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Genuine question: why CET? (longish post inside)

Discussion in 'Comps' started by Basil, Feb 10, 2021.

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  1. Basil

    Basil VIP Whale

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    I’ve been debating if I want to post his or not for awhile. I’m sure this is going to stir up a hornet’s nest, and please understand this is a genuine question, not trolling or judging here. So much of what I read about CET on this board is negative- many threads talking about issues and cutbacks. Yet a ton of folks are still keeping their play there. And it won for favorite Rewards program by a long shot when we did the ViMBys. But why? I get that for the low roller, it offers a pretty low entry point for comps, so that part makes sense to me. But for those who are Diamond or above, what is the appeal of CET vs. MLife? (or any other rewards program, but I’m going to use MLife as it’s the one I know)

    The downsides I’ve heard are:

    · Drink cutbacks

    · Lower quality rooms/resorts (I understand this is subjective, but going by consensus on what I’ve read here)

    · Poor VP paytables

    · Less flexibility from hosts

    · Lower up front comps (freeplay/resort credit)

    · RCs being used before any back end comps

    The upsides that I can see for CET are

    · Comped rooms starting at a lower ADT

    · Greater transparency into the program (tier X gets you blah, tier Y gets you Blah + Blah, etc.)

    · Many local properties outside of Vegas to use benefits

    · Various booster promotions to hit tiers more quickly

    · Benefits tied to tier regardless of play ($100 dinner, show tickets, etc.)

    I realize that with MLife, the benefits you receive may not be as cut and dry. And I’m a mid roller (I think?) at MLife (hitting platinum on 2 trips/year totaling 8-10 nights). But with this, I get:

    · More options for better quality resorts (again, realize this is subjective)

    · Free rooms/suites without resort fee

    · Generous up front free play and resort credit

    · Back End comps on the rare occasion I exceed my RC without using my Express Comps

    · No need to worry about tracking my exact play to calculate tier credits to ensure I hit minimum thresholds for various boosters, etc

    · Better VP Paytables

    Downsides that I’m aware of for MLife:

    · Offer “algorithm” can be wonky (I’ve never had issues, but know many have)

    · Higher starting threshold to earn free rooms

    · No clearly defined level to get resort fees waived

    · Less insight into the comp program in general

    · Fewer local properties


    In the end, with MLife, I really don’t pay for anything (well, out of pocket… of course I pay through play). I don’t have the specific Diamond Dinner/diamond resort fee waiver/etc. But I get enough RC that it doesn’t matter, I’m still not paying for these meals. And if I ever do go past my RC, and it’s not handled via Back End comp, then I can just use my Express comps. Also not paying for a room, or any resort fees.

    So again, I open it up to the group for thoughts. What am I not thinking about, or what am I mistaken about with the above? I realize I have more play than many, and am probably treated better at MLife than many would be, and maybe that’s my answer? Maybe Diamond is too low, and it’s the Diamond Plus and 7 stars who are equivalent? But if so, for those folks, why CET?

    Anyway, this really is a point of curiosity for me. Also wondering if there’s something I’m missing out on from CET and shooting myself in the foot by staying with MLife.
     
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  2. Sfgiants13

    Sfgiants13 VIP Whale

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    To be honest I ask myself the same questions now. The diamond lounge was what set CET apart for me in the past. I got to know quite a few of the folks in there as well as many bartenders across the properties so it always felt weird staying somewhere else. I've been 7* a few years now and it used to be nice jumping the line for everything. Now they just group me in with diamond so it's nothing special.

    Bottom line is I've started moving play to Aria and more recently GSR in Reno. I get treated the same if not better than a 7* at CET. If Vegas keeps going downhill I will likely just play on the big multiplier weekends in other CET markets and play where I actually get treated decent. Then maybe if friends want to go I'll go to Vegas for a few days but otherwise Vegas just keeps finding ways to piss me off.
     
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  3. fugsworth

    fugsworth VIP Whale

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    I think your assessment pretty much nails the advantages and disadvantages of both programs. I think the piece you're missing is that, even here, relatively few people gamble enough to have a host or care about Diamond+ benefits and back end comps. Most of us are low rollers, low rollers are most interested in free rooms, and CET gives out free rooms to low rollers rather liberally. I'm not sure it's any more complicated than that.
     
