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In Vegas, there are two major players in the casino world: MGM Resorts (or Mlife) and Caesars Entertainment. There are some smaller ones as well (Station Casinos aimed more at locals, Wynn, Venetian), but these two are definitely the largest both in Vegas but also around the world. This is Mlife explained in my most simple way.
Like airlines and hotels; Vegas casino properties also have loyalty clubs. People typically have strong preference for one brand or the other. I tend to stick with MGM Resorts’ loyalty club, known as Mlife, mainly because I like the MGM properties the best (I actually like Wynn best of all, but it is high end and only has two Vegas hotels). In fact, I will be staying at Aria, one of their higher end properties, next weekend.
Casino loyalty programs work the same way as hotel or airline loyalty programs; the more “loyal” you are to their brand (i.e. the more you spend with them), the more rewards you earn. For a hotel it might be free nights or upgrades, for airline it is usually miles towards free flights and first class upgrades. For a casino, it could be comped rooms, shorter lines at the club, or priority check in.
No matter where you stay or play in Vegas, I suggest joining their player’s club. It is free to join and often you get some sort of sign up bonus (free slot play, a deck of cards, coupons). All you have to do is find the players club (usually at a prominent location on the casino floor) and show them your ID. If you stay at Wynn, you are automatically enrolled in their club.
If you are staying on site, then make sure that your room reservation is linked with your players club account. This is because not only do you earn loyalty points by gambling, but you also earn it for your hotel stay, spa visit, etc. For example, when I stay at Aria, I always book it through Mlife VIP Services, which means I usually get a discount on the room. Then when I am in Vegas, I always use my players card while gambling and I also charge everything I can to my room. More about why I do that in a minute.
With Mlife, you earn “Tier
Points Credits” (Note: They are called “Tier Credits”. I originally mentioned them as “Tier Points”) that move you up the tier status ladder. The list below shows how many Tier Points Credits per year (calculated October 1-September 30) you need to reach each status:
- Sapphire – Base Level
- Pearl – 25,000+
- Gold – 75,000+
- Platinum – 200,000+
- Noir – Invitation Only (I have heard you need anywhere between 500,000 and 2 million, I don’t know what you have to do to be invited to this club).
You can earn Tier Credits the following ways:
- $3 of Slot Play = 10 Tier Credits
- $1 spent at MGM Properties = 25 Tier Credits
The slot play seems more complicated, but in reality is simple. Let’s say you are playing a slot machine and for each “spin” you are betting $1. After three spins, you will have earned 10 Tier Credits. Whether during those three spins you won $1,000 or lost the $3, you still earn the same Tier Credits (10).
If you are a big slot player, you can rack up Tier Credits pretty quickly. For me, and for a growing number of Vegas visitors, the draw isn’t so much the gambling any more. I prefer to spend some time at the spa or a nice restaurant or seeing a show. The best way to get your Tier Credits for these activities is to charge them to your room (assuming you are staying at an MGM property). This way every dollar you spend on food, entertainment, and the room itself, will earn you Tier Credits.
Let’s say you book a room for three nights at $100 a night. Then you go to a Cirque du Soliel show and you get a good seat for $100. Maybe you get a massage for $300 and have a couple of nice meals for another $200 total.
For your weekend you spent $900, all of which you charged to your room. Now, when you check out, you make sure that your Mlife Players Club number is linked to your hotel account. And look at that, you just earned 22,500 Tier Credits without gambling a dime. But since you are in Vegas, you probably gambled some which will put you over the 25,000 Tier Point mark and bump you up to Pearl.
There are some additional nuances that I won’t get into in detail here. Each status tier comes with bonus earnings (10% bonus for Pearl, 20% bonus for Gold, etc) that allow you to earn Tier Credits more quickly. When gambling, you also earn Express Comps and Points for free play, but to be honest I have found that those accumulate so slowly that they aren’t really worth keeping track of.
So what do you get with each status tier? Here are the most important perks that are added at each tier:
- 10% Tier Credit Bonus
- Buffet Line Pass (so you don’t have to wait in the sometimes LONG line)
- 20% Tier Credit Bonus
- Priority Hotel Check In Line
- Free Room Upgrade* Although they say this is one of the perks, I have never actually been upgraded as a Gold member.
- VIP Line Access for Clubs
- VIP Lounge at some properties
- 30% Tier Credit Bonus
Turn Down Service* You have to call down or ask at check in for this serviceThis is no longer a benefit
- Taxi Line Pass
- Annual Free Cruise on Royal Caribbean (more on this in my follow up post) Once you earn Platinum, just call Royal Caribbean at 1-800-762-0702 to book your free cruise.
- Platinum Experience You must ask at check in, the front desk should have a letter for you
- 40% Tier Credit Bonus
- VIP Lounge Check In
- Complimentary Limo to/from the Airport
For complete list of the perks, visit Mlife’s website, although I am not sure how clearly they even have Mlife explained.
The other perk that you get with your status is matching status with Hyatt Gold Passport. It is also reciprocal, so even if you have never been to Vegas before, but have status with Hyatt, you can match to Mlife and enjoy the above perks.
The other detail to note is that your Tier Credits reset each October 1. Everyone goes back to zero on that date. However, you keep whatever status you earned the last year. So, for example, if you earn Gold status on June 1, 2015, you immediately enjoy the benefits of Gold and would keep that status until October 1, 2016. If you didn’t earn a single additional Tier Point, you would go back to Sapphire on October 1, 2016.
Like all loyalty programs, there is a good chance that this may change next year, or tomorrow for that matter so enjoy it for what it is now.
I wouldn’t say Mlife is better or worse than Caesar’s player’s club, it is just what I know and stick with. I would suggest if you go to Vegas often, find a property you like and stick with that loyalty club.
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