The Big ScoreBig Experiment:  Extreme Stacking with ScoreBig


ScoreBig Extreme StackingUPDATE 10/14/16: Use Extreme Caution purchasing from ScoreBig!  In October 2016, ScoreBig encountered “an unexpected liquidity crisis” which lead to them ceasing operations temporarily.  Their communication to buyers at that time indicated that “there may be an issue regarding the continued validity of the tickets you purchased”.

By Anita, Lab Manager

Event ticket seller ScoreBig offers rewards and bonuses through a variety of portals and partners, offering the tantalizing possibility of triple, quadruple, quintuple, or even sextuple reward stacking.

In the last two posts, we’ve covered ScoreBig’s pricing options and interfaces and how to use the Name A Ticket Price option.  In those posts, we’ve shown that it’s possible to get very good ticket prices through ScoreBig.  But, is it possible to get good prices and earn huge rewards?  That’s what I set about trying to find out…

The Big ScoreBig Experiment 1:  Quintuple Dip with Published Price tickets?

My ambitious dream was that I would earn Shop Your Way Rewards, Fuel Rewards, cash back, AND Southwest miles, along with bonus Thank You Points for using my Citi AT&T Access More.

For the first experiment I shopped for a pair of tickets for a reasonably high demand, but not sold-out event.  The box office price after fees was $70, and the fixed price at Score Big was $70.11.  (I conducted this experiment before I discovered how to access Name A Ticket Price so that price wasn’t compared).  Most Stubhub tickets were $80 or more after fees but a single pair in the same section was going for $62 each after fees.

For the sake of the experiment, I passed on the cheaper Stubhub tickets to see if I could extreme stack rewards.  (Note:  Stubhub does not offer cash back through any portal that I’ve found, although there are occasional coupons.  SeatGeek, another ticket aggregator with competitive prices, earns up to 7% cash back.)

For my $140 purchase, the best available coupon was $10 off $100.  Instead I opted for the Southwest 1000 mile bonus plus 3 dollars per mile.  I expected a total of 1420 Southwest miles with a value of about $21.


You can click through to ScoreBig from a cash back portal or an airline’s shopping mall.  At the time of this experiment, the best options were 12.5% cash back or 5 miles/$.  I chose to go for cash back.  You can find current portal rates here, on Cash Back Monitor.

Airline Partners

Even if you don’t shop at ScoreBig through the airline’s shopping mall, you can still earn airline miles (in addition to cash back!) if you’re buying published price tickets.  That’s because ScoreBig is also a specialty partner of Southwest (and of United, Alaska, JetBlue, and Virgin America). See how ScoreBig is listed right below the Rapid Rewards Shopping option on Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Shop & Dine Partners page?

Southwest Earn through Shopping (showing Mall and Score Big)

At the time of this writing, all five airlines are currently offering first time bonuses of 500-1000 points in addition to the normal earn rate of “up to” 22 miles per dollar.   As sexy as 22 miles per dollar sounds, it would be more accurate to say you’ll nearly always earn 3 miles per dollar with a minimum of 500 miles earned on a pair of tickets.  (There are exceptions, and I’d love to hear if you find any good ones.  I found some last minute $88/ea tickets earning 11 miles per dollar.)

But when you’re using the airline partner links to ScoreBig, you will not have the option of bidding on Name A Ticket Price tickets.

For the first experiment, I went with Southwest because I plan to book an award flight on Southwest later this year and the 1000 mile bonus would be something I’d get real value from soon.   

Hotel Partners

Instead of earning airline miles, you could earn Hilton or Club Carlson points.  Don’t.  The earning rate is terrible.

Coupon or Miles

When I started this experiment, I was actually hoping for a sextuple (6) dip by earning miles, Fuel Rewards, Shop Your Way, cash back, bonus credit card miles, AND a coupon discount!

Alas, I quickly found that ScoreBig’s interface is hard-coded to not allow coupons when earning miles.  Each airline’s version of ScoreBig gave me a message similar to this one:Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 9.02.50 AM

So I had to settle for going for the quintuple (5) dip.  I chose the miles instead of the coupon for this experiment because I would get the 1,000 point first-time bonus on this purchase making it more valuable than any of the coupons I found.

Other Partners

Both Sears’ Shop Your Way Rewards and the Fuel Rewards Network list ScoreBig as a partner for linked Visa or Mastercard credit cards.  You can link the SAME credit card to both programs, so I was excited to test whether we could get rewards for both programs for the same purchase.  

Shop Your Way Rewards currently offers 20% back in points, while the normal earn rate for Fuel Rewards Network is $.10 per $50 spent.  At the time I did the experiment, Fuel Rewards was offering a 2x promotion for ScoreBig so I was hoping for $.20 per $50 spent.

The Big ScoreBig Experiment 1 Results

Cash Back:  Success!  Within about an hour, Simply Best Coupons confirmed $17.53 cash back pending.

