How to buy exclusive American Express tickets from Ticketmaster

Introduction

Yesterday (well Monday night) I had written about the opportunity to buy “Hamilton” tickets at face value if you were an AMEX Platinum card member.  I could NOT sleep on Monday night.  I kept twisting and turning and having dreams about, not the show, but the actual ticket purchases.  I seriously dreamed that I had bought 4 tickets for Valentine’s Day and was so happy… until I woke up.  I think the last time I was that restless was when Kaskade tickets went on sale, and those for sure were 10X harder to buy.  I kept thinking about how many tickets would be on sale… should I buy the max… which day should I buy…  so lots of questions that I’ll go over today.

Disclaimer – I am an amateur ticket reseller; meaning I’ve sold some before, but I’m certainly no expert and learning as I go. I think I have some readers who are pros at this and could probably provide more information, so if you are one of those people, please comment and I’ll update this post.

 

How to find American Express Exclusive tickets

AMEX should email out tickets, but if not, you can visit this link -> http://www.ticketmaster.com/americanexpress

 

Lesson #1 – AMEX moving to unique codes for future events

When I was talking to AMEX concierge, the lady told me that unique codes were new for this event.  She mentioned that in the past, the codes were public (usually the telephone number on back of card) and you didn’t even have to pay with your AMEX.  FACEPALM!  So, I think in the future, we’ll be seeing more unique codes for events.  She also told me that the emails were randomly sent out, so you’ll sorta have to keep an eye out for hot ticket items like this if you don’t get an email.

 

Lesson #2 – Apparently there is a backdoor number to AMEX concierge

A group of resellers and I were trying to solve the problem – how do we get these unique codes from AMEX?  If you didn’t get the email,  the only way was to call AMEX concierge.  Some people were already on hold for upwards of 1 hour (and this was at 7PM PST) and eventually hit 3 hours by 10PM.  We were about to give up until one reader found a secret phone number.  When he called, it mentioned “Centurion Concierge,” and a rep picked up within 30 seconds.  He only gave his Platinum number and it was fine.  Apparently this phone number (not on Google search) is either the actual black Centurion concierge line or it lets you skip the queue.  Others were able to call it and everyone got a rep immediately.  Sorry, I can not give out this number.

 

Lesson #3 – Was the limit 4 or 6 or 8 if you had 2 cards

Before the event, it was a bit confusing.  We knew 2 things – that there was a limit of 4 per code/card.  You could also buy 2 more after the exclusive presale for a total of 6, which was the Ticketmaster limit.  However, if you had 2 cards, could you buy 8?  The jury is still out on this one, but to play it safe, I’d recommend you use different Ticketmaster accounts per code/card.  It also seems like you didn’t actually have to pay with your Plat card (although not paying with it may lead to a very small chance your tickets get cancelled down the road.)

[Edit – A commenter says that Hamilton/TM may cancel your tickets if you go over the 6 ticket max [for all shows in this round] and could cancel all your orders, so be careful.  Link.]

 

Lesson #4 – Use the mobile app

While I didn’t use the mobile app, others said it was much faster than the site.  Remember, seconds matter!

 

Lesson #5 – The best day to buy was Valentine’s Day

This was a no-brainer.  In order of best days to buy – Valentine’s Day >>> Mother’s Day >> Easter weekend >> Spring Break weekend > Saturday > Friday.  While it’s been a while since I’ve been single, can you imagine a better line than, “Baby, I’m taking you out to dinner and I also got us ‘Hamilton’ tickets for Valentine’s Day.”  May even be a better line than, “Wanna Hamilton and chill?”  And remember, this is New York, where hedge fund guys are always trying to one-up one another.  Mother’s day will probably see more tourists and of course people who are trying to make their mothers happy.

 

Lesson #6 – Buy 2 orders of 2 tickets vs 1 order of 4 tickets

I made the mistake of trying to buy 4 seats in one order when I should have bought 2 orders of 2 tickets.  While 2 orders will take longer, there are fewer 4 consecutive seats than 2 seats side-by-side, so while you are waiting 3 minutes for a search that will come back with ZERO results, numerous other people are buying up those pairs of seats, and by the time you realize your error, all the seats are gone.

 

Lesson #7 – Skip the stupid seat map

seatmap

This was a nightmare!  When I first opened up Valentine’s Day, about 1/3 of the seat map was available.  First thing I noticed was that the orchestra seats were $850 each.  The mezzanine seats were $199 and $179 respectively.  From the Beyonce fiasco, I was a bit concerned that the $850 seats would be tougher to resell, so I tried to get the best $199 seats possible, which was the front mezzanine seats.  The problem with the seat map view was that you had to pick your seats, and then hit ‘submit’ which takes an extra 2-3 minutes and it doesn’t guarantee your seats.  I tried 3 times and every time, it came back with, “Oops those seats are sold.”  Also, there was a row with 5 seats together.  I tired to buy 4 of those, and TM kept refusing me saying, “Oops you can’t leave a single seat open.”  So it was just a nightmare!  I would have been better off just letting Ticketmaster pick the best 2 seats at $199 for me.  That way, when the search result comes back, I’m “locked in” to those seats already.

