How my Chase Sapphire Reserve won me daughter of the year


Editor’s note: TPG received complimentary VIP tickets from Chase for this experience. 

I’ve had my Chase Sapphire Reserve® for almost a year now, and it’s easily my favorite credit card. I love its automatic annual travel credit and how it allows me to get a facial at the Sapphire Lounge during a layover at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). Of course, I also love that it earns bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points on a wide range of dining and travel purchases.

But when I saw that I could get my parents exclusive VIP tickets to this year’s PGA Championship with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, my love for the card reached a new level.

My parents love golf. They gave me my first set of clubs when I was in elementary school, and I grew up thinking that major tournament weekends were national holidays. Much to my parents’ disappointment, I never picked up their love for the sport. However, when I learned I could score VIP tickets with my credit card and let them experience the tournament in person rather than watching it at home, I hoped I could redeem myself a bit.

Spoiler: It worked. Here’s how my credit card unlocked an experience that made me daughter of the year.

Chase Experiences

Many credit cards come with entertainment access. This can include early access to tickets for concerts and sporting events and exclusive access to these events.

A few months ago, I was perusing the experiences available through the Ultimate Rewards portal and noticed that PGA Championship tickets were available.

Those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could purchase basic grounds tickets for cash or points. But as a Sapphire Reserve cardholder, I also had the option to purchase VIP experience tickets for a slightly higher price.

It’s worth noting that I found some of the wording in the ticket descriptions confusing. However, I called Chase for clarification, and the agents answered my questions quickly and clearly. Even with this extra step, the process was remarkably painless.

PGA Championship Chase lounge

All Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, along with one guest, could enter the lounge by simply showing their card — even without VIP tickets.

The lounge was an impressive two-story structure on the 11th hole. Inside, guests could help themselves to complimentary snacks, soda and coffee; they could also buy beer, wine, seltzer and cocktails at the bar.

bar in chase lounge

The snacks included a grab-and-go table of cookies and popcorn, and the staff brought around heavier bites throughout the day.

The large structure provided ample indoor and outdoor seating, and each level had a covered outdoor patio area with prime views of the 11th green.

Those looking for a reprieve from the heat could settle into one of the many seating areas in the air-conditioned interior and watch TV coverage of the tournament.

The lounge also featured an exclusive Polaroid photo op with a backdrop designed by a local artist.

Additionally, Chase brought in some unique surprises throughout the tournament, including a bourbon tasting and a viewing of the Wanamaker Trophy.

bourbon tasting

Even so, I heard several people remark that the best part of the lounge was having access to real restrooms instead of the portable ones located throughout the grounds.

bathrooms at PGA

PGA Championship VIP Chase experience

As VIP ticketholders, we could skip the long line to get into the lounge and go straight to our VIP expedited check-in.

We also had access to premium seats in front of the first-level patio. This section had a dedicated wait staff, and VIPs received complimentary beer, wine and seltzer. Even better, these seats were reserved. So if the lounge reached capacity and had a waiting list, we would have still been allowed in and had seats in this area.

Other Chase benefits

The lounge was only available to Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, but there were a few benefits available to both Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders.

Grounds tickets through the Ultimate Rewards portal

Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders could purchase grounds tickets for the tournament through the Ultimate Rewards portal even after tickets through the main event website sold out. Additionally, by purchasing through the Ultimate Rewards portal, cardholders could pay for their tickets with Ultimate Rewards points instead of cash.

PGA Shop perks

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cardholders enjoyed a dedicated checkout line in the PGA Shop throughout the tournament and $20 off a purchase of $150 or more on Sunday.

the PGA Shop

Complimentary radio

Additionally, Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cardholders could visit a booth near the 10th hole to get a complimentary Chase-branded radio, which streamed live ESPN coverage of the tournament.

Bottom line

It’s easy to get caught up in a credit card’s earning potential and travel benefits and forget about its entertainment access. However, if concerts and sporting events are important to you, be sure to check out our full list of the best credit cards for VIP access.

If you’ve been considering adding the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred to your wallet, now is a great time to do so. For a limited time, you’ll earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.

For more details, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Apply here: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Apply here: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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