Many fans of Hyatt Gold Passport also stay at MGM’s hotels and casinos when in Las Vegas because of a partnership between Gold Passport and M life. Members can get reciprocal status matches, stay credit, and rewards points. Given that most large chain hotels don’t have the best options on the strip, you’ll probably be staying at a mega resort casino. The Hyatt/MGM partnership gives MGM hotels the edge. Otherwise I’d probably pick what’s cheapest.
MGM M life has even won in recent years at the Freddie Awards, which recognizes loyalty programs around the globe. All these facts point to a trend in which MGM is getting more serious about marketing its loyalty program to a broader audience. A good chunk of casino revenues are no longer delivered by gamblers but rather the people staying in hotels and paying for spa packages, etc.
I had heard very vague rumors about a new credit card for MGM, but I did not follow up on them because I’m only in Vegas one or two times a year. Fortunately Michael at Vegas Bright has more details.
Cardholder benefits include:
- Upgrade to Pearl status with M life
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee
- 3 points per dollar at MGM Resorts
- 2 points per dollar at gas stations and supermarkets
- 1 point per dollar everywhere else
- 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in first three months
Points will count for FREEPLAY and POINTplay — credits that can be used to offset your gambling — and tier credits, which are the sort that help you earn elite status. For more information on the difference and their value, I wrote a post a couple years back that explains M life Rewards to non-gamblers like myself.
Is this a card actually worth getting? If the M life status is all you care about, I’d say no. The Hyatt Visa credit card has a $75 annual fee that includes a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel each year, usually one that costs more than $75. So even with the annual fee, I treat it like a card that has none. The Hyatt Visa also comes with Platinum status, which includes a match to M life Gold. In other words, you can get better status without using the M life Rewards credit card.
Yes, you could use the M life Rewards credit card to accelerate your path to an even higher elite tier — M life Platinum — but that is already included if you have Hyatt Diamond status. So top-tier Hyatt members won’t see a benefit here.
That leaves just one real perk: earning FREEPLAY and POINTplay. I guess this could be worthwhile if you spend a lot of money and like to gamble. But there are so many more valuable ways to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles that I wouldn’t do it. I would much rather save money on flights and hotels and use those savings to buy into my next poker tourney.
A separate article from Front Desk Tip suggests that the new card will be launched next week, along with a new name for the M life program. That would be a bit surprising since everything shared by Vegas Bright includes the M life branding. But names don’t matter much, and it wouldn’t be a lot of work to create new artwork for a credit card after all the other more important details have been ironed out. What would be interesting is if the name change is accompanied by other changes to the M life program benefits, in which case the card benefits described here may become more or less valuable.