In 2018, Penn National Gaming bought Pinnacle Gaming, creating a gigantic casino company with national reach. In 2019, the two companies combined their players clubs into a single system, mychoice, and with it a standardized program that stretches across dozens of properties nationwide, including the Tropicana and M Resort in Las Vegas.
With a standardized program, tier structure, comps and benefits, and with locations in all parts of the country, it may give many casino players an option that can unlock benefits just about anywhere. So today, let’s take a look at the mychoice program and how it works.
Earning Tier Points
Tier points are earned consistently throughout the country. Slots earn a tier point for every $5 in wagers; video poker is one per $10 in wagers. Table games, like other programs, are based on the game, wager and how long you play and is likely tied to the house edge.
You can also earn tier points for real online gambling where legal, horse racing, sports betting and even purchasing coins on their social gaming option, HollywoodCasino.com.
Tier points are valid throughout a calendar year and the balances reset on January 1. Any status achieved in a given year is valid through the end of the following calendar year.
Tier Status Levels
There are five tier status levels in the mychoice program.
- Choice: The entry level status you automatically get when signing up.
- Advantage: The second level can be achieved at 1,000 tier points.
- Preferred: The third tier can be achieved with 18,000 tier points.
- Elite: 50,000 tier points get you to this fourth tier.
- The Owner’s Club: The top tier can be achieved with 200,000 tier points.
A unique addition to mychoice vs. the other national programs is a tier credit rollover promotion based on your earnings for the year. Caesars Rewards will sometimes offer a promotion at the end of the year, but this is the only one I know of with a guaranteed offer based on your year’s earnings. The rollover effectively helps you get started with renewing your tier:
- Advantage: Over and above 1,000, capped at 500 tier points.
- Preferred: Over and above 18,000, capped at 5,000 tier points.
- Elite: Over and above 50,000, capped at 15,000 tier points.
- The Owner’s Club: Over and above 200,000, capped at 30,000 tier points.
As such, unlike other programs where it may be worth stopping if you sneak over the line into a tier and have no chance of reaching another tier, Penn Gaming is wise to give some encouragement to keep going, at least a bit longer, as you won’t lose those points completely.
The perks for each tier can be found on their site, but one big bummer is you don’t really see any advantages at all until you get to 18,000 tier points for Preferred, which is $90,000 in coin-in. Even though it’s over the course of a year, it’s still tougher than many other programs to get to that level.
Earning and Spending Comps (mycash)
When it comes to earning mycash, mychoice’s comp dolalrs, like Mlife’s new policy, it’s a bit murky. It appears to not be guaranteed to allow properties to have the ability to make some decisions on earnings rates. The only definite statistic is in the rules of the program, which states:
At a minimum, a player will earn at least $1 of mycash for every 400 Tier Points earned for Advantage, Preferred, Elite, and Owners Clubmychoice Rules
That’s an earnings rate of $1 per $2,000 in slot machine coin-in, drastically worse than the old advertised Mlife (and even worse than what we see at Borgata and other East Coast markets) as well as Caesars Rewards nationally.
My experience at Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts does not bear out to be that miniscule, and I think that’s just in there to set a really low bar. The actual earnings is probably more in line with their competitors in various markets; areas where comps are given away more readily will probably see higher earnings rates. It could also depend on the game (table games will earn at a lower rate than slots because of the house edge differential), etc.
One thing that is pretty clear though is how you can spend it. Here, again, they do something a bit unusual in offering double spending power in many buckets. $1 of mycash can be converted for:
- $2 Food (excluding 3rd party outlets)
- $2 Hotel
- $2 on-property retail outlets
- $2 on social gaming (hollywoodcasino.com and/or mobile applications)
- $1 Bonus Rewards (slot play)
- 2 Credits on mychoice Mall
So similar to most comp programs, slot play (called Bonus Rewards in their system) spends out at half the value of other spends. But a comp dollar gets you farther. It may be done this way to offer the illusion of a better value (if you earn at half the rate as everywhere else, it’ll work out to the same numbers), but since you don’t know the actual earnings rate it can be tough to compare.
The mychoice line-up of casinos is largely locals, although there’s some Vegas ties, which can give players in a variety of markets a national program with which they can take advantage. However, tiering up can be hard, and it’s not as clear how you can earn comps, so compared to the other two programs it may be a more difficult slog to see any meaningful benefits outside of your standard offers.
Compared to a casino with no national ties, it can still be a great way to at least have access to markets like Vegas when you have no play history, and their locations are diverse enough to make it relatively easy to find one!