Skip to content

The hottest ticket in Vegas isn’t for what you’d expect

July 01, 2021
4 min read
The hottest ticket in Vegas isn’t for what you’d expect
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Las Vegas is back, and you'll need luck on your side to score a ride around town.

No, the hottest ticket isn't a new nightclub, show or day club. Rather, it’s something you might not even consider until you’re stuck waiting around for what feels like an eternity: getting around.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

That’s right, calling an Uber, Lyft and — dare I say it — a taxi has become one of the most challenging parts of taking a trip to The Strip.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Work has taken me to Vegas twice since mid-May, and I struggled to get a car at multiple locations on both trips.

It starts at the airport, where wait times often exceed 20 minutes for a ride-share. Though there’s usually a long line of taxis waiting at the stand, it could still take some time to make your way to the front of the queue.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

My new hack? If you didn't check bags, request an Uber just as you’re pulling into the gate to ensure the car’s waiting in the garage by the time you make it there. Otherwise, you could end up baking in the summer heat as you wait.

Related: Why renting a car in 2021 is tough

The same story was true once I made it to The Strip. Despite calling multiple Ubers and Lyfts, wait times often exceeded ten minutes. I even tried queuing in the taxi stand, but it moved just as slowly.

In fact, the lack of readily available ground transportation almost caused me to miss my 7 a.m. flight back to New York. After my two-night stay at the brand-new Resorts World mega-resort, it was time to head home.

To learn more about the new Resorts World Las Vegas and hear what our team of three reviewers experienced, please click here.

Waiting for an Uber at Resorts World (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The first Uber I called couldn’t find the hotel’s entrance and then canceled. The next closest one was 13 minutes away. Fortunately, it showed up, but the driver was quick to point out that “this was hard to find.”

Meanwhile, the quoted wait for a taxi: 30 minutes to an hour, despite being just number three in the queue.

It appears that the issue at play is demand outstripping supply. With leisure travel quickly rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, there aren’t enough cars on the road to support the faster-than-expected recovery.

Many likely stopped driving during the height of the pandemic, and now they aren’t incentivized to hit the road again thanks to steady unemployment checks from the government and other factors. Some might've opted to exclusively deliver food via Uber Eats, and stop ferrying around drunk tourists.

Lines at the Las Vegas airport to get an Uber (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

(This isn’t just limited to ground transportation in Vegas — it applies nationwide, and includes airlines, hotels and restaurants that are struggling to ramp up staffing as well.)

When demand outstrips supply, the laws of economics say that prices rise. In Uber terms, that’s called “surge pricing” — which I’ve paid on every single ride I’ve taken in Vegas since the pandemic started.

Going forward, I might consider renting a car in Vegas, despite some of the hassles associated with the experience, like finding parking, taking the shuttle to and from the airport and filling up with gas before returning.

An empty taxi stand at Resorts World (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Other considerations that I'd recommend include having your hotel pre-arrange a car. It will cost you dearly, but less than missing your flight.

And of course, it's more important than ever to leave lots of extra time. Nobody wants to cut a vacation short but with long lines at airports, the last thing you can risk is waiting 30 minutes for a ride.

Next time, I’ll just try my luck at the casino and hope I win big. If I do, I’ll hire a limo to shuttle me around.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
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.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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 Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases