Two Tips To Maximize Las Vegas With M Life

I’ve spent much of the past three weeks in Las Vegas. As I’ve mentioned, I have a love/hate relationship with the city. It’s the most ridiculous place on earth, but it’s so amusing. I mean, I was walking around the Strip last night and saw two ladies in bikinis on a mobility scooter driving down the sidewalk with 64 ounce margaritas. Where else do you see that?!

Of course my time in Las Vegas has also come with my fair share of frustration. In particular:

Las-Vegas-101

As most of you probably know, Hyatt Gold Passport and MGM M Life have a partnership in Las Vegas, which was the first and best of its kind.

Even though there’s reciprocity between the two programs in theory, learning how to “maximize” Las Vegas is proving a challenge for me. Elite status with M Life works completely differently than it does with Hyatt Gold Passport. In Vegas you’re generally as valuable as the dollar amount you spend, while with the major hotel loyalty programs you’re generally as valuable as the number of nights you spend with the chain.

So while with Hyatt Gold Passport I get an upgrade based on availability, guaranteed late check-out, suite upgrades, lounge access, complimentary breakfast, etc., the benefits are completely different with M Life — I get to cut some lines, but don’t get breakfast, late check-out, room upgrades, etc.

Anyway, while I have a lot more to share about Las Vegas, I figured I’d share the two biggest lessons I learned from M Life. I’m not saying these are the single most useful aspects of the partnership, though they’re both things I’ve screwed up this past weekend.

Get best hotel rates at mlife.com

Since the M Life properties are Hyatt partner properties and Hyatt has a best rate guarantee, I naturally just go to hyatt.com to make my bookings in Las Vegas. It’s just what’s familiar to me, and I’m a creature of habit.

The prices do indeed match the ones available on mlife.com… unless you log into your M Life account. It doesn’t matter whether you have status or not — as long as you’re an M Life member you can get huge discounts on stays at their Vegas properties.

For example, I stayed at the Delano, and while the rate on hyatt.com and mlife.com was $129, once I logged into my M Life account on mlife.com the rate dropped to $91. A discount of almost 30% — that’s huge!

And for the avoidance of doubt, you do still earn Hyatt Gold Passport points for stays booked at those rates.

M-Life-Discount

Charge EVERYTHING to your room

I’m so embarrassed that I screwed this up. Of course when I stay at a hotel I charge all my hotel spend to the room so that I can earn hotel points for it. However, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how many hotels belong to MGM.

For example, on Saturday night a group of us had dinner at Javier’s in Aria, and I picked up the tab. I charged it directly to my credit card rather than to my room at the Delano, though. It was a fairly big bill, and I gave up 6.5 Hyatt Gold Passport points per dollar by doing that. Grrrr! For whatever reason I didn’t mentally associate that dinner with my hotel stay, since I took a taxi to get there.

So no matter which MGM hotel you’re at, charge everything to your room.

And so no one else makes this mistake, the M Life properties in Las Vegas are:

ARIABellagio
VdaraMGM Grand Las Vegas
The Signature at MGM GrandMandalay Bay
DELANO LAS VEGASThe Mirage
Monte CarloNew York-New York
LuxorExcalibur

Here’s another cool thing you wouldn’t expect — you can actually charge food & beverage purchases from the Mandarin Oriental to a room at an M Life property as well. The Mandarin Oriental has one of my favorite bars in Las Vegas (simply because the hotel feels so un-Vegasy), so it’s great to be able to charge that to your room at an MGM property and earn additional points as well.

Bottom line

While I’ve done quite well in the miles & points world, figuring out Vegas is like tackling a completely different beast. I feel like I’m learning extreme couponing or how to get comps with gambling — it’s the same general type of hobby, but the execution differs quite a bit.

Anyone else have any “big” M Life tips for Las Vegas?

Las-Vegas-102

Comments

  1. Are you sure you don’t get late checkout? Your status with Hyatt should get you at least Platinum with M-Life, and they should give you late checkout.

