Travel By TammyBanfield / December 15, 2014 Share Tweet Pin Share Share When I want to blow-off steam, get a little (or a lot) crazy, and have some adult-rated fun, there’s only one vacation destination that makes the cut: Las Vegas. The glittering casino resorts no longer offer free hotel rooms and lucrative perks to just any gambler who walks in the door, but, with the right reward program strategy, you can feel like a high-roller on a penny-slot budget. Casinos with Reward Programs Want comps and perks like the high-limit players? Take part in one of the two most popular free Las Vegas casino rewards programs: M Life (MGM properties): MGM Grand, Bellagio, New York, New York, Aria, Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Luxor, Excalibur, and Circus Circus. Total Rewards (Caesars properties): Caesars, Paris Las Vegas, Harrahs, Bally’s, Rio, Planet Hollywood, Flamingo, and The Cromwell. There are two ways to use the casino reward programs to your advantage: Earn Rewards Before You Travel If you already have a casino rewards card, are planning to travel at least three months from now, and shop online or like to play online casino games, you can earn comps, discounts, and free meals before you travel. Play Free Online Casino Games and earn M Life rewards through the MyVegas website. The longer you play and the more often you play, the more rewards you earn. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. M Life rewards take a long time to build-up on this site, but if you’re months away from your travel, it’s definitely possible to earn enough reward points for free dinners, free buffet coupons, ticket discounts, hotel room discounts, and 2-for-1 deals. Most free meals and free buffet rewards cost about 25,000 points and you can buy your rewards directly from the MyVegas website. Since MyVegas went online two years ago, players have cashed-in more than $10 million in rewards. The average player is redeeming around $100 worth of freebies, while frequent players redeem up to $400 worth of rewards per trip. Shop online for Total Rewards points. Visit the Total Rewards Marketplace and shop at retailers like Starbucks, Foot Locker, Target, Barnes & Noble, Gap, Best Buy, Avon, and Apple. Every $1 you spend, earns 1 reward point. Apply for a Total Rewards Visa. If you’re approved for a Total Rewards Visa, you automatically earn 10,000 reward points (or $100 worth of rewards). Additionally, whenever you use your card at participating resorts and retailers, you get 2 points for every $1 spent. Get Freebies at Your Las Vegas Resort If you’ve never had a casino rewards card and are planning to travel to Las Vegas very soon, don’t sign-up for a rewards card online. Wait, and sign-up at your Las Vegas resort – actually, make it the first thing you do! Here’s why: Get a Rewards Card at your Las Vegas resort and you’ll earn promotions and coupons just for signing-up on site, like free play, restaurant coupons, ticket discounts, and much more. It’s all included in your rewards card welcome package. Shopping and restaurant discounts are offered to cardholders at all participating reward program hotels, shops, and partner restaurants. Discounts generally range from 10% to 20%. Get your card as soon as you arrive to start saving on everything you do in Las Vegas. Just be sure that you are visiting the properties associated with the card you have. Rack-Up Points at Your Resort During my first trip to Las Vegas, I saw people literally wearing their reward cards. They had them clipped to their pockets, on bungee cords, or on chains around their necks. While I don’t advise doing this for obvious fashion reasons, I understand why people do it. Your rewards card is your best friend when you’re at a Las Vegas resort. You want to present your card everywhere you go and for everything you do: eating at the restaurants, gambling at the slot machines, playing at the gaming tables, drinking at the bars and clubs, and shopping at the gift stores. You will earn points for every $1 you gamble and every $1 you spend. At the end of your trip, you can ask the promotions desk or front desk agent to apply your rewards to your room charges. Depending on how much you spend in Las Vegas, the hotel could waive your resort fees or comp you a night’s stay.