Six Nights Free At MGM: Taking Advantage Of Hotel Status Matching

by Bill Shuman

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

The 32 story building offers 1,100 rooms including 125 suites. Photo Credit: MGM Resorts

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.

The Upshot

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.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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20 comments

Mike L April 21, 2019 - 4:36 pm

I find Caesar’s Diamond to be much easier to match and more valuable. They give a crazy amount of comped nights AND they waive the resort fee. Plus, 2 free show tickets monthly and an annual $100 dinner are very generous as well… especially for a matched status. Unfortunately Caesar’s likely won’t be around much longer as they look for a buyer that will likely result in their properties being sold off individually.

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Bill Shuman April 21, 2019 - 5:54 pm

Mike,

It’s crazy I can’t get a comped night at Caesars even though I’m at their properties 8-10 hours a week. After being at the Beau this weekend I was given a ton more comp options for the next few months.

At Caesars I hate that I’m only given 17 tier credits per hour played (equivalent to 0.17c) whereas this weekend at the Beau Rivage I was given $3/hr in comps toward food and drink (Borgata is $2/hr). As you mentioned where Caesars trumps MGM is the waived resort fees. However by the time I have to pay for the room it’s usually 5-6x more expensive to book at Caesars.

I also won’t ever complain about the free show tickets or diamond dinner. I just wished they did a better job of rewarding people who spend time/money at the properties.

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Dee April 23, 2019 - 11:29 am

You dont get comped because you dont qualify.
Doesn’t matter how long you stay at CET/MLIFE, how much you brought, or anything else. It’s just what what your risk and average bet is. Which factors into the return they get. Simple business.

ADT = Average Daily Theoretical – amount based on your historical play that a casino expects you to potentially play per day. Offers are derived from ADT. Poker comps for anything more than meal/drinks are a loss leader expecting you to play other games. CET has changed their algos to get rid of its players that cause casino loss, about 20-30% of all players on CET are considered losses in which the casino loses money to via comps and other services.

You get a percentage of your daily bet back as comps, if you don’t play you dont get paid. Poker is not playing and getting anything is from anything other than a free meal even on the 5/10 is generous IMO. % of the rake on anything under 5/10 is minuscule.

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Bill Shuman April 23, 2019 - 12:41 pm

Dee,

Obviously poker is vastly different than anything else in the casino as you are playing against other players vs. the house. Therefore the only benefit that is generated for the casino is the rake. However, what I find most interesting and wanted to highlight is the difference between the two companies. Your comparison of % of rake under 5/10 is backwards. The reason why is that in higher stakes games the casino uses a time rake vs. a per pot rake. This often decreases the cost of the rake per hour for each player and actual decreases the revenue for the casino.

For example last weekend at the Beau:
$1/3 No Limit Holdem – $5 rake + $1 promotion is pulled every hand.
$2/5 No Limit Holdem – $6 timed rake per half hour + $1 promotion

These examples are full table rakes. This changes shorthanded. For example, I played 3 and 4 handed last weekend and the Beau was only pulling $1 a half hour!! It was $2 at 5 players, and $3 at 6 players.

At 30 hands an hour the casino makes $150 in rake at the $1/3 game vs. $120 at the $2/5 game. The Borgata is only $5/half hr. at the $2/5 game meaning $100 per hour per table. Either way poker players do bring in money for the casino (I would concede the fact not as much as an average slot/table game player) and should be given some comps to offset that. Usually around 20-30% of the ADT is given back in comps. That means that at a poker table the table should be getting back between $20-30/hr in comps or $2-3/hr per player. Vegas casinos are around $1.50-$2 an hour, Borgata is $2, Beau Rivage is $3, which I think it fair. Caesars properties is $0.17!!

Therefore, my experience has been that Caesars properties don’t give as much back in comps compared to MGM properties and what makes that worse is their rakes are usually higher.

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aatraveler April 21, 2019 - 7:47 pm

This is good stuff! I just matched to M Life Gold. How much gambling dollars would you estimate that it took to get these kind of offers?

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Bill Shuman April 21, 2019 - 7:59 pm

Awesome glad you liked the content. Thanks for reading. As far as data goes I only play poker and have accumulated around 45 hours this year at MGM properties at 2/5 and 5/10 NLHE. No pit games and no slots at all.

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Ricky May 21, 2019 - 5:20 pm

I am currently m life gold and I don’t see any of these comped rooms. However I do see comped hotels for Caesars diamond and those are only sun-thurs

what am I doing differently?

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Bill Shuman May 21, 2019 - 7:27 pm

How long have you been gold? For a few hotels I had to wait some time for them to show up. Beyond that have you done any spending at the stores/restaurants or gamble even a little?

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ricky May 22, 2019 - 9:19 am

I have been gold since last year. I did gamble on craps, blackjack and i spent over $1500 at the Bellagio in hotel rooms.

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Bill Shuman May 22, 2019 - 9:39 am

Ricky, I would assume, maybe incorrectly, that you would some really good deals then. Under your account have you checked through your individual offers for each property. If I just do a general search under hotels it doesn’t look like I have much besides the discount for my tier rate. However, when I click on my individual offers at each property (sometimes there are 3-4) that’s where I can find the comp nights. The other thing is to call MGM directly and ask the representatives. They can sometimes do better than the online offers when you ask to have your play rated.

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ricky May 22, 2019 - 10:14 am

Yea I had some comp nights before may 15th but after that it disappeared. Which offer are you clicking the beau riviera for gold .. because I see like 3-4 options for it and the prices are from $89 up

anyway you could call me lol

ricky May 22, 2019 - 10:16 am

the comp nights I saw were for MGM Grand but now there is nothing ;/

Bill Shuman May 22, 2019 - 10:59 am

Generally with MGM properties the farther out I want to book the less is available. For the Beau, I’m currently seeing a bunch: Your Exclusive M Life Room Offer, Bed/Breakfast, Wine Dine and Save, Dinner/Movie, AAA, Mlife Exclusive Offer, Military, July Flight Offer (I wrote about this one in another article). Under the “Exclusive M Life Room” I see 11 comp nights for June, 19 for July, 10 for August, and none for September. Rates here range from $39-$389 on non-comp nights. Under the Mlife Exclusive Offer I only see one comp night in June, none in July, and none in August. Rates in this range from $95-$423/night. Make sure any offer is being applied or you will just see the base rate.

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ricky May 22, 2019 - 11:57 am

Found them it was under “your M life gaming offer” for me but the comps are only for certain properties like the Luxor (2nights comp), excalibur (4nights) and park MGM (1 night comp)

as for the beau I don’t see any comps

thanks for the help!!
maybe it’s just different offers based on where you usually stay or go?

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Bill Shuman May 22, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Awesome! Glad you were able to find them. For me, I saw only a few comp nights (which I used) for the Beau prior to going, the Borgata comps I only got through the Mlife Gold Match program. Now after being at both of those properties and putting in some time at the tables more comps open. I’m heading to Borgata this weekend, and only using 1 night (playing 3 days there) due to getting 2 free nights at Hard Rock. My expectation is that after that trip I will have more comp nights open than I do now.

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ricky May 22, 2019 - 12:55 pm

Yea that’s good . Use the one night at borgata and $100 match play or slot credit they give you for the status match, bonus for status matching to hard rock for 2 nights and I think they give $75 credit too.

Good work !!

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Frank June 23, 2019 - 5:17 am

At April this year reached Mlife gold status. Until 15 june we had nice 4 free nights comps at all mom properties. Now we want to book some comps for next september they are gone. Called Mlife member service and they confirmed that are no comps.
Its a littelbit strange because at pearl we got comped and now at Gold we got nothing. Should this be temporary and should we wait to the next update on my account(mostly the 15 the at every month)

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Elaine August 2, 2019 - 9:09 am

What’s your thoughts about Mlife’s recent sudden change that strip away the exclusive tier discount for gold, platinum & noir members?
Now, it only give up to 10% standard discount to all members, instead of the 15-30% that higher tier member works hard to earn it.
“2. Standardizing M life Rewards Member Room Rate Discount.
All M life Rewards members will receive up to 10% off room rates. Standardization of the Member room discount began in Las Vegas on July 15, 2019 and will be available at regional M life Rewards destinations in the future”
https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/mlife-rewards-program/program-changes.html

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Bill Shuman August 2, 2019 - 12:14 pm

Obviously it’s a devaluation of the upper tiers which isn’t that great for anyone. However, I typically don’t have a better offer available in my account so this benefit was almost useless to me personally. My guess is they are doing this to limit rewards for non gamblers. This is similar to what Hyatt did earlier this year with their Milestone Rewards changes for people who have status but don’t stay at their properties.

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