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Should I try for comps?

Discussion in 'Comps' started by Altoid, Dec 4, 2012.

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  1. Altoid

    Altoid Tourist

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    I've been going to Vegas for years but never really got into to player clubs/comps/etc game. My priorities in Vegas were never gambling. I'm still younger so my priorities are food, clubs and to relax at the pool or wander around.

    But, a friend of mine told me that you can get status at some places not just for gambling. So I've started to look around at the different options and learn more about them. I'm from LA so I would say I make 4-6 trips a year, mostly weekend trips 2 days mostly. Some 3-4 day trips as well though.

    What I'm most interested in:

    comped rooms for a weekend or better deals.
    Being able to use invited guest check in. So tired of driving 5+ hours then standing in line another 20-40 mins.
    Late check out would also be a really nice addition for me.
    Comps for food won't be bad either.
    Any help with clubs (mostly marquee/tao/wynn, though I mostly have those covered from going for a few years but always nice for more options). (TAO Beach - Line pass and complimentary entry for member and guest “don’t know how useful that is with the * next to it. )
    Lounge access in some of the hotels that have it for free snack/drinks, would be nice too but not a big deal.


    So I see Mlife/TR/Grazie, as the big ones. Mlife seems to be my best options I think. When looking closer I can try and spend 3k on room/dining/etc at Mlife and hit gold and get invited guest, late check out.

    Now with all that said kind of a second part to this:

    I don't mind gambling just hasn't been my priority. How much do I need to gamble to get comped rooms on weekends? $300? $500? I know there's no fixed number but what range starts to bring out comps? I get that theoretical loss plays into it and all but what am I looking at?

    If say my normal vegas weekend I'd spend 200-500ish for the room I would be more then happy to put that towards gambling instead if I recieved a comped room in the future or that stay along with the maybe hundred or two I don't mind already gambling. Or even more if they will comp food I could put food money towards gambling too.

    Basically if my normal vegas weekend was $500, $700 or $1,000 for everything excluding clubs since I don't think I'll get much out of that. Could I instead devote that to pure gambling and get the same value of comped rooms and food etc?



    I'm not willing to go above my budget whatever I happen to set it to be for a trip but it's normally 500-1000. I try to do vegas fairly cheap but I don't mind spending more if I get value.

    Or at my lower end budget should I just pay for myself and deal with not having much status at the hotel? Or can I leverage the money I'd normally spend to use for gambling instead?
     
  2. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I can only speak to mLife, but I generally stay at MGM properties and get plenty of tier credits from my normal spend. I tend to get about 50-60k and change just from that on an average trip (eating at Picasso is an expensive habit, plus I'll often meet up with a friend or two and charge quite a few meals to my room), and then even moderate gambling is enough to push me over Gold.

    As far as your second question, If you're talking about a discretionary budget of $1000, then you're definitely not going to get a similar amount of room/food from gambling as you would from just spending that money directly, and this is even more true for lesser amounts. In general, my advice would be to do what you want, and not act differently just to go for comps. But, I would also try to direct the money you are spending in a way that will earn you the most; that is, don't spend an extra $500 on dinner just for the tier credits, but if you're spending that money anyway, make sure you get the credit for it.
     
  3. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    First part

    I can't speak for Grazie or Wynn. Both MLife and TR will give points for purchases. Simply get a players card and give it to them when you buy stuff. You will certainly earn tier points, I don't think they earn express comps or reward credits. For this effort, you may get discounted rooms and such.

    I would do this if you make somewhat larger purchases. I'd find it annoying to give it to a bartender for every $8 beer. If I'm doing $100+ checks, then I'll give them the card.



    Second Part

    I would forget about the idea of just taking what you pay for the room now, gambling with it and getting the room for free. While this may be possible, to me this is the wrong way of looking at it. Pick how much you are willing to gamble. Gamble with that while using your card. The next trip you may end up with some room discounts(Say $69/night instead of $100+ night).

    I would increase what you gamble right now. Just see what that gets you and go with that. If you choose to gamble more, do so because you actually want to gamble more. It is far cheaper to just pay for a room rather than gamble to get comps to pay for a room.
     
  4. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Charging to the room avoids this problem. As long as your mLife number is listed with the reservation (and it should be), then you'll just earn the points automatically as you go along.
     
  5. MoneyToBurn

    MoneyToBurn Low-Roller

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    From what you are saying, I don't think gambling for comps when you wouldn't otherwise would work for you. It isn't the loss of a few hundred dollars that gains you the points, it is the continued cycling of that money, and its winnings, over and over again. You might win, more likely will lose, but in either case, it requires hours of play, or wagers that are much too high for your acceptable loss.

    If you go five or six times a year, it would be a simple thing to join a program and see what an average weekend will earn you in points. This should give you a good idea as to whether or not you'll earn say, MLife gold by the end of the year. Then, if you need to, you can gamble as little as possible later in the year (and at an advantage of doing it as pearl and getting bonus points for tier level).

    You will read it here often, that you shouldn't chase comps. I don't entirely agree, as I think there is benefit in, say, stretching one's self out to make a higher tier when practical. It is generally sound advice, though, for those of us that enjoy gambling, but it should go doubly or trebly for someone that doesn't really enjoy it.
     
  6. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    If you gamble at all, there's no good reason not to get a players club card and use it.

    Comps come from gambling, period. Just as a completely rough rule of thumb (so as not to have to get into theo), you have to lose 3 times the value of a hotel room (or about 2x the rack rate) in order to get a room comped, but that ratio varies widely by the quality of the property.

    But hotel spend (room rates and anything charged to your room) earn you tier credits/status points/whatever-the-particular-club-calls-it. As your tier advances, you get perks, like line jumping, free club admissions, etc.

    To give a direct calculation for Grazie, Gold status gets you a line pass and free admission for 2 to Tao. You need 20,000 status points in a year to reach Gold.

    You get 5 status points for every $1 on your hotel bill, and if you play a slot machine with a 90% payback, you get 1 point for every $1 spin.

    So let's say you stay at Palazzo for 3 nights and your total hotel spend is $1,000, that's 5,000 points, so it would take 4 trips to get to Gold. If you budget $300/night loss for gambling, you probably should be able to get $6,000 coin in through a machine with it over the 3 nights, so that's another 6,000 points, so now you're down to 2 trips to reach Gold.

    But losing $300 a day gambling isn't really going to get you much in the way of room comps (except you will probably get some offers after your first trip as a member - they're willing to bring a new player in on a comp and see if you play bigger -but after you take them up on a comp and don't play bigger, you can expect the offers to dry up after a while).

    In your situation, I don't think it makes much sense to divert hotel spend $ to gambling $.

    But get a card(s) and start using it when you gamble, and charge stuff to your room whenever you can. There's no downside.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  7. Pinny Long

    Pinny Long High-Roller

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    Just join the clubs anyway.
    You'll sometimes get offers that are completely random/ unjustified.
    Also, you'll get email discounts/promotions and better rates just for being signed up.

    But don't gamble just because you think the points are of value. The rewards are designed to reward us as players for MAKING money for the casinos. Yes, I get a free room or a buffet from this casino or that, but those are usually justified by the casino because I've lost X amount of dollars.

    If you're going to play, you may as well put a card in the machine or hand it to the dealer. Sometimes your $50 slot play might extend for a few hours because of incremental wins along the way. These spurts of luck will sometimes make you appear to be more of a player than you are and get you some nice deals or offers.

    Your level of play won't create anything monumental, but if it might do something for you, that's better than nothing, right?
     
  8. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    I wouldn't change a thing from what you are doing now, besides joining the comp clubs where resort spend is included in the rewards program.

    The comp clubs in the past have heavily rewarded play, giving as much as 40% of losses back in comps. Of course if you are already happy not spending that money gambling it would have been foolish even under those very loose conditions to spend $100 to save $40.

    Now that the casinos have changed the formula, its even less worthwhile. Is it worth spending $100 to save $15? No.

    Additionally, it is very easy to be motivated into gambling ever more money for higher rewards, I mean this is the obvious point of the comp clubs in the first place, right? If they don't exist to motivate additional spend to benefit the casino, then why do they exist?

    You are in a great spot already, maximizing your enjoyment at a known price point and now possibly receiving some reward recognition for resort spend. I would hold a HARD LINE on things where you are, because going down the road of earning free rooms via play is a losing proposition.
     
  9. Altoid

    Altoid Tourist

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    I'm thinking in a years time I can get gold with just room/food spending. Which would mostly cover what I want anyway. I don't mind gambling a bit, in the past I didn't even waste my time but I may increase that a little just to see where it goes.

