Rewards credit cards get a lot of good press for the money-saving benefits: statement credits, points and cash back. What’s not to love about them?
But fans of live music should take note of other benefits offered by credit cards. Namely, exclusive concert access. Many credit cards offer special concert and entertainment perks. Whether you want exclusive presale access for some of the top touring names or regular discounts at your favorite venue, these credit cards offer exclusive concert access and more to cardholders.
Bankrate’s picks for the best credit cards for VIP concert access
- Best for no annual fee flat-rate rewards: Citi® Double Cash Card
- Best for points transfer: Citi Premier® Card
- Best for live entertainment rewards: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
- Best sign-up bonus for travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Best for virtual experiences: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Best for frequent flyers: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Best for dining rewards: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best no annual fee card for international spending: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best for students: Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best card for regular statement credits: American Express® Gold Card
- Best for exclusive experiences: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Which credit cards offer exclusive access to concerts?
Credit cards with entertainment programs usually offer exclusive access to concerts, though not all concert benefits are equal. The best credit card for exclusive concert tickets will depend on where you are located and which events interest you the most.
American Express and Citi Entertainment offer presale and preferred seating at events around the world through Ticketmaster without venue restrictions. Others, like Capital One and Chase, offer perks at select venues only, so they may not make sense for every concertgoer.
What are the best cards for exclusive access to concerts?
Citi and American Express offer the best credit cards for exclusive concert tickets. With fewer venue restrictions than competitors, these cards get cardholders exclusive access to events and performances around the country. Depending on your location and interests, Capital One and Chase could offer appealing benefits, too—their venues are just more restrictive.
What virtual benefits are offered?
With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving in-person events on the back burner, many credit card companies with entertainment benefits are offering free and paid virtual experiences to cardholders. Citi and Chase really shine with virtual benefits. From musical performances to cultural experiences, these cards offer online events for all ages and interests.
Using your Citi credit card to get exclusive access
Citi Entertainment is the way cardholders get access to the best concerts, sporting and cultural events. Here’s how to access Citi card member preferred tickets.
- Find an event on the Citi Entertainment website. You can do a direct search or use the event, location and date filters to browse options.
- Click the “Buy Now” button.
- Enter the password. The Citi page will redirect you to a third party to continue with the purchasing or reservation process. To continue, you’ll need to enter the first six digits of your credit card number as a password.
Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card offers cardholders up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases: 1 percent for every dollar spent on the card, and another 1 percent once the balance is paid. With no annual fee, it’s a great way to save money and get exclusive Citi Entertainment access.
Citi Premier® Card
One of Citi’s lower fee travel credit cards ($95 per year), the Citi Premier Card offers ThankYou points for dollars spent. ThankYou points can be redeemed for a statement credit, cash back and offers through ThankYou.com.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Outside of any limited-time offers, the Citi Custom Cash delivers the potentially highest rewards rate on live entertainment—5 percent cash back (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1 percent)—as long as it’s your top spending category that billing cycle. Although this rewards scheme makes it a better option to pair with other Citi cards since there are nine other possible bonus categories, this no annual fee card’s live entertainment category covers a variety of tickets, including concerts and orchestras.
Using your Chase credit card to get exclusive access
Chase credit cards give cardholders exclusive preferred seating access at select venues across the country.
You can use your Chase Preferred Seating benefit directly in Ticketmaster. However, keep in mind that Chase benefits are restricted to venues under Madison Square Garden. There are multiple locations across New York City, Chicago and Inglewood, California, but if you don’t find yourself in those places often, it may not be the entertainment access credit card for you.
- Find the event you want to attend, and look for a blue highlighted option for Chase cardholders. To access the offer, click “See Tickets.” The list and seat map will update with only the available options for Chase Preferred Seating options.
- Choose your seat from the list of Chase preferred offers.
- Check out with your qualifying Chase credit card to use the benefit.
