I am often blamed for being too much the optimist. Perhaps, there’s more fodder from focusing on the negatives, rather than the positives? Maybe, I am still dreaming of the day when I face 26 bankers in a row at baccarat or find a way to exceed the epic roll at Golden Nugget Atlantic City?
Unless you have been sleeping under a travel-loyalty rock, you might have heard that MGM M life Rewards is now MGM Rewards. Today I had an enlightening conversation with Anil Mansukhani, MGM Resorts’ Vice President of Loyalty Marketing. Yes, for sure, there are way more enhancements than I expected.
Earning Tier Points and MGM Rewards Points
MGM Rewards Points
You have two types of points that you have to pay attention to with MGM Rewards. You now earn MGM Reward Points and MGM Tier Points. Look at MGM Rewards Points as the “currency,” these points can be used for your hotel stay, at food and beverage outlets, entertainment venues, or to purchase your MGM Rewards moments. One (1) MGM Rewards Point is valued at $.01. So, my 14,004 points are worth $140.04
MGM Tier Credits
MGM Tier Credits determine your tier status. Status levels in MGM Rewards advance from Sapphire (up to 19,999 Tier Credits), Pearl (20,000 Tier Credits), Gold (75,000 Tier Credits), Platinum (200,000 Tier Credits), all the way up to NOIR (by invitation).
MGM set out to simplify the program and address the issue that those with limited gaming (gambling) earning can also earn MGM Rewards Points.
Earn Rate is simple. For non-gaming, you earn 1 MGM Reward Point per $1 spend. Simultaneously, you earn 4 MGM Tier Credits per $1 spend. Previously, you ONLY earned MGM Tier Points via spend.
Of particular emphasis is that the earn rate for non-gaming is now consistent at all MGM Resorts Locations throughout the USA.
Before one of the “wise guys” chimes in, yeah, you earn fewer tier points from spend but NOW you also earn MGM Reward Points. Match to MGM Gold and want access to the best (mid-high tier public) VIP Lounge (Amphora) in the country at Borgata? No reward points, no access.
Earning Tier Points and MGM Rewards Points
While I applaud the new MGM Rewards Program for its fantastic transparency concerning almost all aspects of the program, one area that is a bit more nuanced is earning via gaming (gambling).
Once again, I have been assured that earning via gambling will be consistent in all MGM Casino Markets. This consistency is similar to how earning via spend is consistent market to market.
But, your gambling earn rates for MGM Reward Points and MGM Tier Points will vary by the game played, amount wagered, and underlying “theo” (average daily theoretical) for the game.
This means things will be great for slot players and probably not so great for full-pay video poker players.
One significant enhancement is that in the Las Vegas Market, MGM Rewards Table Game Players will now also be able to earn MGM Rewards Points for their Table Game Play.
Another important point is the seamless integration of BetMGM and MGM Rewards.
BetMGM Customers are instantly enrolled in MGM Rewards. Gamblers now earn Tier Credits for all participating wagers, in-person and online. In addition, BetMGM Customers also earn BetMGM Rewards Points that easily convert to MGM Rewards and MGM Rewards Points. BetMGM can now take your reward points and convert them into real-world experiences. BetMGM is currently in 20 markets and recently launched in New York State.
Tier Benefits – MGM Rewards
MGM Rewards now has some fantastic tier benefits. The cornerstone of these benefits is that Gold Status or above now gets waived resort fees for up to two rooms. In the past, you “might” have obtained waived resort fees via an MGM Casino Offer or a host, but now it is a codified benefit of the program. This resort fee waiver can easily be a savings of up to $45++ per night.
For complete transparency, MGM has been kind enough to clarify that this waiver benefit is ONLY applicable when booking in via direct MGM Channels. You will not get a resort fee waiver booking via FHR, Virtuoso, Chase Luxury Program, or any third party, travel agent, or OTA. In addition, rooms booked via Hyatt or booked redeeming World of Hyatt points will not get the resort fee waiver.
Other perks include an annual dinner that ranges from $100 to $500 (“Tier achievement celebration dining experience”) as well as an air travel credit that ranges from $600 to $1200 per year. Be sure to review the summary of key benefits by Tier Status.
