If you happen to be visiting the U.S. Open this summer, one of the credit cards in your wallet could very well grant you access to an oasis of freebies away from the heat and the crowds.
Both Chase and American Express operate pop-up lounges for the duration of the two week event, and they both offer the rarest of sporting event amenities: free refreshments!
Available to all Chase customers with a reservation, the Chase hospitality lounge at the U.S. Open offers complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, light snacks, and perhaps most importantly of all, ample seating and air conditioning.
Located in the Chase Center across from Louis Armstrong Stadium and a short walk from the main Arthur Ashe Stadium, it’s a great place to visit between matches to grab a quick glass of lemonade and a cookie without having to pay the U.S. Open’s exorbitant food prices. Last year, I got even a free hat and a free glass of frosé during one pitstop, though alcohol isn’t typically available in the lounge, in my experience.
The lounge is free, and available to any Chase customer, whether you have a bank account, a loan, a credit card, or any of their other services. However, you you will need to make a reservation for access. All of the sessions are currently waitlisted, but I’ve been on the waitlist every time I visited, and have always gotten a text during the session telling me I could access the lounge. All customers are allowed to make four reservations total for the tournament, each valid for one person. So if you’re visiting for a single night session with three other people, you’ll want to use all four of your slots for that night.
If you need to get a Chase card to get in, a no-annual-fee option like the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited will do just fine, but for reasons far beyond the scope of this post, you’ll eventually want to pair them with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve to get the most out of your rewards.
The more exclusive of the two hospitality areas is the Amex Centurion Suite, located inside the brand new Louis Armstrong Stadium (which is essentially the #2 court of the tournament, but a far better stadium than the larger Arthur Ashe Stadium, though that’s a conversation for another blog).
To get into the suite, you’ll need a Platinum Card® from American Express or the invite-only American Express Centurion Card, the former of which has a $550 annual fee (though we’d argue that it’s worth it), and the latter of which you definitely can’t afford...no offense.
Access is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and lines were often long when the lounge opened for the first time last year. But once you’re in (along with up to two guests), you can help yourself to a welcome gift, free snacks, free phone chargers, and even one free alcoholic beverage of your choice, including the U.S. Open’s signature cocktail, the Honey Deuce.
Of course, you don’t need to be visiting the U.S. Open to enjoy free lounge access with your credit card. Many cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer complimentary Priority Pass lounge access at hundreds of airports around the world, and the Amex Platinum ups the ante with premium, Amex-operated Centurion lounges at several of the country’s largest airports. Because if there’s one place you need a quiet oasis more than at the world’s biggest tennis tournament, it’s the airport.
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