Every casino and/or casino owner has a players club program for you to sign up for. Each program features a variety of perks that are designed to entice players to invest their entertainment dollars into visiting that casino.
The reality is a lot of players like to play wherever they are, and making sure you have a players card when you do this is a good first step. But some players will take it a step further, deciding to invest their time, money and energy into specific programs because of the perks they derive.
No two players club programs are created equal, but there’s common themes to them that can help a player decide what casinos and players club programs could be their best choice. Here are some things to think about:
National vs. Local
Some players want to be part of a national program, so they can take advantage of their comp dollars and perks wherever they go. Some players are closest to a casino that’s not networked, but has a generous comp program targeted at locals.
Usually the national programs are a bit harder to earn the comp dollars and some of the perks than local programs. I earn comp dollars faster at my home casinos than at, say, Caesars Rewards properties by a factor of 2 or 3 to 1. That can make a difference when it comes to covering non-gambling costs like food.
Both local and national options will usually have various gift programs, opportunities to get free cruises, and so on if you’re high enough of a player, and all the casinos will generally offer some combination of free play, resort/food credit and or free hotel nights, depending on your level of play, so regardless of choice there will be a baseline.
The Perks That Are Important to You
The specific perks that you find most important can lead you to the right chain. If you like completely comped nights without resort fees, you might find Caesars to be more amenable than Mlife, which does not guarantee this perk at certain tier levels, but instead it’s part of the offer mix as to whether you get it or not.
Some local casinos will partner with national casinos to offer perks, such as free nights for their local players. Ocean has done this with Wynn, and Foxwoods has done this with Caesars in recent years. But even though you get some basics like comped rooms, your free play and comp dollars won’t be available as part of a different property chain, so all of that should be taken into account.
But if you tend to play local and those offers give you what you need to be satisfied when traveling, and the home casino covers the core needs for your regular play, that may still be acceptable.
Do free rooms matter to you? Do you like more free play or a combination of free play and dining credit? Different casinos will weight these differently in their offers.
How You Divide Your Play
If you’re a fan of popular casino markets like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Biloxi and so on, you might find that even smaller chains like Golden Nugget can go a long way since they have casinos in each of those markets.
You might find maintaining status in a national and a local chain is the right approach, forgoing a higher tier at one but being able to enjoy solid perks in two casino programs.
In my case, my current favorite home casino (Mohegan Sun) has its tier program isolated to one casino, but you can redeem comps at sister properties in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. They also occasionally run special offers for players in the Mohegan Sun market to visit one of their sister properties, which can be a nice perk as well. My play is concentrated there to take advantage of their complicated, yet rewarding, tier program.
But I still have status with both Mlife and Caesars Rewards, Mlife thanks to both Vegas and Springfield visits and Caesars because of Atlantic City and some well-timed tier matching when needed. This lets me take advantage of line-cutting, enhanced comp earning (Mlife) and no resort fees (Caesars). I get offers from both companies which helps to ensure I have something available when needed, and enough to keep my non-gambling costs minimal.
Casino Visit Frequency
Some programs expire things quickly; some don’t. Some have a three month tier year (mostly locals casinos in busy markets), some a six month, and some a full year.
How often you go to the casino can determine whether one program is better than another, because if you only go annually and the tiers are six months, you won’t hold a higher level card much of the time, potentially leaving perks on the table.
Fortunately, the national programs tend to be annual, good for those who earn/renew status on an annual visit to Las Vegas, for instance. Closer to home the tier cycles are a bit more diverse.