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

June 23, 2021
4 min read
Be careful how you book MGM hotels in Vegas; My mistake cost me a valuable Hyatt perk
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What could go wrong with a seven-hour overnight in Las Vegas?

For some people, it's a string of bad luck in the casino. For others, maybe it's one too many drinks. For me — a full-time traveler — it's missing out on elite credit.

In advance of an early morning preview of the newly expanded Amex Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas, I spent a very short night at the Delano. I checked in late at night and left around 4 a.m.

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Despite the short stay, I maximized all my perks by booking through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program (FHR). As a cardholder of The Platinum Card® from American Express, I had access to the FHR suite of benefits, which included a ton of valuable amenities, including early check-in, guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, an up to $100 food and beverage credit, free breakfast and more.

In fact, the $100 dining credit nearly offset the entire $109 stay (minus the resort fee, of course). I even prepaid through the Amex Travel portal to earn 5x Membership Rewards, worth $11 according to TPG's valuations.

Almost as big of a win as doubling down on an 11 and pulling a face card.

Since I was staying at the Delano, which is an MGM resort and a member of the M Life Rewards program, I asked to add my World of Hyatt membership number at check-in. This way, I could earn elite night credit and Hyatt points towards requalifying for Globalist status. (Hyatt and M Life have a partnership that allows members to earn points and match status between programs.)

This would be on top of the FHR perks I'd receive by booking through Amex, representing a fantastic double-dipping opportunity.

Related: Complete guide to the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program

Well, fast forward two weeks since checkout, and the elite night credit hadn't posted to my World of Hyatt account. I filled out a missing stay request, and much to my surprise, my request was denied.

"The rate you paid was an Ineligible Rate and therefore does not count toward earning Tier-Qualifying Night credits or points," read the email I received a few weeks later.

(Photo by Lucky-photographer / Shutterstock.com)

Based on reader reports and anecdotal evidence from the TPG team, I thought I'd been short-changed. In the past, I've received World of Hyatt elite credit for FHR rates at Hyatt.

So, I turned to a World of Hyatt spokesperson to find out what happened.

Unfortunately, the spokesperson confirmed that there's an interesting nuance to the M Life partnership. For a night at an M Life property to be eligible to earn World of Hyatt credit, it must be booked directly through either MGM, M Life or Hyatt. Third-party rates, including those booked through Amex, do not qualify.

As a result, my Fine Hotels and Resorts booking at the Delano was indeed an ineligible rate, and I wouldn't receive any elite credit or points.

Note that this just applies to the MGM properties in Las Vegas, not any Hyatt-branded hotels.

If I'd booked a Hyatt property through FHR, like I've done before at the Park Hyatt in Paris and others, then I would've earned World of Hyatt credit, according to the spokesperson.

Though I didn't earn any World of Hyatt credit for my night at the Delano, the FHR benefits far outweighed the elite credit I forfeited.

Now, I'll start packing for a night in a Hyatt property elsewhere to make up for the one that I missed in Las Vegas.

Featured image by Jim Decker
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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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees