(Apologies for the random photos; my phone died midway through our day trip to New York, so all I got were some weird shots of Lance at Steak n’ Shake Express :-/)
There are not many Broadway shows that I have to drop everything to see. While I appreciate the skill, discipline, and talent involved in staging these often elaborate, mostly intensive shows, it’s not in my blood like Lance (who owns the cast recording of Sunset Boulevard in six or seven different languages.)
Still, we hadn’t been to NYC together in almost a year, and with spring in the air, Lance was itchin’ to visit the Great White Way. And this time, I was actually excited to see a show: the revival of Pippin, but my enthusiasm had nothing to do with the show itself.
Y’see, I’ve mentioned loyalty programs before; most of the time, your “loyalty” is rewarded with a hill of beans, but every so often, if you play your cards right, you can hit the jackpot. Today’s example: Audience Rewards.
Audience Rewards is the loyalty program for big-time theatre productions, mostly in New York. Every time you see a show, you earn Audience Rewards points, the objective being to earn enough to redeem for free tickets to a stage show.
Well, like a lot of airline loyalty programs, Audience Rewards also couples with other loyalty programs, like Delta Airlines’ SkyMiles or Starwood hotel group’s Preferred Guest (SPG) program, where you can opt for your points from Broadway ticket purchases to go to one of these other programs instead. Sometimes, they even offer a bonus.
This is why I was so excited to go up to New York for the day and see Pippin (and, with rush tickets, the fabulous off-Broadway production Peter and the Starcatcher). See, for every Pippin ticket you purchased, you got 5000 SPG points, so between the two of us, that’s…well, you can do the math.
That may not seem like a lot, until you look at what 10,000 SPG points will get you: three nights at the Sheraton Garden Grove near Disneyland in California, a hotel that goes for over $130 a night.
Since we were already thinking about going to California this fall, these bonus points from Pippin will end up saving us almost $400!
As with any of this loyalty program stuff, the trick is not spend any more (or significantly more!) than you would normally spend in the pursuit of points. It just worked out that we were looking to see a show, and this promotion happened to sync up with that.
Disneyland, December 2013, baby!!