I’m Breaking Up With Caesars Rewards
When I first started getting interested in Las Vegas loyalty programs in 2013, my default properties were those part of M life, now MGM Rewards. During a five year period from 2013-2018, I had 26 different stays at M life properties. Starting in 2018, I shifted my stays to Total Rewards, now Caesars Rewards, properties.
I shifted to Caesars in large part due to their Diamond status match program. Pre-Covid, Diamond status with Caesars Rewards was a fantastic elite status to hold and it could be attained quite easily. My two favorite benefits were no resort fees and free tickets to select shows in Las Vegas. I was offered free hotel rooms even on weekends at the lower level properties. Each year I received a $100 dining credit. And for 1,000 points you could gain access to the Laurel Lounge for drinks and snacks. One of my favorite things was getting an offer to play in a Blackjack Tournament.
My standard M life status at that time, by comparison, was Gold (and one year of Platinum). I still had to pay resort fees even when receiving an offer for free nights. As a Platinum there were a few perks but not as good as Caesars Diamond. It was a pretty easy choice and I was willing to give up my Hyatt elite night credits from M life stays for the benefits at Caesars.
I was not a big spender but on all my visits I would spend money gambling and dining. There is no doubt that during each of my visits, Caesars made a nice profit off of my stay. I had a total of 13 Caesars stays in Vegas between 2018-2021 plus a visit to a Caesars Rewards property in Atlantic City.
However two seismic changes came to Caesars Rewards. The Covid 19 pandemic and the purchase of Caesars by Eldorado. It is hard to say which negative impacts to Caesars Rewards were because of the pandemic vs the change in ownership, but Caesars Rewards took a sharp change for the worse.
Shows in Las Vegas shut down with the pandemic and so the Diamond benefit of free show tickets disappeared forever. Laurel Lounges closed and the offer of drink vouchers wasn’t as enticing. Tournaments were canceled and never returned.
In 2022 I dropped to Platinum status. This week Caesars ended the easy status match for everyone except those that actually earned Wyndham status through Wyndham stays which meant I would no longer have Diamond status at all — so maybe Caesars was breaking up with me. I was not the customer that Caesars Rewards/Eldorado was looking for. I was not a freeloader but I didn’t outright earn my status through huge amounts of spend or gambling either. Eldorado made it clear that either you were someone that gambled big and received some benefits or you were someone that paid for every single perk. There was no middle ground.
However, in a way it was a bit of a relief. Because there was a new, old friend in the Vegas landscape.
In 2022, M life became MGM Rewards and with it, waived resort fees for those with Gold elite status — even those that got it through the Hyatt status match. Suddenly MGM Rewards looked a lot brighter.
MGM Rewards now had two big benefits: no resort fees and ability to earn nights towards Hyatt status. Even before Caesars kicked me off the Diamond status match wagon, MGM Rewards looked more attractive. Now it was a no brainer.
The Cosmopolitan, a property I want to try in Vegas, is joining MGM Rewards. A stay there with no resort fees and the opportunity to earn with Hyatt is attractive.
There isn’t much drawing me back to Caesars. Eldorado is in the business of cutting costs in dramatic ways. They weren’t satisfied with making some money off of me, they wanted more and in doing so drove me back to MGM Rewards or being a free agent while in Vegas. And that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. And Caesars, we will always have the memories.