Chase also offers VIP entertainment experiences specifically for Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve customers. To view the details of these special offers, cardholders need to sign into their Chase account via the Chase Experiences webpage.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a superior travel sign-up bonus, which is good news if your next concert is across the country. If you spend $4,000 within the first three months, you’ll get 60,000 rewards points to use on travel. Since this card offers a 25 percent bonus on points when used for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the bonus is the equivalent of $750. The $95 annual fee is more than paid for with this bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
In addition to its countless other benefits including statement credits, travel and dining points and a generous sign-up bonus, Chase Sapphire Reserve is offering cardholders access to exclusive virtual entertainment, including concerts, culinary experiences and other events that are streamed right to your living room. The card has a steep annual fee of $550, but its sign-up bonus, rewards offerings and travel credits can help you come out ahead.
Using your Capital One credit card to get exclusive access
Capital One’s entertainment offers are available to cardholders anywhere in the U.S., but its entertainment options are somewhat limited compared to other companies. Many of its benefits are limited to events that take place at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
- Find an event. Visit the Capital One Access page to see qualifying events and cardholder benefits. To get tickets and more, you can click on “See Event Details.” For Capital One Arena benefits specifically, you can visit the site here to learn about events and promotions happening at the arena.
- Use your Capital One credit card to take advantage of the special deals.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One’s Venture Rewards card is the best bet for concertgoers who frequently take to the air. This card offers 2 miles per dollar spent, which means if you like to get away to distant shows, you could slash the cost of travel on the way there.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Dinner and a show, anyone? Capital One’s no annual fee SavorOne Cash Rewards card offers 3 percent cash back on all dining and entertainment purchases, plus popular streaming services and grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target). Not only will you save when you eat out, but you can get an even better deal on qualifying, discounted tickets with the entertainment cash back. What’s more, you’ll earn 8 percent cash back if your concert ticket is purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2023).
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
With the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, you’ll save with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. Its 1.5 percent cash back bonus is unlimited, and you’ll earn on every purchase.
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Not only does the Capital One SavorOne Student card deliver the same unlimited 3 percent cash back on entertainment and dining as the full-fledged SavorOne card, but students will also be able to enjoy the 8 percent cash back Vivid Seats purchases offer through January 2023.
Using your American Express credit card to get exclusive access
Amex offers concertgoers comprehensive access to exclusive member experiences, ticket presales and preferred seating through its partnership with Ticketmaster. The benefit is easy to use and applies to events around the world where tickets are sold by Ticketmaster.
- Find an event. There are a few ways to find events that qualify for American Express credit card benefits. The first and easiest way is to find a show you’re interested in from the main menu or with the direct search. If you need some inspiration for Amex-sponsored events, you can visit the American Express Ticketmaster page or the American Express entertainment website and filter for cardholder tickets.
- View ticket options. Once you find a show or event you’re interested in, select “Find Tickets.” This will take you to a new page for that event, with the option to get tickets. The “Get Tickets” button opens a new page for a third-party ticket seller. Many music performances will open in Ticketmaster. If you use the direct search or American Express website to read this page, you’ll need to filter for American Express seats yourself. Just click on the “Filters” button on the right side of the screen, and check off the relevant American Express Card Member box.
- Purchase your tickets. Once you’ve selected your seat and number of tickets, it’s time to check out. Just make sure you use your qualifying American Express card to purchase your tickets.
American Express® Gold Card
In addition to the high points-earning rate of the American Express Gold Card, cardholders can get statement credits that nearly cancel out the $250 annual fee. Statement credits are issued for qualifying dining out purchases up to $120 per year, and cardholders can also enjoy $120 in annual Uber Cash (up to $10 per month).
The Platinum Card® from American Express
If you want to feel like an A-lister, the Platinum Card gives you access to exclusive, invitation-only entertainment and cultural experiences. The annual fee is steep at $695, but the card comes with many opportunities to recoup that fee in the form of rewards points and recurring statement credits. It even comes with 24/7 Platinum concierge service for cardholders.
The bottom line
Music lovers and entertainment-goers can reap a lot of benefits from the right entertainment credit card. Just remember that there’s more than entertainment benefits to consider. Think about the restrictions on the entertainment benefit and any other fees and offers that come with the card when choosing the best credit card for you.