There’s nothing like being a VIP! The perks seem endless, everything from limo rides to and from the airport to complimentary meals and shows, and that’s just to name a few. But, I certainly didn’t start out being a VIP, instead, I had to earn the status, and by using a little strategy and a few tips from insiders, it didn’t take long.
At this stage in my VIP status, my two-bedroom suite, most meals (including drinks), and shows are comped (i.e. complimentary). Plus, I often enjoy exclusive promotions with private invitations to events and parties that seem to arrive almost daily.
Here are a few tips to becoming a Las Vegas Casino VIP:
1. Sign up for a Loyalty Rewards/Player’s Card and ALWAYS use it. Every major casino has a loyalty program. Before you spend your first dollar, get one of their FREE loyalty rewards cards (hereafter referred to as “player’s card”) and use it every time you gamble, make a room, or show reservation. It will track your play and earn you points towards getting to the next loyalty tier level. Rewards programs are the key to becoming a VIP and are based on a points system. More play/spend gets you to the next tier level, which gives you bigger perks.
- MGM Rewards tiers (in order) : Sapphire, Pearl, Gold, Platinum, Noir
- Caesars Rewards tiers (in order): Platinum, Diamond, Diamond Plus, Diamond Elite, Seven Stars
2. Be Loyal to A Brand
Loyalty to a casino “brand,” their family of hotels and casinos, is paramount in growing your rewards status and perks quickly. You don’t need to stay or gamble at just one hotel to gain points. Your player’s card will work throughout the brand “family”.
For example, MGM Rewards points can be acquired at all the following MGM Las Vegas family of casinos using the same MGM player’s card:
o MGM Grand & Signature
o Mandalay Bay & Delano
o Park MGM & Nomad
o Aria & Vdara
o New York- New York
- Caesars Rewards points can be acquired at all the following Caesar Las Vegas family of casinos using the Caesars player’s card:
o Caesars & Nobu
o The Cromwell
o The LINQ
o Planet Hollywood
Additionally, both companies also have casinos/hotels in places though out the United States and you can also use the player’s card at those.
3. Apply for the brand credit card
Most of the major “families” of casinos have a credit card. It’s a regular Master Card/Visa credit card but it’s branded to the company. Applying for these cards, and even using it minimally, typically gets you bumped to the next rewards tier level. Using the credit card for travel, hotels, or anything you would typically use a credit card for earns you points towards your next tier level... so you can even be earning credit towards VIP status while you are not even in Vegas! (You can apply for these credit cards at most Player’s Club desks)
4. Charge everything to your room
You can charge your tab from most restaurants and shops at any of the hotels within the brand family to your room if you are staying at one of hotels within that family (and you should). This gives the casino a good idea of your “spend” and earns you credit towards your VIP status. Additionally, once you reach VIP status, it is easier for your casino host to comp your charges when they are all in one place on your hotel bill. If you are not at one of the “family” locations, charge your bill to your new brand credit card (See tip #3) . That way you are still earning points toward VIP status everywhere you go in Vegas.
5. Slots vs. Table Games
Slots vs. table games - which play builds tier points fastest? Slots! When you insert your player’s card into a machine, your play is tracked electronically versus showing your player’s card to the pit boss who will then rate your play by estimating your “average” bet and “time of play”. Nothing against pit bosses, but they oversee MANY tables of 8-10 players who are each placing a wide variety of bets. The size of player’s bets varies as time progresses. For instance, if you lost a few hands of blackjack, maybe you decrease your bet and that just happens to be the time the pit boss walks over to track your play. He/She logs that as your average bet. Tracking play on gaming tables is a manual process versus the slots which are done automatically. Also, with slots, “credits in” are what is counted towards your tiers. Meaning, if you put in a $ 100 bill and keep hitting small jackpots but keep playing down those credits, all those credits are counted towards your points. Therefore, your $ 100 is not just worth $ 100 in points. It could be worth THOUSANDS in slot play. Just remember to ALWAYS insert your player’s card before your initial bet and DON’T FORGET to take it with you to the next machine! Forgetting your card is, unfortunately, easy to do. If you do forget it and return to the slot machine and it’s gone... go to the Player’s Club Desk and get a new one but be prepared to show ID.
6. Always MAX bet on slots
This is not just the fastest way to earn tier points toward VIP, it’s the best odds of the big jackpot win and, after all, aren’t we all hoping for that?? So, if you sit down at a $1 slot, check how many credits is your MAX bid. Be prepared to spend that the whole time you are at that machine. If you can’t afford that, go to a lower denomination slot machine where you can afford the MAX bet comfortably and still enjoy the game.
7. Line of Credit
So, this may scare you, but it’s important. Establish a line of credit (aka “Marker”) with your host casino (the casino you stay and play at the most and that is in the “family” of casinos that you prefer). This line of credit is done in less than an hour and can be as small as $5,000. To open a line of credit, go to the casino cage with your player’s card, ID, and fill out the credit form. Once approved use this money and pay it back within the commitment terms. This also helps your personal security because you aren’t carrying a bunch of cash on airplanes, cars, or around the streets of Vegas. If you are a bigger gambler, used to taking larger sums of cash to Vegas, using this line of credit system is better for security purposes. These are typically transactions that carry no interest charges if paid back within the specified commitment terms. This is just another step into getting the attention of your personal casino host!
8. Casino Host
This will become your most important contact in Vegas! Once you reach the third or fourth tier level, you can either request a casino host or they may even seek you out. The Player’s Desk can help you facilitate this. If you prefer, there are “Host Lounges” that are behind closed doors (but marked), and you can introduce yourself and ask if you qualify for a casino host or what it would take to get one. These folks are magicians. They make your bills go away, get you comped rooms when the hotel is “sold out”, get you tickets to the impossible, and make most of your dreams come true. This is where the life of a VIP truly begins.
P.S. Once you have achieved VIP status with one of the family of brands... it is not unusual to get reciprocal VIP status with another family of brands. Go to their Casino Host lounge and just ask a host. You might be pleasantly surprised!
As always, please gamble responsibly and do not gamble above your means. Remember, the house ALWAYS has the advantage… becoming a casino VIP doesn’t change that fact, it just makes it easier to “lick your wounds” and feel better if you lose because you’ll be getting some pretty cool free perks.
By VIP Contributor