Chase Dining Experiences: Are the Events Worth It?

Some of the latest Chase redemptions can buy unique experiences that are accessible to cardmembers only.
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Written by Sally French
Lead Writer/Spokesperson
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Edited by Meghan Coyle
Assistant Assigning Editor
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Chase Sapphire credit cards tend to get all the glory for points that can be redeemed for travel. But increasingly, Chase points can fund more than just flights and hotels.

With Chase Experiences and J.P. Morgan Chase’s 2021 acquisition of the restaurant website The Infatuation, cardholders now have access to exclusive invitations to unique experiences, many of which are related to dining.

That includes events such as the “Dinner on the Court” series, where Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers who bought tickets using either cash or Chase Ultimate Rewards® points got to eat dinner on the court of San Francisco’s Chase Center, home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors. I attended the event as part of a complimentary press invitation to see what these special dining experiences are like. My mission? To find out whether it’s worth spending your cash or points on them.

Appetizers are set on the table, which was placed directly on the court of San Francisco's Chase Center, for a cardmember-exclusive event in March 2024. (Photo by Sally French)

Chase Dining vs. Chase Experiences

Chase Dining and Chase Experiences go hand in hand, though there are some nuances.

Chase Dining launched in 2020 as a hub for Chase Sapphire, Freedom and Ink cardmembers. Powered by reservation website Tock, the program allows cardmembers to make reservations at participating restaurants and order takeout. Cardmembers can also redeem points for their food orders.

While all cardmembers earn rewards for purchases made through Chase Dining, cardholders earn an eye-opening rate of 10 points for each $1 spent on Chase Dining purchases.

Chase Experiences, on the other hand, is a selection of events available exclusively to cardholders. Examples include presale or VIP tickets to sports events, music or food festivals. These tickets still cost money, but you can usually pay in cash or points.

There are also complimentary experiences for certain Chase cardholders. For example, all Chase cardholders get access to expedited entry lines at some events, but Chase Sapphire Reserve® members get exclusive lounge access at events like the PGA Championship or Broccoli City Festival 2024 in Washington, D.C. The air-conditioned lounges at hot and crowded summer events can be a valuable reprieve for attendees.

How to get access to exclusive Chase events

The most exclusive events usually require a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which commands a $550 annual fee. Its current sign-up bonus is: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

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Chase’s Dinner on the Court series, for example, was open only to people with a Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Cardmembers can also get exclusive restaurant reservations at The Infatuation’s Hit List Dinner Series restaurants across the country.

For the Dinner on the Court series, cardmembers got the unique opportunity to walk onto the court and see the Golden State Warriors' championship trophies up close. (Photo by Sally French)

Are Chase Experiences worth booking?

Events vary in quality and cost, so it’ll depend on your preferences to decide whether Chase Experiences and Chase Dining events are worth it. The Dinner on the Court I attended was particularly memorable given the celebrity appearances, custom gifts and opportunity to dine on Chase Center’s court.

Dinner on the Court

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Dinner on the Court is a set of dining events held at some of the country’s well-known basketball venues, including State Farm Arena in Atlanta and Madison Square Garden in New York City. The San Francisco version of the event cost $300 or 30,000 Chase points, while the versions in the other two cities cost $250 or 25,000 Chase points.

About 100 people attended the Chase Center event. Guests consumed courtside cocktails before munching on a meal — served on the court — from Michelin-starred restaurant Mister Jiu’s. Though the dishes served didn’t mirror the restaurant’s standard menu, Mister Jiu’s prices typically start at $125 per person (before beverages, add-ons, taxes and tips) for its tasting menu. At Mister Jiu’s, the wine pairing costs an additional $100, while the Dinner on the Court event included alcohol at the open bar.

The third course of the four-course meal consisted of braised beef shank, a scallion pancake and fava bean paste. (Photo by Sally French)

Sure, the food wasn’t quite up to par with what you would get at the Mister Jiu’s restaurant. But considering it was cooked in an arena kitchen, that felt somewhat expected. The meals were still high-quality with ingredients like razor clams as the star of the first course, and tender braised beef shank for one of the two main courses.

In what was a Warriors fan’s fantasy, people could ogle the team’s championship trophies up close and meet guard Chris Paul. Attendees also walked away with a swag bag that included a Mister Jiu’s cookbook (worth about $22), a monogrammed Mark and Graham bag (worth about $200) and a custom jersey with their name on the back (worth about $100).

Attendees received personalized swag. (Photo by Sally French)

In total, between the dinner and gifts, I’d estimate the experience was worth over about $450, so it was great value for foodies and Warriors fans, no matter whether you paid cash or points.

Other Chase Dining events

If you’re not much of a sports fan, other food-focused Chase events include dinner at New York seafood restaurant Jeffrey’s Grocery for Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders. For $125 or 8,333 points, you can get a multicourse meal with alcohol pairings, plus an appearance by Executive Chef Matt Griffin.

Chase also usually offers special deals for EEEEEATSCON, an annual food festival by The Infatuation. For the 2024 festival in Miami, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders got a 50% discount on presale tickets. Keep in mind, though, that reviews are mixed for big events like EEEEEATSCON; some people love the celebrity appearances and bites and others think the long lines and entrance fee aren’t worth it.

Booking Chase dining experiences: Yay or nay?

Some Chase Experiences are a unique opportunity to buy a ticket to an event that the general public can’t access.

The list of available events rotates and many sell out, so check the "Experiences" page on the Ultimate Rewards® website to see if there are any upcoming events that appeal to you.

My experience with Dinner on the Court suggests that some experiences (especially the exclusive Chase ones) are worth your time and money. Given the mixed reviews on some of the bigger festivals or restaurants, book Chase experiences and VIP packages with the knowledge that your mileage may vary.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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