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One of my favorite hobbies is golf. It has gotten more and more popular during the pandemic and now there is a wave of new people joining the sport. What makes it even better is that it’s a socially distant activity. Sadly, golf is probably the least expensive hobby you can choose. If you are someone who loves to travel to tee it up, you are going to want to save money wherever you can. Luckily you can utilize credit card reward points to make these travel trips a little less expensive!
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Lets dive in.
Three “golf cards” to consider
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If you are a golf fan AND love premium cards then you are in luck. You will be pleased to learn that the Chase Sapphire products such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card are the official cards of the PGA of America and the PGA Championship. If you carry this card It comes with some awesome perks that I’ve been able to take advantage of including the opportunity to swoop up daily grounds tournament tickets for points or cash.
In 2018, at the PGA Championship, I got access to some really cool perks, including the Chase Sapphire Cardmember lounge This club had some airline lounge-like features, and also comes with experiences like Q&A sessions with pro golfers, celebrity chef demonstrations, and access to a golf simulator. You don’t quite get the full experience with complimentary alcohol but there is a private cash bar and complimentary water. So if you do end up getting to go to the tournament with your friends, impress them a little with some “lounge life” on the golf course.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Earn 100,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of our favorite Travel cards always in our wallet.
Learn more about Travel Credit Cards here.
This year for the 2021 PGA Championship, tickets were being offered through the Chase Sapphire Experiences. You can find these experiences in the portal, for only 10, 000 per ticket for daily grounds access. I think this is a fantastic deal. So it is just a nice little perk to have as a golf fan.
Marriott Bold/ Boundless
If you thought that earning Marriott points was only to go towards rooms, think again as they are far more versatile than that! There is another reason to collect Marriott points if you are an avid golfer, and it doesn’t even have anything to do with collecting as many free redemption nights as possible.
Right now, there are two great Marriott welcome offers to expand your Marriott points collection. First is the Chase Marriott Boundless Credit Card with an amazing limited-time offer. The second is the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card.
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card opening. You can also earn 6x on all Marriott purchases per $1, and 2x on all other purchases.
One annual free night certificate on account anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points). Learn More Here.
Marriott does participate in special bonus point offerings with certain golf courses. You can find these generally more in Florida and California.
Marriott points can be used to purchase some of the “stay and play” offers in certain states. What’s great about these points is that Marriott not only offers the stay and play option but also something called the “Marriott Golf Academy.” At the Marriott Golf Academy you can think of this as somewhat of an adult summer camp where you stay get full day lessons and then play on a course. These are at some fantastic properties as well, like Shadow Ridge in California.
How to use Marriott Points
For the stay and play and the Marriott golf academy, it appears on the surface to be a cash-only option. However, there is a nice workaround to utilize those coveted Marriott Bonvoy points! Both bookings can be paid with cash or Marriott Gift Cards. To use your points, you simply use your Marriott points to purchase gift cards. You can then turn around and use these towards your golf reservations. I won’t say that this is the total maximum value of your points but if you are someone who loves travel and wants to gently mitigate the cost of golf, these are some good options with your points.
You should also always double-check with the properties prior to converting to gift cards, just incase to ensure they will take them.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
You will find that out of all the options, The Platinum Card® from American Express has the highest annual fee. (Rates & Fees). This is due to the plethora of great benefits you receive with the card. Some of these benefits are thanks to American Express’s partnership with the USGA. Platinum card members earn early access to U.S. Open tickets and discounts on merchandise. Since golf trips are generally expensive, you can still rest easy knowing you are earning 6x on any travel-related purchase on the trip. If you can, book your golf at properties in the AMEX portal.
Earn 75,000 membership rewards once you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. This is an amazing travel card with plenty of extra perks for those who travel often.
- Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, including our favorite Centurion Lounge access. (Such as Centurion Lounge DEN)
- Earn 5x MR points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- $550 Annual Fee. (Rates & Fees)
- Terms Apply.
- Learn More Here.
Extra Travel Benefits
Every self-respecting golfer knows how important their golf bag is. When traveling, keeping the checked bag safe is usually priority number one. When booking your flights with your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, you can rest easy knowing you have travel insurance, including lost luggage. In the unlikely event your bag is lost, you can rest easy knowing you are protected. You might have to rent clubs for your upcoming trip, but you will at least be at ease knowing that you can replace your bag with your travel protection. Aren’t golfers always looking for a reason to get new clubs?
Golf doesn’t have to be expensive, even if you are traveling. There are many ways to mitigate the costs of your trips. I hope this article helps to give you a basic understanding of how to maximize the value of credit cards to enjoy your golf trip for less.
Have you ever taken a golf trip, Basic Travelers? If you have I’d love to hear about your favorite one or one of your dreams in the comments below.
I’d love to hear down in the comments below or over in our 5,000+ Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!
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