Shop Your Way Rewards:  Success!  A few hours after that, I got an email from Shop Your Way Rewards confirming that points were pending.  Three days later, $28.04 in Shop Your Way Rewards had posted to my account.

Southwest miles:  Success!  The day after my purchase, 1500 Southwest Airlines miles posted to my account.  I had originally expected 1,420 (the 1000 bonus plus 3 per $ spent). But it appears there is a minimum earn of 500 points per pair of tickets with a minimum value of $30.  These Southwest miles are worth about $22.50.

Fuel Rewards:  Success!  For three days after the purchase, I didn’t receive a confirmation email or see rewards.  But on the 4th day, I received $.55 per gallon in Fuel Rewards.  (I expected $.40 but the rewards are prorated, so I earned rewards on the whole purchase, not just in increments of $50 spent).  This was worth a maximum of $11 if I practically let myself run out of gas before I go fill up so I can use the full 20 gallons allowed per fill.

Credit Card:  In addition, I expect ScoreBig to qualify as online shopping which earns 3 Thank You points per dollar, which will give me another $5.25 in rewards (140*3 = 420; 420 * .0125).

Purchase Price (Pair of Tickets) $140.22
Cash Back $17.53
SYW Rewards $28.04
Southwest Miles $22.50
Fuel Rewards $11.00
Citi Thank You $5.25 (expected but unconfirmed)
Price after Rewards: $55.90 (Pair of Tickets) $55.90

Compared to my next best option of $124 a pair ($62 each) through Stubhub, this was an amazing deal.  Plus I got to watch the game from some pretty great seats!

Editor’s note: When calculating your own “price after rewards” keep in mind how much you value the various rebates. For example, I live close to town and rarely have to fill up my gas tank so I personally wouldn’t value Fuel Rewards anywhere near their maximum value.  Similarly, if the gas stations that accept Fuel Rewards are more expensive than the ones you normally fill-up with, then you should discount their value accordingly. -Frequent Miler

The Big ScoreBig Experiment 2:  Quintuple Dip on Name A Ticket Price tickets?

In the second experiment, I wanted to see if I could stack portal rewards, ShopYourWay Rewards, Fuel Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and a coupon when buying Name A Ticket Price tickets.  Keep in mind that you can’t earn ScoreBig partnership miles when buying Name A Ticket Price tickets, but I figured that the rest might be fair game.

The Big ScoreBig Experiment 2 Results

As described in the second ScoreBig post, I made a successful bid of $35 each for a pair of tickets, which was a great deal compared the box office price of $52.  In addition, I reduced the effective price to $16.73 a ticket after rewards.

  • Cash Back:  Success! 
  • Shop Your Way Rewards:  Success!
  • Coupon discount:  Success!
  • Fuel Rewards:  Success!
  • Credit Card: Expect 3 points per dollar (but not yet confirmed)
Bid Price $70.00 (Pair of Tickets) $70.00
Cash Back $7.50
SYW Rewards $12.00
Coupon $10.00
Fuel Rewards $4.80
Citi Thank You Points $2.25 (expected but unconfirmed)
Price after rewards (Pair of Tickets) $33.45

What stacks with what?

As we discovered in the two experiments, above, it is possible to stack many types of rewards with ScoreBig:

Name a Ticket Price tickets: Stack cash back portal, Shop Your Way Rewards, Fuel Rewards, coupon savings, and credit card bonus points.

Published Price tickets: Stack cash back portal, Shop Your Way Rewards, Fuel Rewards, coupon savings OR airline partnership miles, and credit card bonus points.

Important Cautions

As with most Extreme Stacking adventures, any or all of these rewards could fail to post or be clawed back. However, the risk is minimal if ScoreBig prices are close to what you would have paid anyway anyway.    

In some cases, you might find the rewards to be so substantial that you’d consider buying tickets and reselling them for about what you paid for them.  I would recommend extreme caution in doing this as you will not receive the tickets you purchase immediately, and you may not receive them until right before your event.  For one baseball game, it was several weeks after purchase, and only 2 days before the event, when I received my tickets.  For my highest dollar purchase, my expected delivery date for the tickets is within 3 days of the December, 2016 event.  I will be traveling to use these tickets and contacted ScoreBig about possibly receiving them sooner to ease my mind.  They responded that they deliberately don’t deliver these early to prevent buying and reselling.

Next Up

Stay tuned for the final post in the ScoreBig series where we show you step by step how to Extreme Stack at ScoreBig.

This post was written by Anita, FM Lab Manger.  Anita actively researches new Extreme Stacking possibilities and maintains the Frequent Miler Laboratory page.
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I've always had a travel bug, but my obsession with points and miles started after taking my family of five to Hawaii on award tickets and thinking "I want to do that AGAIN!". I quickly found that a travel lover can take a lot of trips for very little money by taking advantage of points and miles offered by the airlines and hotels. My husband and three kids are happily drug along on my many travel adventures. The dogs have to stay home. I recently realized that I often spend more for dog sitting than I do for airline tickets and hotels! I also love beer, coffee, baseball, and food.
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