    Do you gamble at all? If so, always see the host before you leave. They can comp food, based on your play.

  2. I’ve been calling 411 for the number to the Delano, but she says I’m not pronouncing it right…now that you’ve been there….can you help?

  3. @ DJK — All the people working at the hotel pronounced it “Deh-lahn-o” — previously I assumed it would be “Dell-a-no.”

  4. Ok….but is “deh” “Day” or Deh, as in deck?

    And how’d you manage to get the mobility scooter through your door? Or did you just have them leave it in the hall?

  5. @ Ryan — Are the earn rates different than what Hyatt offers directly? With Hyatt I get five points per dollar, plus a 30% bonus as a Diamond member.

  6. I’ve had terrible experiences with MLife (as a Hyatt Diamond). They grace you into MLife, yet, it seems, unless you have Noir status, benefits aren’t many – and unevenly applied.

    MLife Platinum lists an upgrade if available – we know how many rooms these places have, right?! When I asked for mine, they said, no upgrades are available – both at The Mirage on two different occasions.

    The rates on MLife are bare bones – if you book a premium suite on the regular site (and pay a certain price) you get limo pickup, VIP lounge access, etc. (they call it SUITE LIFE). If you book one on the MLife site you get a great rate but none of the extra benefits.

    Overall, for Hyatt to hype this relationship for GP members seems short sighted, given the casino’s tired old model of not really caring for hotel guests unless they are super high rollers.

  7. So you can direct all charges to your main bill at another hotel, as long as you’re staying at an mlife property?

  8. Thanks for the info Lucky. So if i book the room through mlife and am Hyatt Platinum, do I not get the benefits for late check out etc? Is there a handy link you have that showed the benefits of mlife? I couldn’t find one or maybe wasnt looking in the right place.

    Thanks,

  9. Did you keep the receipt from that dinner? Have you emailed them to get the points posted? I accidentally did the same thing at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo (was staying at the Hyatt Regency), but when I emailed the Park Hyatt with my check number and HGP info, they posted the points almost immediately (which was nice, since it was a big check).

  10. My mother has a mobility scooter, and Vegas is still one of the few places she can travel to. However, it didn’t fit in the Cromwell hotel room, so she was not a happy camper!

  11. @ Chris — I think it’s a bit trickier when it’s a partner hotel, so I don’t plan on chasing it up. Just learned the lesson the hard way here.

  12. I’ve been to Vegas about 8 times so far this year on business. I typically stay at at the Aria or Vdara and haven’t been refused a late checkout request (I’m M-Life Plat due to Hyatt Diamond Status). I’ve found that being able to use the “invited guests” line to check-in has been a huge benefit, those lines at the front desk are worse then a ride at Disney, Same for the buffet line which you can cut also…

    You’re right about logging into M-Life, I can typically find a room in the $79-$99/night range at those properties, however I have found that calling the Aria VIP line and asking what they can do for my upcoming stay pays off – I’ve been comped rooms, given F&B or resort credits (that can be used at ANY MGM property) freeplay, and other stuff. You can also checkout by sending an email to checkout@aria.com (you can text too, if that works better for you) and skip all the lines on the way out.

    As a side note, I usually try to book 4 additional $23 nights (Sun-Wed) at Excalibur, check in there on my way to the airport, mess up the bed, then put the DND sign on door. When I call the front desk on checkout day to checkout over the phone, complain about wifi (getting the resort fee waived) and get 4 Hyatt nights for about $90. By the time I get to LAS, I have an invoice from Excalibur in my inbox. Also, the difference in the rooms between those two properties is quite shocking 😉

  13. Ok, so I am a little confused. I should book the room using my M-life account,…as I probably get a better rate there. But, when I check in, I should provide my Hyatt Gold Passport number as those points do more for me, in the rest of world? I didn’t know I could reserve on M-life site, but earn my points from Hyatt?

