MGM significantly improves Mlife: No resort fee for Gold members

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MGM has announced some big changes to its Mlife rewards program as of February 1, 2022, when the program will be rebranded as MGM Rewards. Readers more focused on hotel loyalty programs than gambling will be excited to see that MGM is planning to waive resort fees for those with Gold status or higher. As long as Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members can continue to match to Mlife / MGM Rewards Gold, that should make for very cheap Hyatt mattress runs in Las Vegas (and improved uses of Fine Hotels & Resorts credits).

Note that whether these changes are net positive or negative is a matter of perspective. If you’re someone who invested in spending money with MGM to earn status, you probably won’t be happy with the changes. On the other hand, our focus is on matching to MGM status and enjoying the benefits and from that perspective the waived resort fee alone can easily represent a savings of $40-$50 a night — a nice little win without wagering a dime.

Tier benefits refreshed for MGM Rewards

MGM has kept its same 5 membership tiers, but they have significantly enhanced benefits. While still perhaps not quite as intriguing as Caesars or Wynn, I find the improvements exciting since I actually prefer staying at MGM properties when I go to Las Vegas – both for Hyatt points / elite credit and because they have the properties / casinos that I like.

New benefit highlights include:

  • Pearl or higher: complimentary tickets to MGM Rewards concerts
  • Gold or higher: waived resort fees, access to exclusive tier appreciation events and experiences
  • Platinum or higher: Tier Achievement Travel Credit to Las Vegas (Platinum+), , advanced suite upgrades for up to three nights (Platinum+),  and 4 p.m. late check-out (based on availability; Platinum+)

Really, the star of the show here as far as I am concerned is waived resort fees. Those can really add up on a Las Vegas stay.

Update: I discuss booking for Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts here. Some readers have pointed out that to get benefits you need to book direct with MGM. While FHR bookings typically count as “booking direct” for the purposes of earning hotel points and getting elite credit and benefits with chains like Hyatt and Marriott, it is possible that MGM Rewards may not honor benefits for FHR bookings. We’ll see in February.

For instance, just last week when I was making some Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings to use up my Platinum card credits for 2021, I booked a couple of nights at Delano Las Vegas. The nightly rate was $109, but with tax and resort fee, that came out to more like $160 per night thanks to a resort fee that came to around $45 with tax.

Not paying that resort fee will save me $90 over each of the two-night stays that I booked (I booked a couple) and it means that my Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings each came out to $240 for a two-night stay (assuming that this benefit applies on FHR bookings — see the yellow callout box above). After the Platinum card credit, I’ll pay a net $40 for two nights with a $60 breakfast credit each morning and a $100 resort credit that can be used at a bunch of the restaurants at Mandalay Bay. To be clear, those are Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits, not Mlife benefits — this just illustrates how much better of a deal those stays will be without the resort fees.

My son enjoyed the view of the airport from one of our suites at Delano a couple of years ago. We booked through Fine Hotels & resorts and the $60 breakfast credit covered plenty of food for us and now that we presumably won’t pay a resort fee it will be an even better deal.

During my searches, I also saw nights where Bellagio came out to around $200 with taxes, so that would be close to net zero for a single-night stay if you’re not paying the resort fee.

I am referencing no resort fee because World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members can currently match to Mlife Gold. Thanks to the status match-go-round it has been possible to keep that match alive back and forth for years.

While a waived resort fee will be nice for those of us burning Fine Hotels & Resorts credits, it will also come in handy for very cheap Hyatt mattress runs. A number of times in the past I have booked a cheap stay at Excalibur even when staying elsewhere just to earn cheap Hyatt elite nights.

For example, just now I looked at my Mlife account for offers and found that I had an offer for up to 3 complimentary nights at Excalibur. While I don’t think complimentary nights are technically supposed to count for Hyatt elite status, in the past I’ve had them post when mixed with paid nights (clearly YMMV and I haven’t done this in a few years). If that worked, a stay like this would make for a nice little mattress run:

I’m not really a fan of staying at Excalibur, but I’m a fan of Hyatt elite nights for less than ten bucks a night if it works.

