Casino gamblers know all too well the importance of casino players clubs. In recent years, these loyalty programs have evolved into extensive networks of cards, statistics, levels of play, and comps earned.
But the basic idea is still the same: “the more you play in our casino, the more freebies we offer to entice you to come back time and time again.” There is a marked difference, however, between the clubs these days and from the days of the dusty Fremont Street blackjack table – a difference that has taken advantage of the casino corporate takeovers of recent years. The new idea is: “the more you play in our casino, the more freebies you get in ANY of our casinos.”
If you play, for example, at Caesars Atlantic City, you are in effect playing at dozens of different casinos at the same time, earning the same comps, getting the same clout. Then, when you later decide you want to travel to sunny Las Vegas, you don’t have to build up your status all over again – it comes with you.
The two largest players clubs are Harrah’s Total Rewards and MGM Mirage’s Players Club. Total Rewards (which is accepted at Harrah’s, Caesars, and dozens others) is by far the largest and most widely-accepted. If you are interested in joining a casino players club, your best “bet” (no pun intended) is Total Rewards, since you instantly become associated with about 40 casinos worldwide. (By comparison, the next-highest rewards program, MGM Mirage’s Players Club, is accepted at just over a dozen casinos.)
The lowdown of the program: Most importantly, Total Rewards members can redeem their comps in all Harrah’s-owned casinos, which includes Caesars, Bally’s, Flamigo, Rio, Paris, and dozens more. To participate: get a card at a Total Rewards counter (they’re free) and present the card whenever you play.
Its also extremely easy to track your progress, and to see “where you stand” when it comes to your level of play. Total Rewards has four levels, depending on how much you play in a year: Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Seven Stars. For slot players, your level is based on your coin-in (not total loss), so you could leave a winner and still receive comps. If you coin-in $20,000 in a year at slots, you receive Platinum – $50,000 gets you Diamond, and $500,000 buys you the elusive Seven Stars.
Table game players are based on an algorithm that factors in time played, game played, and average minimum bet. Its a bit harder to exact your progress at table games, and you won’t know how much you’ve earned unless you ask a pit boss.
And that’s it. Once you get some statistics on your card, you can transfer them anywhere. And your points translate directly to “comp dollars” which are redeemable across Harrah’s roster. Slot players get $1 comp dollar for every $1,000 they coin-in.
Please remember, however, that coin-in is not based on your loss, its based on your play. If you coin-in $1,000 and win big, you might end up with leaving with both more money in your pocket and more comps in your bank. It is your lucky day!
Dirk Vanderwilt is the author of several travel guidebooks for the Tourist Town Guides series. Tourist Town Guides offer independent, honest advice about America’s top tourist hotspots.