  14. I just spoke to Hyatt reps and per them, when you check in with your Hyatt Passport # you can get points both on mlife & hyatt. I kind of doubt that it would give points to both the programs!

  15. Check your math; $38 off $129 sounds like 30% to me. Still very good (assuming cancellation policy is the same, was it?)

  16. I have a stay at the Mandalay Bay coming up and I have very little use for Gold Passport points. Can I get miles for my MLife stay? The Gold Passport website is not clear on this. They reference “points” for MLife stays, but I don’t see any mention of “miles”.

  17. @Kevin – Complain about the wi-fi you never experienced (since you never stayed in the room) just to get the resort fee waived????

    How classy.

  18. You can charge your bill at Social House to your room. At Mastro’s, take your receipt to the Aria mLife desk and they will credit you mLife points. Both are in The Shops at Crystals.

  19. After you log into Mlife click the box “get my offers”. There will be other offers in addition to the rates that come up if you just booked.

  20. I don’t know if this has been mentioned; but there is ANOTHER very important reason to always charge EVERYTHING at casino properties to your hotel room. Even if you do not gamble much; you never know when you might enter into a situation where you accumulate a bunch of play (points) and might have the ability to ask for some of the F&B charges on your folio to be removed. Obviously, this can only occur if the room charges are on your folio. I’ve seen crazy things before, but say you sit down with $500 to play some slots, are enjoying the cocktails, and you wind up playing for 4+ hours (when you originally thought, it was going to be a quick 10-15 minute session). While your earned points can always be used for such things, if this was perhaps the first time you “really played,” you might be able to convince a host to pick-up some additional charges on your folio (discretionary comps). A bit beyond the scope here, but suffice it to say, always a good idea to have options (i.e. charges on your room folio) when potentially staying and playing at a casino property. And, always remember, the EASIEST thing for a host to remove are room charges. So, if you do play, and are paying (for example) $79/night; always ask for the room charges to be removed (i.e comp room) first. This is one of the easiest “comps” for a host to provide (depending on play, of course).

  21. @colleen,

    Absolutely. Since Excalibur does not provide WiFi in the rooms (wired only in room) that’s EXACTLY what I do. You ever tried plugging an in an Ethernet cable to a smart phone or tablet?

    The hotel claims that the “resort fee” is to cover things like Wifi access, that’s fine, but until they actually provide it in room, I will continue to request that it be waived. The front desk always agrees to remove it without question. Classy? Perhaps not by your definition, but that $100 can be better spent elsewhere.

  22. A quick answer if possible please Lucky as my better 1/2 and I will be leaving for Vegas in the morning and I just saw this. When giving your GP# at check-in, will you also be credited for a Hyatt stay as well on your GP acct? If so then I would cancel my Venetian res (on points) for 1 of M Life’s. So far this post is very helpful and just in time. I to am not a gambler and this is a win-win for the 2 of we.

  23. Lucky, please email me the answer if it will make it quicker but make certain everyone else that may not know still know the answer as I understand that you will get points but will it count as a Hyatt stay as well?

  24. Thanks Lucky. I was just reading Flyertalk and figured this all out. What I would like to know is how my SPG cc plays into this. Would I be given the Hyatt discount or is it better to use the CS Preferred?

  25. @ mommafrica — The AmEx Open Savings program wouldn’t apply at an M Life property, so you’re better off earning double points on hotels with the Sapphire Preferred.

  26. I just booked for Vegas stay using mlife. Wanted to add a point – when booking through mlife.com; they say they will charge 1 day’s stay + taxes and rest is paid at check-in. I called in to make my booking and they didn’t charge me anything. Just a card # to hold the reservation.

    @Lucky – would it be better to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Hyatt Card for this?

  27. I have a different perspective; I was an mLife member and THEN matched to Hyatt. So I am much more familiar with mLife than Hyatt. You bring up good tips… especially charge everything to your room. Also liked your article on the $20 trick… haha. I’ve tried it before and at best get a higher floor. Nothing too grand about it.

