How points and miles saved me from missing the Taylor Swift Eras Tour

I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan since Taylor Swift hit the stage, and over the years I’ve been lucky enough to see her perform 13 times live — and as all Swifties know, 13 are a very important number.

But last year when tickets for the Eras Tour went on sale, my luck ran out, and I was one of the countless people who had no tickets left after the Ticketmaster incident in November. despite having the right card to access a pre-sale.

Needless to say, there were a few tears on my guitar at the time, but my group decided to hold out until the tour started to see if the resale price would drop first. show days or even hours, if that happens. came up with – before spending hundreds of dollars on old tickets.

Since the tour began March 17 in Arizona, I’ve noticed that resale ticket prices have dropped before the show—and nimblers around the country have noted that Ticketmaster has released a number of number of tickets on the day before some shows.

But I live in New York City, and my daily Stubhub checks are starting to worry me, as even the worst tickets have limited or obscured visibility in the highest areas of the Stadium. The MetLife Activity in East Rutherford, New Jersey also costs (or more) $1,000 each before taxes and fees. Dare I try to jump to only part lightly closer to the stage and I might also consider buying a used car instead.


Here’s the thing: I love music, I love concerts, and I Love Taylor Swift. In fact, it was seeing Taylor at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2009 that pushed me to take my musical ambitions to the next level, inspiring me to start writing my own songs and was what motivated me to move to Nashville for college. learn music composition. “Fearless” was the album that changed the trajectory of my life, “Red” played non-stop during my college years, and “Evermore” was the album I listened to on every flight when the plane took off.

Missing the concert wasn’t an option – so I decided it was time to get creative. I’m afraid I won’t get the ticket I want in New York or miss out on it altogether by waiting too long, so it’s time to see how my hard-earned points and miles can help me pay how far in cash. for old tickets online.

My first instinct was to make a trip out of the concert by going somewhere fun or new, but with the caveat that I could only justify it by paying nominal fees for flights and hotels. I also aim to attend a gig in the first half of the tour in case something happens that prevents me, my fiancé, and my best friend from going, so there’s still time to go. regroup and go elsewhere, if necessary.

This is how it went.

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Mining out of Tampa


My initial thought was to go to Tampa to enjoy the warm weather and potentially get some sunshine before the show.

I found tickets in my budget for a Saturday night performance on April 15th, it’s not great seats but better than what I’ve found in NYC. I immediately looked for hotels I could book with points and, to my surprise, found award nights on Fridays and Saturdays at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay at 15,000 points per night. I can book this room by transferring 30,000 Chase Rewards points from Chase Sapphire Priority Card.


The cash rate for those nights averaged $980, according to the Hyatt website, for a whopping $2,279.13. By booking with points instead of cash, my World of Hyatt ransom would be valued at a staggering 6.52 cents per point, for a hotel only about ten minutes’ drive from the concert. . That is Good via The value of TPG is 1.7 cents per point.


Next, I started pricing flights — and that’s where the plan fell through. Is one American Airlines Loyalist, I started with flights from multiple NYC airports to Tampa International Airport (TPA) and found one-way options with 12,500 points plus $5.60 in taxes and fees. Point!

Related: Pursuing American Airlines elite status? Here are 14 ways to earn Loyalty Points

But it was the return flight on Sunday, April 16, that made me realize that Tampa wasn’t my best bet. The cheapest flight on American is 49,500 miles, or $389 for a route that includes a flight to Dallas with an overnight stay. No, thanks.

Next, I checked other airlines, all to no avail. The cheapest one-way Delta flight is 35,000 points. United’s is 34,400. Even the cheapest Spirit flight is $374 – and that doesn’t even include hand luggage.

Time to go back to the drawing board.

Option A+ in A-Town


Rubbing my head at the tour schedule, I realized that to book this entire trip with points and miles, I needed to find a city with a large airport and plenty of hotels.

That’s when I saw the date in Atlanta – and it all clicked. Atlanta is a megacity with many neighborhoods and suburbs, so I thought there must be some hotel that I could book with points. And with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) busiest in the worldplus a hub for Delta, there’s definitely a way to reserve it all by points and miles.

