Cheap and easy in Las Vegas

Please, mind out of the gutter. This blog is about loyalty programs.

I happen to like Las Vegas. We go there once or twice each year and, although neither my wife nor I drink, go clubbing or buy tickets for all the hot shows, five days goes by awfully quickly.* I’ll also mention that whoever came up with the saying, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” has never been to Las Vegas in July.

Unlike most loyalty programs, where you always have to purchase the product to get the reward, MGM’s online program (which is distinct from its in-casino program) offers you the chance to get freebies before even getting to Las Vegas. MGM has 14 properties in Las Vegas, ranging from Circus Circus to Mandalay Bay to Bellagio, as well as casinos around the country. And to get the free stuff, you won’t even have to listen to a time share presentation.**

MGM offers a game called My Vegas on Facebook (If you hate the concept or thought of Facebook, please read my post here.). You can play free slot machines and earn loyalty points that you can redeem for prizes at the casinos. With only a few exceptions, you don’t have to be staying at the actual property to get the prizes. For example, my wife and I each got $75 in free play and a dinner at Aria just by playing the online game. It’s easy to earn a couple of thousand points per day, and the prizes range from Margaritas at certain casinos (1,000 points) to an afternoon of lunch and basketball with Shaquille O’Neal at his home in Orlando (20 million points). Again, there’s no cost to play and you’ll get free credits every day. You can buy more if you want to, but you won’t need to.

Note that almost every casino has a traditional loyalty program, as well, but they tend to have low payback levels, be complicated to understand (Even the employees often don’t understand them.) and only mixed when it comes to redemptions. Still, though, should you find yourself playing at a casino, don’t forget to sign up. You never know what they’ll send you. But also remember that there’s a way to get the goodies even before you get to Las Vegas.



*Rumors that my wife and I flew different airlines due to a conflict in loyalty programs are 100% false. Well, 50% false. Okay, it’s true. I flew Delta, she flew AA and we met at the hotel.

**There’s plenty of opportunity to do these, likely starting at the hotel you’re staying at. They’re a pain in the neck and very high pressure, but they’ll generally give you $150 in free play somewhere for two hours of your time. Certainly never take less than that. And it’s fun to see how far you can go on other people’s money.


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