Edited by: Nick Ellis
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For tennis fans, witnessing the U.S. Open Tennis Championships is akin to the feeling football and baseball fans get if they have the chance to go to the Super Bowl or the World Series.
More commonly known as the U.S. Open, the tournament is one of the 4 Grand Slam tennis tournaments that take place throughout the year. It is considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the United States.
Aside from the world-class tennis matches, credit card issuers such as Chase and American Express, as well as travel brands including IHG and Emirates, provide credit cardholders and attendees of the U.S. Open with a suite of onsite benefits, including lounge access, complimentary food, and activities, for the duration of the tournament, which runs this year from August 28 to September 10.
We got a firsthand peek at what it’s like to attend the final Grand Slam of the year and experience all of the benefits available to select cardholders and attendees.
Let’s dive in and take a look at everything you can expect!
American Express is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the 2023 U.S. Open. As in previous years, the issuer is providing cardmembers and tennis fans with exclusive benefits at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site at which the tournament is held.
Amex Centurion Lounge
Once again, Amex Platinum cardmembers have the opportunity to enjoy a pop-up Centurion Lounge located on the second level of the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
If you have an Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card, you can get access to The Centurion Lounge at the U.S. Open. But, you must have a reservation, which can be made through Resy, as the lounge is highly sought after by U.S. Open attendees.
A week before the tournament started, I looked on Resy, and there were no reservations available for any day of the tournament.
However, cardmembers can join the waitlist by visiting The Centurion Lounge in person during the U.S. Open and putting their names down on a list. Keep in mind that this exclusive lounge has no guest privileges — every individual must have an Amex Platinum card or an Amex Business Platinum card to enter.
Once inside, cardmembers can enjoy specialty dishes curated by Cédric Vongerichten and Michael Solomonov, who are the Executive Chef partners of the Centurion Lounges at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), respectively.
Some examples of savory dishes include hummus and pita with corn; za’atar chicken with moruno-spiced rice; salmon tartare lettuce wraps with ginger turmeric dressing; and roasted maitake mushrooms with parmesan and pine nuts.
Centurion Lounge Mixologist Jim Meehan has curated the selection of craft cocktails, which includes Grey Goose Honey Deuces, the tournament’s signature cocktail.
Looking for a little pick-me-up, I decided to try an espresso martini, one of the lounge’s signature cocktails, and it definitely hit the spot!
The Centurion Lounge also offers an immersive American Express Travel experience where guests can design a custom-embroidered passport cover. The wait was a bit too long for me, so I skipped this experience, but I found it to be a really fun addition to the lounge.
Guests can also explore their individual travel personas and receive inspirational travel recommendations.
If you plan on going to both the day session and evening session on the same day and would like the opportunity to access The Centurion Lounge at the U.S. Open, we recommend visiting the Centurion Lounge in person and promptly adding your name to the waitlist.
Amex Card Member Lounge
American Express actually offers 2 lounges at the U.S. Open. This year, the American Express Card Member Lounge is located inside the American Express U.S. Open Fan Experience.
This lounge is open to all Amex cardmembers. Best of all, this lounge has guest privileges that allow cardmembers to bring in up to 2 guests with them.
Cardmembers can enjoy several exciting features at this location, including:
- Sneaker cleaning
- Massage therapy
- Exclusive merchandise from Ralph Lauren’s Create Your Own kiosk
- Charging Stations
- Drinks available for purchase
After swiping my Amex card at the check-in desk downstairs to enter, I ascended the stairs and was immediately greeted by the sneaker cleaning section. This convenient amenity allows guests to have their white shoes cleaned and polished, restoring them to a brand-new appearance.
Across the sneaker cleaning area, there’s a Ralph Lauren Custom Shop where visitors have the opportunity to design their own shirts. They can select from a wide range of Polo Ralph Lauren designs that are branded with the U.S. Open theme, including options such as Ralph Lauren’s iconic polo bear or the NYC U.S. Open logos.
There were plenty of spaces for guests to sit and enjoy a refreshment or simply socialize.
My personal favorite perk at the open-layout Card Member Lounge was a complimentary 5-minute Theragun massage — it did wonders for my back pain.
Aside from the range of activities, Amex members can borrow a portable phone charger from a station in the Card Member Lounge if their phone battery needs to be charged. When you’re done, simply place it in one of the many drop boxes scattered throughout the grounds.
