American Express Front of the Line: Privileged Event Access

June 1, 2020
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American Express Entertainment gives Canadian cardmembers preferred access to concerts, shows, and special events. Front of the Line can get you presale tickets or reserved seats during the public on-sale period, and in some venues, access to VIP lounges, or even drinks, and snacks, among other benefits. Here’s how it works.

American Express Entertainment gives Canadian cardmembers have preferred access to concerts, shows, and special events and through presale tickets or reserved seats during the public on-sale period. In some venues, the perks include access to VIP lounges, drinks, and snacks. Here’s how it works.

Since the long-term AmEx partnership with Costco in the U.S. ended in 2016, the credit card company took a more proactive approach to partnerships abroad.

Credit Card providers know that Canadians love spending a night feeling the energy of a great performance or a crowd, either listening to good music or simply seating comfortably or having a drink in a hall. In the last few years, American Express Canada has focused on giving entertainment perks to everyone in an attempt to engage existing cardholders and attract new members.

Since 2015, Amex Canada is focusing on entertainment benefits
Since 2015, Amex Canada is focusing on entertainment benefits

American Express Invites’ Front of the Line

Front of the Line is part of American Express Invites within the wider American Express Experiences program, one of the credit card’s perks in Canada.

Front of the Line is based on partnerships with major film studios (such as Universal Studios), media and show production companies (such as Clear Channel Entertainment and Mirvish productions) as well as ticket sellers (such as Live Nation and Ticketmaster). The list of partners also includes Air Canada for enRoute magazine’s Canada’s Best New Restaurants.

These partnership deals guarantee AmEx members exclusive early access, space and/or whole sections of seats, providing two specific benefits to those AmEx Canadian Cardmembers who enjoy attending in-demand concerts, theatre productions, restaurants, sporting, and special events:

  • Pre-sales: Get tickets before the general public.
  • Reserved seating: Get better seats during the public on-sale period, even if you buy late.

However, American Express Invites also offers Cardmembers other benefits:

  • Redeem Membership Reward points for some tickets.
  • Advanced screenings and events tied to blockbuster movies.
  • Weekend getaway packages.
  • Special online and in-store shopping deals.
  • Takeovers of restaurants featured in Canada’s Best New Restaurants.
  • American Express Priority Lane: Breeze through the front gate at venues and events.
  • Access to “Front of The Line Club”, American Express Lounge and Priority Bars facilities at venues such as Molson Amphitheatre, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theaters or the Budweiser Stage

What you Need to Get Front of the Line Tickets

First of all, in case you are interested in these benefits, subscribe to the Front of the Line Entertainment e-Updates newsletter, and make sure to check your inbox often for an updated list of events and activities.

Using Front of the Line benefits is easy. All you have to do to access the applicable ticket presales, reserved seating and invites is pay with an eligible American Express credit card and, if applicable, enter a promotional code. It is worth noting that, in Canada, a password will not be required, but if you choose to click on the American Express button, you’ll be required to pay with your American Express card.

The eligible AmEx cards are divided into two groups. The first group includes those which can buy Front of the Line tickets directly from partners such as Ticketmaster and, in some cases, at the box offices:

  • Gold Card.
  • International Dollar Cards.
  • Corporate Platinum Card.
  • Executive Business Card.
  • Business Gold Card.

These cards can also purchase tickets directly through the American Experiences page:

Please note that American Express Gift Cards and American Express Prepaid cards are not eligible for Front of the Line tickets. However, American Express Invites program sometimes offers Front of the Line benefits to them, as well as non-cardholders, through one-time-use promo codes.

How to get Presale Tickets?

Presales don’t guarantee a ticket, but you’ll have the chance to access tickets before the general public, which is, of course, a huge advantage for fans of the most in-demand shows. American Express Presales does, however, require to complete the purchase with an American Express credit card.

In case you’re buying online from Ticketmaster:

  1. Go to the partner’s American Express website sections (e.g. Ticketmaster or Mirvish American Express Front of the Line) .
  2. Select the presales section.
  3. Find the event you want to attend.
  4. Click “Ticket Type” at the top of the page where seating options are listed.
  5. Select “American Express Card Member Presale”.
  6. Choose your tickets and check out. You’ll need a Ticketmaster account to log in and pay.
  7. Pay with your Amex card, Amex points (redeemable in 2,000-point increments), or a combination. Note that your card will be charged for the full amount, and within 48 hours, a statement credit for the points redeemed will be applied to your account.

In case you have the American Express Platinum or Centurion card, you can also:

  • Access the American Express Experience webpage.
  • Search by artist, event, or city to find what you want to attend.
  • Click “find tickets,” and log into your Amex account.
  • Search for seats.
  • Buy the tickets with your AmEx Platinum or Centurion card or points.

Front of the Line Preferred Seats

On the Ticketmaster or partner website:

  • Find the event you want to attend.
  • Once you find it, click see tickets.
  • You´ll see a plan of the venue where you can choose the type of ticket you’re looking to get.
  • Click on “Front of the Line by American Express Invites Reserved Tickets”, if available.
  • Choose tickets from the Front of the Line area highlighted in blue.
  • Proceed to checkout and pay in full with your American Express credit card or with your Amex points (remember this is done in 2,000-point increments and that the card is charged for the full amount, and later a statement credit is applied), or a combination. The code for preferred tickets is the 10-digit customer service phone number on the back of your card or, in Canada, the word AMEX.

Drawbacks

Despite their great benefits and flexibility of their reward system, American Express cards have a well-known downside: their network is smaller than that of Visa and Mastercard, which translates into less acceptance. So, always have a no-fee Visa or Mastercard in your wallet to make sure you’re covered.

Front of the Line itself has a common disadvantage as well: since you’re buying time, tickets may be a little more expensive depending on the seats available or the event. When buying many tickets, as is usually the case for family events, this can be a lot of money.

The Bottom Line

During the last four years, AmEx has included more and more events in its Front of the Line program in Canada, which means you can now secure great seats to a growing number of sponsored events, concerts, sporting events and theater productions without stress and may also save some time, especially if you make online or telephone purchases.

In addition to this, ticket purchases with an American Express Rewards Card will earn you Membership Rewards and, in some cases, you may also get additional discounts, which combined with the lounge benefits can really help you save some money on your entertainment, making your whole experience more enjoyable.

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