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November 12-19 "We should take advantage of diamond but we're poor trip" Report ;)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Gorkie4765, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    TL/DR - 4 Adults, Myself, Hubby, Sister & BIL squeezing in a cheap trip, 1st trip for Hubby's Sister & BIL, 6th trip for us….but before you ask - we tipped well, took tips out of our cash/bankroll - so they aren’t included in the trip report at all. We tipped, at least 20% every meal, including buffets


    Backstory: We are LOW ROLLERS - like $200 total for the two of us bankroll per day LOW ROLLERS, but CET still offers us free rooms - we are overcomped, and we know it, we go into a trip to AC or Vegas with little to no expectations based on our ADT.


    I travel extremely frequently for work and get to keep all of my hotel/air points. I matched my Spire IHG status to CET Diamond via Wyndham in March, Took Diamond card to Borgata in AC (We live in PA) and matched to Gold, also matched to GN Elite in Atlantic City. Took a 10 day trip with my parents to Phoenix/Grand Canyon/Vegas in May and purchased the America the Beautiful yearly pass ($80). Hubby was matched to my Gold Mlife card via linked accounts in Vegas. Hubby came home to Atlantic City and matched his Gold MLife back to Diamond for himself. Between the diamond status(es) and the bounce back offers we had we couldn’t pass up the chance to try to sneak in a second trip, but it’s almost Christmas and we needed to do things as cheaply as possible to have as much available cash for gambling as possible! We’ve been saving up comp money too.


    Starting in May we each redeemed $25 fine dining from MyVegas at Borgata in Atlantic City every time it was available. This gave us each $50 in comp money ($200 total) that we had transferred from our Borgata accounts to our Vegas mLIfe accounts when we arrived. We also took advantage of 10,000 ($100) CET RC’s promo for switching our electric supplier. Sister and I each switched to NRG power, each got $100 comp and then switched back to PECO when our term was done - we only did this because the rate was the same/lower than our current rate. Some of us low rollers were also getting $10 in comp money twice a month at Harrahs, which is only an hour drive from us. If we were in Atlantic City anyway we played at Harrahs and collected the comp money. We left for Vegas with just under $400 in CET comp money and $200 in mLIfe comp money, and Hubby had his celebration dinner to use.



    Two Rooms - $158 total for TWO rooms for 7 nights! Yay we don't have to sleep squished in one room - Tuesday to Tuesday - CET only allows 4 consecutive comp rooms - so I picked dates where we had to pay something for Friday and Saturday. Harrah’s Rooms - Hubby’s was $56, Mine+Sister as companion rate was $99 - we asked at check in to get adjoining rooms and were obliged. Both rooms offered ‘e-standby upgrades’ for 2 high roller tickets for $20. We were ‘granted’ our upgrade. Four people on the high roller for $40 (daytime only) . Diamond meant no resort fees. We paid $158 all in for two rooms that were priced at $1015 each. We saved over $1800 on the rooms alone.


    Flights $248 total - used my SouthWest reward points to get reward flights TO Vegas (Paid $26 fees, saved $1,160). Had to pay to get home from Vegas. Got WannaGetAway fares for $622 for all 4 of us. Cashed in my hotel points for Amazon gift cards (I get more points that I could ever use normally - redeeming for GC’s is a horrible point value!! Normal people shouldn't do this!!). Took $400 in Amazon gift cards and bought $400 in Southwest GC’s with them. Ended up paying $248 out of pocket for all 4 adults round trip. BIL couldn’t get time off of work and met us late Thursday night.



    Rental Car - $208 total - used Costco travel and kept checking, cancelling and re-booking as the price dropped. Ended up with a MiniVan for the whole trip for $208 all in. Costco Travel also includes second driver free - so either me or hubby could drive.
     
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  2. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Tuesday - Up super early on release day for Disney+, got a free year from Verizon. Downloaded the app from the airport wifi and quickly downloaded a couple of movies and re-lived our childhoods on the flight to Denver - by the time we landed in Denver it was crashed and we couldn’t get more downloads for our second flight - it was only 90 minutes anyway….


    While we were waiting for our next flight, Sister and I were discussing going to NYC to see a show in December - We like to get free tickets to live tapings and then shop Times Square. I checked 1IOTA app and found LIVE! With Kelly & Ryan was taping at Paris while we were in town. Applied for Sunday’s show on my account, applied for Monday’s show on Sister’s account. Was approved for Sunday immediately - wait listed for Monday.

    Arrived into town at lunchtime - starving and exhausted. Drove to Harrah’s - requested connecting rooms weren’t ready, check in rep told us they were ‘great rooms’ and we should wait for them to be ready vs getting something different sooner. We waited.

