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Dailun's subjective comparison of mLife Platinum vs. CET Diamond

Discussion in 'Comps' started by DaiLun, Apr 11, 2015.

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  1. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    The title was meant to read "Dailun's subjective comparison of mLife Platinum vs. CET Diamond"

    This is a subjective comparison based on my needs and tastes. I try to quote them before making a rating.

    I travel to LV at least 4 times a year. Last year I visited 12 times, some visits as short as 16 hours, never more than 4 days at a time. This year I have so far visited 4 times.

    In 2014 I made mLife Platinum in August. mLife's calendar year is Oct 1 to September 30. I am also Gold level at Venetian/Palazzo, and a Red Card member at Wynn.

    I had originally set out to "just" make "first level" CET Diamond (15,000 TC), but after this last trip, I made DAL1 (Diamond Aspiration Level 1, 40,000 TCs), by carefully using the bonus system. (3) consecutive 2500 TC days with 5,000 bonus each day = 22,500 TC)

    Note that I have only stayed at the following mLife or CET properties in the past 15 months

    Mirage - 2 times
    MGM Grand - 2 times

    Harrahs Reno - 3 times
    Caesars Palace - 1 time

    So my stay experience is a little limited.

    So, the bottom line is "play where you feel lucky".
    I had not even considered CET before 2015 because I just "didn't like playing in their casinos". In fact, I had sworn off the strip entirely because, as a slot player, I considered them too "tight".
    I was completely happy downtown at the D, they were (and still are) taking very good care of me, and my money seemed to last longer.
    However, I felt that I needed to have privileges on the Strip for that rare occasion when I had a female guest. Plus, I "broke my cherry" on hand pays at both Venetian and Mirage.

    General

    I have found that you are "noticed" at CET properties as a Diamond member. Special Valet parking privileges, Diamond Lounges, separate dining lines.
    mLife provides separate dining lines, but no additional bonuses for Platinum.
    CET tries to make you feel "special". At mLife, IMHO, you're just another customer who spends a little more money

    Achieving CET Diamond is "easier" than achieving mLife Platinum, if you consider and can use the bonus system to your advantage.
    1000/1000 2500/5000 and 5000/10000 played much easier than the flat 30% bonus at mLife

    After you achieve mLife Platinum, you're pretty much done since the next level is by invitation only. There are rumors about what kind of levels (1,000,000 TC) it takes to be on the invitation list.

    CET has no limits and even the most modest (me) of gamblers can make Diamond Aspiration levels or even Seven Stars.

    Also, CET is much more liberal when it comes to "play where you stay". I believe that this is because mLife are much more "individual properties" under the same umbrella. The last time I stayed at MGM Grand my host made it implicitly clear that she would appreciate keeping most of my mLife play at MGM Grand (which I did).

    Hotels
    So, with the exception of Caesars, and maybe PH, mLife has it for the hotels.
    But, that being said, with the mLife hotels, you need to develop a track record with the individual hotel before you are put on the comp list. Since I have only stayed at MGM and Mirage, I only get comp offers from those two hotels.
    With CET, I have comp privileges (availability) at any hotel (except Nobu).

    Lounges
    CET - The Diamond Lounges are very nice. Being a "cheap Chinaman", I could start at PH and work my way down to Harrah's and not need to eat dinner.

    mLife - There are supposedly lounges, but these are primarily special waiting areas at check-in. Finding them is very difficult and some of them are "Noir only"

    Attractions
    CET - 2 show tickets per month. Now granted, they aren't the top level shows (Celine, Elton, or Britney), but they do include Penn & Teller, Mac King, or Veronic. Also two free tickets to the High Roller (for for DAL1)

    mLife - 2 tickets to attractions like Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, the Bellagio Museum of Fine Art, and Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden, but it's my understanding that these are hotel specific and not advertised on the mLife website.

    Restaurants
    Since I don't typically eat a the casinos, I can't really judge them. I'm "saving up" to make a comparison, but since there are so many, it's tough.

    Comps
    CET
    Now, there's a big difference here. CET will almost always take your RCs first. I noticed this when I stayed at Harrahs Reno and I asked for my resort fees to be comped, and to my surprise, they were comped, but with Reward Credits.

    mLife
    mLife is much more liberal on "back end" comps without using their equivalent of RC. Charg things to the room, then have a host comp them on the back end.

    Location
    CET - Throughout the country, with no "penalty" for not playing at your home casino, or Las Vegas for that matter.

    mLife - only 3 resorts outside of Las Vegas, and a hefty "discount" on earning TCs. Why would I go to MGM Grand Detroit and play if I'm earning 1/10 the TC for the same amount of play? Preference for "in-property" play mentioned previously.

    I hope that this is helpful to someone. Note that I am 95% a slot player, with the other 5% split between Video Poker and table games.

