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Caesars Diamond and MGM Gold both waive resort fees now: Here's how they compare for non-gamers

Feb. 01, 2022
10 min read
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Editor’s note: Caesars Rewards no longer allows members to match Wyndham status obtained via a match from Caesars to match back to Caesars. See this post for more information.


The new MGM Rewards program launches today, Feb. 1, 2022, replacing the old M life Rewards program.

One perk of the new program that should excite World of Hyatt elites is waived resort fees for MGM Rewards Gold members. After all, World of Hyatt members can match their status to MGM Rewards, with Explorists and Globalists matching to MGM Rewards Gold.

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MGM Rewards isn't the only way to get waived resort fees in Las Vegas though. For example, my husband and I have been able to avoid paying resort fees when staying in Las Vegas over the last few years thanks to his Caesars Diamond status. So, now we have two casino elite statuses that offer waived resort fees in Las Vegas.

But, waived resort fees is just one of the many perks offered by MGM Rewards Gold status and Caesars Rewards Diamond status. In this guide, I'll discuss how to earn both of these casino loyalty program elite statuses. Then, I'll discuss how these statuses compare from the viewpoint of a traveler who has matched to the status and is primarily interested in the nongaming perks these statuses provide in Las Vegas.

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Earning casino status with hotel elite status

Bellagio Resort & Casino (Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)

It's possible to snag mid-tier elite status with select casino loyalty programs thanks to partnerships these programs have with popular hotel loyalty programs. Here are the two partnerships we use:

  • MGM Rewards matches World of Hyatt elite status as follows:
  • Discoverist matches to MGM Rewards Pearl
  • Explorist and Globalist match to MGM Rewards Gold
  • Caesars Rewards matches Wyndham Rewards statuses as follows:
  • Platinum matches to the Platinum Caesars Rewards Tier
  • Diamond matches to the Diamond Caesars Rewards Tier

Related: The new MGM Rewards program launches today: Here's what you should know, especially if you're a Hyatt elite

My husband has Caesars Rewards Diamond through a match from Wyndham Diamond, while I have MGM Rewards Gold through a match from World of Hyatt Globalist.

These two statuses are the sweet-spot tiers for getting waived resort fees, among other perks. Go here to match your Hyatt status to MGM Rewards (make sure you are logged out of MGM's site when doing so) and here to match your Wyndham status to Caesars Rewards.

However, note that Caesars Rewards no longer allows members to match Wyndham status obtained via a match from Caesars to match back to Caesars.

Now, let's look at the types of perks elites in these two programs can expect after matching their status.

Related: Hyatt members, listen up: Use this simple tip to avoid resort fees at 13 Las Vegas casinos

How MGM Gold and Caesars Diamond compare

ARIA Resort & Casino. (Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International)

MGM Rewards and Caesars Rewards are casino loyalty programs. So naturally, these programs offer perks centered around gaming.

But, for hotel elites who match their status, the gaming perks are likely much less valuable than the nongaming perks. So, in this section, I'll compare the nongaming perks of both programs for stays in Las Vegas.

Waived resort fees

Caesars Rewards doesn't charge Diamond members (and higher) resort fees on one room per stay. If you book directly, Caesars Entertainment waives the resort fee during the booking process.

Caesars waives the resort fee for Diamond members during booking. (Screenshot courtesy of caesars.com)

Meanwhile, MGM Rewards doesn't charge Gold members (and higher) resort fees on up to two rooms per trip when you book directly with MGM Resorts International.

However, while writing this article in late January, I tried to book an MGM stay for March. MGM should waive resort fees for me as a Gold member, so I was surprised to see resort fees listed on my booking. However, MGM Rewards' fine print on the new benefits notes that I might need to visit the front desk during my stay to confirm my eligibility for the waiver and request that MGM waives the fee.

(Screenshot courtesy of mgmresorts.com)

MGM Rewards is the clear winner for waived resort fees if you need two rooms on your Vegas trip. However, I appreciate how Caesars automatically takes off the resort fee during booking for Diamond members.

I hope that MGM Rewards will start automatically waiving the resort fee at booking for Gold members (and higher) now that the program is officially live. After all, if I have to wait in a long line at the front desk when staying at an MGM property — or have any issues getting my resort fee waived — I'll likely stay with Caesars on subsequent visits to Las Vegas.