    Also, if interested, here is my take on just how the mLife loyalty works.

    http://singleflyer.com/mlife-explained-vegas/

  28. Just an FYI…and my apologies if someone already posted this but if you spend at any mlife resort and you forget to put it on your room tab, take the receipt to any mlife desk and they will give you the points. I have taken STACKS of receipts to them on several occasions.

  29. Just to understand.
    Do you book on Hyatt then use their best rate guarantee quoting the member price once logged into Mlife??

  30. @Daniel hassan : Wouldn’t a Mlife member rate be like a “casino player rate?” Many get very big discounts, 25% to 100%. Not sure how you can BRG a 75% off rate based on casino-play/Mlife. Unless, I am not following properly.

  31. What’s the limit on number of nights in an M Life property that count towards Hyatt status? For example, with the SPG/Total Rewards partnership it’s 10. I was just matched from Diamond and haven’t found a clear answer on either the Hyatt or M Life websites.

  32. Not sure if this is still open for comment but I’m an MLife Platinum and have been at Aria for the past few years but I don’t feel like I get comped much for the amount I play. The first host I had was great, but when he left, the new host doesn’t seem to give me as much credit for my play and uses my points to cover the balance of my bill, which is better than actually receiving a bill, but it’s also dwindling my points. This is the only MLife property I’ve ever tried, so do other properties give you more freebies for your play points than others? I hate to switch programs at this point and we absolutely love the Aria, but comps are the difference between Vegas being affordable and not so much!

  33. @joanna, you need a new host NOT a new program. Personally there are a lot of attributes to the Caesars program; but more so if you can reach 7* status (regarding your question about other programs). You can find/request a new host. One of the best methods is to get a referral or recommendation from a friend (another player, preferably one who plays the same of has more action than you). Discretionary comps and NOT using your points is also the trickiest hustle. But so much has to do with the host.

  34. I go to Vegas normally 2x year.
    I’ve never had a host, I guess I don’t gamble enough money.
    I use to get 3-5 comped night mLife offers in my emails all the time. The last comped night I received was for 1 night at Monte Carlo. Am I doing something wrong or again is it that I am not spending enough money gambling?
    Also, do you know if they will be bringing back the food credits that don’t require a certain amount in purchase to be used?

  35. To all on this trail – i’ve signed up to Mlife for the first time and of course the rates to stay at some of the best suites at the MGM is cheaper than if you go thru the hotel directly. I want to book a suite for memorial weekend next year 2018. However,i am told over the phone when speaking to someone at MGM that there is no guarantee on your room booking, it’s based on availability upon your arrival – so i could risk the room being allocated to someone else when i go to check in – is this true? If so why would anyone rely on Mlife for booking a room? To guarantee the room im told to book direct with MGM. Any negative experiences to share?

  36. Hi Lucky,

    Do you know if you get Hyatt stay credit if you stay using a comp room available for some mlife members? We still have to pay the resort fee per night.

    Thanks!

  37. @Ryan

    This just happened to me during the Mayweather fight weekend. I booked an MGM Skyline Terrace Suite through M Life (Pearl status) 5 months before the fight was even announced. Received a call from MGM a month out from my vacation date that due to inventory changes they had to cancel my room, and that it states in the fine print it’s not guaranteed (went back and checked but didn’t see that wording). At first what they offered to comp was ridiculous in comparison to the Skyline Terrace suite (two connecting standard rooms at MGM), but after some back and forth and flexibility on location, was able to get a Hospitality Suite comped at Vdara (though it obviously did not have the irreplaceable terrace found with the Skyline suites-or any outdoor space for that matter). I assume I could have put up a much bigger fight, as the only line in the fine print I saw about not being guaranteed was related to room requests (I take this as high floor, connecting rooms, non-smoking, etc.). Be ware!

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