What M Life Status (via Hyatt) Really Gets You in Vegas

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I’ll admit it – I like hotel and airline status. I don’t like it because it makes me feel somehow more important (it doesn’t), I like it because status often offers real and tangible benefits for my family when we are on the road. One of the cool things to come out of the Hyatt and MGM M Life partnership is that those of us with Hyatt status will soon be matched to having M Life status. Normally you earn M Life status based on your level of gambling in MGM casinos as well as the amount you spend on rooms, food, drinks, etc. while staying in one of their casinos, however you can now get it just by having Hyatt status (some of which you can get just from having a credit card).

As you may already know, beginning in August, your Hyatt status will match to the following M Life levels:

  • Gold Passport Platinum = M Life Gold
  • Gold Passport Diamond = M Life Platinum (which is the second highest M Life tier)

As a point of reference, when you first join M Life you have Sapphire status.  You earn 25 tier credits per dollar spent in Vegas at M Life hotels on your hotel stay, dining, entertainment, or spa.  For slot play in Las Vegas M life casinos, you receive ten (10) Tier Credits for every Base Point earned.  Normally you earn Pearl at 25,000 Tier Credits, Gold at 75,000 Tier Credits and Platinum at 200,000 Tier Credits. NOIR is by invitation only.

Prior to last week, we were actually kind of proud of our Pearl status since it did take some loyalty to get!   However, thanks to an invite to a MGM/Hyatt launch event in Vegas, I shot up to Noir level due to the many generous perks from attending that event. I have no shot of ever keeping this status beyond the 14 months it was given to me, but what was super cool about having it is the chance to see what all it can get you in practice. In fact, many of the dozens of other invitees to this event also spent the weekend testing the limits of what M Life status can get in practice. Even though the official Hyatt status match isn’t going to get you Noir, many of the benefits are actually the same for Platinum that will be available via Hyatt match for Hyatt Diamond members. Even M Life Gold which you will get for having Hyatt Platinum status is far and above what most M Life members ever obtain.

In fairness, we were only able to test what Noir could get, but I truly think that Platinum will be very similar. Some of these tests were done by me, and some were reports from other Hyatt junkies in Vegas last weekend.

Access to VIP Lounges in Hotels:

Not only did the Noir card get us into the VIP lounge at the MGM, but some others used their status to gain entry to the VIP lounges at both Mirage and the Bellagio. The one at the Bellagio even had wine and drinks available in addition to the standard snacks, water, and soft drinks.

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VIP Lounge at the MGM Grand

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Soft drinks in the VIP Lounge at MGM Grand

Free Passes to Exclusive Pools:

One friend stopped into the Mirage VIP lounge and asked for a free pass to the adults-only Bare pool at the Mirage. Instead of having to pay the $20 – $30 cover, he was able to get a pass and get in for free. Note that this does not work directly at the pool – go to the VIP lounge first to get the pass.  I’m betting they have passes for a variety of clubs and pools in the VIP lounges.

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Skip the Line at Popular Clubs like Hakkasan:

I’m not near cool enough for hot Vegas nightclubs, but I was greatly entertained by the massive line to get into the new club Hakkasan at the MGM Grand. However, some friends simply showed their Noir card and were let right in just like magic.

Free Passes to the Bellagio Art Exhibit, Dolphin Habitat, Shark Reef, and more:

It was confirmed by some on this trip that the Noir card will get you free passes to these types of exhibits at M Life participating hotels, but it seems that the benefit extends to Platinum M Life members as well up to some sort of maximum number of visits per month.

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Cut the Cab Line:

Both Noir and Platinum members get to cut the cab line by simply flashing their card. This benefit can range from irrelevant when there is no line to massively valuable when the line goes on and on and on, as it did one night we were there.  You can’t really tell from the two photos, but that is one line that just keeps on going.

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Cut the Line at Buffets, Coffee Shops, etc:

Again, this can range from “who cares” to huge value! I didn’t visit the buffet at the Bellagio on this trip, but I have in the past when the wait was massive. Being able to cut the line by having Gold, Platinum, or Noir status can save you some real time!

Priority Check-in and Check-out Lines:

In Vegas it seems that everyone checks in and out at the same time.  The lines can sometimes be massive and slow moving.  Luckily, Gold, Platinum, and Noir guests can skip that line and use the Priority check-in lines that are usually much shorter.

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Check-in line at the Bellagio

How to Get Hyatt + M Life Status:

If you don’t already have Hyatt Platinum or Diamond status, don’t fret.  Platinum status isn’t hard at all to get, and even though it only matches to M Life Gold, that is still pretty good in Vegas.  To get Platinum status all you need is 5 eligible stays in a calendar year.  If that doesn’t work for you, it is also available simply by having the Hyatt Visa or the United Club Card.  I’m not sure I’d get those cards just for the matched M Life Gold status, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have that benefit lumped in.  Diamond status requires 25 eligible stays in a calendar year, so that requires a bit more dedication.

Flash Your Status:

In Vegas it is generally acceptable to “flash your status” to get what you want, within reason of course.  You gotta remember this is the city that made the “$20 trick” famous (which I did not try in the VIP check-in lounge, although I normally try it at the regular check-in desk).  The more willing you are to flash your M Life status at key moments, the more likely it is that you will find out more and more “secret” ways that it benefits you.  I’m admittedly terrible at this as it kind of makes my skin crawl, but I will trade some skin crawling to skip a 30 minute taxi line in 100 degree heat.

I’d love to hear your M Life status stories – and I’m sure there will be many more to add once Hyatt Diamond and Hyatt Platinum members start using their status in a month or so!

Comments

  1. The Bellagio certainly has some nice art exhibits. A while ago, they had an exhibit of a very large Monet collection they had on loan from other museums. So it’s definitely up there in terms of art quality. I think it’s really great that you pointed out this free perk. Now some people who may not have thought of visiting the art exhibit may take advantage of this because it’s free… so you’re spreading art and culture around the world! 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing, especially about the art and dolphins, sharks, etc. I’m bringing my kids to Vegas in a couple of weeks and am currently on a Hyatt Diamond challenge so will be able to take advantage of these perks. Great to have some free aircon stuff to do with the kids!

  3. While I have been to Vegas many times, it is your pictures that remind me what I didn’t care for – long cab lines in the heat, long check-in lines, long lines and crowds. But a trip once in awhile sure is fun. Especially if you have M Life status with access to the VIP lounges. Glad you had a great trip!

  4. Whenever you get the chance, can you offer suggestions on what to do when the “$20 trick” still gets you a crappy room? I’ve only tried that once, at the MGM. I did go back downstairs to the original person I checked in with and switched rooms, but still got a room that I wasn’t happy with.

  5. The Miles Professor, we went there and they current had an Andy Warhol exhibit. It was fun to see some of the famous creations in person!
    The Deal Mommy, I don’t know off-hand how a challenge will match, but hopefully it does without a problem. I think Vegas is a blast with kids!
    Denise, I don’t like that part either, but it is great to have a “short cut” to avoid much of that.
    Sandi, that is part of the risk of the $20 trick…you never know what it will or won’t get you. It probably isn’t going to get you a huge upgrade, but it often at least does something. Sounds like you did the right thing in going back to the person who helped you. Bummer you still got a room you weren’t happy with. Not really much you can do at that point since it doesn’t have a guaranteed outcome.

  6. will Mlife Plat status get us into the VIP lounges? Would you recommend we just “walk in” like we belong rather than ask if plat gets us in? seems like a great benefit, especially if you can ask for the free passes and such!

    • ad33, well in general it does extend to them if/when they are in the lounge, cab line, etc. with you. So it doesn’t officially transfer, but in practice it does when they are with you.

