This year’s Big Game will take place in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday, February 7th. Chances are good that, just like prior years, thousands of people will shell out thousands of dollars for their chance to see the show. Sadly, that doesn’t include the cost of local lodging and a plane ticket which, as we all know, are expensive enough on their own.
Fortunately, it’s pretty likely that at least some people are paying for their trip with credit card rewards. Because, with enough points and miles stashed away, anyone could do it.
Here’s what it would take:
Travel Hacking with Three Credit Cards
Enjoying the Big Game on television is one thing, but seeing it in person is an entirely different experience. But, how can you use rewards to pay for your actual ticket?
A solid cash-back card like the Spark Business Miles Rewards card from Capital One will do the trick. This card offers a flat 2 percent back on all purchases, in addition to a 50,000 point signup bonus worth $500 after you put $4,500 on the card within 90 days. Earning the signup bonus and putting enough spending on the card is the best way to pay for tickets – or any other travel expense – without forking over the money yourself.
Ticket aside, attendees will need a place to stay nearby. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites costs just 20,000 IHG points per night, and anyone can earn this point currency by signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining plus 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. And that’s in addition to the huge bonus this card offers – a bonus which can transfer directly to the IHG Rewards program at a 1:1 ratio.
Once accommodations and tickets are taken care of, most people still need to fly to see the show. The best airline and frequent flyer program to this end depends a lot on where you live – and which airport you fly out of.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a card that could come in handy if you live near an airport with a Southwest hub. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer directly to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio, booking flights in and out of the large airport in San Jose, California, is easy. And as of today’s writing, round-trip flights over the Big Game weekend cost around 20,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards miles per person.
If you don’t live near a Southwest hub and want the option to fly with any airline, you could always opt for the Citi ThankYou Premier card instead. This card doles out 50,000 points worth $625 in airfare after you use your card for $3,000 in purchases within 90 days of card ownership. The best part is, the annual fee is waived the first year and you can use your points for any flight with any airline – and with no worry over blackout dates or award availability.
With just the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, the Spark Business Miles Rewards card from Capital One, and the Citi ThankYou Premier in their wallet, anyone could have hacked their way to this year’s Big Game.
Fortunately, the same can be said for next year’s Big Game. With a similar strategy, it’s easy to start building points you could use for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Just remember, earning points and miles doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time. And if you’re eyeing a trip or any other big event in the near future, the time to get started is now.