In addition to the benefits listed above, MGM is also trumpeting the fact that gaming and non-gaming customers will all be able to earn and redeem points in the new system. My take on that is that those who spend money will be recognized for their contributions to MGM’s coffers whether the money is flowing in from gambling or not. That makes sense to me given the rise in recent years of luxury Las Vegas Strip properties without a casino. It makes sense to also reward those who come to Las Vegas primarily for luxury resorts and entertainment or now professional sports.

Bottom line

Overall, I’m pretty excited to see MGM add the ability to get resort fees waived for elite. This has been something very valuable about the Wyndham and Caesars partnership, but I have still preferred to stay at MGM properties both because I like earning elite credit and I just prefer some of the MGM properties (though in fairness I haven’t stayed at many Caesars properties). This will really enhance both my planned Fine Hotels & Resorts reservations and the ability to mattress run cheap nights at the lower-end properties. I would much rather see resort fees go away altogether, but I am happy to see a path to having them eliminated.

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Gopal

Just spoke to Nomad and said FHR no longer counts as booking direct.

Nate

Any new data points here?

I have to book a 1 night stay. I have MGM Gold matched from Hyatt Globalist.

I see three booking options for an MGM property:

  • Via Hyatt Website
  • Direct through MGM Life
  • Through Amex FHR

Ideally, I’d book through Amex FHR. The rates are mostly equivalent but you get all the FHR bennies. However, the resort fee stings.

Questions:

  • Does booking through Hyatt website get waived resort fees?
  • Does booking through Amex FHR get waived resort fees?
  • Does booking through any of the 3 options above get you Hyatt stay credit?

This seems rather complicated, but if anyone can make sense and track all this it’s Nick and the guys at FM 🙂

Dan

I paid a random person online to book a stay using their FHR credit and add me to the reservation for Conrad Resorts World. I also booked a second night using my business plat with points. My questions are whether they will give me $200 in credits for food, plus free breakfast both days? Should I try to tell them about the second night when I check-in for the first night? I assume I will need to charge the$100 to the room and then pay at checkout but since I don’t have access to the Amex plat that was used to book the first night, should I just give a different Amex card, and then use my own bus. plat at checkout?

Paul

“Significant Improvement”.
Read the whole terms and conditions. This is the biggest rip off ever.

Jemand

Regarding the resort fees still showing up on the booking confirmation. I wrote to mgm and this is what they answered:

Thank you for contacting MGM Rewards. For Gold members and above, resort fees are only being waived for reservations after 2/1/22 due to the new program and it will not be waived until the time of check out with the front desk. Please be advised, this cannot be done via checking out on the mobile app, as it must be done manually. Please let us know if we can be of any further of assistance.

Ryan

Any update on AMEX FHR now?

Rod

I just notice my tier points went down with this new MGM card. I’m a platinum card holder and just came back from Vegas January 31 2022. Any one know why they are dropping points?? I’m confused. I was above 279,000 now under 90,000.

King of Casino

I just went to Bellagio MGM Rewards Center to do tier match to Gold with my Caesars Reward Diamond card on Feb 1st (new year For tier credit). The staff told me tier match gold MGM account does not qualify for waived resorts fee until the mber earns at least 75000 tier credits. So in essence the staff is saying only MGM earned gold
Card can get the waived resorts fee but not tier match cardholders. whereas Caesars properties allow both earned and tier matched diamond members to get waived resorts fee. I hope that staff is wrong.

Mike

That explains why I am still seeing the resort fee’s popping up in July for 4 COMP nights at Luxor Tower Elite King.

D K

I think that staff is wrong based on what MGM Resorts’ Vice President of Loyalty Marketing, Mansukhani, mentioned.

“One of the great differentiators between MGM Rewards and others in our industry is our loyalty partnerships. As a valued strategic partner, it was important for us to offer new meaningful benefits that had immediate value for our premium World of Hyatt members. Our research showed that many of our members wanted waived resorts fees and this benefit would be one of the most valued. We already have what we believe to be some of the best resorts in the world within the MGM Rewards portfolio, but we still want to give our Gold+ members even more of a reason to book their next stay with us. We believe that waiving resorts fees for World of Hyatt members will help give them another reason to stay with us every time, and show that we recognize their value.”