Related: How to match your Hyatt status to MGM for free perks in Las Vegas

Upgrades

MGM Rewards Gold members can expect a "complimentary enhanced room upgrade at check-in, based on availability (room view, high floor, etc.)." Meanwhile, Caesars doesn't discuss upgrades as a benefit for Diamond members.

So, the upgrade benefit is technically better for MGM Rewards Gold members. However, in practice, I expect similar experiences. After all, while staying as a Diamond member at various Caesars properties in Las Vegas, my husband and I usually get rooms with at least decent views.

Related: How I leveraged Caesars partnership with Wyndham to extend expiring hotel points

Shows

Both programs promise some perks related to shows. For example, all Caesars Rewards members "get exclusive pre-sale access for select shows." And Caesars Rewards used to state on its benefits page that Diamond members were eligible for up to two free show tickets each month. But, although Caesars removed this perk from its website in 2021, Diamond members are still typically able to get two tickets for something (we were given a choice of the Linq High Roller or Bodies exhibit last fall).

MGM Rewards Pearl members and above get "complimentary tickets to select exclusive MGM Rewards concerts in Las Vegas," and all MGM Rewards members get "discounts to select shows (subject to availability)." However, before you get too excited about this perk for Pearl members, note that a footnote on this perk states:

"Offers will vary in terms of frequency, ticket types, number of tickets, location, dates, etc. based on member's Tier status and spend/gaming activity. Availability of tickets may be limited by capacity or otherwise and are subject to availability. Redemption instructions will be included in offer communication."

I recently asked Anil Mansukhani, MGM Resorts’ Vice President of Loyalty Marketing, about the concert perk for Pearl members and above. In discussing the perk, he noted:

"MGM Resorts is a leader in entertainment so it is important that we create unique and exclusive experiences for our members that they couldn’t get anywhere else on the Las Vegas Strip. While we’re still finalizing details, we can say that these concerts will feature well-known A-list artists and we’re looking to announce our first event very soon, which will be scheduled for April. These concerts will not be open to the public and will be exclusively offered to our Pearl+ members as a reward for their loyalty."

So, it seems that the concert perk will be provided via offers for specific member-only concerts. I foresee some MGM Rewards members booking trips to Las Vegas primarily to attend these concerts when artists they enjoy are performing.

Related: From zero to hero: Saving hundreds in Vegas with an easy status match

Parking

(Photo by Benét J. Wilson/The Points Guy)

Although I usually use ride-hailing services and public transportation to get around Las Vegas, many travelers who want to see the broader Las Vegas area rent a car. Luckily, MGM Rewards Gold members and Caesars Rewards Diamond members both get complimentary parking as follows:

  • Caesars Rewards: Free self-parking for Platinum members and above at Caesars properties in Las Vegas (valet parking is also free for Platinum members and above at some properties)
  • MGM Rewards: Free self-parking for Pearl members and above and free valet parking for Gold members and above at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas

MGM Rewards comes out slightly ahead on parking since Gold members and above get complimentary valet service at all Las Vegas properties. But, if you prefer to self-park, the benefits are equal.

Related: 4 things to know about how valet parking works right now

Other notable on-site perks

Finally, several other on-site perks may be appealing even if you don't game much or at all. For example, Caesars Rewards Diamond members get:

  • 15% off the best available advertised rate on rooms and suites
  • Access to priority hotel check-in and restaurant lines
  • Celebration dinner of up to $100 each benefit year

However, only nights booked through Wyndham will count as qualifying nights for earning Wyndham Rewards' elite status. And you'll usually need to book through Caesars to get your resort fee waived.

Meanwhile, MGM Rewards Gold members who earn their status from a match get:

  • Access to priority hotel check-in and buffet lines
  • Personalized offers and room discounts

MGM confirmed to TPG that World of Hyatt loyalists who also have MGM Gold status or higher can book stays through MGM in Las Vegas and opt to earn Hyatt elite nights and earnings while getting waived resort fees.

Related: Be careful how you book MGM hotels in Vegas; My mistake cost me a valuable Hyatt perk

Bottom line

Even if you don't plan to game much or at all on your next trip in Las Vegas, it's worth matching your Wyndham Diamond status to Caesars Rewards and your World of Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status to MGM Rewards.

The waived resort fees and shows have provided significant value to my husband and me when staying with Caesars as a Diamond in the past. But, now I'm excited to try out some MGM Rewards properties while still avoiding resort fees.

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

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