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In addition to a 60,000 Ultimate Reward points or $750 sign-up bonus, one of the more exciting details that came with the announcement of Chase’s Sapphire Banking was a renewed commitment to lifestyle events and making the Sapphire brand more than just a financial tool.
This is an area where Amex has historically led the way, with pop-up “Platinum Houses” at events such as Coachella, Art Basel, and London Fashion Week. Today we’ll take a look at Chase’s response, the Sapphire Lounge concept, including where you can find them and how to get in. The current lounge offerings fall into one of two groups: lounges at Chase-affiliated venues, and lounges at events where Chase is a major sponsor.
Chase has a very close partnership with the Madison Square Garden company, and has set up permanent Sapphire Lounges at several of their venues. These include The Forum in Los Angeles (Inglewood), Madison Square Garden in New York, and The Chicago Theatre. Chase credit or debit cardholders, as well as Sapphire Banking customers, with valid event tickets can sign up at this link to receive lounge access. At the Forum, Chase guests will also have access to VIP parking and a private entrance to the venue.
Giving all Chase credit/debit/Sapphire Banking customers access is a huge step up over Amex’s lifestyle experiences which are limited to Platinum and Centurion cardholders. Up to four event ticket holders can reserve a spot for each eligible Chase card. You can find instructions on how to locate each lounge in the Chase Lounge FAQ.
In the past month, these venues (and lounges) have hosted a wide variety of concerts including Maroon 5, Drake, Justin Timberlake and the Goo Goo Dolls. The lounges, with their premium food and drink selection, are a great place to hang out before the show starts or during the opening act.
Chase Sponsored Events
Chase is a presenting sponsor at some of the hottest sports, music and cultural events of the year, and is bringing the Sapphire lounge concept out to make sure their customers have the best possible experience.
At these events, no registration is necessary, Sapphire cardmembers (again including both Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve customers) can simply show their cards to gain entry. Here are some of the events where Sapphire customers can look forward to an enhanced experience courtesy of Chase:
- Sundance Film Festival (Jan 24th-Feb 3rd, Park City, UT): Cardmembers can enjoy lounge access, complimentary snacks and coffee, comfy seating, and access to a dining concierge to help secure elusive reservations during the festival.
- Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival (Aug 9th-11th, San Francisco): In addition to daily “Sapphire at Six” happy hours featuring local food and drink pairings, Sapphire customers can enjoy snacks and a custom coffee bar, private bathrooms, Wi-Fi and charging stations, and a second-story viewing deck.
- PGA Championship (May 13th-19th, Farmingdale, NY): Located just off the fairway on hole #10, the Sapphire lounge offers views of the action as well as free drinks and an upgraded food menu. Guests can also expect special activities, including celebrity chef demonstrations and Q&A sessions with the players. This year, chef Roy Choi and LPGA pro Cristie Kerr were two of the additions.
Chase is still in the early stages of building out the Sapphire Lounge concept and lifestyle events, but the early indications are promising. Not only do they provide lounge access for a wide range of events across the country, but the access policies are incredibly generous. It’s refreshing to see Chase adding value for all of its Sapphire cardholders, both the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders who pay $450 a year for benefits like this and the equally loyal Chase Sapphire Preferred customers.
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