Source:
https://thepointsguy.com/news/mgm-rewards-launch/

Huge fan

Just looked on mgm app and logged in with gold status and the reservation when I try to book still shows the resort fees. I wonder if it’s an issue of the website or app catching up or if it will always show and just be waived at checkin

Mike

See post above he’s saying it has to to with tier matched and that’s what I am through Hyatt Explorist.

T J

I did a mix of 3 free comps nights and 1 paid night at Mirage (through my Mlife account) in October 2021, and I only got 1 elite night credit. Then a recent stay at MGM in January 2022 (through my Mlife account), I had a mix of 2 free comp nights and 2 paid nights, and I received 4 elite night credits. It appears hit and miss now. In the past, I would have always gotten elite credit for all 4 nights.

Last edited 3 months ago by T J
AJ GONZALEZ

I’ve booked a comp night with myvegas redemption code in April. Assuming that I maintain the Gold status, will the resort fee not charged? The booking is direct through mlife. My guess is that the fee will be waived but want to hear from others.

Eric

Where do you go to see the hotel rate by the month at MGM hotels. (Per your screen shot) When I go to MGM website, it makes me choose my check in and check out date. No option to see rates by the month.

ANON

I am a platinum member and did not pay any resort fees from Sept-Oct 2021 and I’ve stayed at about 4 MGM properties during that window.

Dave Hanson

Thanks Anon,

Did you have to request that they be removed?

Or were they proactively removed / omitted in recognition of your status?

JAT

I was gold i 2021 and didn’t pay resort fees on any of our 4 comp stays at the Bellagio in 2021. Made platinum for 2022 and am pretty excited about the new benefits, including airfare and dining credits.

B.Newberry

Also: do you know of any additional benefits under the new plan to being an MLife member and also having the MLife Credit Card? Thank you

B.Newberry

Hi…I am a very long-time MLife member who has been Gold for the last several years. Sadly, with Covid, etc., I now only have about 48,000 points, so i understand that in 2022 I will fall to Pearl status.

I now live in Las Vegas but will still be staying at MGM properties and eating, playing, etc.through the year with family from o o state when they visit. I will REALLY miss the free valet parking of the Gold status, and in the really hot months I may have to forego visiting my favorite MGM casinos because I can’t walk in that heat & I can’t see being charged for valet parking (and then also tipping the attendants) when I am also spending money in their business as an active member.

Nick, can you suggest anywhere for me to write to suggest free or reduced rate valet based on time-in-membership, local status (since I am playing in an MGM casino and not in one of the smaller local places), etc.?
Thanks for any information

Jake

I do like the waived resort fees. Main reason to book to begin with. My thing though is because of the point system change it may take forever to get to gold status.

B.Newberry

Agreed…very hard to get to 75,000

dan

hey Nick, could ya’ll bring back a sorting with ‘most recent’? to me that way, it’ll be more useful & easy to follow. TIA

Dave Hanson

I’d like the opposite– “oldest first”. What happened to these options? TIA.

Dave Hanson

Gentle nudge… any follow-up?

Ed M

I am pearl right now and can be I’m 20,000 away from gold. If I turn gold now will I get the waived resorts fee moving forward. Seeing as how I would keep my status for a year at least right?

BENG

I have platinum card and I don’t pay anything. I actually get $300 to $500 resorts credit and free play. I also get free parking.

9th Island Traveler

$300 to $500 resort credit isn’t from AMEX Platinum, which I am. As a NOIR member, which I assume you’d have to also be to get freeplay or food & beverage credit of that amount, along with limo transport to and from airport. Otherwise, you’re getting it from a host and your average spend is over $5000.00 per day since you’ve been a member. Did you just want 2 brag?

Chris

Before commenting know facts. Beng was referring to platinum status with mlife. Not Noir. I got $350 free play and $300 resort credit in December as a gold member. Comps based on play not card status. Only 3k short of platinum which I will achieve in 2 weeks since they extended earning period to Jan 31. Will be nice to get extra $200 dining credit and $600 for travel as a perk this year. And I don’t spend near 5k a day gambling.

Steve

Looking at a hypothetical booking Feb 1 onward shows the resort fees being added, even though I’m Gold. The system obviously isn’t set up yet to remove those. The question is, if you book ahead and arrive, say, Feb 1, will they insist you pay the resort fees because the computer still says they’re there?

