One of the newer social casinos to hit mobile devices, Stardust Social Casino offers games familiar to casino floor regulars while offering a link to a substantial casino program. In this case, the app is linked to Boyd Rewards, Boyd’s nationwide casino loyalty program.
The good thing about a social casino app linked to a major provider is that you can benefit from those ties when you make coin purchases. The downside in this case is Boyd Rewards is not very favorable to the more casual player. But the app link can help some players specifically.
But first, a quick look at the app. Stardust Social Casino revives the iconic brand, which Boyd bought more than a decade ago, then demolished with the intent of building a new strip property, then abandoning the cause during the economic downturn of the late 00’s decade. (That project will finally be completed, and opened, shortly by Genting as Resorts World Las Vegas.)
Stardust the Social Casino will be very familiar to those who play the Aristocrat-led social casino apps like the Lightning Link app, because their games are what are featured here. Many of the themes are on the older side; you won’t find Lightning Link or any of those in place, and the version of Wonder 4 they have is from the original series, not many of the modern ones like Tower or Spinning Fortunes.
But that aside, it’s a relatively new app, and it stands to reason more games will pop up over time; in the meantime, these are legit casino games that Aristocrat has released into casinos, so you get authentic casino game themes here.
The big selling point as it were is that with coin purchases, you can qualify for Boyd Rewards points and tier credits. The app currently lists these as a “Launch Special,” so it will be interesting to see what happens once the launch window is over, but it seems unlikely they would do all this integration work a temporary promotion, but the values could change.
For launch, anyway, you earn 1 tier credit and 750 points for every $5 spent. It takes 750 tier credits to reach Sapphire, the second tier on Boyd Rewards, so you could theoretically buy the tier for $3,750 if you wanted. It should be noted that is the same dollars per point as if you were playing actual slots, but you would have the ability to get some winning spins, and more coin-in, on the same spend.
More helpfully, if you were close to tiering up and just wanted to get over the line, this could allow for a clear cost definition of how much it would take to get it. If you don’t live particularly close to a Boyd property, like myself, this could be good to close the deal if I discover I just missed it.
One thing to be aware of when it comes to the points is you are only eligible to earn and redeem points if you are at that Sapphire level. So if you’re Ruby and purchase coins, you won’t get the points. That’s a major flaw (although clearly purposefully designed) in the Boyd Rewards program to begin with – you basically can’t earn comp dollars until you’ve played a certain amount – and can turn off the more casual players. (They do this with things like tier multipliers too; you only qualify once you reach Sapphire.)
As far as the value of points, it takes 1,000 points to earn $1 of comps (with the exception of food being 600 points per $1, a discount for players there effectively). So at 750 points per $5 at the normal redemption rate, you’re getting effectively a 15% rebate on your spend, presuming you’re Sapphire or above. That’s actually among the best return rates we’ve encountered on a social app (the Binion’s app once offered a better overall return, but it no longer offers comps of any kind).
So this is a great addition for loyal Boyd Rewards players that have already earned Sapphire; this is also helpful for those just below a tier level and looking for a guaranteed way to get over it with a definite understanding of how much needs to be spent.
But for more casual players looking to build some extra comps up for a future Vegas trip, I’d recommend getting the status first, and then there’s value in building up points, if you’re going to play a social casino at home like this. Earning a tier outright on the app is going to be more expensive than doing it at the casino, but if you’re spending the money anyway, it certainly gives you something vs. nothing.