Understanding Comps

The Difference Between Tier Credits and Comp Dollars

Mlife players cards
Written by Joshua

It can sometimes be confusing understanding comp systems. One of the main areas of confusion can come from the difference between a tier point and a comp dollar. One helps you attain status, while the other is comps you can use to make purchases or garner freeplay. Today we’ll explore the difference, and see how this is put into practice in a few larger casino programs.

Earning Status: Tier Credits

Virtually every casino players club program has a point earning mechanism. Points are usually earned at a higher rate playing slots than video poker, and rated play at table games usually also earns points. When a certain number of points are earned in a given window of time, a higher tier can be achieved. These tiers are what provide access to special lounges, waived resort fees, discounts on a variety of items and more.

Tier credits cannot be spent on anything as they are purely for keeping track of status and how it is earned. As such, it is helpful mostly for understanding where you are relative to the next tier.

Earning Free Spend: Comp Dollars

On the other hand, comp dollars are actual complimentary spending that you can use at a resort of chain of resorts, depending on the program. In some cases comps can be spent on freeplay, but in most cases it can be spent on retail, food and beverage and other property spending.

Comp dollars are sometimes earned at the same rate as tier credits, which is where it can get confusing, and sometimes it earns at a different rate. Here are some examples:

  • Caesars Rewards lets you earn one Tier Credit and one Reward Credit (so one of each) for every $5 in bets on slots or $10 on video poker. You can also earn 5 Reward Credits for each $1 in hotel spending.
  • Mlife (in Las Vegas; it differs in other markets) lets you earn 10 Tier Credits, 1 point and 1 cent of express comps for every $3 in bets on slots or $10 on video poker. Points can be used for Point Play or Express Comps, so technically that’s two types of comps you’re earning. Hotel spend earns you 25 Tier Credits per $1. At higher tier levels you can earn a % bonus against your play.
  • Marquee Rewards/My Choice earns you one tier credit for every $5 in bets in slots, $10 in video poker and $40 in table games. Comps are earned at a different rate and it’s more vague in how quickly you earn it, which indicates a potential calculation of the machine’s theoretical payback in the calculation.

Given the differences in earning, and goals, for both tier credits and comp dollars, it’s also important to understand when a promotion is run which one is being boosted, or if multiple are being boosted.

Do you know how your local casino’s program works? Is it more or less generous than some of the examples above? Share in the comments!

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast 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, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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