True Rewards is the comp program for Golden Entertainment, and is sort of a frankenmonster of a program because it loops together 8 casinos (which include the Strat in Las Vegas and Edgewater/Aquarius in Laughlin), 60+ taverns and 60+ grocery store locations, and depending on where you’re playing things work/act a bit differently.
But status and other benefits are unified under the program, and allows point earnings and redemption at a lot of locations. So let’s take a look at how this program works, and what to expect.
Earning Tier Credits
They are relatively transparent on how you can earn points for gambling, and this is a standard earn rate which makes it easy to understand what is happening when you play. Here are the base point earning rates by category:
|Slot/Video Reel/Video Keno||$1 = 1 point|
|Video Poker/Multigame||$2 = 1 point|
|Full Pay Video Poker||$4-$8=1 point, based on type of machine|
|Table Games||Earn based on game, average bet and time played|
|Bingo||$2 buy-in = 3 points|
|Live Keno||$1 buy-in = 8 points|
You can also earn at dining establishments at a rate of 15 points per $1, except in Maryland (this will be a regular exception as you’ll see) where you earn 1 point per $1.
Tier Status Levels
There are five tier status levels. The number of points you need is dependent on whether you’re playing at casinos, or the taverns/grocery stores:
|True||Entry (0)||Entry (0)|
Another weird quirk: The tier year for the casinos is a full year, vs. the tavern/supermarket locations which are half years divided in the two halves of the standard calendar year (Jan-June and Jul-Dec).
Higher level tier status offers benefits such as Best Western tier matching, waived resort fees (the level varies by property), guaranteed room upgrades, comp event tickets (also varies by property as to which level), and so on.
Earning and Spending Comps
The good news is earning comps is the same point rate as the tier credits, so a base point on tier credits is a point on your card. The spending rate varies based on use type:
|Usage type||Redemption rate|
|Casino comps||300 points/$1|
|Casino slot play/table chips ($5 increments, excludes Rocky Gap)||500 points/$1|
|Rocky Gap slot play ($5 increments)||1,000 points/$1|
|Tavern/supermarket slot play ($5 increments)||1,000 points/$1|
|Cash back ($1-$3,000 per day)||1,000 points/$1|
Points stay valid as long as a point is earned or used at least once every 13 months – that extra month is a nice touch for those who travel annually but the date shifts slightly each year.
I sometimes play MGM casinos on the East Coast but save my points and express comps for Las Vegas where I feel like I get a better deal. If you’re playing at Rocky Gap and regularly visit Vegas, it feels like a similar arrangement may be helpful.
I’m not sure why Rocky Gap gets dinged on both redemptions and non-gaming spend, perhaps because of its somewhat isolated location relative to the highly competitive Vegas and Laughlin markets, but so it goes. I’ll be visiting there in the summer and will follow up with some reporting on that visit, as well as Laughlin and the Strat, later this year.
Otherwise, the point earning for tiers seems straightforward enough, and it doesn’t seem nearly the slog to reach the top tier as some of the other programs. Of course, the company is largely concentrated in Nevada, so that may explain that.
The relatively low rate to spend on casino comps is helpful too, so if you can forego the free play with your points in favor of the casino comps, you can make your points go farther value-wise.