I often disregard loyalty benefits as being good incentives because I feel like the companies that offer them are simply creating a way to keep you from looking elsewhere before booking with them. In the case of frequent flier programs, I often assume I can get a better deal if I do my legwork rather than sticking to one airline that might offer some perks after some number of flights. That won’t stop me from getting frequent flier accounts with all of them in the chance that I book with them again in the future, but I don’t personally fly often enough for it to matter. Las Vegas is a different story however. It’s usually pretty easy to get a room upgrade, some meal comps, a discount or maybe some free show tickets, but rarely can you find all of them together. But be a loyal customer and you just might.
For my most recent birthday I decided to spend a few days in Vegas with my girlfriend. I hadn’t been in a while and I enjoy the temporary “living beyond your means” feeling that Vegas can provide for me. I had my heart set on staying at Aria because I like fancy modern hotels, but to quote Marlon Brando, “I was made an offer that I couldn’t refuse” and wound up staying at the Encore hotel instead (a fine alternative I might add).
Having stayed at the Wynn resort a few times in the past, I occasionally receive special offers from them in the mail inviting me to come back. This particular offer was: Stay two nights and we will give you a discount, some show tickets, some free buffet passes and a room upgrade if available, just about everything you could want out of a hotel stay. This particular offer was too good to resist so it was a no-brainer.
A typical fancy Vegas hotel is going to run you between $125 and $200 per night if you stay midweek. Since there are no shortages of things to do in Vegas, and I like to save money, I’m a big fan of the midweek option. I booked a standard room at the Wynn for $139 per night, a discount of $20 per night from their regular rates. Our room was upgraded to a resort king suite at the Encore. We received two free show tickets to Le Reve (a fantastic show if you haven’t seen it) valued at $268 on their own. We also received four free buffet passes valued at $100. Now, I’m no fan of buffets, but the buffet at the Wynn is hardly a buffet at all so this was fine by me. Top-notch stuff here folks. I hate to use the words classy and buffet in the same sentence, but I just did.
So in total I saved $40 on the room and wound up with another $368 in freebies. I topped that off with the $20 bill trick (which I will discuss in a future article) and wound up with an excellent view on one of the highest floors. I also happened to get lucky playing poker and brought home an extra $700 making for a very happy birthday to me.
So, while not every loyalty program is great, there are certainly some that fare better than others, so keep your eyes open and don’t let a good deal pass you up.
$40 (room) + $368 (freebies) = $408