Batter up: 4 tips for leveraging points and miles at the World Series

Oct 22, 2019

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Tonight at 7:08 p.m. local time, Gerrit Cole will stand tall on the pitching mound in Houston’s Minute Maid Park and rocket the baseball over 60 feet toward home plate to officially start Game 1 of the 2019 Major League Baseball World Series. Of course, you can just turn the World Series games on TV, but that’s nowhere near the same as the electricity you feel when cheering for the home (or away) team in person.

So, if you are itching to cheer for the Astros or Nationals in person. or you just like to be a part of big games regardless of the teams on the field, here are some tips for leveraging your miles, points and travel skills to have a great time at the World Series.

Use United miles to bid for tickets

With the elimination of SPG Moments, there aren’t as many opportunities to use points and miles for World Series tickets as there were in previous years. However, if you have some United miles burning a hole in your pocket you can bid on Game 2 tickets. The Game 1 package sold yesterday and Game 2 will close this afternoon. Should Games 6 and 7 be necessary in Houston, I bet United will make those available, too. Currently the bidding is at 138,000 miles for two tickets in the Mezzanine section and a parking pass.

While you can’t always put a price on something like the World Series, TPG values United miles at 1.3 cents each (about $1,800 for 138k miles) and Mezzanine tickets are selling for about $800 each at the moment making this not necessarily the absolute best use of miles, but again, the World Series is special so value your miles at will.

While Games 1 – 5 are sold out via this method, also keep your eyes on Priceless Moments from Mastercard as they will have tickets to the final two games, if needed, for $260 per pair.

Best hotel points to save time and money

Literally across the street from Minute Maid Park is the Westin Downtown Houston. You can hear the cheers from some of the rooms, it’s that close. Rooms are selling for tonight and tomorrow night for around $900 each. However, you can still book with Marriott points at the peak rate of 40,000 points per night, which is simply a steal for the convenience factor.

Valet park your car across from the ballpark at the Westin for just $32 when nearby self-parking lots will be charging at least double that amount, if not more. I like to book rooms here for baseball playoff games even if we don’t spend the night just to make things easy.

Related: Best cards for racking up hotel points

Houston Westin Downtown (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

In D.C., the the Hampton Inn and Suites Navy Yard is right next to Nationals Park. Rooms are selling for $600 to $700 for World Series game nights, but are still available for 60,000 Hilton Honors points. Again, a literal steal.

Use CLEAR to skip the lines

As part of the postseason offerings, you can enter both Minute Maid Park and Nationals Park using CLEAR. There is a free stadium-only version of the service, so you can sign-up online for free and then finish the process at the gate. Or, if you want a full version of CLEAR to use at the airport too, check out this guide.

CLEAR machines (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
CLEAR machines (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Maximize your purchase

Assuming you don’t use United miles for tickets, be sure you maximize that purchase with a card that gives a bonus on entertainment since this will be a pricey purchase. I don’t have World Series tickets, but I’ve been putting my ticket purchases for the previous rounds on the Citi Premier® Card to earn 2 points per dollar on entertainment purchases. Other good options include the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card for 5% back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter in two categories you choose or the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card for 4% back. The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit 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.

Bottom line

Baseball playoff games, and especially a World Series game, are special. If you get the chance to go, take it. Just be sure and maximize those points and miles along the way.

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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