    Left Harrahs and drove to Fremont St. parked at Nugget (free parking with Elite Card). Tried hitting all of the ‘free spin’ machines on the street, no one won, but finding and trying them turned into a game for the remainder of the trip! Ate lunch at Binion’s Cafe - used a $25 comp from their app. Paid $20 for 3 of us, decided that we weren’t huge fans of lunch at Binion’s, but the breakfast from our last trip was very good!

    Dinner at Mirage Buffet. Used a 1 free dinner and a BOGO from MyVegas - 3 of us paid $35 in comp money. Saved $105

    When we finally picked up the room keys we were on the 20th floor of the Valley Tower, strip view with a view of the Mirage Volcano!

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  3. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

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    Wednesday - 4Q Magnolia’s Breakfast - redeemed $25 comp from their app. Paid $10 for 3 of us, Magnolia breakfast was great, but the coffee was too dark for us. Found and tried all of the ‘free spin’ slots again - still no winners (spoiler alert, no sidewalk free spin wins the whole trip) Sister lost her ID Tuesday night at 4Q, in the short walk from the players desk to the wall where we were waiting for her. No idea how she lost it. We purposely went back in the morning to check with security again to see if it was turned in. It was! She lost it at 2:30pm and it was turned in at 10:30pm that evening! After a 20 minute wait for the security desk to get it brought up from the vault area where they store lost and founds we were all set - and feeling luckier than the day before!!

    Left Fremont St and parked at NYNY to explore. Hit up the Hershey store, then went over to MGM to see how much they were paying at Television City. $20 pp - took us about an hour. Hungry after the morning of walking around - decided to get some of those ridiculously expensive Adult Milkshakes at Tap Sports Bar - paid $72 for 2 Shakes, Pretzel App & Wings App - but we had just earned $60 at Television City sooo…. Paid $12? Went back to the room for a while to relax, watched some Disney+ on my ‘travel’ fire stick that I keep in my luggage and ended up falling asleep.

    After our break we moved the car to Bellagio. Walked from Bellagio to Cosmo, signed up for cards, spun the wheel - nothing good - Hubby and his sister explored around, I grabbed a seat at the chandelier bar and played some VP. Kept myself afloat betting $1.25 for almost 2 hours on $40 before I lost it, when they came back to find me I had accumulated a few drink coupons, so we each ordered something in plastic to go. I chose Ciroc Frost & Cranberry - yummy! Sister was notified that she was approved for Monday’s taping of LIVE with Kelly & Ryan - now to decide which set of tickets to accept?!? We stopped in at PH to see what kind of show tickets we could get with the diamond benefit. Scored 4 tickets to Mat Franco for Sunday!! Cancelled Sunday’s 1IOTA tickets and accepted Monday’s for LIVE! With Kelly & Ryan. Bonus: Sister uses her 1IOTA app so often they gave us priority seats (front)

    Walked from Cosmo to Bubba Gump - Used $65 in GC’s (from Amazon/hotel points) towards dinner - paid $10. After dinner we took a slow walk from Bubba Gump, back past Cosmo to Bellagio, stopped on the walkway bridge and watched a fountain show (Lady Gaga)

    **Reminder** We do tip, and we tip 20% or more, I take tips out of my gambling cash so they aren't accounted for in my paid/savings totals.


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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  4. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

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    Thursday - Woke up, checked Facebook - HOLY COW the Wynn app FINALLY released buffet rewards yesterday! Grabbed 2 on my account, 1 on hubby’s. Drove from Harrah’s to Wynn (lazy I know). Paid $0, Saved $90

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    Left Wynn and drove to get our Dunkin fix - Day 3 without Dunkin hot tea - Hubby was in withdraw. Went to the Dunkin by the outlets past the airport. Took our time window shopping and drinking our tea/coffee & snacking on munchkins. Got some Christmas shopping done (separate budget lol).

    Stopped at Silverton on the way to Harrahs to try our luck off strip. We were down $600 so far. Not even winning enough to keep churning points. The “I’m not having fun” kind of gambling. Found a cool nickel VP game that featured split cards - that kept me playing for at least an hour - hubby and his sister checked out Bass Pro, the fishtanks , but we missed the Mermaids
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    Spent the afternoon back at Harrah’s and LINQ just for something to do. LINQ has a giant slot machine “The Millionaire Maker” right next to the check in desk - open Thurs-Sun - first spin free, second spin after you earn 10 tier points at LINQ. Sister won a BOGO buffet (good at ant CET except Caesars). Hubby and I both won BOGO high roller. Gambled at LINQ for a while - hubby won $100 on a bonus playing Black Lotus - first ‘win’ of the trip. Stopped at the Millionaire Maker again on the way back to Harrah’s - 1 spin each. 3 more BOGO coupons for high roller. Walked back to Harrah's - stopped at a Selexion Konomi machine right by the Harrah’s escalators, tried min bet on nickels - $2.25 - on the bee game - hit a bonus on the first or second spin, cashed out at $235. Still down for the trip, but at least we were holding our own today.

