A few weeks back we learned that MGM Resorts is launching an all new loyalty program. I wanted to recap the basics of the new program, given that it’s “live” as of today, February 1, 2022.
Let me state upfront that I’m not a huge Las Vegas fan, so this isn’t the topic I’m most passionate about. However, on balance I’d say that these changes are bad news for those who are actually loyal to MGM, while I’d say they’re good news for World of Hyatt members, thanks to Hyatt’s partnership with MGM. Let’s go over the basic details of the new program.
MGM Rewards replaces M life Rewards
The first major change with MGM’s new loyalty program is the name — the program is now named MGM Rewards, replacing the previous M life Rewards branding. Frankly I appreciate how straightforward the name is, as there’s not much effort required to remember the name of the program.
MGM Rewards elite tiers & benefits
MGM Rewards continues to have five elite tiers, though they feature refreshed perks, as follows:
- Those with fewer than 20,000 Tier Credits receive MGM Rewards Sapphire status, which offers the ability to earn points, discounts at select shows, and the guaranteed lowest room rates when booking direct
- Those with 20,000-74,999 Tier Credits receive MGM Rewards Pearl status, which offers invitations to member-only experiences, complimentary self-parking at participating destinations, and complimentary tickets to select concerts
- Those with 75,000-199,999 Tier Credits receive MGM Rewards Gold status, which offers waived resort fees when booking direct, a $100 Tier achievement celebration dining experience, and complimentary enhanced room upgrades
- Those with 200,000+ Tier Credits receive MGM Rewards Platinum status, which offers up to $600 in air travel credits to Las Vegas once per year, a $200 Tier achievement celebration dining experience, and an annual complimentary cruise on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises
- MGM Rewards has invitation-only Noir status, which offers up to $1,200 in air travel credits to Las Vegas once per year, a $500 Tier achievement celebration dining experience, and complimentary transportation to & from the airport with each stay
Of all these changes, personally I think the most exciting development is that resort fees are now waived for Gold members and above. This can make a huge difference, given that virtually all hotels in Las Vegas have resort fees, and in many cases they’re steep.
MGM Rewards greatly cuts points earning potential
Here’s the bad news. For those looking to earn rewards with MGM’s loyalty program, previously you earned 25 Tier Credits per dollar spent on hotel stays, dining, entertainment, and spas. With the new program you earn just four Tier Credits per dollar spent on those purchases, which is an absolutely massive devaluation.
Clearly the aim is to heavily incentivize gambling, because that’ll be the easiest way for members to earn Tier Credits. The good news is that this shouldn’t impact World of Hyatt members, who choose to earn World of Hyatt points for their Las Vegas hotel stays.
How Hyatt loyalists can benefit from this
As I said above, I’m not a big Vegas person, but there is one aspect of this that most piques my interest. Hyatt & MGM have a partnership, which includes status matching. World of Hyatt Globalist & Explorist members receive Gold status with MGM, and that continues to be the case with the new program. Gold members receive waived resort fees.
Weekday rates at Excalibur are regularly ~$21 per night, plus a $35 resort fee.
With the new program, Gold members no longer have to pay that fee, so you can actually stay at a hotel for ~$21 per night. But it gets better than that — thanks to the Hyatt & MGM partnership, you can earn World of Hyatt elite nights and points for these stays.
Going to Las Vegas is now truly the cheapest way to maintain Globalist status. Practically speaking, the catch is that:
- Weekday rates are way lower than weekend rates, so you’ll only get this kind of pricing if you’re staying for a couple of nights at a time
- This could be a useful mattress run opportunity for Las Vegas locals, but for others the value of this won’t be that huge
This isn’t a case of checking in once for two months and paying $1,200 to maintain Globalist, but it’s still an intriguing opportunity…
MGM’s loyalty program has been refreshed as of today (February 1, 2022), with the introduction of MGM Rewards. Elite benefits have been adjusted, and perhaps most exciting is that Gold members and above receive waived resort fees when booking direct. Thanks to the partnership between Hyatt & MGM, World of Hyatt elite members should benefit from these changes.
The bad news is that for those actually loyal to MGM, earning elite status through non-gambling means is significantly more difficult.
What do you make of these MGM Rewards changes?