In various articles on the site since I’ve started, I’ve talked about various casino programs, tier multipliers, special promotions and more. It’s not a great idea to play at casinos specifically for comps, because the casino math dictates you’re not going to be paid as much as your expected loss will be. Chasing a tier can easily be a losing proposition, so you shouldn’t chase it for the hell of it.
So why would you focus on tiers and achieving new levels? Sometimes from natural play you get close. There’s the times where the actual expected value makes it worth it. Other times well-timed promotions can make it easier. And then there’s the ability to leverage a tier to your benefit for an extended period. So let’s review each bucket in turn and when it may make sense.
As this article is posted, I’m in Atlantic City, on a trip I wasn’t planning on taking a couple of weeks ago. But some October promotions at Caesars properties led me to consider the ability to renew my Diamond tier much more easily than normal. So part of this piece will use my real-life math and logic to help guide some of the advice here.
You’re Very Close
If you find yourself at least 90 percent of the way to the next tier, and presuming there’s perks you can derive value from that would warrant having that tier, it is likely worth figuring out how much betting would be required and whether that’s in your comfort zone in a trip or two.
For one of my locals, I found myself 32 points away from tiering up a week before the tier closed at the end of September. 32 points could be earned with about $1600 in wagers. Maintaining the tier gets me additional casino offers each month as well as a discount in every restaurant and shop on property. I budgeted $200 and easily achieved the tier with that budget. I’ll be able to capture significant enough value to make that extra trip worthwhile, and now I have my tier for the next period.
If you’re close, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should chase it – at another local of mine I was pretty close a couple of years ago (although not quite 90 percent there), and then proceeded to spend way more than I hoped to get the tier. I didn’t chase the tier the next time around and have no qualms about my decision – the cost of the benefits far outweighed the cost of pushing for the tier in that case and I was right not to make the same mistake twice.
There’s Significant Value
My trip to AC to renew Diamond is in part because of the value I have derived from having Diamond status. This year alone, based on my current plans, I will have stayed in Caesars properties a total of 17 nights. If I had to pay a $35 resort fee per night, that’s $595 saved on resort fees before I even add on any taxes for those. Another Diamond level benefit is the $100 celebration dinner.
So if I renew Diamond for 2020 and have a similar pattern to 2019, I will derive at least $700 in value from those two perks alone, not counting any other perks I may receive because of the status. If I invest, say, $500 and put myself in position to renew along with any other regular play expected and budgeted for my upcoming trips, or manage to achieve it then and there, it will certainly pay for itself over the coming year.
If I came up short without that play, I’d probably be kicking myself because the investment would be rewarded in 2020. (My gambling budget tends to be stable year to year as it’s derived from an entertainment budget that itself is stable.)
Now, if I knew I would be significantly be cutting back my play in 2020, I might reconsider. But in this case I already am aware of at least one trip in 2020 where I’d derive value from having it. The last five years I’ve made at least one trek each to Vegas and Atlantic City, both of which have Caesars properties, and I’ve stayed at a Caesars property for a portion of every one of my visits since 2016, when I had enough established play to get free rooms (I didn’t get Diamond until 2017, which is when the waived resort fees kicked in).
A Shortcut to Tiering Up
Another reason for my trip to AC when I’m going is the quantity and quality of promotions that will be going on. As I write this I’m about 8,000 tier credits shy of renewing my Diamond tier – definitely not in that 10% range. But with a lengthy Vegas trip coming up, I know that I’ll be getting some significant progress.
But when I learned of the 2x October multiplier across Caesars’ properties nationwide, as well as the Atlantic City 5x tier credit multiplier on Mondays, I evaluated the benefit of taking a small portion of my Vegas budget and go to Atlantic City to earn credits at a much faster rate. When combined with the standard daily tier bonuses, it gets compelling:
- 500 tier credits earned, with daily credits and bonuses, would generate a total of 2,625 tier credits (500 base credits, 125 daily bonus and 2,000 for the 5x multiplier)
- 1,000 tier credits earned, with daily credits and bonuses, would generate a total of 6,000 tier credits (1,000 base credits, 1,000 daily bonus and 4,000 for the 5x multiplier)
- 1,500 tier credits earned, with daily credits and bonuses, would generate a total of 8,500 tier credits (1,500 base credits, 1,000 daily bonus and 6,000 for the 5x multiplier)
- 2,500 tier credis earned, with daily credits and bonuses, would generate a total of 17,500 tier credits (2,500 base credits, 5,000 daily bonus and 10,000 for the 5x multiplier)
The second bullet would get me really close, the third would get me there guaranteed, and the fourth would earn it naturally and put me close to the 25k that would get me free lounge access (a perk I don’t use much but would probably use more if I had free access).
The second bullet would have a theoretical loss of $500, which is less than the $700 expected value. So I plan on aiming first for 500 tier credits, and if I’m on track or doing well, I’ll push for the 1,000. And if my luck holds out, perhaps I push for 1,500 or 2,500. I plan on being smart about it, knowing I have the December trip as well.
Longer Term Value and Success
I first earned Diamond at Caesars in 2017. I had about 7,000 tier credits to earn, and I decided to try for the 2,500 daily target to get the 5,000 bonus and guarantee myself the tier. I had a lucky run and actually won $1,000 playing video poker achieving it.
When you earn a tier, you also get it for the entire following year, so I had it throughout 2018. While I had Diamond, I tier matched first at Borgata, and then MGM Springfield, for Mlife Gold. I have that status through September 2020.
I also tier matched the day Hard Rock in Atlantic City opened, so I had their top tier for a year (sadly I don’t play enough in AC to maintain it, but I got a lot of perks from it from my two visits that year, including a match bonus). During my upcoming visit to AC I will also likely match at Golden Nugget, which is running a match promotion right now.
But most importantly, I was able to take my Mlife gold and match back to Caesars Diamond in Vegas earlier this year. So for a window of about three years, I was able to maintain multiple companies’ mid tier level and derive various value from it, just for the pleasure of one good push (and win) over two years ago.
The gravy train of higher status will come to an end without an outright renewal soon (Caesars does not let you match in back to back years, and there is no guarantee I can match my Mlife again, but I have a year before I potentially need to find out), so renewing Caesars Diamond this year will ensure I have it for at least 15 more months for a pretty minimal investment.
Hopefully this offers some thoughts about why you might want to gain a higher tier. But remember that statuses are generally earned on the back of major casino spending, so the above presumes you’re already on track for a tier, or close to one, or can derive enough value from one to make the additional effort worthwhile.