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  4. EzE

    EzE Low-Roller

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    The main reason I've stayed with CET so long has been due to local properties. My local hosts have always been great and local property has always taken care of me well, while Vegas was at least acceptable offers. The cuts and treatment in Vegas over the past year had me questioning staying with CET and that my local was being sold off. I'm still considering changing to someone else for Vegas later this year, but seems they don't want me to go away yet. My local is going to stay a CET and my Vegas host for the first time in a decade reached out to me to increase my offers above what was in the app and by a crazy ridiculous amount. So I'll take advantage of the extra they are offering for now, but I'll diversify my trips to other properties over the year and figure out what to do in Vegas. I'll most likely split my trips between CET and another brand just in case they go back to the crazy low offers I dropped to in December 2020/Jan 2021. Offers are back up a bit, but not back to pre Covid levels, but with my host basically 4xing my offers its better than before for now.
     
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  5. DaiLun

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

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    The reason that I'm staying with CET at the Diamond + level is for the waived resort fees. It used to be the geographical diversity, but none of the places they added "excite" me.

    I am going back to my Pre-2015 routine of CET play in Lake Tahoe/Reno, and "other" in Las Vegas.

    I foresaw the decrease in benefits coming and shifted my play accordingly.
     
    Borgata Atlantic City - 2 nights comped
    (tentative) First HGS weekend
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  6. DJ Ran

    DJ Ran VIP Whale

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    I've been with CET for over 10 years now. It's no secret that the majority of people like them because you can gamble just a few dollars and receive free rooms. Keep in mind these are the same people that think the Flamingo is the greatest thing since sugarless gum.

    I've been Diamond/Diamond Plus for each of those 10 years. My offers are pretty decent and have remained constant year after year. My host in both Vegas and Atlantic City have always come through for me with every request I've asked for including front row seats for major headliners and free rooms for family members and friends. I'm fortunate to be comped 24/7 at any Caesars property. The biggest perks for me include the Diamond Lounge which unfortunately is no longer a factor because of the pandemic and something I could actually see being phased out totallt at least in the Vegas Market. No resort fees are a huge benefit. I don't believe any other major property in Vegas waives that fee soley based on the color of your players card. I also enjoy having the dedicated lines at the cages and the VIP check-in areas. In addition I like Caesars because they have so many properties scattered throughout the country all that we can visit and stay at for free. I have never given any play to M Life but I do have a trip coming up next week. Since they have extended their tier match promotion I am going to do that and give them some play just to see what kind of teasersoffer it generates.
     
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  7. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

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    I've mulled over almost all of those points a lot in the past couple years. For me, CET transparency kept me going to earn diamond. There was a specific goal to reach and an explicit and specific way to get there. At that point, I had pretty much guaranteed 5 nights comped for zero out the door any time I want, as often as I want. And prior to Eldorado merger, the benefits of guaranteed waived resort fees, valet parking, vip checkin, free early in and late checkout, annual dinner, free monthly show tickets and special treatment everywhere was just a much better deal at my play level. Adding to that, I strongly prefer the base level rooms in the nicer towers at Caesars Palace over the base rooms at any MLife resort, and never imagined they'd comp legitimate suites at my play level. So for me, it was better guaranteed benefits, better comps because they will always do 5 nights which is my preferred stay length in Vegas, generally, and you have to be special to MLife to get more than four. And it was guaranteed resort fee waiver whether on casino offer or not.

