Get access to exclusive tickets to your favourite events through your credit card.
For some, getting the exclusive seats to their favourite concert, sporting event or comedy show is the ultimate form of relaxation or a good time.
Credit card providers know this, so offer services and exclusive deals for tickets and VIP seating to events.
What are credit cards with exclusive ticket sales and VIP seating at events?
Credit cards which offer these benefits are generally premium cards. This means to get your hands on exclusive tickets and VIP seating you usually have to have a gold or platinum card. This of course isn't a hard and fast rule - some basic debit and prepaid cards will grant access to programs such as Visa Entertainment, which grant access to different events and experiences.
How do credit cards with exclusive ticket sales and preferred seating work?
The credit cards which offer these benefits generally require you to call a concierge service or the relevant program.
For example, with a Visa Platinum card, you get Visa Front Line Access. This gives you the opportunity to access tickets to some of the most popular events in the country before they are released to the public. All you have to do is login to the Visa Front Line Access system, check out what's available in terms of events, and then you can make your reservation. Note that you generally can't reserve more than ten tickets, but it does depend on the event in question.
When the tickets go on sale, you will receive a notification, either via email or SMS, whichever you prefer. You will then have a certain timeframe during which you can buy them.
How to compare preferred seating programs?
When it comes to comparing preferred seating programs, it's a matter of choosing the right credit card first, and then looking at the preferred seating offers. Generally, cards that feature such benefits are more expensive than simple, no-frill cards, so you want to make sure that you aren't going to end up with a lot of expensive debt just because you want access to various events.
Here are a few pointers to get you started in comparing premium cards which offer these perks.
- Annual fee
The annual fees for different platinum cards can vary wildly. Even if a card has a high annual fee it doesn't necessarily mean it's not good value. Some premium cards with high annual fees will also come with a large range of features and potential money saving discounts so take these into account.
- Interest free days and interest rates
Your credit card is primarily designed to be used for spending, so be sure to take this into account when selecting a credit card with preferred seating benefits. If you're going to pay off your balance each month then a card with a larger amount of interest free days might be useful. If you regularly carry a balance it may be better to opt for a card which has a lower interest rate, although many premium cards will come with a higher interest rate for purchases.
- Preferred seating scheme
The main reason why you're reading this page is to find out more about cards which can get you better seats in concerts and other entertainment events. This is hard to compare because most schemes will advertise that they can do the same thing: get their cardholders early access to tickets or better seating in events. The way to compare the different preferred seating programs offered on credit cards is to ask others who have used the program in the past or to check discussion forums online. This will give you an indication of cardholder's experiences and ease in booking tickets.
- Card scheme
Generally speaking, Visa, MasterCard and American Express each have their own preferred seating schemes. Some schemes even have premium and basic versions which offer better seating and availability, or the ability to get tickets earlier.
- Rewards programs
Many platinum cards have rewards programs built into them. If you're applying for a credit card only to get access to preferred seating or exclusive tickets than you may not want to worry about paying the higher annual fee for one of these cards. If you do want to earn rewards then ensure you compare these programs in relation to the potential rewards you could get access to each year.
- Other features
Many premium cards have other features which you may wish to include in your comparison such as complimentary insurance policies. The importance you place on these features will depend on you.
Things to avoid with preferred seating programs
The preferred seating programs available to credit cardholders can make a card look a hundred times better than it actually is. The promotional material is generally phrased in such a way that they get you all excited, and you basically think you are getting these amazing perks for free, or practically for free. You end up thinking that you'll never be able to enjoy such amazing experiences in any other way except by signing up for this amazing card.
In amongst all the hype many people often forget to look at all the other terms and conditions that apply to the account, as they're so busy focusing solely on the fact that you can get front row tickets to see some artist you've loved since you were a teenager.
The concert will last a few hours and you might remember it for a lifetime, but if you haven't reviewed your credit card you could end up stuck with a lot of high-interest debt. This is especially true if the account type you've chosen doesn't allow interest free days on certain purchase or transaction types, which means you'll be charged interest from the date of the transaction.
The biggest thing you want to avoid with preferred seating programs is thinking of this benefit as the most important factor in choosing your credit card. It should be considered as a bonus to the right credit card account to suit your income level and spending habits.
Having access to ticket presales means you get to buy your tickets before everyone else. It doesn't necessarily mean it's always going to be a preferential seating service. Various seats throughout the venue are put on sale during a presale period, so it's not always 100% guaranteed that you will get the seats you're after, unless you're willing to cover the cost of course.
Most venues have a limited number of seats they are willing to put up for presale, and once they're finished, that's it. They also impose deadlines by when these tickets have to be sold by, or they will go back into the general pool to be put up for sale to the rest of the general public.
You also need to check out what ticket company the program in question uses, because each company only sells tickets for certain venues. So, if someone you really want to see shows up at a different venue than those covered by the ticket seller, then you are missing out on any of the potential benefits you thought you'd be getting.
All of these details are matters you should seriously consider before signing up for a card. Of course, if you're applying for the card in question because it's the right option for your financial circumstances and the preferred seating program is just an added benefit for you, that's great. Just make sure it isn't the other way around.
FAQs on exclusive seating
Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Visa Front Line Access program and the Visa Entertainment program.
How do I get access to a preferred seating scheme?
To get access to these schemes you'll need to have an eligible card. This will depend on who runs the schemes. Visa Entertainment for example only requires that you have a Visa prepaid, debit or credit card. Visa Front Line Access requires a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature card.
Do I have to pay for a preferred seating scheme?
In most cases these services are free, and are simply benefits of being a cardholder. Remember though that many of the cards that these programs are offered on will be premium cards, and therefore will have higher annual fees than a regular credit card.
Can I get access to tickets before they're released?
This will again depend on the scheme. Some preferred seating schemes will get access to presales for tickets, but this is guaranteed for each and every show.
What is Visa Front Line Access?
If you have a Visa Signature or a Visa Platinum credit card, you gain access to Visa Front Line Access, which is an elite service that ensures you are able to reserve tickets to various events before the general public has access to them.
When I buy a Visa Entertainment presale ticket, does this mean that I'm guaranteed a good seat?
While you are given access to buying tickets early, these presales include seats from all categories, so there is no guarantee that you will get premium seating. There is a map of the concert arena showing the different seating categories at www.ticketek.com.au, which you should check before you buy any tickets, as you would before buying tickets online in any other situation.