    My plan at this time is to maintain mLife Platinum. I am set at CET through 3/2017. There are silver strike machines at Mirage, so I have a reason to play there. I now have a host at Caesars, but I'm thinking of trying the Cromwell next. I mean, Caesars is just across the street, right? I will also try to maintain Gold level at Venetian. I also still have privileges at the Wynn and downtown at the D and Downtown Grand. This last trip I got a host at SLS. Doesn't hurt to have options.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
    New Orleans 7* retreat. Food, food, and more food . . . .
    Tentatively Tahoe or LV . . . .
  2. Hiero

    Hiero Tourist

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    Awesome, I've been looking forward to this comparison since I first saw you mention it months ago.

    How do you compare the check-in experience? Check-out and late check-out? Interacting with hosts? In terms of getting around LV -- especially for those that stay on the strip and like to travel for dinner -- how do you think the two rewards programs compare in making travel easier?
     
  3. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    At Caesars you can request early check-in, and when your room is ready you will get an email and be directed to A VIP service area, away from the "maddening crowds".

    I left at 4AM so I didn't experience late check out. I didn't have a host but after 2 consecutive 2500 TC days, I was contacted by on "at my slot machine". I rent a car and usually make my own dinner reservations, so sorry, no help there.

    At mLife, there is a line for Platinum check-in, which moves rather quickly. Although I did have early check-in, it did not do late check out. Platinum mLife do not get hosts assigned, so I went to the website and picked the youngest, hottest looking hostess (by the pictures) and sent her an email asking if she'd be my host. She emailed back saying that she could be my host and I met her (with a small gift). This before realizing/understanding that your comp is based on the room you stay in, so using the $20 trick actually "hurt" me on that trip.
     
    New Orleans 7* retreat. Food, food, and more food . . . .
    Tentatively Tahoe or LV . . . .
  4. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Very, very interesting posts DaiLun. You have a unique perspective on Vegas which I enjoy.
     
  5. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    Honestly that says everything. It's common knowledge low to medium level slot players are treated way better by CET.

    For table players it's not even close.
     
  6. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    Nice comparison!
    I never stayed at CET casinos. Maybe I should give it a try like what you did.
     
  7. momnkid

    momnkid Tourist

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    Thank you for this comparison. We are Diamond and haven't felt appreciated. Nice to know what kind of grass is growing on the other side.
     
  8. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Again, this is a comparison of benefits once you've made the level. IMHO, the way that you get to the level is immaterial for this discussion.
     
    New Orleans 7* retreat. Food, food, and more food . . . .
    Tentatively Tahoe or LV . . . .
  9. Champster1

    Champster1 High-Roller

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    Great post. I wish that I could repost this on the MMILV page in facebook. There are some folks over there who constantly trash CET and praise Mlife!! With no proof for either!!
     
    March Madness...here I come !!
  10. meyers67

    meyers67 High-Roller

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    DaiLun -

    Very good and accurate comparison. As a seven stars cardholder, I would recommend that you continue with mlife, but spend a couple days getting CET diamond status. That will allow you to get two free show tickets and lounge access on your future trips. Don't worry about your ADT there, just keep grabbing the show tickets and enjoy the lounge. I think that over time, you will enjoy the CET perks and may want to stay at their hotels. I agree that only their top hotels are comparable to mlife, but when you go alone it's fine.
     
  11. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    Proof? What a disingenuous statement. Other people's statements and opinions do not count, only yours? MGM should go out of business and the bankrupt CET casinos should be the only ones operating? Hmmm... Silly in my opinion.

    Read the prior threads here. CET has let many of us down, some of us big time, this writer particularly.

    No player program is perfect, mLife included and all have their benefits and deficits.

    DaiLun is entitled to an opinion and has factual errors, some minor. Platinum gets you an annual cruise, free access to shark reef, BGFA, Secret Garden, Foundation Room, etc and you don't have to be staying at that hotel. Minor error. Biggest thing they don't rob your express comps at the back end when they look at your play.

    Thanks for the comparison DaiLun. I've was Seven Stars at CET before they royally pissed me off several years ago. I am much happier with mLife but as in politics we are all entitled to our opinions and observations.
     
  12. alexb7

    alexb7 MIA

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    I'm platinum at mlife and found the free cruise (I use the $750 credit towards an International one) to be very rewarding. When I used the cruise, I got 4 tours comped by the onboard host (not advertised), free specialty dinners, 10 drink tickets, a welcome fruit platter and was taken care of very well. That alone is worth about $1,500. Add in being able to skip the taxi line, free access for 2 to Bare at the Mirage and earning express comps faster, you have one happy platinum mlife member.
     
  13. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    One point that doesn't really fall under your comparison is:

    It's good to have options.

    If you're a lower level player but have the bankroll and make enough trips, it's good to maintain play at both CET and MGM.

