, 2015: The Richard Rodgers Theatre on 46th Street in New York City is the site of the July 13, 2015 Broadway theater premiere of the musical "Hamilton,
One TPG reader used the Amex Platinum Concierge to score tickets to “Hamilton.” Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

“Got to see Hamilton in New York at face value, for a family of four when a single ticket was a thousand dollars, thanks to Amex Platinum Concierge!” — Edmond K.

Amex got me 3 tickets to Hamilton in great seats for less than $200 apiece, as well as tickets to Zac Posen’s fashion show during NYFW [New York Fashion Week]. Chase Sapphire got me into the Emmys and Governor’s Ball. SPG got me into a suite and near-courtside, center seats at a Knicks game.” — Shana G.

[Amex gave me] “free (Grateful) Dead and Company tickets at Madison Square Garden a few years ago. Buying out an arena, let alone MSG, is a wild one.” — Kyle L.

“Early access to Museum of Ice Cream in SF with Amex Platinum! Wouldn’t have gotten tickets otherwise. They sold out so quick, and we got our preferred date and time.” — Shelby D.

“Mastercard took me to the Grammys!” — Jimmy K.

Carrie Underwood concert via the AA Citi Card exclusive concert event at the Fillmore in Philly. Tiny venue, big star, and tickets were only $45.” — Jim M.

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities

See the great pandas in Chengdu. Image courtesy of Getty Images.
One credit card gave a reader the chance to literally hug a panda. Photo by Getty Images.

“Won a free trip to the Women’s World Cup of Soccer from Marriott Rewards.” — Cindy C.

“I was in London in 2012 for the Olympics. Having just graduated college, I was there for the experience, and didn’t have plans to see any Olympic events as they were so expensive. Chase opened an Olympic Lounge that I had access to with my Southwest card. It turned out to be a great venue, well located, and with great snacks and drinks. It became home base. In the lounge one day, a Chase rep came up to me and asked how many people was I with. I told her just my friend, who happened to be in the bathroom. She then asked if I wanted to go to an Olympic event in three hours. Of course I said yes. I had to sign a piece of paper saying I wouldn’t sell them, and by the time my friend left the bathroom I had two tickets to see the finals of women’s fencing in the summer Olympics.” — Nolan G.

“After calling Salt Bae’s NYC restaurant for a table opening weekend 52 times and could not get through, I decided to call Amex Concierge to see if they could help me out. The rep I spoke to called the Miami location and found out the reservation manager’s name for the NYC restaurant. The next morning, I got a voicemail confirming a table for 2 for Friday evening, opening weekend. Great customer service from AMEX.” — Will W.

“Someone [in the Amex Facebook group] said they got to hug a panda (legally), set up by concierge. That person suggested you ask for extraordinary experience suggestions every time you travel, especially internationally.” — Dejia T.

Paid for 2015 Superbowl trip with miles and points (the ticket itself was won through lottery) and watched Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from best view on Columbus Circle, thanks to a Delta Amex Platinum special event.” — Elena L.

“During a long flight delay at DFW, I had [a two-hour] conversation and drinks at the Centurion Lounge with a prominent US politician.” — Michael P.

Travel the world with the people they love

great wall the landmark of china and beijing
Credit card points led to one reader being able to propose marriage at the Great Wall of China. Photo by Getty Images.

“Met my daughter in Rome via business class – used points for her trip around the world with Semester at Sea! Would have cost thousands!!!! Was almost free!” — Stephanie N.

Was able to propose to my fiancée on the Great Wall of China during a 17-day Asia trip that I never would have been able to afford without points.” — Justin K.

“Using Chase [Ultimate Rewards] points to take my mom and mother-in-law to Angkor Wat. My mother-in-law was a single mom; my mom works with Holocaust survivors. Being able to give to two amazing women who give so much to others is pretty awesome.” — Lauren A.

Luxurious travel and hotel stays

Girandole Restaurant at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Two free nights with the Hyatt Credit Card led to a free stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

“I was able to upgrade to Qatar business from Doha to NYC after 40 hours of commuting from Bali after the volcano eruption. Awesome experience.” — Elona K.

Got the Hyatt card (when they were still running 2 free nights). Stayed in the Park Hyatt Tokyo, which was running $1200+ a night at the time. For free.” — Gloria L.

“I had a TON of Hilton points when I first signed up for the AMEX [Hilton Surpass], and exchanged it for a night at the Waldorf in Amsterdam. I also got status matched from my IHG, so I am a Hilton Diamond. Literally the BEST experience ever. From the individual and private check-in desks to the opening of the indoor spa and pool just for us, even though it was after hours! Once in a lifetime experience.” — Katherine C.

Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images for Live Nation.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.