U.S. Open Amex Fan Experience
Amex cardmembers can enjoy the interactive attractions at the U.S. Open without needing a luxury card like the Amex Platinum card. This is made possible by the U.S. Open American Express Fan Experience, which offers innovative fan experiences.
All American Express cardmembers can receive a complimentary digital collectible (NFT) designed by the talented illustrator Vero Escalante.
The U.S. Open is commemorated with this unique souvenir, which can also lead to further savings like free transportation from the U.S. Open back to your hotel or discounts on shopping. Don’t forget to get your NFT and download a cryptocurrency wallet on your phone.
Fans can engage in an interactive live mural experience created by Vero Escalante. This mural was a fun activity for kids who can color a part of the mural. After the tournament, the artist’s final mural will be unveiled and displayed for everyone to view.
Furthermore, participants are offered the chance to partake in various experiences, including the highly popular Glow Tennis mixed-reality game.
You may also play some real tennis on a full-sized indoor court for fans who want an authentic experience. Numerous children waited to demonstrate their prowess on the tennis court.
If you prefer pampering and less strenuous physical activity, there’s an option to enjoy a complimentary 5-minute cryotherapy session. During this session, you can sit on a comfortable chair and experience a cryotherapy treatment that utilizes freezing liquid nitrogen on your face.
This treatment aims to help you relax and is said to have potential physical and mental health benefits. Simply present your American Express card, and a Cryo professional will perform the relaxing treatment on you.
The American Express Fan Experience is conveniently located near the East Gate, directly across from Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Being an Amex cardmember comes with its perks at the U.S. Open, starting from before you even enter. Attendees with backpacks or large bags are required to check their bags at the dedicated bag-check areas, which can be found at the East and South gates.
The cost to check your bags is $10 per bag, or visitors traveling directly to or from the airport from the U.S. Open can store their luggage for $20 at the baggage check.
Amex cardmembers enjoy a discounted rate of $5 per bag.
Knowing the bag policy in advance, I took a small messenger bag with me, which only had my phone charger and hat. I wasn’t required to check that, though note that laptops are not allowed inside the venue.
Nevertheless, it was reassuring to have the option of securely storing my bag somewhere safe while I went inside to enjoy world-class tennis matches.
In addition, American Express provides all cardmembers with an earpiece radio that allows them to listen to the ESPN broadcast of the U.S. Open and receive real-time updates on all ongoing matches.
There are Amex radio stations all over the U.S. Open grounds, but I got my radio by playing the claw machine game within the American Express U.S. Open Fan Experience.
These handy radios ensure you won’t miss any action, no matter where you are on the grounds.
These items are available for a limited-time until supplies run out. To obtain one, simply present any American Express card. Each guest is allowed one earpiece per card.
Located onsite in the South Plaza, this checkout-free experience continues its tradition of encouraging cardmembers to Shop Small® by featuring products from local New York City small businesses.
The shop offers a wide selection of beverages, snacks, and U.S. Open merchandise for purchase.
Fans must pay with an Amex card or a digital wallet in order to make purchases at the American Express Shop. Cash is not accepted.
U.S. Open Amex Offer
You may already be familiar with Amex Offers, which allow you to save money or earn bonus points when you shop or dine at select merchants. You can find these Amex Offers either in your online account or on the Amex mobile app (iOS, Android).
Every year at the U.S. Open, it’s customary for Amex cardmembers attending the event to have access to an exclusive Amex Offer. This offer allows cardholders to save money by spending $100 or more with their enrolled Amex card at participating merchants located on the grounds of the U.S. Open.
If you’re planning to purchase merchandise or food at the U.S. Open, it would be beneficial to enroll an eligible card in the Amex Offer before attending the tournament. This will allow you to secure some savings in advance.
JPMorgan Chase is celebrating its 42nd year of partnership with the U.S. Open this year. The presence of the well-known bank at this large-scale tennis tournament is designed to have a broad appeal and be easily accessible to a wide audience.
Chase offers equal access to all its onsite entertainment for both credit card and banking customers, regardless of their card type. To enjoy all of Chase’s onsite benefits, guests must register and obtain a Chase Pass. This digital pass conveniently consolidates all customer-exclusive benefits available at the U.S. Open.
Guests can sign up for Chase Pass at chasegetsyoucloser.com/usopen.
Let’s explore what Chase has in store for its customers at the U.S. Open.
