As fall is starting to kick in, diehard fans are getting excited about football season! For many, there's nothing better than watching your favorite team play in person. You simply can’t beat the real-life experience of singing your school's fight song or eating a ballpark dog – even if you are in the nosebleed section. Interestingly enough, tapping into hotel and airline loyalty programs can help you get there!
Tips for Using Loyalty Point and Miles to See Your Favorite Sports Teams
Whether you're heading to Dallas to watch the Cowboys play in AT&T Stadium or going to Ann Arbor to see Michigan in the “Big House,” make sure you follow these tips to save on traveling as you root on your team.
Plan the trip well in advance
Pick up the team's schedule and choose a few locations where you want to see your team play. If your favorite team’s games are constantly sold out – or ticket prices are steep – you might want to take a trip to see your team on the road.
After you've decided on some fun stadiums, book a flight with your rewards points. This should be done quickly because reward seats can fill up fast! In the case that reward seating is all sold out, consider traveling to the next closest airport from your team’s stadium or arena. It's likely that there are seats still available – and at a more affordable price.
Get your team’s gear
Most major airlines have online earn malls that let you earn miles and points simply by making online purchases. These portals are great platforms for getting gear from your favorite team.
For example, if you want to rack up miles for your trip to Tuscaloosa to watch the University of Alabama play, you can buy a hat at Lids, Jersey at FansEdge and a foam finger at Fanatics – all on United Airline's online shopping portal. American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Air Canada all have similar earn malls where you can get your team's gear – or anything else for that matter!
Refer fellow fans
By referring fellow fans to also fly, you can build up miles and save money on your own flights. Chase gives out generous points through its Refer-a-Friend program. By referring a friend to one of their credit cards, you can rack up travel miles through Southwest, United and British Airways. Depending on the card, you can earn 5,000 or 10,000 bonus points for each referral who is approved for a credit card.
You can invite as many people as you want until you reach the maximum cap of 50,000 bonus points per year. Also, through Alaska Airlines, you can receive 2,500 bonus miles for each referral that gets approved for the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card. In return, your friends will receive up to 30,000 bonus miles on the airline.
Set alerts and watch for flash sales on away-game flights
The NFL season consists of more than 256 games, and that’s not including the thousands of college football games each year – so your options for travel are open! After you've identified a few locations you would like to go to see your team play, set up alerts. Websites like Airfarewatchdog.com or Skyscanner.com allow you to set up alerts for affordable flights to specific locations.
You might also want to identify specific airlines and sign up for their newsletters. Watch their social media channels for flash sale announcements and keep an eye out for promotional emails. Flash sales are a great way to snag an affordable flight and quickly accumulate miles at a discounted price.
Earn miles by booking a hotel
When traveling to watch your team play, you will most likely need to find a place to stay. Booking a hotel can be a great way to build up your miles and save money on your flight to see the game. There are multiple platforms that allow you to earn points and miles by booking a hotel. Kaligo, PointsHound and Rocketmiles all let you can earn miles through a variety of rewards programs including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier and others.
Watching your favorite team play is a great way to explore different places – so don’t be afraid to attend away games and get behind enemy lines to watch them win. While gameday tickets can get expensive, tapping into loyalty programs will help you stay loyal to your favorite franchise.