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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.