Understanding Comps

When to Tier Match… And When to Not

Golden Nugget Atlantic City tier match
Written by Joshua

I’ve written here about tier matching before and some of its benefits. But despite the fact that higher tiers can unlock some awesome benefits, it may not always be advantageous to leverage a tier match offer. So in today’s post I’m going to explore some reasons why you might choose to take the tier match offer, and reasons why you might not.

Reasons to Tier Match

There are obvious reasons to tier match, and then there’s the less obvious ones, but all of the reasons below may convince you to take advantage of it:

They’re Offering Rooms or Freeplay

Getting instant perks is a hallmark of some of the tier matching in Atlantic City the past couple of years. I tier matched the day Hard Rock Atlantic City opened last year, and was rewarded with a room offer, a significant amount of comp dollars and freeplay and some ticket offers.

All of this was a very generous and useful benefit that I got to take advantage of on my initial visit, and because the tier match lasted a year, I was also able to avail myself of benefits on my second visit because my tier was still active.

Renewing the Tier is Easier

Some tier matching programs will give you a lowered goal in a shortened timeframe to renew the tier. Caesars will prorate the goal for the year based on what month you tier match, for instance, which can help you maintain the tier for another year without having to invest as much in a shortened window of time. Golden Nugget in Atlantic City gives you 90 days to renew the tier for a full year with a goal that’s 1/4 of the full year goal, a fair ask for a shortened window.

This goes hand in hand with the next one…

You’re Going to be Putting in Play

The primary goal of tier matches for casinos is to entice players to shift their play from a competitor to them. But if you actually plan on putting in some time, you’ll have a couple of benefits, including:

  • Higher Comp Earnings: Many higher tier cards will give you bonus earnings on your comps or tier points for being a higher tier. If you’re putting in play, having that tier match will only benefit you.
  • Better Offers: Your casino offers will ultimately be influenced by your actual play, not your tier, but having the tier will ensure you get the best of the perks in the process of doing so.
  • Plenty of Perks: Usually having a higher tier may earn you perks that go well with your offers, such as shop discounts, line cutting privileges or access to higher-end lounges for free or a small cost.

You’re Heading Back Soon Enough

Tier matching usually comes with some time-delimited perks, including how long the match itself lasts. If you’re going to be heading back to visit within that window, and you’re able to use the perks on the match visit or the return visit (or both!), it’s a good call to take advantage.

You’re Visiting Another Market They’re In

I tier matched Diamond in May, and as this post goes live I’ll have just returned from another Atlantic City trip where I had no resort fees at a Caesars property. I’ll also be in Vegas in December availing myself of the same perk. I’m likely going to match at Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which will give me access to perks both in Las Vegas and Laughlin while I’m traveling later this year. The enhanced comp earnings will extend to those visits should I play there, and so that can be valuable. Also, any comp dollars I earn in AC could potentially be used there if I don’t opt to use them during my AC visit, since they have a national program.

You Can Tier Match Back to Your Original

Different tier programs end at different times of year, and sometimes that can be very helpful indeed. I earned Diamond at Caesars outright in 2017, which you then get to keep for the entire following calendar year, 2018. In September 2017, I tier matched at Borgata to Mlife Gold, which expired September 2018. In October, 2018, before my Diamond status expired, I tier matched again to Mlife Gold at MGM Springfield, which this time lasted until September 2020. I then matched back to Caesars Diamond in May. So off the back of one natural tier year earned, I have had two higher level cards for three years. And with those two cards, I’ve matched elsewhere since.

Based on how things look trip-wise I should be able to naturally re-earn Diamond this year and Gold next year, but during a window where I wasn’t able to visit as much, the tier matching back and forth allowed me to maintain higher level perks and benefits for quite a long time.

Reasons Not to Tier Match

There are times when not tier matching may be the best move. Here are a few examples:

No Time to Enjoy the Benefits

When I head to Las Vegas in late November, I can possibly take advantage of a tier match at the newly relaunched Sahara Las Vegas. The problem is their tier match offer ends November 30, and so does the status you earn. That means I’ll have the status for all of two days or so of my trip. They’re also not throwing in any special perks that would make me race over to use it before it expires, such as a freeplay offer.

In another form, if you are only given a tier match until the end of a tier year, and that tier year is coming up fast, it may also make sense to wait until the tier year resets, so you can get more time with the tier.

Not a Cardholder Yet… and You Can Wait

Sometimes if you’ve not visited a place yet, you might hold out for an opportunity that makes sense. In the example above, Sahara could either extend or introduce a revised new player offer by December that could be more worth my while to take while there. Since their tier match requires being a new cardholder, and I’ve never played there, I can afford to be patient. It’s not a must-visit for me but it might be worth a pit stop under the right circumstances.

Too Many Tier Matching Opportunities

It may not be worth tier matching if you have multiple tier matches on the table and you can’t use all the benefits at all the places at once. Let’s say three places are offering tier matching, all with perks designed to drive you back such as free rooms or show tickets. However, you’ll only make it back once in the next six months. If the tier matches are not short-term, and could still be active when you return, it may make sense to match with Casino A on the first visit, so you have the benefits of a room at Casino A the next visit, and during that next visit, match at Casino B so you have a room for the following visit, etc.

Can’t Put in a Good Showing

If you tier match and can’t put in much play, realize this will probably be it for perks for that casino until you put in a better showing. Casino offers are always first and foremost about your play at the casino, so having the tier won’t guarantee you anything as far as freeplay or good free room offers other than whatever initial perk they promise you as part of the match. If that’s your intent when you go in, this may be fine. But if you’re matching because you want to go back, make sure you put some time in.

About the author

Joshua

My name is Joshua, and I’m a 30-something 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, games that give you a potential edge, casino promotions and systems and how you can get the most out of it.

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