Millions of Americans use their rewards credit cards to earn frequent flyer miles, hotel rewards, or just a little extra cash back. But Artie Lange, business owner and New York Giants fan, goes for a more unusual reward. His credit card is his ticket to the Super Bowl. When this 50-year-old father of four arrives at Houston’s NRG Stadium, it will be the 12th consecutive Super Bowl he’s attended using just credit card rewards.
Rewards Get Him to the Game
Lange’s Super Bowl attendance began 22 years ago when he started cajoling some of the well-connected clients of his business, which builds and renovates custom homes, to give him tickets each year. “When you’re 29, it’s easy to ask people for tickets,” he remembers. But after a while, he could tell that his annual pleas were starting to wear thin.
Then, Lange discovered the NFL Extra Points credit card, which allowed him to earn rewards for his spending that could be redeemed for cash back, or for a variety of exclusive NFL purchases, including Super Bowl tickets.
With the NFL Extra Points card, you earn two points per dollar spent on all NFL and team purchases, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. You also get a 20% discount on all purchases from NFLShop.com, and special financing on all eligible NFL ticket purchases. New cardholders earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 on their card within 90 days of account opening. There is no annual fee for this card.
Lange uses his NFL Extra Points card for all of his personal purchases and many of his business expenses as well. By November every year, he’s ready to go. When tickets were released in 2016, they sold out within hours. Once again, Artie Lange was able to redeem his points and book his trip to the big game in February.
How Many Points Do You Need?
For Super Bowl LI, Barclaycard offered three different ticket packages, each with the option to add hotel accommodations. That’s a valuable option, as getting a hotel reservation in the host city for Super Bowl weekend is not only expensive, it can be almost as hard as getting the game tickets themselves.
The options for this year were:
- 175,000 points for two upper-level tickets, or 325,000 points including three hotel nights.
- 225,000 points for two mid-level tickets, or 375,000 points including three hotel nights.
- 275,000 points for two premium-level tickets, or 425,000 points including three hotel nights.
Furthermore, Barclaycard invites all cardholders to a welcome brunch featuring an NFL player. This year it will be former quarterback and nine-time Pro-Bowler Warren Moon.
Other Ways to Use NFL Extra Points Card Rewards
The NFL Extra Points program offers unique awards beyond just Super Bowl tickets. You can redeem points for tickets to regular season games, starting at 25,000 points for two tickets and even playoff games. There is also a variety of exclusive opportunities available to cardholders that vary by team, including sideline passes, tickets to the coach’s press conference, and the chance to be in the tunnel as the teams exit the locker room.
And during the Super Bowl, cardholders can redeem points to attend events such as opening night with the media, a VIP player meet and greet, and a private kicking clinic with legendary kicker and four-time Super Bowl champ Adam Vinatieri.
Super Bowl Memories Worth Every Point Spent
As a New York Giants fan, Lange’s favorite game was Super Bowl XLII in 2008, when his underdog team emerged victorious in a spectacular finish against the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. He also has great memories of going with his wife, who’s been to 12 Super Bowls, and his son, who will be attending his 10th this year.
Then there was halftime at Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002. “As a New Yorker, there was nothing more memorable than U2 singing while all the names of the victims of 9/11 scrolled in the background.” Lange says. “I had three friends that died in the towers, so that brought me to tears and is burned into my brain.”
On a happier note, he and his three daughters got to go on the field during halftime of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013, and watch Beyonce up close. As he recalls, “The kids went crazy for that experience.”
Not everyone will be able to spend the amount needed on an NFL Extra Points card each year to join Artie Lange at the Super Bowl, but it’s within reach for many small business owners. Others might save up their points over a few years for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, or just redeem fewer rewards points for a regular season game or other NFL experiences. But Lange’s story proves that it’s possible to use credit card rewards to attend the Super Bowl every year, and to bring home some incredible memories with it.