Despite being one of the most valuable parts of the casino for a player, promotions and rewards programs are often overlooked. And why? Bitch, get it together. It’s free money and accommodations. By enrolling in rewards programs, you’re setting yourself up for perks like free meals, shows, rooms and sometimes even flights.

The best part? You get these things by spending money you were going to spend anyway. Let’s get on it.

MLife, Total Rewards, and Beyond

The first thing you need to do whenever you step foot in a casino and plan to spend money, whether it be on gambling or food and entertainment, is to sign up for the property’s rewards program. This lets you earn rewards at that casino and hotel for… pretty much anything you do. By creating an account, which only takes about 3 minutes, you instantly start to earn points towards loads of promotions, including free hotel stays, free entertainment, and much more.

You can also get special rates on hotel rooms when you book with your rewards card. The two biggest programs are MLife (through MGM) and Total Rewards (Caesars). MLife properties in Las Vegas include Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, The Mirage, Delano Las Vegas, New York-New York, Luxor, and Excalibur. One MLife card works for them all.

Total Rewards properties in Las Vegas include Harrah’s, Nobu Hotel, The Cromwell, The LINQ, Bally’s, Ceasars Palace, Flamingo, Rio, Paris, and Planet Hollywood — they, too, operate with one Total Rewards card. Every other resort and casino, including places like Wynn and Encore, Cosmopolitan, The Palms, and The Venetian and Palazzo, have their own rewards programs. You’ll have a bag full plastic, but it’ll be worth it.

Using Your Rewards Cards

You’re a bad bitch like me. You get to a Vegas property and go straight the customer service desk and get one of those player rewards cards, because they can’t offer you free stuff if they don’t know what you like to do (or how much you spend). It’s just a credit card looking device that tracks your play and spending, and to use it, just hand it to the dealer or insert it into a slot machine so that all your play is tracked.

The idea behind the card is to reward you for your play. The more you play, the more rewards you can get. Pretty simple. I routinely get mail and email offers from every casino I have a player rewards card at offering me discounts, free tickets to events and even free nights at their hotel. They want me to stay and play with them, not with the other guy; they’re basically letting me stay for free so I can spend money gambling. But the beauty is you don’t have to gamble to use those rewards. If you want to get out of town for a weekend, having one of those free nights for a hotel room comes in handy.

Play Where You Want to Stay

If you plan on doing a lot of gambling, the best thing to do is play where you want to stay. If the casino recognizes that you’re a fan of theirs, they’ll usually give you free rooms. They do this for two reasons. They want you to spend money at their casino. They’ve got a house edge; they know they’re going to get paid in the end (unless, say, you’re being a bad bitch at poker or Blackjack, then you’re in the driver’s seat). They just want you there, because you can’t spend money through them if you’re somewhere else.

The more you spend and gamble, the more you’re comped — but you don’t have to log much activity to get decent offers through most programs. They’re pretty liberal about trying to get you to show up.

Promotions? Just Ask

Promotions are always laid out for you, but they aren’t a secret, either. It’s a good rule to ask about promotions anytime you’re gambling or plan to spend money. There is almost always something going on, from free plays to buffet passes to slot tournaments.

Also, make sure to pay attention to signs in the casino and the elevators, it’s possible they are advertising promotions that an employee may forget to mention.

Anyone Can Get Rewards

There’s a false perception that you need to be a baller to get the casinos to notice you. Not True. As long as you’re using your rewards card to play, shop and eat at a casino, the database will notice, and you don’t need to spend a shit ton to get decent rewards. Spend time playing games with your girls while drinking comped G&T’s means you’re on your way to free shows, meals, and suits.

You can even earn rewards without spending a single penny from the comfort of your own home by playing the MyVegas app on your phone.

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