Smarter Gambling Understanding Comps

Comparing Casino Comp Programs: Get More for Your Play

Stack of casino players cards
Written by Joshua

As more casinos open around the country, an increasing number of gamblers have plenty of choices to select from as far as where they can get a session in. Some players select where they go for the games they like to play, previous winning sessions or fun stays driving nostalgia, or of course better offers.

But when you’re still figuring out where to make efforts to put in play and aim for better comps, how do you evaluate what each casino gives you? Today we’ll take a look at some aspects of the comp programs generally made public, that you can use to make some educated decisions about maximizing comps.

Baseline Value: Comp Dollars

We’ve spoken here before about comp dollars and their importance in a players card program. Comp dollars are the guaranteed aspect about any casino benefits, as it’s usually quite clear what has to happen to earn a comp dollar. Generally you earn a certain number of points, or do a certain amount of coin-in, to generate a comp dollar of earnings.

Each program has a different earning rate for comps, and that earning rate can vary widely. For instance, it takes $500 of coin-in at Caesars Rewards properties to earn $1 in Reward Credits, which is their comp dollar system. But some locals you can earn a comp dollar for under $200 per coin in (at last check Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are examples).

That means certain local properties can earn comps at 2x the rate or more! But on the other hand they can’t be used in as many ways or locations. So part of the calculation about comp earnings is whether you’re willing to sacrifice absolute dollars for flexibility. This is like anything; many rewards programs are less generous as they become more flexible (think hotels, airlines, etc.).

Tier Level Benefits

If you’re a regular casino visitor, you might have the opportunity to tier up in at least one program. If you tier up at your local and are there often, the discounts, specials and line-cutting privileges can make focusing play at that property worth it!

Many players can’t tier up at all properties, so the other option is to figure out where tiering up can get you the most benefit. If you tier up at a property that is supported by the Caesars Rewards tier match, for instance, you’re effectively gaining those benefits at both properties once you match.

If you travel a lot, especially to areas where there’s casinos, getting a higher tier at a company with lots of properties, such as Mlife, Caesars Rewards or MyChoice, which have properties in a lot of markets, since your perks will carry through the various properties they have.

But it’s also important to understand how difficult it is to tier in any given program. Many programs will get you to a level two tier with less coin in than you would expect. You can get Pearl at mLife with about $7,500 in slots coin-in in Vegas; Platinum at Caesars takes about $12,500 (also on slots) if you leverage the bonuses accurately (neither of these account for tier credit bonus days that may occur at some locals and speed things up).

At one of my locals, Foxwoods, you can achieve Gold, their second level tier, with about $17,500 in coin in, but if you go on their 3x tier multiplier days you can knock that down to about $5800. (Mohegan Sun, by comparison, tends to be much tougher to achieve, even on multiplier days.)

Understanding how much you earn in comps, and how you tier, can help you maximize your benefits at the casinos you care most about.

Hotel Discounts/Resort Fee Waivers

Choosing the right property may include knowing if you’re going to travel and stay at a property or properties on a regular basis. Even though I don’t live horribly far from my locals, and never have, I generally will do an overnight stay once a year or so at one of them. That one has been the one that generally has given me better offers, and I’ve maintained a higher tier there for some time.

By concentrating my play there over spreading it too thin across all of the local properties, I’m giving myself a better chance at strong comps, by having the higher tier, higher coin-in, etc. I also don’t pay any resort fees on comped rooms with them. They have multiple hotels, unlike most of the other local casinos, so that improves the chances of getting free rooms. So comparing properties and their amenities, and what you think you can reasonably achieve, also matters.

Since not all resorts are designed the same, you may find you like one over another, and getting the right perks with that property is your priority. As such, concentrating your play is another technique to avoid having small comps everywhere, instead getting large comps in one spot. Don’t run all over the place and play $100 – put all your play into one visit at one casino to maximize your next visit comps.

Finally, some resorts have a different focus than others. If you look at Las Vegas, the effort needed to get a room at places like Luxor or Flamingo will differ greatly from the Venetian/Palazzo or the Wynn. Companies that own multiple properties many times will tier their properties so that there’s a place for everyone.

If you don’t need a fancy room, you might aim towards a lower-end property that has a lower barrier to get a room, and hopefully get additional food or freeplay on top of it. Or you might get your resort fee waived.

Summary

All other things being equal (game choice, expected payback on machines, etc.), it helps to know which casinos will reward you the most for your visits, or at the least offer the rewards you want. So taking a bit of time to understand the players card programs the casinos near you offer can ensure you get the perks you want, given your planned spend at a given spot.

About the author

Joshua

My name is Joshua, and I’m a 30-something who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, games that give you a potential edge, casino promotions and systems and how you can get the most out of it.

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