Use the right credit cards to make the most of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Feb 18, 2020

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The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is right around the corner. Whether you already have tickets or are looking into a last-minute trip to Miami for the festival, the right credit card can help you make the most of your experience.

What is the South Beach Wine and Food Festival?

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is a five-day event in Miami that brings together renowned chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirits producers. Proceeds from the festival benefit Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

The 2020 festival begins on Feb. 19, 2020, and runs through Feb. 23, 2020, with more than 100 events in the South Beach area.

Related reading: These are the best times to visit Miami

(Photo by Pola Damonte/Getty Images)
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival has been hosted in Miami for 19 years. (Photo by Pola Damonte/Getty Images)

Tickets can be purchased on the festival website for individual events, packages for event bundles, or a build-your-own-experience package. Individual tickets to certain events range from under $100 to $300+. There’s something for pretty much everyone — from family-friendly experiences such as a Foodie Movie Night in the Park with a special screening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to late-night parties such as an Art of Tiki Cocktail Showdown presented by Bacardi.

If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, they should code as entertainment when you do. Using the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (4% back), the Citi Premier℠ Card (2x ThankYou Points) or flat-rate cards like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (2x Venture miles) or Citi® Double Cash Card (2% back; 1% when you buy, plus 1% as you pay) are your best options for earning rewards for your purchase.

The information for the Citi Premier and the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit 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.

Related reading: Best cards for entertainment spending 

Booking last-minute travel

If you are hoping to book a last-minute trip for the festival, hotel prices are likely to be inflated and award availability limited.

For example, The Confidante Miami Beach, a Hyatt property that can typically be booked starting at 15,000 points per night is currently unavailable for award-night stays and will run you $559+ per night this close to the event. At the Hampton Inn Miami South Beach, a Hilton property, there isn’t award availability for the full duration of the festival. If you are flexible on dates, you can book a shorter stay, but it will take at least 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Related reading: The best ways to use your hotel points in Miami

Marriott, with its award chart that labels properties as a Category 1-8, might be a better choice for booking last-minute awards. Although top Bonvoy hotels such as the St. Regis Ball Harbour Resort and Marriott Stanton South Beach aren’t currently showing standard award-night availability, there are plenty of other properties that are still available to book with points — especially if you are willing to stay a bit farther from South Beach.

For those who are adamant about staying near the beach, the Blue Moon Hotel can be booked starting at 50,000-60,000 Bonvoy points per night.

Or you can book a room at the JW Marriott Miami starting at 40,000 points per night during festival dates. The JW Marriott is on Brickell Avenue, 6.5 miles from where most events are taking place.

If you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card, another option is to book your stay through the Chase portal. Remember, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card cardholders get a 25% redemption bonus when booking through the portal, and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get a 50% redemption bonus.

With a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can book a stay at the Essex House by Clevelander for 22,144 UR points per night or The Marlin Hotel in South Beach for 24,936 UR points per night, for example.

When using a third-party portal such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, keep in mind that you won’t earn points toward hotel elite status, and it’s likely that elite status won’t be honored at the hotel.

Editor’s note: All prices and availability subject to change between time of editing and publication.

Cardholder-exclusive benefits

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Capital One is the presenting sponsor for this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival and cardholders get exclusive access to some events, early access to others and preferred ticket pricing for certain events.

Cardholders can buy exclusive event tickets, including:

  • Dinner hosted by Anne Burrell and Scott Conant (Thursday, February 20)
  • Dinner hosted by Ashley Christensen, Mike Lata and John Kunkel (Friday,
    February 21)
  • Dinner hosted by Bobby Flay, Tommaso De Simone and Cosimo Cassano (Friday,
    February 21)
  • Pie-Making Master Class (Saturday, February 22)

There are also exclusive-access tickets, early-access passes and reserved seating available. These tickets have to be purchased with an eligible Capital One credit card or debit card.

Some experiences, however, are available just by showing your eligible Capital One credit card and require no additional purchase. For example, you can get access to the Capital One Tasting Room at the Grand Tasting, the Capital One Lounge (with seating, shade and water to help give event-goers a break from the Miami sunshine and festival festivities) and the Capital One space at all evening Miami Beach Signature Events.

You can see the full list of cardholder-exclusive events here.

Those who book tickets to at least two eligible cardholder-exclusive events with a Capital One card can save 15%. Just make sure to purchase your tickets through the Capital One cardholder-exclusive package page.

Related reading: Credit cards that offer VIP event access

Bottom line

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is one of the biggest events of the year for any U.S.-based foodie. This year more than 65,000 guests are expected. With the right credit card you can still book last-minute hotel stays for the festival that kicks off this week, earn rewards on tickets and even get access to cardholder-exclusive events and experiences.

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Featured image by Leo Patrizi/Getty Images

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