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Update: As referenced below, unfortunately Hyatt elites are not eligible — you’ll need to earn status directly through M life in order to receive the annual cruise.

Recently, we’ve seen several rewards programs partner up, with airline, hotel and car-rental companies pairing off to bring their customers reciprocal benefits. Among them are Starwood and Delta’s Crossover Rewards, Starwood and Emirates’ Your World Rewards, Starwood and Uber’s partnership and United and Marriott’s RewardsPlus.

In 2013, MGM Resorts’s M life program, which operates hotels such as the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and ARIA, partnered up with Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society to offer reciprocal benefits between elite members of each program. Notably, the deal offers M life Platinum and NOIR elite members an annual complimentary cruise.

Now, it seems the two companies are expanding the benefits to cover Celebrity Cruises’ Captain’s Club program. Owned by Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises is often known as being a higher-end brand than Royal Caribbean’s namesake cruise line.

The details of the partnership are nearly identical to those for M life’s partnership with Royal Caribbean.

MGM Resorts and Celebrity Cruises announced a new partnership, offering reciprocal elite benefits and free cruises.
MGM Resorts and Celebrity Cruises announced a new partnership, offering reciprocal elite benefits and free cruises.

Some key benefits for M life members vacationing on Celebrity Cruises include:

  • Priority check-in for Gold and above;
  • Complimentary specialty dinner for Gold and above;
  • Complimentary onboard drink vouchers for Gold and above;
  • Onboard internet service for Platinum and above;
  • Annual complimentary cruise for Platinum and above.

M life Platinum members can book a 3, 4 or 5-night Bahamas or Caribbean cruise in an Oceanview Stateroom per year, while NOIR members get a 4, 5 or 7-night Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or Bermuda cruise on Celebrity Cruises or a 7-night Caribbean cruise for two on Royal Caribbean in a Balcony Stateroom per year.

Remember also that Hyatt and MGM Resorts have a partnership so that Hyatt elites receive reciprocal elite status with M life. Hyatt Platinum members receive complimentary M life Gold status, and Hyatt Diamond members receive M life Platinum status. Unfortunately, the free cruise benefit specifically excludes members who receive their status from a third party or another partnership, including Hyatt’s. If you’re a Hyatt elite, though, you’re still eligible for the rest of the benefits. Importantly, the Chase Hyatt Credit Card offers cardholders complimentary Platinum status, and therefore M life Gold status and select cruise benefits.

M life elite members of MGM Resorts, including the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, can get free cruises and other benefits.
M life elite members of MGM Resorts, including the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, can get free cruises and other benefits.

It’s refreshing to see two programs offer each other’s members as many benefits as these two do. Many of the cruise benefits add a significant amount of value. The star of the show is certainly the free cruise — that alone is often worth thousands, especially a week-long cruise in a Balcony Stateroom.

Even for travelers who get their status through the reciprocal program with Hyatt, many of the benefits deliver a significant amount of value. Priority check-in can save hours at the cruise port, and specialty dinners and drinks can be quite expensive on cruise ships. Ultimately, it’s great to see this partnership extend to the higher-end Celebrity Cruises brand — this is a great enhancement for M life and Hyatt elite members.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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