Getting Points and Discounts Buying Sports Tickets - Running with Miles
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Getting Points and Discounts Buying Sports Tickets

Written by Charlie

Advertiser Disclosure

Some of these websites can be used for tickets at a variety of entertainment venues but my focus was on the sport ticket category.

Getting Points and Discounts Buying Sports Tickets

The secondhand ticket market can be very useful for both seller and buyer – the seller has bulk tickets or season tickets and they want to make a little bit of money for the date(s) they will miss and the buyer is able to spend less than the retail price on the tickets. Of course, if you can purchase these sports tickets and get and points for doing so plus get a discount, you can really make out well!

This was personal for me because I was checking various sites to purchase tickets as a gift for someone. Since I want to maximize my point earning and save money, I compared various ticket retail sites to explore my options. There are only a few websites that offer points through portals and just a couple of those that offer additional discounts (whether through coupons or sync offers). Here are the ones that I have found.

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For comparison’s sake, I looked at the same exact ticket from the source and from each reseller to compare the final price. While this is based on limited tickets, it should be similar across the board because of the fees associated with each website. The tickets I chose were available for delivery by e-mail which eliminated the high shipping fees on some sites.

For the table below, I have broken it down to show what the total cost could be considered when the value of the discounts, coupons, and miles are calculated in. For a conservative estimate, I have value those miles at 1.5 cents each. Please see the breakdown below the table for the information on discounts and shopping portals. This information is current as of August 9, 2014.

Comparison Prices on a Single Ticket
Vendor Total Cost Cost After Savings Points Earned Total Cost with Point Value
Ticketmaster $30.30 $30.30 30 $29.85
StubHub $16.95 $16.95 85 $15.68
TicketLiquidator $27.50 $24.75 147 $22.55
Vivid Seats $24.53 $19.53 98 $18.06

Ticketmaster

The tickets I picked out were in the same section and same rows as the other tickets. These tickets are inclusive of the service fees and delivery fees and came to a total of $30.30. The breakdown is that the ticket price is $22 + $5.80 service fee + $2.50 e-mail delivery. 

Unfortunately, there is no portal for additional points for Ticketmaster, so the price above is the required price with no bonus points.

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StubHub

StubHub is a very popular ticket reseller site and one I have used before. I used them because the prices offered were the best available and they had special offers from American Express and their Sync Offers. This time, however, there were no such offers and they did not have any portal offering additional points. The total price, inclusive of all service and delivery fees, was $16.95 (breakdown – $13.59 ticket cost + $3.36 for all fees).

Edited to add: Thanks to readers’ comments below, you can purchase StubHub gift cards at office supply stores with your Ink card and get 5x points for your purchase. This makes StubHub an even better proposition! Thanks for the info!

TicketLiquidator

Yet another reseller is Ticket Liquidator. They actually do have shopping portals that pay out with the most significant ones being American Airlines at 5 miles per dollar and United Airlines at 5 miles per dollar. For other portal offers, check out evreward.com. In addition to portal bonuses, you can also use discount codes for various amounts of spending. Festive13 will take off $30 from purchases of $300 or more, SUM10 to take off 10%, and SUMMER10 to take off $10 from purchases of $350 or more.

The ticket cost for our ticket from TicketLiquidator came in for a total of $27.50 (breakdown – $16 ticket cost + $4 service fee + $7.50 e-mail delivery). If you use the 10% off code on this ticket, it will bring the ticket cost down to $24.75. Plus, if you shop through one of the portals, you will earn 123 miles for portal shopping and an additional 24 on your credit card for a total of 147 miles earned. Not substantial, but still something!

Vivid Seats

Vivid Seats is a ticket reseller that currently has an offer through Amex Offers for $10 off $50 purchase or more. Obviously, in our example of a single ticket, that would not apply, but let’s buy a $50 gift card with that American Express card and use that towards our single ticket purchase. Like TicketLiquidator, Vivid Seats also has bonus miles through the shopping portals, the best being American Airlines at 4 miles per dollar and United Airlines at 3 miles per dollar. For other portal offers, check out evreward.com (Marriott is also on the list with 7 points per dollar).

The ticket cost for our ticket from Vivid Seats came in for a total of $24.53 (breakdown – $15 ticket cost + $2.57 service fee + $6.95 e-mail delivery). If you use the AA portal, you will earn 98 miles, plus we can deduct $5 if you purchase a $50 gift card using the American Express card. That makes for a final ticket cost of $19.53.

Summary

These are just the ticket vendors with the most lucrative point earning opportunities stacked against one of the cheaper vendors (StubHub) and the original vendor (Ticketmaster), but there are others that resell tickets (including eBay). Definitely do your shopping first before you select one.

I have to say, I know they have to make a business, but I cannot believe the charges that some of the vendors charge for e-mail delivery! It is particularly outrageous considering StubHub and Ticketmaster do not charge close to that amount. However, I really don’t care what a company charges for delivery if the overall cost is less than the competitors. In these examples, it unfortunately was not.

As you can see, even figuring in the discounts and portal values, the bonus-less (unless you buy gift cards from office supply stores – with your Ink card, that is 5 points per dollar) StubHub comes in as the winner of this particular ticket match. Granted, there are other tickets where it might slip the other way and there are some ways that you can really get a greater savings (buying multiple gift cards using the Amex Offers with Vivid Seats and using them for expensive tickets), but I thought it would be good to break it down from a moderate ticket pricing model to see what it is actually costing us to buy these miles. Again, with different tickets and better seats, the savings may skew towards the vendors with shopping portal bonuses, but with this one, it did not.

That all being said, if you want to earn some miles and points on your ticket purchases, now you know two of the vendors to do it through!

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

4 Comments

  • You can further goose your stubhub savings/earnings by buying their giftcard at office supply stores and/or second hand gift card suppliers.

  • A small tip that may screw your math a little, but you can buy StubHub e-certs through staples.com, and they usually come the next morning. They are available in $25, $50, and $100 increments, and then can be loaded to your StubHub account for ticket purchases.

    For my last purchase, I received portal and Ink 5X UR points, but it seems that the VGC bonanza in May may have ended the portal points. This might be different b/c they are e-certs.

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