Eve

Yes resort fees are charged for any reservation booked before 02/01/22. Better to wait until February to book

9th Island Traveler

My only concern is whether my current 4 nights comp’d will still be offered after 2/1 or not? I’ve booked a bunch of stays for 2022 already, but if better offers arise after 2/1 then I’ll cancel and make new ones. We shall see…so far this us the only article to mention new perks.

9th Island Traveler

I booked stays this week for later in the year and Aria, Bellagio, Vdara, Signature still show resort fees for comp 4 night stays. I just looked again and it’s still showing resort fees for reservations after 2/1 all locations for paid rooms.

Melani

That is exactly what I am curious about. I am NOT canceling my comped rooms yet. Just In case they get rid of comped rooms altogether.

Hopefully we will get resort fees waived on comped rooms. I guess we will see.

jay

Nick,
FYI – I’m a Diamond Plus with Royal Caribbean cruises. M-Life status status matches me to Platinum.

Platini

Does Gold Status still get free valet parking still? It’s a huge perk for me, at least.

Eve

Yes. No changed on that benefit so far

Platini

Thanks Eve for confirming that!

Points Adventure

I had several FHR MGM stays in 2021 and have a few upcoming. Some data points:

  1. Points and stay credit did post to Hyatt when staying at Nomad and Delano. I think I heard it may not work at Bellagio.
  2. Conrad booking does show the rate as Expedia on hilton.com.
Dave Hanson

Interesting. If I may clarify, did the points post to Hyatt automatically, or did you have to make a request to get them added manually?

9th Island Traveler

My nights credited always show automatically on Hyatt after a stay, unless I’m using Comp’d nights I get zero nights credit on Hyatt. But, I still get points for my spend, if any. It does take about a week longer for the credit to appear than when I stay at a Hyatt resort.
Half my 2021 Hyatt Globalist Nights stayed are from MGM resort stays.

Dave Hanson

Thanks 9th Island. Which resorts did you see the automatic crediting at, please?

9th Island Traveler

It’s happened at all MGM Resorts I’ve stayed at. Since I initially added my Hyatt # to my mlife I check periodically 2 make sure they have it and they do. Mandalay, Delano, Vdara, Luxor, Park MGM, Nomad and Bellagio. I haven’t stayed at NY NY/Excalibur or The Mirage.

Marc

Nick.

If you book 2 rooms at the Excalibur at the same time would you get multiple Hyatt night credit?

LarryInNYC

Can someone summarize the value of an MLife match to someone who’s severely allergic to Las Vegas?

Ryan

FYI, people that spent in order to achieve status either through resort spend or gambling are getting shafted in this. It’s now a “black box” calculation method for how you earn tier credits by slot play. I am sure some of us will figure it out over time. Also, resort spend got slaughtered. You used to be able to spend $4,000 a year(or less and earn some through gambling). Many people who went for a couple weekends were able to acheive Platinum relatively easily, probably why this is being rolled out in the first place.

Rob

Hey Nick-any data points on whether MGM properties like Excalibur allow online check-in? E.g. – could one do a “mattress run” ,for example, at Excalibur -for the $21 mid-week nightly rate -and just pay for the stay online without physically being there – so as to earn elite Hyatt nights? I believe this won’t work at most Hyatt properties – but if anyone knows, would appreciate info. Thanks!

9th Island Traveler

In theory it’ll work since you can use the app for check in and digital keys are available. However, the part I’m not sure about is if they know you never entered the room. I had a comp’d stay at excalibur and we didn’t actually stay but did check in online. It never showed up on my Hyatt stays. I had a comp’d stay at Vdara where I didn’t get credited for nights and my spend for incidentals was also zero and it still showed on my Hyatt past stays with 0 points.

Mike Z

Is it because at a Vdara when you checked in you gave them your Hyatt number to add to the reservation, but for the Excalibur stay you didn’t actually go and thus never had a chance to give them your Hyatt number at check-in?

9th Island Traveler

No, my Hyatt number is connected to my mlife and has been since I added it in 2018. I stayed at MGM Resorts enough in 2021 to become a NOIR member. I definitely think it’s because we didn’t actually enter the room with the key. It’s the only difference in this stay than several other stays, including Vdara. I stayed over 10 times in 2021.

