How to use points and miles for Super Bowl tickets
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Super Bowl LIV, scheduled for Feb. 2 in Miami, is now just weeks away. We don’t yet know which two of the eight remaining teams will meet at Hard Rock Stadium (sadly the Atlanta Falcons are not in the running this year). But if you have any desire to attend the big game, now is the time to review your options for locking in what is always one of the hottest tickets of the year.
The cheapest cash price for a Super Bowl ticket is currently around $5,000 after service fees through Stubhub, VividSeats and similar ticket resale sites. Depending on which teams make it to the championship game, we could see prices skyrocket or plummet. Since the New England Patriots are already eliminated, along with their fan base with Super Bowl fatigue, I see the potential for prices for this year’s matchup — in a warm and party-friendly environment — to be some of the highest in recent memory.
Related: Best credit cards for sports fans
Unless you’ve got (lots of) cash to burn, you probably will want to explore avenues to use points for scoring a ticket or two to Miami.
You can guarantee yourself a ticket to the game using points by winning a Marriott Moment auction. There are four different Super Bowl experiences available, each with a varying number of packages for auction. Each package has two tickets, and there are currently 16 packages up for auction across the four different experiences. At the time of writing, the lowest auction price for two tickets was 702,500 Bonvoy points and most are over a million points. That price includes two tickets, game-day brunch and bar stool seats in a suite during the game (including food and beverages).
The top-tier package consists of brunch on Feb. 1 with former NFL quarterback turned broadcaster Tony Romo, a game-day brunch, three nights in a Marriott property and two suite tickets in stadium seats to the game, complete with food and beverages. There are three of these packages available and, at the time of writing, the lowest winning bid was 1,614,175 Bonvoy points. These auctions close on Jan. 8, at 1 p.m. Eastern, which means you’ll be buying without knowing if your team is in the game.
The Marriott Moments auctions all close between between January 8–10, with the last package — and your last chance at bidding on Super Bowl tickets with Marriott points — closing at 1 p.m. on Jan. 10. Whether you think redeeming this many Bonvoy points for the game is a good idea is largely a subjective exercise based on how much you want to attend the game and what else you wanted to do with your Marriott points.
The Super Bowl suite tickets I can find on the open market run around $20,000 each, making your 1.6 million points worth ~$40,000. Given TPG’s current valuation of Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, we’d value your 1.6 million points at $12,800, making the suite tickets redemption a pretty great deal for football enthusiasts.
NFL Extra Points Card
The no-annual-fee card issued by Barclays is the official credit card of the NFL and comes with associated perks at reasonable redemption levels. Each year, you can redeem your points for Super Bowl experiences like player meet-and-greets, press conference tickets, NFL Players Association party tickets and for actual Super Bowl game tickets.
This year, the redemptions for Super Bowl tickets started on Nov. 18. As usual, each package includes a pair of tickets. An upper-level ticket package is 175,000 points, mid-level is 225,000 points and lower-level (closer to the field) is 275,000 points. The credit card carries no annual fee and earns 2x points on NFL ticket and team purchases and 1x points on all other spending. At 87,500 points per ticket, this puts the Super Bowl within reach of a lot of small business owners who can reasonably charge a large volume of purchases each year. If you didn’t make the spend to get tickets this year, consider it a solid strategy to use points for two tickets to Super Bowl LV in 2021.
Delta SkyMiles Experiences is auctioning two tickets to the big game, access for two people to meet NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and two Delta travel certificates valid for one round-trip economy flight within the continental U.S. and Canada to Miami. At the time of writing, the auction is at 511,000 SkyMiles, with a closing date of Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.
United’s MileagePlus Experiences is auctioning off round-trip economy United flights for two to Miami, two nights in the Essex House by The Clevelander, a rental car and two tickets to the game (exact seat location TBD). The auction closes Jan. 16 at noon, and the current bid is a rather reasonable 345,000 miles at the time of writing (however, there is plenty of bidding time left).
With the cheapest game tickets coming in at $4,000 to $5,000, on a 2% cash back card you’d need to spend $200,000 to earn enough cash back for a single ticket. On a flat 2.5% cash-back card like the Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature, $160,000 in spend would earn you enough cash back to cover the $4,000 ticket. If you have this much spend and are after Super Bowl tickets, the NFL Extra Points card would be a better strategy for you to use in the future because of the significantly smaller spend required on it to get two tickets. I don’t encourage you to use your cash-back earnings towards game tickets in the future as there is a better way to earn the points to get you there.
You have a few days left to use Marriott Bonvoy points for Super Bowl tickets if you your Marriott account is overflowing in points. You could even plump up your Bonvoy account further by transferring in American Express points. Amex currently has a transfer bonus to Marriott, but we don’t really recommend doing that given all the other much more lucrative ways you can redeem Amex points.
Whether you’re considering Marriott, Barclays, Delta or United, you’ll need a large points account balance to pull off scoring “free” Super Bowl tickets. If you’re an avid football fan, or just someone who has an overzealous bucket list that includes attending pinnacle events, you can book Super Bowl tickets using points or miles — you’re just going to need a whole bunch of them.
Featured image by Al Bello/Getty Images.
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