How to Access VIP Events With Your Premium Credit Card

The top credit cards from Capital One, American Express, and Chase all offer exclusive access to some of the best cultural, culinary, sports, and entertainment events of the year.

People walking into the Capital One Cardholder Lounge on Miami Beach

Holders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card can enjoy the brand’s pop-up beach lounge at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Courtesy of Avant Garde Media

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Miami Art Week is the city’s biggest cultural week of the year, underscored by the dazzle of Art Basel and epic parties attracting A-listers in the arts, fashion, entertainment, and culinary scenes. For many of the 75,000-plus guests who attend the annual December event, landing on these guest lists seems impossible—but it’s not. In fact, simply having the right credit card can be the ticket to an Art Week lineup to remember—and it was surely the case for me.

For example, thanks to my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, I got tickets to a Capital One Dining exclusive cardholder dinner with José Andrés. The dinner, which cost $125 per person, included an endless pour of Laurent Perrier champagne, appetizers, a multi-course meal, and access to artist Alex Israel’s Snow Beach Frozen Treats installation, on display within the event space. The next evening, I returned to the same location for a Sunset Social cocktail party for Capital One cardholders ($30), with an open bar, appetizers, and DJ-led sets by award-winning producer Mark Ronson and 1980s icon DJ Jazzy Jeff.

My Capital One also gave me access to the unveiling of Mycelia, a stunning piece by my favorite contemporary sculpture artist, Daniel Popper, at the 1 Hotel South Beach. I even got to chat with the artist himself about his inspiration (and also snag a fan-boy photo).

Artist Daniel Popper (middle on left) debuts his “Mycelia” sculpture (right), shown white and colored mostly blue by lights

Artist Daniel Popper (middle) debuts his Mycelia sculpture at the 1 Hotel South Beach and poses with two of his biggest fans: yours truly (left) and Fernando Cerna (right). The sculpture comes to life at night with 3D video-mapping.

Courtesy of Paul Rubio

During the day, when I wasn’t browsing the Art Basel fair, I hung out at the snazzy beach lounges by American Express and Chase. The Platinum Card® from American Express was my ticket into Play by American Express Platinum, an interactive gallery at the Miami Beach Edition, strewn with larger-than-life toys from yesteryear, reimagined by artists such as Surin Kim, Kumkum Fernando, Serban Ionesco, and Eny Lee Parker. Retro candy and cocktails like Yoo-hoo espresso martinis (served in actual Yoo-hoo drink boxes) added to the nostalgic playground theme.

Guests attend the American Express and PlayLab event at The Miami Beach Edition on December 08, 2023 in Miami Beach, Florida.

An Amex Platinum card was the ticket into Play by American Express Platinum, an interactive gallery strewn with larger-than-life toys during Miami Art Week.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for American Express Platinum

At the Chase Sapphire Day Lounge near the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, my Chase Sapphire Reserve® gave me access to cuisine by Michelin-starred, Miami restaurant Los Felix and Mexico City mainstay Contramar. I returned to the lounge later for an intimate performance by Latin pop sensation Becky G, which cost me $200 (and included food and drinks).

Unlocking access to experiences like the ones I had at Miami Art Week is one of the lesser-known benefits of premium cards from Capital One, American Express, and Chase. And of course these cards can get you into many more VIP events throughout the year. Here are a selection of other VIP experiences available through these credit cards—even if you missed Art Week this year.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card provides cardholders with access to several cultural and gastronomic happenings, plus elevated experiences at concerts, festivals, and sporting events. Highlights include:

  • One-off dining experiences through Capital One Dining, which in 2023 included the Per Se Summer Experience in the Hamptons with lunch by Thomas Keller at Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s summer home
  • Talent meet-and-greets at iHeart concerts and festivals through Capital One Entertainment plus presales to select concerts (hello: Taylor Swift!)
  • A six-month complimentary Enthusiast level membership with global arts club, the Cultivist, which grants entry to more than 100 top museums globally, including Paris’s Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, and provides opportunities for attending special events and tours
  • Early entry, intimate chef dinners, and cardholder lounges at South Beach Wine & Food Festival and New York Food & Wine Festival
  • The ability to redeem Capital One rewards for MLB tickets (Capital One has reserved cardholder tickets to games for all 30 teams, All-Star Week, MLB Postseason, and the World Series.)

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express offers a By Invitation Only program for its cardholders promising VIP experiences in entertainment, sports, dining, arts, and culture, which vary from year to year. Standouts include:

  • Once-in-a-lifetime travels with culinary icons. For example, in November 2023, cardmembers went truffle hunting with Massimo Bottura in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, dined at his restaurants, and stayed at Casa Maria Luigia, Bottura’s guesthouse.
  • Behind the scenes at Paris Fashion Week. In 2023, cardmembers joined Stella McCartney during Paris Fashion Week and enjoyed premium seating at the invitation-only Winter 2023 runway show, followed by a postshow meet-and-greet with the designer.
  • The chance to attend special movie premieres. Cardholders had access to the Barbie world premiere in 2023 and got to walk the pink carpet and do meet-and-greets with Greta Gerwig and Kate McKinnon.
  • Three-day VIP passes for Coachella Valley Music and Arts with special entrance to a private area for food and drinks
  • Dedicated lounges with food and drinks at the annual U.S. Open Tennis Championships and U.S. Open Golf
Award-winning actor, producer, and businesswoman Sarah Jessica Parker talks with Infatuation editorial lead Brant Cox at the Infatuation's EEEEEATSCON New York; both people seated on large white chairs on stage

Sarah Jessica Parker talks with Infatuation Editorial Lead Brant Cox at the Infatuation’s EEEEEATSCON New York presented by Chase Sapphire in October 2023.

Photo by Jason DeCrow/AP Images for The Infatuation and Chase Sapphire

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve ups the ante at several big-deal events from Sundance to Formula 1 Race Weeks in Miami and Las Vegas while granting exclusive access to several foodie-forward affairs. Examples include:

  • Entry to Chase Sapphire on Main at the Sundance Film Festival, an event space where film panels, dining experiences, and special events are held annually (e.g., in 2024 the roster includes the After Hours party by the Infatuation and Chase Sapphire with food and drinks from Denver’s Sunday Vinyl and Frasca)
  • Exclusive access to the hottest tables across the country, as featured on the Infatuation’s Hit List monthly editorial guide through the Hit List Dinner Series
  • Early access to tickets for select Live Nation concerts as well as wildly popular food festival, the Infatuation’s EEEEEATSCON, happening in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City in 2024
  • Dedicated events and lounges during Race Week in Vegas and Miami
  • On-site exclusives at the PGA and LPGA Championships and U.S. Open


The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, The Platinum Card from American Express, and Chase Sapphire Reserve may be best known for their travel benefits, points earnings capabilities, and annual statement credits, but each is a powerhouse when it comes to VIP access at the country’s foremost events.

Paul Rubio is an award-winning travel journalist and photographer. His byline appears in Afar, Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, LUXURY, MSN, NerdWallet, Palm Beach Illustrated, Yahoo Lifestyle, and more. He has visited 133 countries (and counting) over the past 20 years and won 27 national awards for his writing and photography. When he’s not plotting out his next trip, Paul loves to spend time at home watching reruns of Portlandia and Parks and Recreation with his husband and rescue dog, Camo.
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