Video: Exclusive credit card rewards experiences

These fans used points to get within brushback distance of St. Louis Cardinal players



They say money can’t buy you happiness. Well, it also can’t buy you some experiences, like getting up close and personal with major league baseball players before a game. That’s where credit card reward points can help.

Free hotel rooms and flights are all nice perks, but for some, the real allure of credit card points is the chance to cash in on once-in-a-lifetime experiences – like standing with your father on the same baseball field where legends are made and asking a sports star to sign your daughter’s baseball.

“It’s something you can’t purchase, and it’s an incentive you can control yourself,” says Jeff Warden, an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan who uses his points for rewards experiences. “You spend the money, you rack up points, you save them, and then you get to do something that is a chance of a lifetime.”  

Warden and his wife signed up for the Bank of America MLB Extra Bases MasterCard as soon as they got married, just for the kind of experiences the card offers. Last year, they cashed in a huge chunk of points to throw out the first pitch at a Cardinals game. This year, Ward spent fewer points, 40,000, and brought his dad along to watch the warmup and meet the players of the team they’ve followed together for decades.

It’s Nic Zamora’s job, with corporate sales for the Cardinals, to organize these experiences for cardholders. He says it’s always a crowded field.

“We have no problem finding people using their points to use them on Cardinals experiences,” says Zamora. “It’s an awesome thing seeing people love Cardinals baseball and be able to utilize their Bank of America credit card to enjoy those experiences.”  

Almost every credit card comes with experience opportunities you can use points to purchase, and depending on the card you use, there are experiences to fit almost any personality. If you’re a foodie, how about a private dinner cooked by a renowned chef? Or if you love music, getting to bring some friends along to meet your favorite singer after experiencing them in concert from the front row? You’ll have to fork over a lot of points, but you’ll also have access to experiences that you’ll talk about for years to come.

For Warden, it’s an easy decision. “It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime deal for us to be able to get some of these autographs and cherish them forever.”

See related: How to redeem your card's cash-back reward, How couples can pool miles, transfer points for award travel, More credit card videos

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Updated: 12-13-2018