Besides writing about sports here all day at DK Nation, our side hustle/hobby is being a complete Travel Dork. I have nine credit cards all with a zero balance, and all with either no annual fee or way more in perks than I pay in fees. Sorry ‘bout those coach flights, waiting for the TSA, the lines at the overpriced airport food courts, and lots of tiny hotel rooms with no windows you big dummy Dave Ramsey.
We’re pretty deep the points and miles game, as it’s by far the best way to see the world on the cheap. And there is no event better for credit card holders than the US Open, where two of the biggest brands in the game compete hard to outdo each other annually.
If you’ve got a ticket to the 2022 US Open in Queens, you can eat and drink for free all day during the tournament if you’ve got the right pieces of plastic. Both American Express and Chase leverage the Toughest Tournament in Tennis to appeal to their New York-based customers.
Certain American Express cards such as the Platinum and Centurion come with plenty of NYC-heavy perks such as Equinox memberships and free subscriptions to the New York Times, and food-related outings and special events often lean into favoring the 100xx ZIP Codes as well.
But at no event does AmEx go harder than the US Open, with some hospitality areas that are almost as welcoming as the speakeasy at the Centurion Lounge at JFK Airport. Here’s what Chase and AmEx cardholders can expect when they arrive at the USTA National Tennis Center.
American Express at the US Open
American Express Cardholder Suite
The US Open American Express Fan Experience on the second floor has a suite where any kind of AmEx cardholder can bring two guests. This lounge has beverages, light snacks, plugs and wires to charge your phone, and of course air conditioning. But you’ll have to pay for the booze and some food.
Entrance is free, but reservations aren’t available so if it’s busy you might have to wait in line. There’s also exclusive Ralph Lauren merch for sale.
Are you paying $695 a year in annual fees for a card that’s basically a glorified coupon book (but somehow still absolutely worth it)? Or did you pay $10,000 for the right to have a credit card with a $5000 annual fee? Well here’s a place to eat and drink for free that’s not an airport terminal! Lucky you!
The Centurion Suite is only open to Platinum and Centurion card holders. It’s extremely fancy, and once you make a reservation on the AmEx-owned Resy app where you can bring up to two guests as well, here’s what you’ll get:
- Global Dining Access Chef-inspired bites
- Curated cocktails and wine offerings
- Travel-themed programming
Sounds like the perfect place to stay away from the hoi polloi and Dave Ramsey with a touch of luxury. Also there’s a smaller 1850 Lounge/speakeasy just like in JFK’s Centurion Lounge. It seems like a perfect place to take a break from the action on the courts.
Free bag check
There are strict bag limits at the USTA Center, with a size of 16x12x12 inches the biggest thing allowed in. While renting a locker or checking a bag usually costs money, anyone with any AmEx credit card gets a free checked bag at these locations. Limit one per card.
Small earpiece radios with the ESPN broadcast of matches will be available for free. These devices don’t work outside of the grounds, but they’re great for following the match you’re watching and getting updates for what’s happening elsewhere at the Open. Any AmEx card will get you a free one here.
American Express Shop
If you want your food, drinks, or merch in a hurry in a less-crowded environment, there’s a store just for AmEx users in the South Plaza.
$20 off $100 in purchases at the US Open
Pretty straightforward. This was in the AmEx Offers tab on the app for my Platinum card this morning, so do your purchasing with an AmEx if you can.
Wanna get in on the action, but don’t have an AmEx yet? If you click here and apply for any AmEx card and are approved, you’ll be able to add it to the Apple Pay or Google Pay on your phone right away, and that should be enough to get you all the perks.
Chase at the US Open
The Chase Lounge
Any Chase credit card gets you access to the Chase Lounge at the U.S. Open, but you’ll need to make a reservation here. If the time you want is sold out, you’ll need to visit the Chase Center at the US Open to join the waitlist. You can reserve four different time slots per Chase customer, and each Chase customer can bring up to three guests.
You’ll get a wristband that allows you to leave and come back, and “elevated refreshments, branded giveaways and air-conditioned seating” are on offer. Another great way to avoid the NYC heat. The snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are free, but you’ll need to pay for the booze.
A new spot for this year, the Chase Terrace “offers shaded seating to watch matches, upgraded refreshments and exclusive experiences”. First come, first served, so prepare to possibly wait in line on crowded days.
Benefits like reserved seating, a complimentary food and beverage voucher, and more are available at the South Plaza booth, Chase Lounge or Chase Terrace. The vouchers limited to the first 100 to register for each session, but you’ll want the pass to unlock all the other benefits available.
Free cell phone charging
All around the USTA complex are stations where Chase cardholders can get portable chargers for their devices.
Want to use the Chase perks at the US Open? You can apply for any Chase Card here, and add the number to Apple Pay or Google Pay right away. And a friendly heads-up that the Chase Sapphire Preferred with its $95 annual fee is one of the best travel rewards cards ever created.