To be clear, to redeem the annual tier perks ($100 dinner, etc.), you must earn the tier level in 2022. So reach MGM Reward Gold Status with 75,000 Tier Points, and you qualify for the dinner. Even if you earned Gold in 2021, you need to earn it (again) in 2022 to be eligible for the dinner.
But, but…. I status matched to MGM Gold? Sorry, you won’t get the annual tier perks for matching status. You only get those perks for earning status. But, you still get a number of other features including the waived resort fees.
(Status) Match Away, it’s still happening!
Want no resort fees? You can easily match from most major casino loyalty programs to MGM Rewards Gold or Platinum. Even better, have World Of Hyatt Status? Match directly online. World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist Members match to MGM Rewards Gold. Happen to be a Wyndham Diamond and want to match? That works. Just match your Wyndham Diamond online to Caesars Diamond (they are partners) and then you will be able to match Caesars Diamond to MGM Rewards Gold.
Odds And Ends
I am still getting some answers to a few questions about expiry and resort fees. This includes how long you have to use your “Tier achievement dinner” once it is earned as well as the status of “MyVegas” redemption of coins for rooms and resort fees if you have Gold or higher MGM Rewards Status. I have also been asked a few nuanced questions about MGM Rewards NOIR Status. NOIR Status is an invitational top-tier status (in the airline world, that would be like American Airlines Concierge Key).
MGM Resorts Mobile App
MGM has a really good mobile app. Not only does the app integrate MGM Rewards, but it also is a full-functioning app for your hotel reservations. Secure check-in with key drop is available via the MGM Resorts App. In addition, the app allows you to review your folio charges (hotel room charges) in “real-time.” Grab a Starbucks at 7 am, you’ll see the charge on your folio (within the app) instantly. The app check-in is also extremely compelling in Las Vegas where the lines on a capacity day to check-in at a 2000+ room hotel can take more time than trying to get an airline on the phone during a snowstorm.
2x in 2022
A very good caveat. Currently, for 2022 you can earn 2x tier at the Las Vegas Resorts. This 2x multiplier on the new Tier Credit earning rates is applicable for gaming and non-gaming spending. This 2x offer is applicable from February 1 – April 30, 2022. Always be sure to check out the current promotions for any casino loyalty program.
The Future Is Exciting
A few years ago, I talked about how casino loyalty programs should pursue several things. In Embrace ALL Gamblers | Why Vegas Casino Loyalty is Broken, a big emphasis was on driving improvements via technology as well as reducing fees for gamblers.
“Surprise and delight based on customer actions. Acknowledge casino customers while they are on the property. If they are gambling more or spending more on property, give guests additional discounts and incentives. Everyone likes to be acknowledged “on the spot,” there is no reason technology cannot provide this much appreciated instant gratification.”
After speaking with MGM Rewards today, they mentioned how they are focusing on the future. Some areas include enhanced personalization and a focus on more ways to redeem through the app. Future enhancements will also include building out more “self-service” for using your MGM Rewards Points.
But, what is exciting is that MGM Rewards is planning to take it “next level” with gamification in the app. Imagine unlocking multipliers? Imagine getting rewarded for visiting multiple properties in a day (perhaps for dining or gaming)? Yep, that is what we have to look forward to.
These will be entertaining ways to engage gamblers and non-gamblers based on your geolocation to serve offers.
Also, remember in 2018, I talked about how everyone wants a suite upgrade? In 2022 MGM Rewards has a suite upgrade benefit for MGM Rewards Platinum Tier members.
Suites In Vegas Are Sweet
While we are on the topic of suite upgrades, did you know that almost every MGM Resort (especially in large markets like Las Vegas) has suite buy-up offers at check-in? These offers are fantastic and can land you into outstanding accommodations for a fraction of the price. Heck, I did just that to surprise my wife a few months ago.
I called the morning of her reservation at Mirage and was able to secure (as a surprise) a cash upgrade for her business trip. A few clicks and a short time later (all while she was taxiing on the runway at LAS), they dropped a room key into my wife’s iPhone for a Penthouse Suite. Now, how is that for “happy wife, happy life” and technology?