You’ll have a lot of coronavirus safety considerations to weigh before you pull out your travel rewards credit card and book your next trip to Vegas. But once it’s safe to head to Sin City, the bargains can start before you even set foot on a plane. You could arrive in Las Vegas with credits for a couple of free buffets and $150 in free slot machine play at your MGM hotel. You can do this by playing the free online games of MyVegas, a collection of four “online casinos” within the M life Rewards gaming program of MGM Resorts, which includes MGM Grand, Bellagio, Luxor, New York–New York, Mandalay Bay and a half-dozen other world-famous Vegas properties. Use MyVegas alongside other deals and benefits offered by the traditional M life Rewards program, and you've got yourself setup for a reward-maximizing Las Vegas vacation.
MyVegas’ free online casinos are:
The games are easiest to play on the mobile apps, although MyVEGAS slots and myKONAMI slots can also be played through Facebook on computers.
These virtual casinos are easy to navigate. You simply sign in and choose whether you want to play games or explore rewards. If you want to view the rewards, you can sort by category, amount or casino partner.
The dashboard shows you all of your statistics. There are two counters that you need to keep your eye on: your chips and your loyalty points. The chips are what you use to play the games and, based on the rate and amount of play, you’ll earn loyalty points, which can be redeemed for actual prizes at M life Rewards properties and partners.
The apps are all free and there is no need to spend money in them, although MyVegas will try to sell you chip packages. The games give you plenty of ways to get free chips each day, including:
Daily chip bonuses for logging in.
Emails with links to free chips.
Links to complimentary chips on social media.
Other in-game bonuses.
Invite (or join) your friends (the more friends you have, the more bonuses you can collect and send).
You can spend five minutes or five hours each week on the games. When you are first getting started, you’ll earn only a few loyalty points at a time. As you get deeper into the games, you’ll have to bet more chips to earn loyalty points, and the amount you can win goes up as well.
Games, chips and loyalty points, oh my!
To get the most chips possible, you should download all four apps and sign in to each one daily to get the log-in bonuses (it only takes a minute). You’ll also get additional bonuses based on your daily sign in “streaks” — the number of consecutive days that you sign in.
Loyalty points carry over from app to app. For example, if you earn 100 points in myVEGAS blackjack and 100 loyalty points in myKONAMI slots, your total account will have 200 loyalty points. Chips do not carry over from app to app. If you run out of chips in the myVEGAS casino, you can’t borrow from POP! Slots. At first, that may frustrate you. But eventually, you’ll be happy that the rule exists since it becomes that much more difficult to go through all of your chips.
What can I earn?
The best thing about MyVegas is the rewards. There are hundreds available, with the more valuable ones costing more points. Prizes include:
Meal or buffet credits.
Free play on casino slot machines ranging from $25 to $100.
Unique experiences and merchandise.
Have 1,000 loyalty points? That will get you a discounted room rate at several properties. 10,000 will get you small discounts at restaurants or a variety of two-for-one deals. A $100 slot credit will run you 400,000 loyalty points.
Every so often, MyVegas will put some truly crazy prizes out there. A few years ago, for instance, there was an opportunity to be retweeted by Shaquille O’Neal for 10 million loyalty points — there aren’t too many players in that range! More recently, you could get a private go-karting event at the Pole Position Raceway for 750,000 loyalty points.
But of course, if your goal is to cut the cost of your Vegas vacation, you’ll want to redeem your loyalty points for stays and discounts. Two people who play regularly can earn enough loyalty points to offset a big chunk of their trip.
Restrictions, annoyances and other tips
Nothing’s perfect, of course, and MyVegas has its downsides. Here are a few things to watch out for:
As the game loads, you’ll get a ton of pop-ups trying to sell you chips. Just click through them.
There are restrictions on many of the prizes, such as a minimum three-night hotel stay for the $100 slot credit or the inability to use more than three prizes in a 30-day period. You won’t see these restrictions until you cash out the prize.
The most popular prizes sell out quickly. They restock frequently but do so at random times.
Geography matters. The game targets out-of-towners, so you’ll have far fewer options if you access the game in Las Vegas.
The bottom line
MyVegas costs nothing to play and can generate some valuable rewards. If you don’t want to stare at your screen all day, just hit “auto-spin” and let the game do it for you. Double down on your earnings and use your MyVegas points in tandem with your M life Rewards to extract the most benefits and value out of your trip.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card