Sabtu, 03 November 2012

The Players Card or Rewards Card in Las Vegas: How to Use It to Your Advantage

'What on Earth is that plastic thing everybody is foolishly sticking into the slot machine? Why bother? What a silly, useless promotional gimmick it is!'

This is what we used to say to ourselves the first couple of times we visited Las Vegas. First of all, we made the cardinal mistake to assume we'd never go back, but once you go to Vegas, you will return to Vegas! Secondly, we made the mistake of assuming that the accumulation of player's cards points is only useful for return visits or if you play hundreds and hundreds... And hundreds of dollars!

Those assumptions cost us money and promotions... Bad mistake.

What is a Players Card? It's a plastic card you will be given at casino marketing on the casino floor once you sign up with them (it's really easy: make sure, of course, to give them your real name and surname, since most promotional material and 'freebies' will require an I.D.). You will then use this card every time you play, whether at slot machines or at the tables; if you forget it in the room, run to casino marketing and ask for a duplicate (very easy to do), since every time you play you will want the casino to have a 'record' of it.

If you are a new visitor you will receive a plethora of promotions, from free buffets to free play either at sign-up or after a few gambling points. If you are a recurring visitor, the points required will be higher, but the promotions become much more interesting, mostly to do with free stay, VIP treatment, free upgrades or slashed room or suite rates.

If you are unsure how many points you have accumulated, this will be clear the moment you insert your card in any modern slot machine, as soon as the computer reads your card. So, keep an eye out on the points you have amassed and do the math: it's better to play at casinos where your points give you more or better promotions, or whether you need fewer points to obtain the same deals, than in casinos where it's near impossible to get anything for free once you become a recurring player, with the exception of some minor reduction in the room/suite rate (as in the case of Wynn or encore, for example, as our own experience would suggest).

The Caesar's Entertainment Group (Paris Vegas, Caesar's Palace, Harrah's, Rio Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Flamingo, Bill's Gambling Hall, Imperial Palace) rewards their gamblers slightly differently than the MGM group (Aria, City Centre Vegas, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Monte Carlo, Excalibur, etc) or any other Vegas groups or individual hotels and casinos they often have temporary promotions whereby the quick accumulation of points by a certain cut-off date will give you free buffets or free tickets. Asking when you arrive is always a good idea. To play safe, so to speak, we joined at every Vegas casino or group, although if you are 'clever' you wait to join until the casinos offer great deals for newcomers; however, this may not be possible (not everybody has the luxury of frequent Vegas visits or permanent residence there!). After that, we played more where we know we're more likely to be and, since we're now 'seasoned' players and visitors, where we know we'll be offered the best promotions.

If you are fan of Venetian of Palazzo, for example, and love its casino, you'd be better off playing most of your time there in order to receive their email offers.

At the same time, when you are in Vegas, look around for special nights where your gambling is rewarded 6 or even 10 times more than any other nights: this is the case for some off-Strip casinos and it's a favourite move to attract Vegas residents.

As a rule of thumb, if you are a moderate player you'll be better off sticking to your favourite resort group, hotel or casino and play there; concentrate your playing time in one night or so, in order to show that you are a 'serious' player (they seem to rewards heavy players in short amounts of time than those who gamble a few minutes here and there, even if the money you spend is the same).

If you are an avid gambler, then you can play less selectively, but maximizing your points for the right type of promotions is of course a strategy which can deliver free rooms (comped rooms, in casino terms), discounted rates, free dining and free buffets, all part of the Las Vegas live-like-a-celebrity-experience.

Find out more on HOW TO GET FREE STUFF IN VEGAS, a free short guide to maximise your chances of free or VIP promotional deals in Las Vegas.

HOW TO GAMBLE IN VEGAS is a free short and simple guide to casino gambling in Las Vegas.

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