    I think that's a good point to not change my spending habits as that's where the hotels make their money. I guess I wanted to know if I took my current spend and applied it to general gambling if I'd be able to get back an equal amount in extras. Doesn't sound like it, I may give it a try but only for fun and not to expect much.

    Yeah I wasn't looking to earn express comps on general spend. Discounted rooms and stuff would be nice though.

    Yeah I guess that sounds better to just gamble with what im comfortable and see what it gets me, and if it doesn't get me what I want to just stay at a level I'm ok with losing, not missing or just enjoying playing.


    Yeah good point I need to make sure I charge more to the room. Are there any other tips for speeding up earning tier points? I'd like to hit mLife gold faster then a year if possible but I don't want to spend to spend.

    Yeah sorry I understand that, it's the coin in not just loss of straight money. If I did start to gamble I would be reading heavy into whatever I ended up playing before I wandered over and lost my money. I have joined a program or two but not really gambled under them since it was never a concern to me. Now I wouldn't mind spending a few hundred a trip to start and see how I feel about it.

    I don't know if I'd want to chase comps because I don't have a high bankroll but I enjoy the perks from the sounds of things. So it interests me enough to test the water.

    Yeah I agree there's no reason not to get a players club card. I will make sure I have one of each of the top players clubs next trip in vegas in a few weeks. That's an interesting break down you had, are there write ups on stuff like this? How much each dollar should in theory generate?

    But thanks for the overall advice makes sense to me.

    Good point on just signing up to get some random offers if they are bored and I make it on a list somehow.

    I won't gamble just to get points. Yeah I understand this is all for casinos to make money just trying to see if there are any ways to make the most out of it and have some fun with my money and get value.

    Yeah I like the idea of maybe getting hot and racking up some points.

    That sounds like a good idea, and with my low spend I should just show loyality to one of the brands for a year and see how it goes. I guess in the past I was not interested in playing but now I've decided it wouldn't be that bad of an idea to set a small budget to just have fun with and see where it takes me. Get some drinks and earn some points and get a chance to try my "luck."
     
  10. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    This has been said prior, but I'll use a different set of words:

    1. The idea of playing for comps is a bad one. The amount of comps you get back are a small percentage of your theoretical loss. So, in rational terms, it's a net negative decision.

    There are situations where players get overcomped, or can otherwise game the system, and get more than they're really paying for. But given the amounts you're talking about, there's absolutely no way you'd get more bang from your buck gambling than spending.

    2. If you're truly interested in the perks, there are cheaper ways to get them. For example, if you stay in the suites at many of the properties, you can use the private check-in areas, which should significantly improve your experience when you walk in the door.

    I guess my point is - playing for status is a psychological trap - they get you thinking about pennies while you're shipping them dollars.

    If you want to gamble, enjoy gambling, and would do it anyway, then getting a club card and using it is a no-brainer. And if you get good comps with it, then that's gravy. But gambling for comps when you otherwise wouldn't is not recommended.
     
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Don't do it!

    If your sentence starts with "I don't mind gambling", comps will NOT be worth it to you. By all means, get the loyalty cards. But don't try to gamble to get comped.
     
  12. bdg626

    bdg626 Low-Roller

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    You sound similar to me. Once mLife started giving tier credits for money spent outside of gambling, my tier credits shot up rather quickly. A few dinners at Prime, Sage, etc, and you'd be well on your way.

    I was a pearl member with just gambling and easily got more than halfway to platinum (I think I hit 120k or 130k) before they reset all points October 1.

    I get room rates that are discounted at Aria and Bellagio with similar play to yours - I budget a few hundred per day for purely slot play. That being said, I wouldn't chase those comps. However, covering brunch, a few nice dinners, and charging it to your room is a good way to speed up the tier credits).

    I just went back for the first time with 0 tier credits and played slots for a few hours three days and spent about $700 between food and room at mLife properties so I got to 30k tier credits in one trip. On average, I earned only about 5k tier credits from slot play per day and a bit closer to 6k with spending.

    I will say this - with your gambling, you would most likely receive heavily discounted weekends/free weekdays at Total Rewards places, but from what it appears, you like places that are a bit nicer, and IMO that's mLife properties.

    :beer:
     
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