Jammu

Significant downgrade for slot players.

Mike Saint

NO resort fees is awesome! I’m a Hyatt Globalist and this will be great for mattress runs if I’m short on getting Globalist again.

Melani

Dont get too excited yet. Curious if they will waive resort fees on comped rooms or if you have to pay full price.

I guess we will see

WR2

Any reason to match from globalist now vs. wait until after transition? I’m over Vegas, but for cheap mattress runs I could probably stomach it.

Marc

Can you do Mlife (Hyatt) status match online or only in casino?

Eve

Mlife desk from my understanding

9th Island Traveler

Mlife or front desk can take your Hyatt #

dan

mlife status from matching will go away after this month; then, we need to redo a hyatt match to mlife in Feb, correct?

Last edited 4 months ago by dan
Brian G

Just to clarify one more time. If Hyatt Globalist, then you match to MLife Gold, then book direct with the MGM website to receive waived resort fees. When you enter your Hyatt number, do you still get free breakfast as an MGM Gold?

Also, I attempted to book two nights on April 11-13 at the Excalibur (as an MGM Gold) just now. It is still showing the resort fees for the stay. I suppose those fees won’t be waived until after 2/1/22, so no reason to pre-book now.

Anyway, see the waived resort fees on bookings after 2/1/22?

Brian G

Looks like we should do a Frequent Miler “meet up” at the Excalibur in Las Vegas from February 21-23. Rooms at roughly $13 per night.

If you just booked these nights, to achieve 60 Hyatt nights annually, then the cost is $780 plus flights back and forth (unless you live in the area) to receive a Category 1-4 night, 4 suite upgrades, Category 1-7 night, Hyatt Concierge, plus $100 gift card/5,000 points. If done correctly (ie. Spirit with no bags and no advanced seat assignment), then this could cost a total of $1500 for well over $1500 in value. Now I see why was looking at December…trying to hedge the mattress run for nights 51-60 before the year is up. Nice move.

Carl WV

It’s interesting to see your headline vs. another BA blogger with the headline “M life “Thanks You For Your Loyalty” With A Massive Devaluation. “

I m much more a Caesar’s guy so I haven’t done a compare and contrast of your viewpoints. Just a little surprised at such different slants.

Damien

Gold member ?….how many are Gold Members…get serious. The “bulk” of your $$ makers are average people who support you totally when it’s offseason. You’ve cut our heads off and really don’t care. Well neither do I !! Ciao MGM !!

Eve

Lol

Greg

Will MLife match any other hotel chains? I have Marriott Titanium, IHG Platinum, Caesars Diamond, and Wyndham Diamond.

Andre

Still debating whether I should take a trip to Vegas to status match my Caesars Diamond to M Life gold. I don’t do Vegas much , but when I do it’ll be nice to have the perks (the waived resort fees, $100 dinner, etc)

Supalink

To clarify, booking direct via MGM (gold status via Hyatt status match) instead of Hyatt.com, will appropriately credit the nights to Hyatt? Sounds like a really low-cost way to requalify.

Last edited 4 months ago by Supalink
Adam W

Nick,

Is there a way to check on my MLife profile to ensure that my Hyatt number is linked?
Also, when should I “re-match:” my globalist to my Mlife? I’m assuming my current Gold status will drop off in Feb.

Thanks

9th Island Traveler

Remember you have to annually reconnect your Mlife with Hyatt, but not the other way around. Mlife keeps your Hyatt connected. January/February is the time I usually contact Hyatt to make sure they’ve got my mlife number on file.

Dave Hanson

Unless you want to bring up your Hyatt status via the Mlife match, what would be the point of connecting it in this direction? I may be missing something here. 🙂

9th Island Traveler

You’d get credit with Hyatt for MGM stays, but it sounds like that’s going away Feb 1, 2021 unless you assign your points to MGM.

9th Island Traveler

But to your point, it’s less valuable in that direction and even less as of Feb 1.

Ruslan

I recently stayed at the Bellagio and can confirm that my FHR booking was considered as third party booking, so I am pretty sure that waived resort fees won’t work for Mlife Gold members.

Anyway, booking directly for Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members with matched Mlife Gold status with be very beneficial.

