TPG Reader Hall of Fame: Walking the red carpet in Hollywood

Nov 8, 2019

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Today’s TPG Hall of Fame story comes to you courtesy of Shana, whose creative use of points and miles meant that she and her boyfriend got a chance to walk the red (or in this case, blue) carpet at the premiere of Aquaman, where they spent the evening schmoozing with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars.

Let’s check out how they did it.

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Photo courtesy of Shana Gainey
(Photo courtesy of Shana Gainey.)

Tickets to premieres aren’t just handed out willy-nilly, but fortunately for Shana and her boyfriend, Jesse, Marriott Bonvoy Moments was auctioning off several packages of tickets. For those unfamiliar with the program, Marriott Moments are unique experiences set up for auction, with customers bidding points instead of money to win these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. In fact, tickets to the TPG Awards are being auctioned off right now!

Related: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is right for you?

Shana ended up winning two tickets to the premiere with a bid of 127,500 Marriott Bonvoy points, which included red-carpet access and after-party tickets. Wanting to arrive to Hollywood in style, she and Jesse flew first class all the way to Los Angeles before checking in to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. They swung this using points and miles earned from a variety of sources, including travel rewards credit card welcome bonuses, work travel and everyday spending. Here are the cards they used:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express — Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.  Terms apply.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card — Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus free night award (redemption level worth up to 85,000 Marriott points) after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Resort fees may apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.

Here are the points they spent:

Program Points Used Current TPG valuation (cents per point)
American Express Membership Rewards 32,000 2.00
Marriott Bonvoy 127,500 0.80
American Airlines AAdvantage 100,000 1.40

Here’s how they used them:

Purpose Place Name Class of service Points used Comments
Flight Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles R/T American Airlines First 100,000 Earned via business travel
Hotel Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills N/A 32,000 American Express (transferred to Hilton)
Award package Hollywood Marriott Bonvoy Moments Aquaman Premiere N/A 127,500 Won at auction

All told, Shana and Jesse spent nearly 260,000 points for their venture — a great deal, considering this trip can’t actually be purchased. Great job!

Featured photo courtesy of LPETTET/iStock by Getty Images.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
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