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The Best Experiences Your Credit Card Can Buy This Summer
Credit card rewards programs don’t only let you score points for airfare, hotel accommodations or merchandise. They can also grant cardholders VIP access to sporting events, concerts, plays, wine-tastings, fashion shows and other exclusive experiences they may have not otherwise been able to get in to.

This access, which can typically be purchased with money or points, can come in handy during summer months when students have more time on their hands and families focus on entertainment. If you’re in the market for something cool to do this June, July or August, here are some of the more noteworthy experiential rewards issuers will be offering.

Amusement park lovers can get VIP access to Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Parks through several packages offered by Discover this year. In addition to discounts on tickets and parking packages through December, cardholders will have the opportunity in July to cash in $150 in bonus to tour select Six Flags with their Park Presidents this August. The package includes the two tour passes, two tickets to the park remit with Flash Pass, one parking pass, lunch with the president and the opportunity to skip some lines along the way.

Foodies with Amex cards can have a four-course lunch with Chef Gregory Danko at his Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco. Lunch will be held June 29 from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The experience, which costs $345, includes wine pairings and parting gift.

Amex cardholders can also currently purchase a ticket to the NBA draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on June 28 and 29 for $300. The package also includes a backstage tour of the event, a training session with New York Knicks coach Steve Novak and a pre-Draft reception with 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.

Chase is auctioning off several sporting event experiences in its Ultimate Rewards mall this summer. Right now, cardholders have the opportunity to bid on several travel packages to the London Olympics that include four-nights of hotel accommodations, tickets to three events and a bag of Games-themed merchandise. Bids on packages are currently hovering around 250,000 points or $2,500.

A spokeswoman for Chase says soccer fans who are Chase Freedom cardholders will also have the opportunity in early July to score packages to the July 25 Major League Soccer All Star Game that includes tickets, a Meet & Greet and field access. Pricing details were not yet available.

Citi cardholders who happen to be Met fans may want to capitalize on a package that lets them hang out in a private suite at Citi Field with Darryl Strawberry before the Mets-Dodgers game July 22. The experience, which costs $250, also includes lunch, an open bar and an autographed baseball from the former Met and Yankee.

If you’re looking for some free entertainment, Citi is also offering cardholders complimentary screening passes to the movie Rock of Ages.

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