The best credit cards for concert tickets and VIP access
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
We learned a lot during the Taylor Swift ticket frenzy of 2022, but one of the most important lessons was that having the right credit card in your wallet can give you a leg up to get coveted concert tickets.
Savvy cardholders know there’s a lot more to the best rewards credit cards than just the rewards you earn through spending. But many cards offer a major perk beyond streaming credits or purchase protection: VIP access to concerts, games and other live entertainment.
While we don't necessarily recommend getting a credit card just for VIP access, it's helpful to know what's available to you with the cards you have as you make plans to go to your next concert, big game or Broadway show. Plus, if you're trying to decide which card to get next, the VIP access options each card offers might be something you want to consider.
Today, we’ll walk through the credit card programs that give you access to these VIP experiences and highlight our picks for the best credit card for concerts and other live entertainment purchases.
All American Express cardmembers receive Entertainment Access benefits (the program title that encompasses all other benefits) that include ticket presales and cardmember-only events in select cities. Examples of events at this level include Broadway musicals such as Hamilton and Six as well as Coachella and NBA tickets.
Even though Entertainment Access is available for all cardholders, certain events may require you to have a more premium card to unlock ticket presales.
Premium American Express cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card have access to special seating at certain events through the American Express Preferred Seating program. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
On the more exclusive side, “By Invitation Only” events are as they sound: you’ll need an invitation. Currently, the events in this category are open to American Express Platinum Card® and Centurion® members. These offers include VIP access to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, an exclusive production of Sweeney Todd in New York, and Wimbledon VIP packages.
Amex has also featured suites and lounges at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in the past, which might return in the future.
And beyond live entertainment, don’t forget about Amex’s VIP dining options through their partnership with Resy. Cardholders also have access to the Global Dining Access program that offers members “exclusive reservations, priority notification, early access to special experiences and a VIP Diner Badge.”
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Without a doubt, the Amex Platinum card unlocks the most American Express VIP access options. With this card, you'll get three levels of VIP event access: Entertainment Access, American Express Preferred Seating and By Invitation Only.
Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. TPG values this bonus at $1,600.
Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees).
Why we like it: Even though this card won't earn you any bonus points for ticket purchases, the access it offers is unbeatable. Plus, if your concert requires you to travel, you'll earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel.
For more information, check out our full review of the Amex Platinum.
Apply here: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Related: Best American Express credit cards of 2023
All Capital One cardholders enjoy the benefits available through Capital One Entertainment. These benefits include presale tickets and VIP packages for certain events, special on-site perks (such as early and priority entry, celebrity meet-and-greets and VIP lounges) and features that allow cardholders to upgrade experiences at events or purchase tickets using their Capital One miles, including sports, concerts, theater and more.
Capital One also has a partnership with OpenTable to help cardholders score hard-to-get reservations in select cities across the U.S. There are also a number of other culinary-focused events held throughout the year that you can find on Capital One’s website.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Both the Savor and SavorOne cards give you access to Capital One Entertainment and earn bonus points on your entertainment expenses.
Welcome bonus: For the Savor, earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. For the SavorOne, earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Annual fee: $95 for the Savor and $0 for the SavorOne.
Why we like them: Both cards pull double duty: you'll get VIP access through Capital One Entertainment and also earn bonus rewards on your entertainment purchases. With both cards, you'll earn 8% cash back on purchases through Capital One Entertainment and bonus cash back on all other entertainment purchases (4% with the Savor and 3% with the SavorOne), making these easily two of the best cash back credit cards for buying concert and other live entertainment tickets.
Check out our full card review of the Savor and our full card review of the Savor One to learn more about their earning structures and what types of entertainment purchases earn bonus rewards.
The information for the Capital One Savor Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Apply here: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Related: Best Capital One credit cards of 2023
There are different levels of Chase Experiences available to cardholders depending on which product they have. These experiences can be paid for with cash or points, but Chase only allows you to redeem at 1 cent in value per point, which generally isn’t the best use of your Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase also has a partnership with culinary reservation platform Tock, which gives those with cards including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card the ability to book VIP culinary events (alongside standard reservations) through the Ultimate Rewards section in the Chase mobile app. Restaurants include HUSO in New York, Seven Reasons in Washington, D.C. and the Protégé in Palo Alto, California.
Additionally, cardmembers receive access to the Chase lounge at select venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York and The Chicago Theater. Chase has also had a lounge at the U.S. Open in the past, which might return in the future.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
If VIP access is the most important thing to you, we recommend the Sapphire Reserve card. It will unlock all levels of unique experiences Chase offers, so you'll never miss out on the best seats or advance ticket sales.
Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. TPG values this bonus at $1,200.
Annual fee: $550.
Why we like it: Even though it won't earn you bonus points for your concert or other live entertainment ticket purchases, this is a great card to have. In addition to granting you access to the best of Chase's unique entertainment opportunities, you'll get a $300 travel reimbursement to help cover the costs of any travel to your event. For any additional travel, you'll earn 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals and 5 points per dollar on flights when you purchase them through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You'll also earn 3 points per dollar on all other travel purchases, 10 points per dollar on your Lyft to get there (through March 2025) and 3 points per dollar on dinner before your show.
For more details on why we love this card, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Apply here: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
If you care more about earning points for your concert ticket purchases than having every VIP opportunity, we recommend the Freedom Unlimited. You'll earn a solid 1.5 points per dollar on your ticket purchases and still have access to many of Chase's unique experiences.
Welcome bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases in your first year, up to $20,000 spent.
Annual fee: $0
Why we like it: With this card, you'll earn 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, so you can feel great knowing you're earning at a solid rate whether you're buying concert tickets or ordering your ultimate fan outfit to wear to the show. You'll also earn 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstore purchases as well as 5 points per dollar on Lyft (through March 2025), so you'll also be rewarded for going out to dinner before the show and ordering a ride to get there.
For more details, check out our full review of the Freedom Unlimited.
Apply here: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Related: Best Chase credit cards of 2023
Citi cardholders have access to the Citi Entertainment program, which offers presale access to tickets, preferred seating and VIP packages for sports, entertainment and dining events.
Current entertainment offers include tickets and packages for Billy Joel, The Chicks and P!NK, as well as discounted tickets for the Citi Genesis Invitational.
Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees)
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. TPG values this bonus at $1,020.
Annual fee: $95.
Why we like it: In addition to granting you access to all that Citi Entertainment has to offer, you'll earn bonus points with this card no matter how you get to your event. With it, you'll earn 3 points per dollar on air travel, hotels, gas stations and restaurants, so you know you're covered whether you're driving or flying to see your show. For a limited time, earn 10x points per dollar on hotels, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ Portal through June 30, 2024.
For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Premier.
Apply here: Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees)
Related: Best Citi credit cards of 2023
Visa and Mastercard VIP Benefits
Beyond your card's bank, its network might grant you VIP access as well. Don't forget to check your card's network to see your full list of VIP options available, such as those that come with a World Elite Mastercard or Visa Infinite card.
A lot goes into a decision to apply for a credit card: the welcome bonus, earning rates, travel benefits and more. But something else to consider is the experiences your credit card can unlock, whether that means pre-sale tickets to your favorite band, behind-the-scenes access at Broadway shows or cardholder-exclusive events around the world.
Make the most of your next event by using one of the best credit cards for concert tickets and VIP access to live events.
Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson, Stella Shon, Ryan Smith and Jason Steele.
For rates and Fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here