Citibank is Holding a Concert in LA — That Only American AAdvantage Cardmembers Can Attend

Various frequent flyer programs, and also banks, promote the ability to get VIP tickets to shows or access to experiences that would otherwise be beyond reach. Most people don’t take advantage of them, but I really like that they offer ‘life experiences’ — the ability to leverage the relationships of a big company to gain access to things you probably couldn’t do on your own.

Sometimes it’s points redemptions — I don’t think it’s a good idea to redeem your points for a new LCD toaster, but it can be worthwhile using your points for an up close performance, with just a few other folks, by a world-renowned artist if that’s the kind of thing that interests you. Or go to the Oscars, because without the contacts your bank has when in the world would you ever get to otherwise?

Citibank is doing something unique. In a way it reminds me of Air Canada offering ‘all mileage redemption flights’ to Hawaii. They’ve got a concert that is only open to Citi / AAdvantage credit card holders.

You still have to buy tickets, but you’ve actually got a good shot at those tickets, and everyone around you will have the same card in their wallet. That’s kind of cool.

    Citi / AAdvantage Presents Imagine Dragons
    Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
    Monday, September 28, 2015

Tickets will be available tomorrow September 1 at 1pm Eastern. You must use a Citibank co-brand American AAdvantage credit card to purchase tickets.

It’s not for everyone. I didn’t even know who “Imagine Dragons” was until I looked it up. But I love the concept of not just ‘here are events we can get you tickets to’ but here are events we are putting on for you and folks like you.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. There’s nothing “cool” about the ridiculous poser “rock + roll” band Imagine Dragons. Could anything be more “corporate” and “safe” than a new-fangled rock band founded by some nice mormon kids who met at BYU? FWIW they’re following the fake alt-rock trail blazed by The Killers, which I guess must be profitable? Anyway I assume this is why it’s OK for a credit card to sponsor the show – nothing controversial to see here, keep moving along.

  2. Gary,

    I also like the concept, even though I may never partake. Given that the affinity credit card market is such a competitive space, the $1M question that the banks have to answer is, “how do I get the customer to pay the annual fee *next* year?” By offering events like these, it’s a way for the bank to set themselves apart from the competition. It’s not unlike Chase’s promotion with the BA card and Michelin restaurants in NYC a few years back.

    Along these lines, I had my eye on a fancy dinner up in Philly next month that runs about $200/head. “Visa Signature” is often a sponsor of this event, and will give 10% off for paying with a Visa Signature card.

    This year, US Bank Flex Perks is getting in on the action, and is giving card holders a 50% discount for paying with that card. I really had no knowledge of this program before I saw this sponsorship, so I look around. With the annual fee waived and minimum spend met, I’ll get a $400 plane ticket and save $100 per ticket (I’m buying two)? Yeah, ok. So I got approved for the card. Granted, the rewards program is inferior and I’m cancelling it when the fee is due, unless they continue sponsoring something like this next year.

  3. Great way to manufacture some spend if you need to meet the minimum spend on a recently acquired card also. **wink wink** stubhub **cough cough** FYI if there is a password it is the first 6 digits of your card.

  4. @bode

    Why must music be edgy or controversial? Imagine Dragons is on one of my playlists, alongside other songs by groups so cool that I bet you’ve never even heard of them.

  5. I’ve loved reading your blog for years, and rarely find the occasion to comment. However, the mental image of you going to Wikipedia to find out who Imagine Dragons was is really adorable.

  6. @bode – regardless whether or not you like the band you really need to keep your outrageous opinions in check. Seems like you’re jealous that the clean-cut set is making it. And who cares who they copy; there are few acts in the entertainment world that are unique and groundbreaking, why attack those who are living their dream? My guess is that you went to BYU and didn’t have such luck.

    Good for Citi for finding a band that cardhlders’ kids are into and putting on a show!

  7. I’m pretty sure this is the second use of LCD toaster I saw today. Might be losing my mind so carry on. And yes I Googled LCD toaster as I’m a fairly simple toast guy. For a moment I thought “how does an LCD screen toast anything”?

    And good for Citi, have seen several of the exclusive event marketing emails that made me think about it for a moment but never commit due to lack of proximity. Podunk FL never has cool events.

  8. Bode — your post is truly “radioactive.” (inside pun)

    And you’re going after The Killers, too? Wow. Your standards for “authenticity” are pretty high and, I would suggest, warped.

    Gary — I was surprised you didn’t know who Imagine Dragons are. I thought you were an REM fan. This band is kind of a natural evolution from REM in the musical spectrum.

  9. @Graydon I’ve used ‘lcd toaster’ for quite some time to represent “buying stuff with miles” dating back to an offering from aeroplan years ago. So I’m sure there are lots of occasional references to it on this blog.

  10. LOL this entire site is nothing but outrageous opinions, Gary worst of all! I wish I were breaking new ground here, but I’m absolutely not (and no, not LDS, didn’t go to BYU, definitely not jealous of ID – more power to them for tricking everyone). I’ll quote some random guy from the daily beast:

    “If you want to be in any way entertained, intellectually challenged, or culturally enriched,…, Imagine Dragons’ sophomore Smoke + Mirrors is not your answer.”

    There are thousands more articles like that – and sure it’s great that Citi did something nice “for their rich card holder’s kids.” But it’s not like they booked tswift or something remarkable like that – maybe next time they should do some members-only live-action Nickelodeon show?

    Anyway, to quote taylorswift13, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate! And count me in as an ID hater.

  11. @Gary – thanks for the clarification. I truly thought I had a screw loose, like some bizarre ear worm of a song. All better now.

  12. Hi Gary,

    This isn’t the first time. In October 2012, they did the same with Alicia Keys in NY and (if memory serves) Maroon 5 in LA. My wife is a fan of Alicia Keys, and I’m a Citi AAdvantage cardholder, so we attended the Alicia Keys show in Lincoln Center. From my email confirmation:

    2 Ticket(s) to Love the Journey Concert Series: Alicia Keys The Citi(R) / AAdvantage(R) Card
    At Avery Fisher Hall – Broadway at 65th Street
    on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 9:00PM
    Delivery : Held at Box Office. Please try to arrive 30 minutes early.
    You must present the credit card shown below as identification.
    Orch A-Z Row J, Seat 5 $ —
    Orch A-Z Row J, Seat 7 $ —

    She debuted at least one new track, and the show was covered in the press as a “private” show (see for one review).

    Here’s a tweet from her media account announcing the show:

    Anyways, it was very cool to stand in line for drinks and see every person in line pull out the same card to pay 🙂

    — Menashe

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