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MGM Rewards is the loyalty program for MGM Resorts — the owner and operator of casinos around the world — with several properties in Las Vegas, such as The Mirage, Bellagio and Mandalay Bay. Recently rebranded from M life Rewards, MGM Rewards is based on a straightforward concept: Spend money at the hotels and casinos and they’ll give you points, which you can use for hotel bookings, dining and entertainment.
MGM Rewards members earn two different currencies on eligible spending: Tier Credits and MGM Rewards Points. The former count toward earning higher status tiers (more on that below) and the latter can be redeemed on spending at MGM Rewards properties. Regardless of status tier, members earn 4 Tier Credits and 1 MGM Rewards Point per $1 spent on stays and dining at MGM Rewards properties.
Tier credits accumulate from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 to generate your status, which begins on Feb. 1 each year. If you boost your status during the year, you will enjoy the new status for at least a full year. The credits currently required for each tier and notable benefits are listed below.
Many of these benefits are new as of the program rebranding, so even if you’re already a status-holding member, read up to learn what perks are now available.
How to attain status
Notable new benefits
Granted at sign-up.
20,000 Tier Credits (or match with World of Hyatt Discoverist status).
75,000 Tier Credits (or match with Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status).
200,000 Tier Credits.
The co-branded Mastercard
MGM Rewards has a credit card. Most of the features are basic, but it’s a good way to keep your points from expiring if you don’t make it to Las Vegas very often. Overall though, this is a mediocre card. Here's what's included:
There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
You earn 1 tier credit and 1 base point per $1 spent. Those earnings double at gas stations and supermarkets, and triple at M life destinations.
You receive 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Automatic Pearl status.
MGM Rewards has several partnerships, ranging from "meh" to very valuable. Here are a couple of the most interesting ones.
World of Hyatt
The partnership with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is arguably the most valuable. It includes:
Reciprocal elite benefits and status matching.
The ability to use World of Hyatt points at participating MGM Rewards hotels.
The opportunity to earn the partner’s reward currency for your stay.
This partnership, however, will be ending Sept. 30, 2023, and MGM Rewards members must match their status with Hyatt by July 14, 2023 to enjoy reciprocal benefits. Though the Hyatt partnership may be ending, MGM has announced a forthcoming partnership with Marriott Bonvoy set to launch in 2024. Read can more on that here.
Southwest Airlines is one of the most scheduled airliners serving Las Vegas, so it’s appropriate that they have a partnership with MGM. You can earn 600 Southwest Rapid Rewards points for stays at a qualifying property. But you can only earn Rapid Rewards or MGM Rewards points — no double-dipping.
» Learn more: The ultimate guide on Southwest flights to Vegas
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity
Royal Caribbean International and its sibling brand Celebrity have some valuable perks, particularly at the higher levels. Even Pearl, the first elite level, gets you access to a special lounge for departure, but the benefits climb rapidly from there.
Plus, members with the highest levels of elite status can get a complimentary cruise each year. Qualifying Platinum Members receive one cruise for two per year in an Oceanview Stateroom consisting of a 3, 4, or 5 night Bahamas or Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises.
NOIR Members receive one cruise for two per year in a Balcony Stateroom consisting of a 7-Night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise on Royal Caribbean or 7-Night Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or Bermuda cruise on Celebrity Cruises.
The bottom line
If you’re a frequent traveler to Las Vegas, you’ll want to make sure you compare the MGM Rewards program closely with the Caesars Rewards program. The two make up the vast majority of on-strip properties in Las Vegas and you’ll earn rewards faster and stretch your earning further if you focus spending and play on one rewards program.
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card