The US Open Tennis Championships 2014 will be held from August 26 through September 9 at Flushing Meadows just outside of Manhattan. Along with appearances by big tennis pros like Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, major credit card companies like Chase and American Express also have a huge presence throughout the tournament.
In addition to providing support for the event and the players, Chase and American Express are offering exclusive perks to their account and cardholders. If you happen to be a Chase or Amex customer and avid tennis fan, this could be a win-win situation for you.
Lucky for me, I’m a Chase customer and an American Express cardholder, so I was determined to find out first-hand if these benefits were worth signing up for before I made my way to the tournament.
How I signed up
Like most banking consumers, I don’t take advantage of things that require too much reading or effort. It’s supposed to be a perk — not work!
On the morning of August 19, I saw a tweet from Chase, that read: “Attending @USOpen? Chase customer? Reserve your spot in our #ChaseLounge for a VIP experience.Chase.com/chaselounge.”
It seemed like the tweet was speaking to me. Yes, I will be attending the U.S. Open. Chase customer? Yes, I am. VIP experience — sign me up! This would have been my first time taking advantage of any perks through Chase — other than the lollipops I grab when I visit the branch every now and then. I was excited.
After visiting the website, I was surprised to find out that the process was rather simple. As a new user, all you had to do was enter your customer service phone number on the back of your Chase ATM card or other Chase issued materials. Simple enough.
It took me directly to a page that listed the available reservations. Luckily, the slots happened to be open for the days I had tickets. Reservation complete! I successfully reserved a space at the Chase Lounge for myself and three other guests.
So, what perks should be expected?
Unfortunately, Chase site didn’t provide much description on what would be offered at the US Open Chase Lounge. It would have been OK if I had faith that it would be wonderful, but given that it was my first time ever taking advantage of a perk from Chase, I was full of doubt and wanted more information on what to expect.
So I decided to contact a banker at local Chase branch — who also seemed to have a very hard time finding out what was being offered at the US Open. He explained that with so many entertainment perks being offered through Chase, it was impossible for him to know exactly what was being offered for all the events. I asked him to find out, and after two days of waiting, I called back and discovered there will be food and beverages offered at the Chase Lounge — and possibly appearances from celebrity tennis players for photos.
The fun begins inside the US Open Chase lounge
With my information scarce and expectations low, I headed for the Chase Lounge on the day of the game — and I was in for a surprise. The Chase Lounge was spacious, and most importantly, very well air conditioned (which may have been one of the biggest perks). I was also amazed to see that it was not crowded and there was plenty of room to sit. Multiple TVs were set up along one side of the wall, making it easy to catch any US Open game.
We were given baseball hats with Chase and US Open logos on them. Hors d’oeuvre, including fruit cups and mini-cupcakes were served while finger foods like sliders and bread sticks were prepared by the grill. At the bar, they offered everything from water and juice, to beer and wine for adults. We also had some fun on the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for 3D gaming.
If you plan to attend the US Open, this perk is definitely something to look out for.
Perks for American Express cardholders
Credit cards come with a myriad of offers and benefits — so many that many credit card holders overlooked perks beyond the basic rewards points. If you own an American Express credit card, you may have read a vague description on how you can save on dining, shopping, entertainment when using your card.
Some of these benefits includes exclusive access to ticket pre-sales, invitations to card member–only events, preferred seating, premium seats for select cultural and sporting events based on availability. Great! But do people actually take advantage of these benefits and are they worth it?
Amex at US Open
At the US Open, American Express was providing numerous perks to their cardholders and guest. For one, they gave out complimentary personal radios for people to listen to, as they broadcast the American Express Radio Live at the Open. There were other notable digital experiences awaiting Amex customers with fun activities.
It seemed like over 75 percent of the stadium took advantage of the American Express Radios. I got one too but I enjoyed watching the game without them.
Although skeptical at first, I realized these perks really did come in handy, and I was grateful I decided to take advantage of it.
Enjoy your time at the Open and let us know what your experience was like!