 

Lesson #8 – When to sell?

I found this link that has an awesome chart.  Whether you are looking to buy or resell, you must read the post!

“If you’re a seller, you’re most likely to get the highest price for your ticket 30-35 days before the show. If you’re looking to sell in the last 30 days (because of an unexpected schedule conflict?), you should do so right away. The price is likely to continue falling until show time.”

 

Conclusion

So is this deal dead? Well as of Tuesday afternoon, you could still buy the $850 orchestra tickets for Valentine’s Day. There were maybe 10 left as of 5PM PST. All of the $199 tickets for all the shows were gone by noonish. There will be a general public sale starting Sunday night, so use these tips to score you some tickets. Now you’ll be well prepared.

  • Mark Ostermann

    Just got an email with a code for Hamilton Chicago for Monday. Are the resale opportunities for it good? I like that the dates are a lot sooner then the NYC offer.

    • billy d

      mark, did you also buy tickets during the NYC presale? i’m wondering if you can buy in both sales, and also if you need a separate code for the chicago sale.

      • Mark Ostermann

        No I couldn’t get through…they emailed me a code for Chicago sale…I think you would need to call for a new code but I don’t see why you couldn’t do both.

  • Christian Bennion

    Never resold tickets before, but I bought 4 x $850 for Valentine’s day weekend. I’m kind of bummed that it looks like I’ll have to wait until Jan to get them sold cause that’s when I’ll be able to get the downloaded TM tickets if I understand it right. Hopefully there is a big profit for it:)

    • Miles per Day

      You can sell now on Stubhub and say you’ll deliver later.

  • Daniel Gordon

    As someone who has never bought tickets via amex before: your intro is lacking. How do I do it? You show a link on how to specifically get Hamilton tickets – but what about in general? How do I look to see what tickets are available?

    To clarify, your title of this post is, “How to buy exclusive American Express tickets from Ticketmaster” – but you give tips on how to do that for a specific deal. This post does not answer the question, “How can I find tickets to buy via my Amex account?”.

    Your intro needs to include steps on how to find tickets in general. Do you always have to call for a code? Is there a link we can go to as platinum members? How did you find this Hamilton deal to begin with?

    Trying to help – and I’m also still confused, so that’s why I’m asking.

  • Pingback: Recap: Household Chase 5/24, Exclusive American Express Tickets, YNAB & More - Doctor Of Credit()

  • Nanu

    I wanted to buy through the app, but I didn’t know how to find the pre-sale through it… Searching for “Hamilton” only found dates as late as September 2016.

    As for the Centurion concierge phone number, how can I find it if I have a Centurion card? (I don’t, but a family member does) Obviously I don’t expect you to share the number itself publicly.

    • Miles per Day

      Look for the Hamilton NY listing; I was able to see for next year. As for the Centurion number, you’ll need to ask your family member then.

  • aradisc

    “However, if you had 2 cards, could you buy 8?”

    Be careful with that. The event pages clearly say “Maximum aggregate ticket limit for performances 1/31/17 through 5/21/17 is 6 tickets.” It won’t physically stop you from buying more, but they can and will cancel all your orders later if they detect duplicate name, address, card, or email exceeding 6 total tickets. Here’s an article from the last round of cancellations (and the limit is much smaller this time): http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/theater/hamilton-takes-steps-to-limit-the-resale-of-its-tickets.html

    • Miles per Day

      Thanks. I’ll update the post.

      • DL

        I’m in a similar boat. I purchased 3 sets of 4 tickets (12 total) with three different Platinum accounts (not just AUs). Each set was purchased with it’s own unique code from the concierge desk. I purchased them all under the same TM account for the sake of speed. In hindsight this may have been a fatal move. Do people know how far in advance they cancelled tickets? I would hate to make plans to get out to NY only to find out days before that my tickets fell through.

    • billy d

      The article says: “The limits on purchases — intended to prevent brokers from buying batches of tickets and then reselling them at huge markups — vary over time. Right now, according to the Ticketmaster website, there is a 14-ticket limit per person for performances within a seven-day period.”

      Seems like having more than 6 from this presale is a POSSIBLE risk, but it’s a far cry from having more than 14 per week, which is what was getting cancelled before.

      • aradisc

        That was the limit for the last batch of tickets, and the current batch is explicitly more strict.

  • disqus_UZti5pqGQ5

    I got 2 sets of Orchestra tickets for $199 per ticket. Each pair was $423. I did not use my Platinum card to pay, but there was nothing stated in the terms about that. I think as long as you used an Amex card you are fine. In other sponsored presales, such as Citi, it won’t let you use a card from another issuer.