I’ve written before about how I leveraged my Marriott status to status match to five different hotel programs.
As grateful as I am to have been able to turn my Marriott Platinum status into Caesars Diamond, I’m even more thrilled about the fact that I was able to pick up Mlife Gold, Hyatt Explorist, and Hard Rock Rock Royalty.
Of all these hotel statuses, I value MGM’s Mlife Gold status the most — much more so than casino competitor Caesars. As a poker player, MGM simply does a better job of recognizing the hours I spend at their properties.
The evidence? I was able to book six comped hotel nights over the coming weeks at MGM properties, just paying $100 in resort fees. Four of these nights also fall on weekends. With Caesars, I have yet to be offered a free weekend night despite the fact that I put in more than five times the number of casino hours compared to the MGM properties.
Let me walk though the six nights that I’m getting comped, split into family time, friends time, and me time.
Family Time: Comped Nights at MGM’s Beau Rivage
The first stop on my MGM tour is at the Beau Rivage located on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi. As we have no family in town for Easter / Passover, my wife and I thought it might be nice to get away for an extended weekend. As we have never been to Biloxi, this seemed like an opportune moment to go since it is less than a six hour drive from our home in Memphis.
I logged into my MGM account and found not one, not two, but three whole comped nights for the weekend! The only thing I would have to pay for are the resort fees which come out to $16.05 a day.
The only problem with a comped room is that we were not guaranteed two beds. As this is a family trip — and my four-year old is coming along — I wanted to find out what options I had regarding beds. I was told over the phone that I could book two double beds for $10/night or two queen beds for $20 a night. This prompted me to inquire about a roll-away bed. The representative said those are also available for $20 a night, but as a Mlife Gold member that fee would be waived (this fee waiver would apply to cribs as well, also $20/night). With three options that would work for us, I decided to roll the dice and see what was open during check in.
As an added bonus as Mlife Gold, I get a $50 buffet comp that I will be able to use at some point during our stay to help cover a meal.
Friends Time: Comped Nights at MGM’s Gold Strike
Caesars Horseshoe in Tunica, Mississippi is going to be hosting the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOP) for the second time this year. These poker circuit events have big tournament fields and offer more cash games, drawing players from all over the country. I had a few friends that wanted to come down and play. Unfortunately, the problem is that cheap rooms are extremely hard to come by during big events like the WSOP. For Caesars Horseshoe, the best rate I could get was $129 a night with no resort fees (due to my Caesars Diamond status). Even that rate required six hours of poker playing. Normal bookings exceeded $200 a night.
Thankfully, there are three casinos within a few feet of each other giving more options. One of those is another MGM property, Gold Strike. During this event-packed weekend I was miraculously able to find two comped nights. Like the Beau Rivage the only thing I was responsible for was the resort fee of $16.05 a night.
Me Time: Comped Night At Borgata Atlantic City (And Hard Rock Casino)
My last day of the school year (as a teacher) is May 24th, and my flight departs from Memphis to Atlantic City the next morning. This trip is the light at the end of the school year tunnel.
As this is Memorial Day weekend, the comp nights I preferred would be at the Borgata — with the massive poker room — but they were hard to come by. Therefore, I decided to use the comp nights I acquired at the Hard Rock Casino on my last Atlantic City trip for the first part of the trip. The last night, I was able to book at the Borgata using another comp night. Like my last trip here, I’m needed to pay $22.31 for the night. This comp is saving me another $100 on the night, which is the current rate for a base room.
To save on costs, I booked a direct American Airlines flight from Memphis to Philadelphia using 7,500 British Airways Avios that I acquired via the Chase British Airways Signature Visa card and $5.60 in taxes. From there, I will be attending my sister’s college graduation in Chicago and booked a flight from Philadelphia to Chicago using a $100 Southwest gift card I acquired as a benefit of my American Express Gold Card.
I have done more traveling in the first four months of this year than I typically do — and almost all of my nights thus far have been spent at casino properties. I’ve only voluntary paid out of pocket for three of those nights at the Bellagio with my wife. All of the other nights, including the six nights above, have been comped by MGM (none by Caesars despite the fact that I play at their properties exclusively in Tunica).
MGM provides exceptional benefits for the Mlife Gold members. Of course, I can thank my initial Marriott status for all of this.