    If you only play one, and they revamp their system, you can get left out in the cold for at least one trip.

    I had stayed nowhere except V/P for a couple of years and had no intention of going anywhere else, but one trip I had to drive from V/P to the airport to pick someone up, and on the way I stopped in Caesars and Aria and played about an hour at each; first time I had ever played at either CET or MGM.

    So that got me on their radar. A couple of weeks later V/P had their comps/marketing fiasco. But I ended up with a soft landing without a skip.
     
  14. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Interesting read, Dailun. I agree with a chunk of what you're saying. The one big disagreement I have is when you state that CET is better at rewarding you if you don't play where you stay. I made several posts on this subject last year and don't want to reiterate all of that, but mlife does not punish gamblers for playing at other mlife properties. you still earn TC and EC for playing at any MGM casino. The only advantage mlife awards you for playing where you stay is the discretionary comps your host can apply out of your primary comp balance. And that simply doesn't impact the majority of gamblers. And considering (as you point out) that CET is going to comp you by applying your RCs first, then its program is no better than mlife because an mlife player can always apply their EC to comp charges (and ECs are earned at the same rate at each MGM casino).

    Another point I find interesting is your first one regarding the general acknowledgment or treatment you receive as a diamond player at CET. I don't play there often enough to get past platinum, so your perspective is unique to me. I think you're right that platinum at mlife doesn't really get you any special acknowledgment. Even Noir doesn't get you much, although I am under the impression that when the mlife program was first introduced, Noir received much better treatment because it was much harder to reach that level. I think I recall Shifter and others posting comments about the rarity of Noir at that time and I personally recall watching a Noir player basically walk up to a craps table and lock it up for only her use (that was only a couple months after the current program was introduced and about two years before I reached the Noir level). Noir and platinum certainly have benefits, but I have never sensed any special recognition or out of the way treatment by MGM staff because of my card level. I would be curious to hear more stories about that kind of treatment of Diamond players at CET
     
  15. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Thank you for the correction/addition. I forgot about the mLife cruise since:

    1) Royal Caribbean is ported out of the East Coast, and I live on the West Coast
    2)I spent 6 years as an enlisted man in the Navy, so a cruise is not my idea of a good time
    3)I'm the divorced custodial parent of a 13 year old, so that would be my "other half, if they allow it

    I neglected to post that benefit.

    That being said, CET is partnered with NCL, who does sail out of Los Angeles. No stay requirement a Reno to claim.

    Destinations include: Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, The Caribbean, Europe, and the Mexican Riviera.

    I am tempted to take a short plane ride to Reno to claim the cruise.
     
    New Orleans 7* retreat. Food, food, and more food . . . .
    Tentatively Tahoe or LV . . . .
  16. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Regarding "The one big disagreement I have is when you state that CET is better at rewarding you if you don't play where you stay."

    I don't think I exactly said that, of if I did, that's not exactly what I meant.. It was more of "mLife wants you play at the casino that you're staying at.". My host at mLife implied that. There are no penalties if you don't play at the home casino, but you do "need" to play at an mLife casino..

    Again, this is a subjective review based \on my experiences and needs/desires.

    One point about CET Diamond. You can valet park when the main lot is full, even full to hotel guests. This is important to me because parking at the Colosseum valet is a pain if you're staying in the Augustus towers.

    Again, a personal preference. It's like "shows" vs. "attractions". Some people have preference for one or the other.
     
    New Orleans 7* retreat. Food, food, and more food . . . .
    Tentatively Tahoe or LV . . . .
  17. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Thank you for the advise. I made DAL1 this last trip at Caesars, so I get the "head start in 2016. I'm "stuck in" for both of the holiday gift giving events (CET and mLife) I was using the D for my solo trips, but it appears that now I can escalate back to the strip. I still want to keep the D in the mix because they treat me so well. It was the only place that I was invited to for NYE.
     
    New Orleans 7* retreat. Food, food, and more food . . . .
    Tentatively Tahoe or LV . . . .
  18. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    MGM couldn't care less which MGM owned casino you play at. Your host cares, because it can impact his or her compensation. You are correct that you need to play at an MGM casino to earn comps (TC and EC), but in that respect, CET is exactly the same. I'm fairly certain that CET is not awarding me RCs for my play at Aria! Again, the only benefit at MGM to playing where you stay is if you have a host, you think you will generate sufficient comps to exceed whatever upfront comps your host is already giving you, and you want to ask your host to apply additional primary comps to any other charges so that you can save your EC. I don't think that situation applies to many players. Otherwise, you generate the same TC and EC at any MGM property, whether you stay there or not
     
  19. pressitagain

    pressitagain Low-Roller

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    Plenty of work and money went into this report. Great job DaiLun!!!
     
  20. kankan53

    kankan53 Low-Roller

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    Thank you so much for the information. It is really helpful and I also appreciate your posting.
     
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