    So all that considered, MLife's biggest disadvantage was its mystery. With no guarantees, it seemed a much smarter play to devote $75,000 to CZR than MGM which may or may not give unknown returns. Even now that I've given MLife more regular play over the last 9 months, comps on rooms and resort fees still deviate pretty wildly from one month to the next in my experience. Turns out, at my play level they are far superior in the current state of things. And they will comp me legit suites I discovered, but at my level, it may require following the offers (for exa.ple they'll comp me the 1650 square foot suite at Luxor with no resort fees, but some nights only a base room at Bellagio, and only for 3 nights, and charge resort fees). At this point, with nearly all the diamond plus benefits I earned in terms of lounges, show tickets, buffet discounts thoroughly decimated, etc, all they really have to offer is resort fee waiver, but Eldorado has cut me out of the nicer rooms at Caesars Palace for the most part, while other properties I might consider are penny pinching on drinks, etc, so if MLife stay ends up costing me a little bit, I still feel better off. Hell Caesars wont even let me pay less than retail for one of the good rooms which is their biggest stupidity I've been ranting about for all time.

    I'd say in summation, back when they would give me the 650 square foot room at Caesars Palace with the jacuzzi tub, and let me come and go at whatever time I wanted for free, and give me some free show tickets, and line skips and a discount at the buffet, plus 5 or more hours oer day of free light bites and unlimited top shelf liquor for me and a guest in the lounge, and discounts and tier points for A list concerts that happened on site, all for a total of $0 out the door for 5 nights, that was a much more attractive prospect than 2 or 3 nights in a smaller more dated room at Bellagio for $51 a night, then a couple hundred or more for nights 4 and 5, and a net loss over a larger nicer room at the Palace even if they gave me 300 to 500 in resort credit and free play, which they didnt. It was hard for me to even accept a comp from Cosmo or Bellagio there for a while because they came with resort fees and just didnt treat me as well overall from a service standpoint. And I'd have to pay for that downgrade.

    All that said, between Covid and Eldorado, most none of that is true any longer, and has been reflected in my staying and playing habits. In 2019 I earned about 35,000+ CZR tier credits and stayed 29 nights nationwide. I ended 2020 with just under 10k TC at Caesars and just 5 nights, including the one at Harrahs Biloxi when we were there just 18 hours due to shutdown and I played more at Beau Rivage than Harrahs. MGM conversely I had a couple thousand tier credits and 0 nights in 2019, and 2020 I had 17 or 18 nights stay and finished a little over 2,000 TC shy of platinum. So far this year I already have 9 nights booked with MGM and just 3 at CET, and that's only because they gave me a specific offer with the good rooms at Caesars along with some free play and resort credit, which they almost never do, and it's on the same trip where I have 4 nights booked at MLife. And still, the CP stay is subject to be replaced by Cosmo or Wynn.
     
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  8. vegas superfan

    vegas superfan VIP Whale

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    CET offers me comped nights without a resort fee.

    MLife charges me a resort fee.
     
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  9. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    This should be a good thread. The above would be one of my top reasons. With CET, I KNOW I am not paying a $60 with tax resort fee on my "comped" room. I have had some offers from MGM with the resort fee, and some without, and I don't want to play the guessing game of how much more play will it take to get to the level of skipping the fee.

    No doubt there are advantages and disadvantages of both programs. One isn't head and shoulders over the other. I like that Diamond is much easier, for me, personally, to attain than Gold for MGM. In fact, I use my Diamond status to match to Gold MGM at Borgata.

    In the future, as Eldorado does their "thing" to the CET program, I imagine the pros of MGM could end up winning out for me, but not today.
     
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  10. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    Honestly I hate CET's player program. It gives away tier points and status of Diamond and above to everyone like free air. I don't want to play there with my hard earned money.
    But,...
    I am CET Diamond and low/no-played them every trip. I still get free rooms no resort fee, so it is still a good deal. Before COVID, they gave out free show tickets for Diamond. Not worth much, but still something for most people.
    Those are enough to make me choose CET over Mlife.
    Bad VP paytables, doesn't matter. don't play much on Strip.
    Cutback on drinks, doesn't matter. don't drink anyway.
    As people said above, rooms at CP not bad compared to most Mlife.
    Even those at Paris/PHo are OK. not as fancy as B/A of Mlife, but not significantly lower.
    So my next trip, I will stay at CP.
     
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  11. TrewBrew

    TrewBrew I may be right, I may be Crazy.

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    CET gives me totally free rooms. if I can eliminate a big part of our travel expense before we leave the house that is a great selling point for MrsBrew.

    Throw in a couple of free meals each trip and a free spa visit for her CET gives us a decent value for the trip.
     
    MrsBrew said no more Vegas….after this one
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  12. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    Pretty simple for me...

    1) Not a lot of work to get free rooms
    2) Three Caesars locations within 120 miles of home
    3) They give away tier points and Diamond status to everyone like free air
    4) The regional Laurel Lounges (even if it cost me 1000 RCs per) and regional specials (show tickets in LV, Harrah's yacht in Tahoe, etc) are valuable to me
    5) No resort fees or parking fees at Diamond (meaning I stay and park free... it preserves my bankroll to use for more gambling).

    I don't have a host, and don't want one because I prefer to flit around the city and come and go as I please (this past weekend, I stayed at Cromwell one night, California for three, rented a suite at Rio for the Super Bowl, but did a lot of playing at Aliente and Rampart). With a host, I feel compelled to stay on property, or at least within the corporation.

    I don't drink much, so the frequency and strength of free drinks and are irrelevant. I used to play more VP than I do now, but 95% VP vs 99.2% is meaningless to me... especially when playing 90% slots much of the time.

    To me, Caesars Rewards smashes exactly what I want and need in a rewards program. Assuming post-pandemic reopenings of the lounges and free LV shows, I see no reason to abandon them.

    Speaking of which... I am also Sapphire at Boyd and also work to retain my free rooms and modest dining credits, although the closest two Boyd casinos to me are 150 and 180 miles away. But as long as they also let me sleep and park for no charge and buy me an occasional dinner, I am more than happy with them, too.
     
    MJ's going to the Super Bowl (in Vegas)
    USBC Nationals, my portion
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  13. Astribling

    Astribling Alice In Casinoland

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    For me it's pretty simple. The only locals I have access to are CET. I can go there and earn RC and TC to use in Vegas. I can easily get to Diamond and that gets me no resort fees and free rooms almost anywhere in the country.

    Although now that I get to Diamond fairly quickly, I am spreading my play around to other places.
     
    Vegas in December, Yes Please! Hotel TBD
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  14. Basil

    Basil VIP Whale

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    Thanks, all. This has been interesting, and keep it coming!

    I'm realizing a major oversight now in my thinking: the resort fees. I assumed (incorrectly it seems) that most players at the Diamond+ level would be getting their resort fees waived at MLife. I based that from my experience, where I started getting these fees waived at Gold in MLife. But I also achieved gold in 1-2 trips per year. For those hitting Diamond+, but doing so with trips to locals, more frequent trips to Vegas, and/or tier credit bonuses, then the resort fees probably wouldn't be waived at MLife.

    That makes a lot of sense. I'd be hard pressed to pay a resort fee when I could get a room completely free across the street, unless the freeplay/RC made up for it. But by the time the FP/RC was offsetting the amount of the resort fee (plus the $100 diamond dinner), I'd probably be getting the fees waived anyway.
     
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  15. killswamper23

    killswamper23 Low-Roller

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    it's way easier to earn free rooms at CET (granted not as nice as higher end MLIFE) and I don't have to pay dirt bag resort fees. The lounges are a plus too in non covid times.
     
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  16. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    Our Vegas adventure started with stays at MGM for our first few trips. After staying at the new Aladdin we started splitting our stays between there and MGM. After Planet Hollywood took over my wife fell in love with the property and like they say happy wife happy life.

    Mark
     
  17. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    No resort fees...at $35/nt for a 3 night stay is $105 saved each trip. I stay with CET on the Strip about 4-5 times per year so that's a $420-525 bonus. Locally, in AC, I have a choice of 3 casinos which provides a nice change of scenery. All locations provide full pay vp. Because CET is in just about every market throughout the country, every other company will tier match my diamond status. Currencywise, diamond status is like the US dollar in dealing with foreign currency markets.
     
    PHX >> LAS
    Thank You, Wynn
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  18. vegasvstr

    vegasvstr VIP Whale

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    The point multipliers, larger set of national CET locations, diamond lounges, and guaranteed lack of resort fees on any booking with Diamond or higher are some of the main points that lured me in.

    However, beyond Diamond the tiers have diminished in the last year.
    The CET / Eldorado (and some others) cuts are cuts, whether due to penny pinching or in the guises of covid and most have not been replaced or have been (literally) watered down.
    Trying out some new places, may give Resort World some play when they open.
    Played Mlife a bit and offers seem similar except their random resort fees mysteries mentioned above. Actually getting some better room categories than CET.
    P. S. Being able roam to get credit between the multiple CET properties on the strip is a plus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
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  19. Brandt

    Brandt Low-Roller

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    This

    Also some of the non-vegas locations. I enjoy my trips to NOLA.
     
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  20. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 VIP Whale

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    A couple of Minnesota winters ago I decided to take a month long road trip to warmer weather. The CET people have casinos scattered throughout the U.S. so I was able to put together an itinerary so that I was able to stay at CET properties during my month's long vacation with the exception of three nights at non casino properties. All of my CET hotel stays were comped with no resort fee. I stayed for free at CET hotels in Kansas City, Phoenix, Laughlin, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Council Bluffs, Iowa. There is no way I could have done this as a MGM player. I have been a diamond level player at CET for several years now and diamond plus since they changed the various tier levels. Even when MGM has offered me a comped room I still would have had to pay the dreaded resort fee. I have been coming to Las Vegas four to six times a year for the past fifteen years(only three times last year) and occasional stays at other local CET casinos. I don't think I have had to pay for a CET property room for the past eight years...that's a lot of free nights. When I have attended the Kentucky Derby a couple of times, I have been able to receive comped rooms at the Harrah's Southern Indiana for part of my trips. Indeed, CET is generous in giving the lower and lower middle tier gamblers comped rooms. My needs/tastes are modest and my rooms at CET properties all have been satisfactory. The past couple of years I have been able to upgrade to a comped suite at Bally's in Las Vegas with nothing more than a smile and a polite request. I doubt that my level of play would afford me a free upgrade at MGM. The aforementioned, are the reasons why at least 80% of my casino play is at a CET property.

    Let's take a look and some other perks that CET has given me; first off are the diamond lounges. I can't begin to contemplate the number of comped drinks that I and my guests have consumed over the past several years and the number of friendships that I have forged during my visits to these lounges. These new friendships have greatly enhanced my Vegas experiences. The diamond lounge "buffets" are nothing special, but I always appreciate free food. The general managers club at the Horseshoe in Council Bluffs is a very nice lounge and their buffet has been most satisfying. I have spent many hours sitting at the Las Vegas Harrah's diamond lounge bar sipping side car cocktails and Bombay Sapphire gin and tonics, watching a ball game on TV and chatting with the bartenders and the other patrons. Diamond Lounges are another reason why I remain a CET player.

    The other benefits for diamond and above level players mentioned by others in this thread also play a role in my decision in staying with CET vs MGM. Some of the recent cutbacks during the pandemic have not made me happy, but I will remain optimistic for now that as things return to 'normal' that benefits such as diamond lounges, free show tickets and the rest will also return. I do hope that I will sometime in the near future be able to enjoy a comped Povert cocktail at Bally's lobby bar. MGM has some beautiful properties such as Mandalay Bay and the Bellagio, of which I always try to visit the conservatory displays and Gallery of fine art, but don't gamble there. With the Rio now open I hope to be able to return to their Wine Cellar on my next Vegas visit later this month. My many past visits to this place, drinking quality wine and chatting with the friendly employees have always been a highlight. It is true that the VP paytables at CET pretty much suck, but I have not found much better at MGM. I do have a couple VP machines in Vegas that have decent paytables at CET properties and I concentrate my play on these.

    These are my reasons/thoughts why I play at CET properties vs MGM's. My priorities probably are different from other gamblers on the board. I can't fault other people's decisions/priorities in choosing MGM over CET. Hey, it's your money, where people choose to gamble is fine by me.

    Wow, didn't realize that this is my one thousand post....far out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
    Pre-Turkey Day trip
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