The Chase Lounge is the issuer’s best indoor hospitality area at the U.S. Open.
Any Chase customer with an event ticket can visit, however, you must have a reservation. As of this writing, all of the Chase Lounge reservations for all of the tournament sessions are sold out.
However, Chase customers have the option to add their names to the waitlist in person.
At the Chase Lounge, you can get free snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
There is a private cash bar where you can buy alcoholic beverages.
The lounge is furnished with cozy chairs and tables, providing guests with a comfortable space to relax and enjoy the exciting tennis matches. Furthermore, the lounge is equipped with strategically positioned TVs, guaranteeing that guests will not miss any moment of the action.
This year, the bank is giving everyone who comes free custom-made hats and a free happy hour.
If you’re lucky, you might even get on television, since live ESPN broadcasts are sometimes shown in the Chase Lounge.
In general, the Chase Lounge is a nice place to unwind, take a break from the New York heat, and enjoy some light fare and refreshments.
The Chase Terrace, unlike the Chase Lounge, does not require a reservation and operates on a first-come, first-served basis for Chase customers.
Guests who wish to be right in the midst of the action will have the opportunity to enjoy tennis views, tables with seats and umbrellas for shade, as well as complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages from a vantage point above the Grandstand court. There is a cash bar available as well.
The Chase Terrace is located on the opposite side of the grounds as the Chase Lounge, beside the South Plaza in the Grandstand stadium.
The fifth-largest hotel chain in the world is also celebrating its fifth year as the official hotel sponsor of the U.S. Open. IHG One Rewards members have the opportunity to enjoy various benefits at the event.
Members of the IHG One Rewards program have the opportunity to register for a relaxing 5-minute massage in this eco-friendly space.
Massages are available starting at 12 p.m. every day and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lemon Tree Bar by Kimpton
Guests can unwind and enjoy a refreshing cold beverage at the Kimpton Lemon Tree Bar. Situated on the terrace outside Arthur Ashe Stadium, this outdoor oasis provides a shaded retreat where guests can enjoy VIP treatment. The venue offers a selection of specialty cocktails and a carefully curated menu of wines available by the glass.
It’s also important to note that customers who have a Chase Pass can present their pass to a bar attendant during happy hour and receive 1 free drink at the Kimpton Lemon Tree Bar.
IHG also provides exclusive, unparalleled experiences at the U.S. Open for its IHG One Rewards loyalty members, which are not available for purchase by the general public. These include behind-the-scenes tours, the opportunity to attend post-match conferences, and other cool experiences. Members can bid to redeem rewards for these experiences at IHG One Rewards Access.
Emirates, the exclusive airline sponsor of the U.S. Open, is proudly commemorating its 11th year at Flushing Meadows.
Tennis enthusiasts are invited to visit the Emirates booth and participate in a spin-the-wheel game. By trying their luck, they have the chance to win an Emirates-branded seat cushion to keep as a souvenir.
Afterward, fans can take a leisurely stroll across the South Plaza and relax at the Emirates Sport Café. This spot offers a variety of delicious food and beverage options for guests to enjoy.
This year’s U.S. Open will be extra special — and not just on the court. Card issuers and travel companies have significantly elevated the fan experience at the U.S. Open by offering exclusive lounge access, complimentary food, discounts, and several other perks.
Fans who have select Chase and American Express credit cards will have the opportunity to enjoy additional exclusive perks that are certain to enhance their experience at this year’s U.S. Open.
Featured Image Credit: Juan Ruiz. All images credited to Juan Ruiz unless otherwise noted.
Frequently Asked Questions
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds are free and open to the public throughout Fan Week, the week before the start of the U.S. Open. However, a ticket is required during the tournament to have access to the grounds.
Any American Express card will be accepted to enter the Card Member Lounge.
Reservations for The Centurion Lounge at the U.S. Open are available only to those who have an Amex Platinum card, an Amex Business Platinum Card, or the Centurion® Card from American Express. Reservations can be made on a first-come, first-served basis exclusively through Resy.
No, any guest with a U.S. Open ticket can access the Amex Fan Experience free of charge.
Backpacks, large bags, glass bottles, alcohol, recording devices, and laptops are prohibited inside the U.S. Open grounds. All attendees are welcome to check a bag or suitcase at the East Gate or South Gate bag check. This service is discounted for American Express cardmembers.
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