You might be planning to score some bonus miles this Valentine’s Day by going through a shopping portal and purchasing traditional flowers. But why not knock it out of the park and get your significant other tickets to an event, festival or VIP experience using travel rewards you’ve been saving?
Experiences are high on the list of things that people want, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Valentine’s Day survey. Forty percent of participants said they would like to receive an experience such as tickets to a concert or a spa day, while 25% said they plan to give an experience.
Here’s a sampling of events that you can redeem your points for. Some have a set price and others are auctions that go to the highest bidder.
Chase Ultimate Rewards® Experiences
Chase cardholders have access to a variety of experiences including culinary, entertainment and sports events. The experiences available to you might vary depending on what Chase credit card you have. For Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders who want to hit the slopes, you can trade in your points for ski lift tickets at resorts in Colorado, Vermont or Utah. Tickets cost between 8,000 to 16,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points each.
If you’re interested in a more exclusive experience you can ski with World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn at Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado March 21-23. The package for two includes two nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, opening night reception with Vonn, a ski and photo experience with her on the mountain, a pair of lift tickets on March 22, access to an après-ski event and a dedicated concierge. You can have this memorable weekend for 235,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.
Delta SkyMiles Experiences
Delta has a host of options you can bid on, including NASCAR VIP experiences at Texas Motor Speedway at the end of March. The package includes Victory Lane Club tickets, weekend pit passes and pace car rides. Current bids are around 30,000 miles with the auction closing Feb. 28.
If music is your thing, there’s the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York this spring. Up for auction are a pair of VIP tickets for the three-day event featuring 60 artists taking place on Randall’s Island from May 31-June 2. There are several packages with current bids around 30,000 miles. The auction ends on April 24.
Hilton Honors Experiences
If you happen to be in Vegas or headed there, Hilton has packages for two to see Walk the Moon at the new Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas on March 1. It’s an exclusive performance for Honors members complete with VIP treatment.
The cost is 40,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points for two and includes a party with a DJ, curated cocktails and food before and after the performance. This offer ends Feb. 28. You can also bid for a chance to meet the band. The highest bid was 10,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points at the time of writing. The auction closes on Feb. 22.
World of Hyatt Experiences
Feeling a little adventurous? Nothing says love (and trust!) like the gift of tandem paragliding in Daly City, California. Don’t worry. An expert instructor will accompany you while you glide for up to 30 minutes from 10 to 1,000 feet over the Bay Area. The experience costs 14,286 points per person.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, there’s a 90-minute yoga and meditation session in San Francisco for 17,857 points. Sessions are for one or two people at a time.
Or try a tango dance lesson where you can get a private two-hour session for two in New York for 21,429 points. You’ll be greeted with strawberries and chocolates, and you can bring your own bottle of wine or champagne.
Many Marriott Bonvoy experiences are currently sold out, but members of the loyalty program can still purchase Elton John tickets for his show on Feb. 21 in Minneapolis. Get pre-show access to a premium suite and complimentary heavy appetizers and beverages while there. A two-ticket package costs 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
NerdWallet does not guarantee promotions, prices or dates. They are subject to change or expiration.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card