I’m right.

My first step was to search for tickets, which was especially difficult because I needed the unfortunate number of three. But for the first time since November, when the original ticket went on sale, my luck changed: I found three tickets in my budget, not at the nosebleed but—gasp—in the area. Delta Sky360 Club area, for the show on Sunday, April 30. I lost everything to not click “buy now”; I need to confirm my flight and hotel options first.

I started with hotels to make sure there was a place to sleep. Again, I started with Hyatt, hoping for a 15,000 point per night option. I was very lucky and found rooms available at Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta for 12,000 points per night and at Thompson Buckhead for 40,000 points per night for a King Suite or 20,000 points per night for a King Room standard. The reality is that both of these rooms are well priced, but won’t be enough room or bed for a couple and a friend.


So I moved to Marriott – and I hit the jackpot. With Marriott, I’ve found a lot of hotels that have rewards available starting at 35,000 points per night (and also a lot of announcements not available). Finally, knowing we wanted to be in Midtown, not too far from the concert but close to the Saturday night nightlife before the Sunday concert, I was able to rent a room at the Twelve Midtown, Autograph Collection in the apartment. One-bedroom apartment with a pull-out couch, a kitchen and a balcony for 45,000 points per night. The total for the stay is up to 90,000 points plus $10 in taxes and fees.

In cash, the same room is $504 a night for $1,009, tax and fee savings. This means that my booking equates to 1.12 cents per point and is still more than TPG’s 0.8 cent value for Marriott Bonvoy points and in a location where we want a lot of space to split. shall. And, since I already had too many points in my Bonvoy account to book, I didn’t have to process the transfer.


And last but not least, I had to book a flight – and again, I scored. For 24,500 Delta miles plus $11.20, I was able to book round-trip flights to and from New York-LaGuardia (LGA), my nearest airport, at times that allowed us to arrive. Atlanta early for a day of fun that Saturday and enough to sleep and recover before the return flight on Monday.

In fact, we could have saved a few thousand more points by booking the Basic tier ticket, but we opted to book the Master ticket so we could all choose our seats and sit together.


Once my travel plans were confirmed, I went back to get my tickets – and a moment later we were ready.

I forgot one important thing…

If, like me, you end up buying a ticket on StubHub, don’t forget to click through to the site through rakutenshopping portal that allows you earn American Express Membership Rewards or cashback on purchases. I remember it being too late, but Rakuten now offers up to 3% cashback (or 3 Amex points for every dollar spent) on StubHub purchases. And new members can get a one-time bonus of $30 by joining via this link and spending $30 through the site in the first 90 days.

This can help offset the extra cost of a trip to a concert.

And for what it’s worth, my experience buying second hand tickets on Stubhub has been absolutely fine. I purchased and was told that my ticket will be sent electronically 48 hours before the show. That worried me, but thankfully because of my anxiety, the ticket was transferred to my Ticketmaster account from the original owner about a day later.

But just to be on the safe side, I paid for the ticket with my American Express card for extra safety in case something goes wrong when buying old tickets.



I’m usually someone who spends a lot of my points and miles achieving something really special — like a luxurious hotel or business class seats for a trip to Japan. But at the end of the day, I like that my points and miles are always there when I need them for something unexpected. Do I expect to spend 90,000 Marriott points on a hotel and 24,500 Delta miles on a flight? Are not. But am I glad I did? You should believe it!

Now, instead of paying an arm and a leg for the horrible seats in my hometown, I’m going to have a fun weekend away with friends, see a concert I fear I’ll miss. miss out on great seats and be reminded of the importance of always checking in. your option to jump in to put something.

Rate my redemption all you want. As Taylor says, “The gunna haters, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” … but “I’ll shake, shake, shake, shake, shake” in the night in Atlanta.

And people are still looking for tickets – wait there! See where your points and miles can take you, and if all else fails, literally keep checking tickets until the last minute.


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