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Going to ACL Music Festival? Get $5 credit, expedited entry if you have an Amex card

Oct. 04, 2022
4 min read
Austin City Limits festival grounds
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Each fall, half a million music lovers congregate in downtown Austin's Zilker Park to attend the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

This year's headliners include rising megastars Lil Nas X and SZA as well as more established artists such as Pink, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Chicks. There are dozens of additional acts sprinkled across seven main stages and two side stages as well.

With American Express sponsoring the event for the fifth time, having an Amex credit card will make it easier for you to enjoy the festival. Here are the perks you can enjoy.

SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Get $5 credit by linking Amex card to wristband

Register your wristband by linking it to your American Express card and you'll receive a one-time $5 spend credit applied to your wristband for cashless purchases at the festival. You'll want to do this anyway to make food, drink and merchandise purchases easier.

Just note that even though you may purchase food or drink, these transactions code as a general purchase. So it's best to use one of these best cards for everyday purchases.

Access expedited security

If music fuels your soul but long lines aren't your thing, American Express can get you "skip the line" access.

When you register your ACL wristband and link any Amex credit card, you can use your wristband at the American Express Cashless Entrance turnstiles at the Lady Bird and Barton Springs West entrances. (Note that the Barton Springs East entrance does not have an Amex fast-pass lane.)

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL

Consider it TSA PreCheck for ACL. This will be especially helpful during busy times when the lines for entrance and security scan can take over an hour.

Cardmembers get lounge access

American Express cardmembers (and one guest) can access a lounge on the second floor of the American Express Experience. There, you'll find lounge seating, Wi-Fi, a bar and a direct line of sight to the American Express stage. Plus, there will be a glam station with face gems by Half Magic Beauty.

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Cardmembers can use their American Express-linked wristband, or show their physical or digital Amex card to gain access along with one guest.

AMERICAN EXPRESS

Platinum Cardmembers and their guests will also have access to an air-conditioned speakeasy to the east of the American Express Stage.

American Express experience: Open to everyone

All fans are invited to visit the first floor of the American Express Experience, where they will be greeted by an expansive tree, made of recycled materials, which extends upward to the Card Member Lounge. Festivalgoers can also make DIY phone charms and receive complimentary ice cream from local ice creamery Bésame.

Bottom line

Amex cardmembers attending ACL can also leave their wallets at home: Once your Amex credit card is linked to the registered wristband, you can use cashless pay throughout the festival grounds for concessions, merchandise and any other monetary transactions.

Cardmembers get access to an exclusive lounge on the second floor of the American Express Experience. The first floor of the experience is open to all fans, regardless of whether they have an Amex card or not.

Finally, all Amex-registered wristband owners also receive a one-time $5 cashless spend credit, which is eligible on a single transaction at any cashless-accepting merchants on ACL festival grounds.

Additional reporting by Katherine Fan.

Featured image by BRIANFBENTON/TWENTY20
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Recommended Credit

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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.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more