Waived resort fees and more: MGM Resorts unveils new “reimagined” loyalty program

Jan 6, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

A few days ago, my colleague Benji Stawski wrote about how MGM is significantly devaluing its M Life Rewards program. In that piece, he noted that MGM was using the name “MGM Rewards” interchangeably with “M Life.” Well, this morning, MGM Resorts announced plans to launch what it calls a “reimagined loyalty program” on Feb. 1, 2022. under the new name MGM Rewards.

The major highlights of the new program, aside from the new name, are new ways to earn and an improved guest experience. Here’s what you need to know.

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New ways to earn

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

M life Rewards currently offers Points, Express Comps and Tier Credits. You earn Tier Credits on most spending with M life Rewards. Meanwhile, Points can be earned on M life credit card spend and select gaming. And Express Comps can only be earned on select gaming.

However, once the new MGM Rewards program begins on Feb. 1, 2022, members will be able to earn MGM Rewards Points on gaming and non-gaming activity. In particular, MGM Resorts notes members will “earn Points on nearly all expenditures at MGM Resorts destinations,” including directly booked rooms, food, beverage, slots, video lottery terminals, video poker and table games. When gaming, MGM says you’ll “earn MGM Rewards Points based on your time played, average bet, and game type.”

Members will also earn Slot Dollars (previously called PointPlay in the M life program) in addition to MGM Rewards Points when playing slots, video lottery terminals and video poker machines. Slot Dollars earned will be based on length of play, average bet and game type.

MGM Resorts says you’ll be able to redeem MGM Rewards Points for rewards, including food, beverage, entertainment, spa experiences and hotel stays.

The current five elite tier levels at MGM will continue as Sapphire, Pearl, Gold, Platinum and NOIR.

The Tier Credits required under the MGM Rewards program will stay the same as before with the exception of Pearl status which will now only require 20,000 Tier Credits. This is 5,000 Tier Credits less than is required under the current program M Life Rewards program.

The breakdown for tier qualification will be as follows:

  • Sapphire: None
  • Pearl: 20,000 Tier Credits
  • Gold: 75,000 Tier Credits
  • Platinum: 200,000 Tier Credits
  • NOIR: Invitation only

From Feb. 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022, MGM will be offering a Tier Credit multiplier promotion at its Las Vegas resorts. During this promotion, members will get double Tier Credits. However, the Tier Credit earning rates for non-gaming activities in the new MGM Rewards program is considerably lower than it was in the M life Rewards program. For example, you’ll earn just 4 Tier Credits per dollar spent on nongaming activities starting Feb. 1, 2022. This is a significant drop from the 25 Tier Credits per dollar spent you can currently earn on non-gaming spend at Las Vegas MGM Resorts with the M life Rewards program.

Finally, MGM Rewards will count Tier Credits earned by members between Jan. 1, 2023 and Jan. 31, 2023, toward both 2022 and 2023 Tier Status earning. However, typically you’ll have a qualification year of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 to qualify for your tier beginning Feb. 1. Of course, once you reach a higher tier, you’ll enjoy those benefits for at least one year.

Related: You can get discounted rooms and free cruises with these Las Vegas casino loyalty programs

Improved guest experiences

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

Speaking of elite tier levels, MGM has stated that MGM Rewards will offer the following new perks:

  • Complimentary tickets to exclusive MGM Rewards concerts in Las Vegas for Pearl members and higher
  • MGM Rewards Points and Slot Dollars won’t expire due to account inactivity for Pearl members and higher
  • Waived resort fees for Gold members and higher (for up to two rooms, when booking direct)
  • Access to exclusive tier appreciation events and experiences for Gold members and higher
  • Annual air travel credits to Las Vegas for Platinum members and higher (up to $600 for qualifying Platinum members and up to $1,200 for qualifying NOIR members)
  • One advanced suite upgrade for up to three nights each year if you are a Platinum member or higher
  • 4 p.m. late checkout (based on availability) for Platinum members and higher

Additionally, members who earn Gold status or higher — based on 2022 spending — will unlock “New Tier Advancement Celebration Dinners and access to exclusive tier appreciation events.” MGM Resorts also noted that it will offer an “enhanced MGM Rewards app” and “smart integration between MGM Rewards and BetMGM.”

In announcing the new MGM Rewards program, MGM Resorts noted partnerships with Hyatt Hotels, Southwest Airlines, Avis Rental Cars, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

As a World of Hyatt Globalist who earns MGM status by matching Hyatt status to MGM, I’m pretty excited about several of the improvements noted above. Since World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist will match to MGM Rewards Gold (as they currently do with M Life Gold), I’ll get waived resort fees and complimentary tickets to MGM Rewards concerts as long as I hold World of Hyatt Explorist or higher status. Although it’s unclear what the concert perk will look like, waived resort fees will be extremely useful in Las Vegas.

Finally, many of the perks of M life Rewards will remain. For example, Pearl members and higher will still get access to complimentary self-parking at participating MGM Rewards Destinations, subject to availability. And Gold members and higher are eligible for a complimentary enhanced room upgrade at check-in, based on availability.

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

Bottom line

Anil Mansukhani, MGM Resorts’ Vice President of Loyalty Marketing, said, “MGM Rewards was developed as a direct result of customer feedback and now offers more ways to earn, more ways to redeem, and more exclusive benefits at MGM Resorts’ 20+ destinations nationwide.”

As a World of Hyatt loyalist who matched to MGM and will occasionally use the perks to stay in Las Vegas, I’m hopeful about the new program. After all, not paying resort fees in Las Vegas when staying with MGM is huge. However, if you got a lot of value from earning 25 Tier Credits per dollar spent on non-gaming activities in Las Vegas with the M life Rewards program, it’s likely you’ll be disappointed with the upcoming changes.

Featured image courtesy of MGM Resorts.

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