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    Ate a late dinner at Mandalay Bay - 3x 1 free MyVegas coupons. It was DEAD. Dozens and dozens of conference goers walking right by, no one entered. Food was sitting way too long under the heat lamps, We’ve been to MB buffet before and it wasn’t this bad!! Paid $0, Saved $85 - but we should have just ate somewhere else... Hung around MB until 11ish, lost some of our morning winnings, then drove to short term parking and waited to pick BIL up from the airport at midnight. Paid $4 for short term parking (lol)
     
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  5. Feedyourhead

    Feedyourhead Tourist

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    This is my kind of trip report! Very interested in what television city is lol
     
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  6. CoconutWilly

    CoconutWilly Newbie

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    Wow! Amazing trip on a shoestring. You should write a book on "Vegas on a budget"
     
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  7. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

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    Television City is inside MGM casino - they preview new pilot episodes to live audiences and you rate them. They pay you for your time. The payment is always different depending on the network they are working with - you get paid more for HBO/Showtime etc. $20 per person is the lowest we've ever been paid, it can go up over $100-$150 sometimes. There are employees hanging around by the strip entrances trying to recruit people. We walked up and said "how much are you paying today", he said "$20" we agreed and he led the way. We knew we wanted to waste time - and why not get paid doing it. We were waiting for my Brother in Law's flight and we didn't want to do anything too touristy without him.
     
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  8. Feedyourhead

    Feedyourhead Tourist

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    Wow that is right up my alley, awesome!
     
  9. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    Those milkshakes look amazing...but is any milkshake and an app worth $36? Only $6 with the comp...SOLD!
     
    Unexpected Craps Tourney
    and California, too!
  10. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

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    They are most certainly only for instagram. They were not worth the price we paid, and they were barely "adult" enough to be called "adult milkshakes". But my sister in law and I wanted to try them and we were just handed $60 in cash from the pilot screening - so... technically not a comp, but it didn't come out of the bank either!! The pretzel was VERY good though!
     
  11. Allee

    Allee Tourist

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    Loving this report!
     
    Annual trip!
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  12. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

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    FYI it appears there is a free cell phone waiting lot at McCarran. It's been a while since I picked someone up there, so I couldn't remember if I used a cell phone waiting lot, found an indiscriminate place to wait, or just chose to drive in circles until my friend arrived. I looked it up, and turns out there is a free lot...just in case you need it again later this trip.

    https://www.mccarran.com/Parking/CellPhoneLot
     
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  13. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

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    Thanks! We looked for signage, didn’t see anything that specifically said “cell phone lot”. Plus it was BIL’s first solo flight, his wife wanted to be waiting right outside of TSA for him just because they’re still newlyweds. If it were my husband picking me up from a midnight flight he would probably tell me to take an Uber and wake him in the morning . (I travel way too much for work independently)
     
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  14. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    Can't wait for more! I allocate about $200/day for my gambling also, and love all your info!
     
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  15. AyDee

    AyDee is getting too old for this

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    nice low roll report, and I appreciate the thoughts on tipping, though less than those you are tipping, I'm sure.
    hope you caught a good one and maybe pressed it up a little on a hot streak.
     
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  16. Gorkie4765

    Gorkie4765 Tourist

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    I find that tipping is the one thing that people tend to focus on when they read a trip report, at least I know I do. I'll write "I ate at Mandalay Bay for free with MyVegas, I saved $85". But really, no.... That meal cost us at least $16-$18, and since we tend to grab tip money out of our available cash it was probably a $20 bill - because there are times we end up with no $1's or $5's.
     
  17. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

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    omg a cupcake as garnish, why has this never occurred to me? I like the look of that Harrahs room. I'm there for one night next month, looks nice!
     
    12 hours at Harrahs first, then Cosmo!!
    MyVegas comp
  18. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Completely enjoying this Vegas on a budget report. Talk about maximizing value! That's my kind of trip.
     
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  19. Niteshade

    Niteshade VIP Whale

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    Great report - thanks for sharing!
     
  20. Geogran

    Geogran VIP Whale

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    Love all the innovative ways you ‘find’ extra moolah to do Vegas, the hunt sounds almost as much fun as the experience. :nworthy:

    Wishing you big wins and fun times :cool:
     
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