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

Oct. 22, 2019
5 min read
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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

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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)

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

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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Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
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Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
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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
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.