Joe S

I had to call recently about my FHR booking and it was definitely considered 3rd party.

9th Island Traveler

FHR is currently a third party booking and I get AMEX points for that stay and FHR benefits apply. Free breakfast, late checkout etc

Dave Hanson

But not Hyatt nights/points?

9th Island Traveler

Not when booking with FHR you don’t get Hyatt credit/points. Amex doesn’t connect to Hyatt. However, AMEX PLATINUM automatically gives me Gold MGM status too just like Hyatt Globalist does.

9th Island Traveler

Yes, in 2019 I received Hyatt points when I used FHR 2 book Delano. I didn’t get qualifying night credits and I do enjoy receiving milestone awards; free nights, free suites, $100gc etc. However, in 2019 I did earn Hyatt points when using FHR. However, it looked like I initially recived mlife points which elevated me to Platinum tier from this trip, and a platinum card issued. However, l mlife turned around at year end, which was just after this Delano stay and they said I was gold and never made platinum. It was so weird, even after spealing directly to delano’s mlife desk. Now it makes more sense, as to why that happened and the timing.

Nate

I’m confused—can you book through Hyatt, use Mlife gold benefits, and still get Hyatt elite night credits?

AlexL

You can check this post for more information.
https://frequentmiler.com/mgm-free-nights-earn-hyatt-elite-credit/

JJ Lee

What if Im trying to use the annual free award night that I get for having the World of Hyatt credit card? What would be the best way to use the award night + get mgm gold benefits (no resort fee)?

HPN-HRL

Your plan won’t work. The World of Hyatt credit card “free night” (categories 1-4) only works at Hyatt properties, not MGM properties.

Mike Z

That is not correct. It also works at MGM properties and I have done this numerous times including most recently in September at the MGM Grand. You still have to pay resort fees though (at least prior to 02/01/22).

Another Jeff

DOC reported that only direct bookings qualify for waived resort fees. 🙁 I was thinking the same thing as you until I saw that

Last edited 4 months ago by Another Jeff
dan

wonder if any folks got resort fees waived at caesar’s properties with FHR booking?

Diddy

Caesars have no properties on the FHR

Mike Z

To confirm booking direct with MGM/MLife will still qualify you to receive Hyatt elite night credit as long as you have your Hyatt number on file at check-in? I’ve always booked MLife properties via Hyatt.

9th Island Traveler

Yes, as long as your Hyatt number was put on file before you check out.

Diddy

I read on D.O.C that 3rd party bookings don’t count. It’s in the fine print, they say.

Mist Soalar

Not an MGM property, but when I booked Palazzo in 2021 from FHR, I emailed about the benefits. The hotel replied “Expedia has prepaid your room and tax.” So Amex/FHR used Expedia for my booking.

Nothing credited to my Grazie account even I added my account number to the FHR booking page.

Joe S

When I called to add a person to an FHR booking, the Bellagio gave me the number to Expedia and said they had to do it. In the end I got someone on the FHR side to do it, but the Bellagio said it was booked through Expedia.

dan

Joe, what’s expedia’s # to call for adding another guest? btw, were you the guest, if so, were u able to check in? my family member booked a stay at bellagio later this yr, and i will likely check in. TIA

Last edited 4 months ago by dan
Joe S

I still called FHR in the end, but Bellagio gave me an Expedia number. I’m not going until May so I haven’t checked in. FHR made me the main person to check in and I got new emails from Amex, very easy.

dan

hey Joe, may i have the FHR phone # for Bellagio so that my fam member can call. TIA

Joe S

877-882-0563

weadasmiles

FHR / Conrad at Resorts World Las Vegas used Expedia for my stay in October.

Dave Hanson

Appreciate all these more recent data points.

While my 2019 and earlier stays were treated like Nick’s, I’m persuaded that something has changed since–most likely an Amex outsourcing to Expedia.

9th Island Traveler

AMEX TRAVEL is managed by EXPEDIA. When you call AMEX TRAVEL and press the option for Platinum Card Members, you’re talking to Expedia employees. You learn real quick the difference when you have a travel issue and get less than AMEX Platinum customer service. Also, they use the Philippines for customer service…it’s so much fun when you have a travel issue and are on vacation.