A few weeks back we gave a review of Chase Experiences. We analyzed whether these packages represented a significant value over what’s available to the general public. Yesterday I got an email from SPG touting exclusive access to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this is the biggest music festival of the year. It’s the holy grail of events for anyone between the ages of 14-30. This years Coachella sold out within hours. Let’s take a look at the SPG and Coachella partnership and see if it represents a worthy use of SPG points.
The Basics: Coachella Tickets
The festival is broken into two weekends. Tickets are sold separately for each weekend and broken into two categories – General Admission and VIP. Since it’s sold out, I jumped over to StubHub to see how much these tickets would cost me if I paid cash today. SPG doesn’t offer General Admission packages, we’ll analyze VIP access only.
As you can see, the least expensive VIP ticket available on Stubhub is $1,273 or $2,546 for a pair. Wow, that’s a hot ticket.
SPG Coachella Options
Now let’s jump over to SPG and see what they have to offer. SPG has a whopping 10 different packages for members to bid on. It’s also worth noting that you can select anyone to pickup the passes at will call, so these packages can be purchased as a gift.
The common theme in all of these packages is that at a base level, each package includes (2) VIP Passes. From there, most packages include either free nights at The Westin Mission Hills, backstage passes, or other perks that aren’t available to the general public.
Is SPG and Coachella A Good Deal?
A good way to determine whether these packages are a good deal is to understand the value of your SPG points. Most bloggers view these points as worth about $.02 per point. So each 10,000 points is about $200. SPG is auctioning these packages instead of setting a price. As of right now, bids for (2) VIP are starting at just 5,000 SPG points. Obviously that’s an incredible value, but the bids will probably go up before the auction ends in a few weeks.
We mentioned above that current retail prices for (2) VIP tickets are $2,573. With SPG points valued at $.02/each, any package under 125,000 points would represent a good redemption. I’ve got a suspicion that several of these will be available under this threshold in a few weeks. It’s definitely something to closely monitor.
One of the reasons Marriott acquired Starwood last year was the strength of the SPG Program. Starwood has built a cult following among points enthusiasts in part by offering unique redemption opportunities like this. The SPG and Coachella partnership is probably the crown jewel of SPG point redemptions outside of hotel stays. If Coachella is your thing, definitely keep an eye on the auctions. If you have teenagers or kids in their 20’s, here’s your opportunity to be the coolest parent in town.