The casino business is one of the most competitive and cut throat industries in the world where operators are constantly trying to out-innovate and out-market against their competitors. This puts consumers in quite a unique position when they visit Las Vegas, since this ultra competitive business environment forces the hotels and casinos to go above and beyond to build their customer’s loyalty.
I’ve always been fascinated by rewards programs from a business perspective and how each operation determines when, who and how much to give in their endeavors to captivate their customers. Recently here on VegasGuy.com, we completed reviews of the 3 major comp programs in Las Vegas including Total Rewards (Caesars properties), Mlife (MGM properties) as well as Identity (The Cosmopolitan).
Each of these programs has their own nuances, formulas and rewards for attracting and retaining guests /casino players, so we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at how an average consumer would fare under each of these loyalty programs. The great thing about Las Vegas is if you have money to spend (especially in the casino) these days it’s pretty easy to build status with a group of hotels and pretty much ensure that future trips will be either heavily discounted or completely free of charges.
Let’s assume that the average person coming to Vegas has the following budget for a 4-day trip:
- Hotel Room Costs – $250/Night
- Food and Beverage – $125/Day
- Gambling Budget – $250/Day (for simplicities sake, all spent on Slots)
Now let’s take a look at how this consumer would be treated by the top loyalty programs in Vegas.
- Hotel Spend – $1,000 = 1,000 Reward Credits and 1,000 Tier Credits
- Food/Beverage Spend – $500 = 500 Reward Credits and 500 Tier Credits
- Gambling – $20,000 Wagers on Slots (assume 5% hold) = 4,000 Reward Credits and 4,000 Tier Credits
Total Earned: 5,500 rewards credits (worth $55 against you bill) and 5,500 tier credits (bumps you to platinum status in the program) which will give you access to future discounted or comped rooms.
- Hotel Spend – $1,000 = 25,000 Tier Credits
- Food/Beverage Spend – $500 = 12,500 Tier Credits
- Gambling – $20,000 Wagers on Slots (assume 5% hold) = 6,666 Base Points and 66,666 Tier Credits
Total Earned: 104,166 Tier Credits (Gold status) with perks such as 20% bonus on point earning, priority check-in and VIP access to the night and day club. You would also accumulate 6,666 base points on your casino play which would qualify you for $66.66 in express comps and $66.66 in free play on you card.
- Hotel Spend – $1,000 = 5,000 Identity Points
- Food/Beverage Spend – $500 = 2,500 Identity Points
- Gambling – $20,000 Wagers on Slots (assume 5% hold) = 8,000 Identity Points
Total Earned: You would accumulate a total of 15,500 Identity Points (Sterling status) which qualifies you for one free night per year, 2 times multiplier on casino points 2 for 1 buffet and VIP line access.
So What’s The Best Bet?
Based on the scenarios above you’d be best to play at either MGM properties or the Cosmo where you would earn the most bang for your buck. Personally we’d take the Mlife program over the rest since it has a lot of different properties you can stay at and we like the flexibility of express comps and free play.
The biggest benefit for Cosmo is the free night stay (worth $250-$300) which is a good option if you plan to visit Vegas more than once per year, however in the long run Mlife probably makes the most sense.
Keep in mind also that these are just “front end” benefits that are guaranteed, but most players will also receive other offers from corporate marketing that include free rooms, dining, free play and much more.