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How your Citi card may be your ticket to free entertainment — even while at home

July 22, 2020
5 min read
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At TPG, we want to help you maximize every cardholder benefit. Your credit card is more than just a purchasing tool. And depending on the exact card you have, you may have access to benefits including purchase protection, free shipping and even access to entertainment experiences.

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For Citi cardholders, one of those perks is the Citi Entertainment program. You get presale and preferred tickets, VIP experiences and sometimes even complimentary entry to select activities -- now including virtual events.

While almost all in-person experiences this year have been canceled, there are still ways Citi Entertainment can help you experience events from your couch. Let's check out what the Citi Entertainment program is all about -- both in the virtual space and the physical world (once the entertainment industry reopens again). Here are five things to keep in mind about the program:

It can get you inside access (even from home)

In a non-COVID-19 environment, Citi Entertainment (formerly called Citi Private Pass) can help cardholders gain early or preferred access to thousands of events worldwide. From concerts to movies to sporting events, there is a vast array of experiences to choose from.

Concerts, when concerts were a thing. (Featured photo by Mirko Vitali/EyeEm/ Getty Images)
Citi Entertainment can potentially unlock early access to concert tickets and early entry into events when concerts were a thing. (Photo by Mirko Vitali/EyeEm/ Getty Images)

This is what Citi has to say about its Entertainment benefit:

“Citi customers get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and VIP packages to the year’s hottest concerts, sporting events, dining experiences plus complimentary movie screenings and more.”

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While most in-person events have been canceled, there are a variety of virtual events that are still available from at-home wine tastings to concerts and more. This month alone, there are live cooking demonstrations, a series of fireside chats and online streaming of classic movies.

It's a perk on all Citi cards

If your card is issued by Citi, you're golden in terms of Citi Entertainment access. All Citi credit cards that display Visa, Mastercard, or the American Express logo, as well as Citibank debit cards that display the Mastercard logo, are eligible.

Photo courtesy of Citi

There is one downside to keep in mind. The card used to access presale or the event itself must also be the card you use to purchase tickets or access most virtual events. While the Citi Premier® Card still currently earns 2x on entertainment purchases, that bonus category will eventually disappear depending on when you applied for the card. You won't be able use a higher-earning card such as the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card (which earns 4% on entertainment) to maximize those purchases.

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards 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 Citi credit cards of 2020

Sign up for the email list to be first on the list

Citi offers cardholders the chance to opt into semi-regular emails that loop you into the latest event happenings. While yet another email subscription might not sound exciting, this is particularly helpful to stay up-to-date on free tickets or events with limited capacity. These event tickets are typically snatched up quickly, and access is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Watch out for ticket limits and event restrictions

(Photo by Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News/Getty Images)

When physical events restart again, note that there are often strict ticket limits and event restrictions. In many cases, you'll be taken to a third-party website of the ticket seller and must adhere to their rules about how many tickets you can buy. Also, "presale" doesn't always mean you'll have first dibs to every seat -- only a limited number of tickets are reserved for Citi cardholders.

Other credit card companies have a similar benefit

Entertainment experiences that come with your credit card isn't unique to Citi credit cards. Many card networks and issuers actually offer some form of this benefit.

Mastercard, for instance, has its Priceless Cities program that offers cardholders exclusive access to events. In the virtual space, Mastercard has acoustic live concerts, video chats with celebrities and more. Amex and Chase both have a host of virtual and in-person experiences as well, as do many major hotel and airline brands.

Related reading: 4 unique card benefits that saved me money during the pandemic

Bottom line

Citi Entertainment isn't a game-changer by any means, but it's a solid perk for any Citi cardholder. During the pandemic, you can check out Citi's selection of virtual entertainment and when in-person events can safely happen again, you'll be in-the-know about yet another cardholder benefit.

In the meantime, stay up-to-date on the latest credit card changes with our monthly card benefits guide.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)
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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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best for no-frills cash-back rewards
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2% cash-back
2%Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Intro offer

no offer

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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.

Why We Chose It

For some, all they really need is a good cash-back card with no annual fee so that they don't have to stress about whether or not they're maximizing every single purchase. Instead, just earn 1% cash back at the register and 1% cash back when you pay off your bill. You can redeem you rewards by requesting a check, a statement credit or direct deposit into your Citi checking or savings account.

Pros

  • Earning 2% back on every purchase is an industry-leading return on everyday spending for a no-annual-fee credit card.
  • Now that you have the ability to convert rewards to ThankYou points with an eligible card, your redemption options are even more flexible.
  • It’s great for those looking to consolidate debt, since it offers new cardmembers 18 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers made. After that, the variable APR of 18.24% - 28.24% applies.

Cons

  • Those looking to make a balance transfer will have to pay 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Best for no-frills cash-back rewards
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

2%Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Intro Offer

    no offer
  • Annual Fee

    $0
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

For some, all they really need is a good cash-back card with no annual fee so that they don't have to stress about whether or not they're maximizing every single purchase. Instead, just earn 1% cash back at the register and 1% cash back when you pay off your bill. You can redeem you rewards by requesting a check, a statement credit or direct deposit into your Citi checking or savings account.

Pros

  • Earning 2% back on every purchase is an industry-leading return on everyday spending for a no-annual-fee credit card.
  • Now that you have the ability to convert rewards to ThankYou points with an eligible card, your redemption options are even more flexible.
  • It’s great for those looking to consolidate debt, since it offers new cardmembers 18 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers made. After that, the variable APR of 18.24% - 28.24% applies.

Cons

  • Those looking to make a balance transfer will have to pay 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).