If you are like me into Broadway musicals, you undoubtedly would know how impossible it is to get tickets to the mega hit “Hamilton“. Just about every show that went on sale is completely sold out, whether it is for New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, unless of course if you are willing to pay premium price charged by resellers, or if you manage to win the ticket lottery (for New York and Chicago).
I am fortunate to have tickets to two performances in New York – one in April which I purchased through American Express Platinum Concierge; the other in July which I purchased through Ticketmaster during the American Express Presale. I paid only the face value for both performances, less than $200 each ticket. I didn’t bother to try for Chicago tickets, but I did try hard for San Francisco tickets when it went on sale early this month. After all, I live only half an hour from the City. It was the craziest ticket purchase experience ever and much harder than getting tickets to Billy Joel concert at the AT&T park couple years ago. American Express Platinum Concierge did not have any access to this presale due to the “virtual queue” used by San Francisco Broadway. Like many people, I wasted quite a bit of time and wasn’t too happy, but I was grateful that I have tickets in hand (although 3,000 miles away from home) and they barely took any effort to get!
If you are among the thousands (if not millions) of people who want to see the show and do not want to pay more than the face value, here are a few tips to get yourself ready for future ticket releases.
Tips to get Hamilton tickets
The show has permanent stages in New York and Chicago. Tickets are currently sold out for New York through November 5, 2017, and there are very few tickets left for Chicago through September 17, 2017. I bet very soon both shows will release tickets for new dates. The best way to be notified for presale opportunities at both locations is by signing up for the American Express Entertainment Access Newsletter that comes out every Wednesday. Platinum and Centurion cardholders will be able to purchase tickets by calling the Platinum Concierge (call as soon as you see in the newsletter, don’t wait until date of sale). If you don’t already have a Platinum or Centurion card, you can apply for any of the three Platinum cards available: the Mercedes Platinum, the Personal Platinum, and the Business Platinum, or find a friend who has one of the cards. Even without any of these premium cards, it is still worth signing up the newsletter for Ticketmaster’s presale which is only available to American Express cardholders.
Occasionally American Express will buy out an entire performance, like what they just did for several Chicago shows in January and February 2017. According to the newsletter that I received this week, tickets were available for the February 7 and February 15 performances starting at $65. There was also VIP Access for the January 21 performance for $500 each. If the Platinum Concierge direct line has a long wait, call the card member service line instead and ask to be transferred to the Concierge.
If you live on the West Coast or in nearby states, your best bet will be the Los Angeles touring performance since San Francisco shows are sold out. The Los Angeles show will run from August 11 to December 30, 2017. Tickets are not yet on sale, but you should definitely sign up for ticket update by email on the official site of Hollywood Pantages. Let’s hope they will not use the same “virtue queue” scheme.
Once you secure the show tickets, use your airline miles or credit card points to fly to the city where the tickets are for, and use hotel points or credit card free nights for your hotel stay. After all, that’s is why we are in this hobby of collecting miles and points!
Are you one the lucky people who bought tickets this week to the Chicago performances that American Express bought out? If so, while you are booking flights and hotels, be sure to see if you can save additional money with existing Amex Offers. If you plan to attend shows in Los Angeles and happen to live in one of the cities that Alaska Airline flies, be sure to check out Alaska’s new reduced award chart.