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Feel Like a High Roller: How to Skip the Lines in Las Vegas

Jan. 05, 2019
9 min read
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Las Vegas can be the ultimate party destination. Slot machines and blackjack tables give way to top-rated restaurants, massive pool parties and night clubs with famous international DJs. With so many hotel rooms in Las Vegas, the crowds can be overwhelming, especially during major events like NASCAR races or the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). If you're headed to Vegas, how do you avoid spending the entire time standing in line? We're glad you asked. Here are some of our favorite ways to save time while you're traveling around Las Vegas.

Skip the Lines at the Hotel and Casino

Walk into most Vegas casinos, and the first thing you'll see (after the bling) is the check-in line. It's followed by lines for restaurants, shows and pretty much everything else. Don't wait in those lines.

Get Hotel Status

Casino loyalty program members enjoy some pretty rewarding benefits. Free parking and room discounts are the tip of the iceberg, but you'll also get access to VIP lines at check-in, restaurants and sometimes even taxi lines with programs such as Caesars Total Rewards and the MGM Resorts M Life program.

Don't worry if you don't gamble a lot. Obtaining casino loyalty status is easier than ever for non-gamblers. You may qualify for a status match opportunity if you have elite status with many of the major hotel chains, even via a co-branded credit card. Hyatt elite status matches to M Life, for example, and Wyndham Rewards matches to Caesars Total Rewards (and a number of program match to Wyndham Rewards).

If you hold Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status, you can match that to M Life Gold status. The process to match your status is easy but must be done on a yearly basis. M Life Gold status will get you access to, among other things:

  • Priority hotel check-in lines
  • A dedicated line at buffets
  • A dedicated line at some full-service restaurants
  • Priority reservations at fine dining restaurants
  • VIP line access at select nightclubs for you and a guest

Alas, you unfortunately won't get access to the VIP taxi line with your M Life Gold status. Before a recent change, Hyatt Globalist members used to get Platinum status. If you're a bit of a high roller or big spender, M Life Platinum still does get access to those ultra-short taxi lines. For everyone else, Uber or Lyft may be your best bet to skip those notoriously long taxi lines.

Even if you don't have Explorist or higher status with Hyatt, you can earn M Life Pearl status by holding the World of Hyatt Credit Card (by way of the Discoverist status that comes with that credit card). You can also get a head start on earning Explorist status with the five elite night credits that come with the World of Hyatt credit card and the ability to earn more when you charge on the card.

Caesars Total Rewards members enjoy similar benefits to M Life, but you'll need to be a bit higher up the food chain. Having Total Rewards Diamond status will allow you to cut many of the same lines, and Wyndham Diamond status can get you a status match to Total Rewards Diamond.

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Don't have any hotel status? You can also apply for the Founders Card to get Caesars Total Reward status. Bottom line, let your hotel status at nationwide chains helps you bypass those lines.

(Photo by melissamn / Shutterstock.com)
(Photo by melissamn / Shutterstock.com)

Use the Express Check-In Kiosks

If leveraging hotel elite status isn't an option for your trip to Vegas, scout out the express check-in kiosks at many hotels in the city. Check-in lines can be brutally long at peak times, so use technology to your advantage. Some hotels don't have the best reputation for working kiosks, however, so keep an eye on the people at the front of the kiosk line before picking your kiosk.

Watch for Virtual Lines

Casinos in Las Vegas want you to do anything else but stand in line. It's one of the very few activities where they can't actively collect money from you. That's why some casinos have started to roll out virtual lines for restaurants and other amenities. The Bacchanal buffet at Caesars, for example, wins plenty of awards for being the best buffet in Las Vegas. As a result, those without a reservation can wait hours to get a spot. Instead, head to the Freshtxt kiosk located outside the Bacchanal entrance and register for the line that way. You'll still have to wait, but you can do some gambling or shopping while you do.

Dodge the Night Club Queues

Night clubs are big business in Las Vegas. For years, Tao Las Vegas was the largest grossing single restaurant location in the country. With so many people trying to get into the hottest clubs, how do you make sure you get in, and make sure you're at the front of the line?

Improve Your Ratio

Women still get preferential treatment in many Vegas clubs. Having a ratio of 1:1 or better (that's at least one woman for every man) in your group is one way to increase the chances you won't have to wait in line for hours to get into the club.

Order Bottle Service

Some clubs will allow you to buy a ticket ahead of time or reserve a table by agreeing to purchase bottles of alcohol. It's an expensive way to secure yourself a quick entrance and your own private space. But, if you're committed to spending money already, bottle service and paid reservations will open a lot of doors.

Work With a Host or Promoter

There's a group of hosts and club promoters that can help you avoid the lines at many of the most popular clubs. If you already have a casino host, that can be a good place to start. If not, the internet (especially Instagram) may help you hunt down a host or promoter.

Dress Like a VIP

One final note. Make sure you dress for success. Many clubs have a dress code. How much you're paying and who you call may not matter much if you show up to a hot club in shorts and a T-shirt.

Photo courtesy of Tao Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy of Tao Las Vegas.

Avoid Wait Times While Sightseeing

Plenty of folks come to Vegas for shows, attractions, aquariums and more, only to find the show or attraction is sold out of advanced purchase tickets. As a result, many travelers will stand in long lines for a chance at a last-minute ticket to a popular show or attraction.

Buy the Right Pass

If you know that you want to hit a number of attractions around Las Vegas, there are a couple of passes that save money and also give purchasers access to some VIP (read: shorter) lines. The Las Vegas Pass is one option. And the Las Vegas Explorer Pass also provides some level of VIP access. There are other versions as well, but they all fall into roughly the same category, in that you'll only get enough value if you plan to really use these passes to the max. Just using them to cut the line won't really be worth the cost.

Hire Someone to Wait for You

If you know the lines are going to be especially long to grab tickets for a show or concert, you can also consider a service such as Task Rabbit or Fiverr to find someone willing to stand in line for you.

Get Coffee Quick

Lastly, don't forget about your trusty Starbucks app if you need a cup of coffee, because the lines for Starbucks can be Disney-level-terrible in the morning. (Or early afternoon. This is Vegas, after all). The mobile app is your friend to cut past those long lines and grab your coffee to-go.

Breeze Through the Airport

McCarran International Airport (LAS) is one of the largest airports in the country. It moved more than 23 million people in 2017. The lines can get very long, but fortunately, you have a few familiar options to help cut down your wait.

TSA PreCheck is available at all security checkpoints in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. There are plenty of credit cards that can make that pesky sign-up fee for PreCheck disappear, so there's no good excuse to be caught at McCarran without it. While the TSA PreCheck hours of operation in Las Vegas are some of the longest in the country, it's important to note that the TSA PreCheck line at A/B has some funky operating days and hours.

CLEAR is also available at McCarran. CLEAR is a yearly subscription service that has become much more relevant for travelers, and can help you skip the line at dozens of airports and even sports stadiums. As CLEAR has grown in relevance, even some of our most advanced travel experts have signed up. If you've signed up for CLEAR, be aware that the A/B concourse doesn't have their own CLEAR lane. However, you can enter through the C concourse and connect to both of those concourses with a bit of walking.

The Bottom Line

Las Vegas is the city of neon, gambling, restaurants, shows, clubs and lines. But you can avoid most of the lines if you use the tools above. And, if all else fails, remember that in Las Vegas, cash is king. You're more likely to need a Jackson than a Benjamin to get where you're going. But, in Vegas, don't be surprised by anything.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
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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1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
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  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.