  7. MP, I’m guessing you’ll be visiting Vegas a lot more frequently over the next 14 months? 😉 Can you tell me how to go about actually requesting the match? I’m already Pearl with M Life but would like to be bumped up to Gold. Also, any idea if you can only “match” one time? Like for this year, if I match my Platinum to Gold, and next year I am able to acquire Diamond status, would I be able to match again to M Life Platinum? Thanks.

    • Jennifer, as far as I know, those exact details of the status match aren’t out yet. I also don’t believe they have released their plan for what happens after 2014, but my guess is it may continue based on what Hyatt status you have that year. Just guesses though – we should know all of that next month. As far as increased visits – I do hope to make it once or twice in the next 14 months, but adding trips to the schedule is always tough…especially if they require childcare coverage! 😉

  8. Jennifer and MP.
    MLife typically will only issue status or a card inside the casino/hotels. You have to take you credentials to the mlife desk and they’ll issue the card there.

    This is based off of how they did it with Royal Caribbean and could change over time, but most recent data available suggests this will be how it happens.

    Also per the RCCL match, you have to go to the hotel each year to get a new card (mlife year is october 1-sept 30) and just show and match again.

    Hope this helps.

  9. While you were enjoying your Noir status I was doing a Hyatt/Mlife mattress run last week without status. As one who often stays at The Hotel under the Amex FHR program with room upgrades, $100 spa credits, and free breakfast I was appalled by my “no status” mattress run [Bellagio-The Hotel-Mandaly Bay-The Hotel]. The check in lines were barbaric and I ended up with rooms next to the cooling towers in The Hotel and next to the neon signs and airport at Mandalay Bay.

    I won’t go back until I can match my Hyatt Diamond status with Platinum Mlife which gives an expedited checkin and possibility of a nice room. I guess I am spoiled by the treatment I get at “normal” hotels with having a high status in their loyalty programs.

    I have to say that I find it disconcerting the bloggers are given “Noir” status. There was a time when bloggers were one of us…but now they get special perks that aren’t available to us “mere mortals” and they write glowing articles based on that experience. Eventually the blogger industry will keep losing credibility. Be careful!

    • Mark, those lines can be brutal! To my knowledge, all bloggers invited also earned Hyatt Diamond the old fashioned way like the other guests, so it can be hard to know what things you get due to blogging, and which you get by being loyal to a program.

      Also just FYI, the official word is that booking M Life hotel stays via the FHR type programs won’t count toward Hyatt stays…the reality may be different, but that’s the official statement.

  10. Mommy,

    As an Explat with Global Entry and Pre-Check, I love jumping lines, but I wonder if you felt awkward just walking to the front in front of everyone. Did you get some heated stares at the back of your head?

    • Michael, as I think I mentioned in the post, I hate “flashing status” as I do feel bad about it, but it truly is encouraged to an extent in Vegas. Sometimes they have special lines for those with certain M Life status, so you are in our own line. In other cases you just walk to the side of the line and show your card and then get in the cab, go in the club, etc. Totally possible the back of your head gets evil stares…I say just do what you are comfortable with, but I’d be more comfortable getting an evil look then waiting in a huge and hot cab line. That said, when the line was pretty short, I just waited in line.

  11. “That said, when the line was pretty short, I just waited in line.”

    — you are so cool!

    I think that is exactly how to handle it.

    On the other hand, status, especially EARNED status, is not something to feel sheepish about. For example, I stayed recently at another Hyatt and got a suite upgrade for just being a diamond member to a spectacular ocean view with patio and was paying a rate from a code obtained at FT of $139. The guy next to me on the shuttle bus was paying $295 for a garden room with a view of the parking lot. I chose my welcome amenity of a great bottle of pinot and a cheese plate, while he went across the street to a 7-11 for food and we both ended up at breakfast where my status entitled myself and three friends to anything we wanted on the menu while my fellow shuttle companion forked over $70 for two.

    My point: a little knowledge and wherewithall ain’t such a bad thing — (I know a lot of us have your blog to thank for that!)

    • Michael, totally agree. I think that there is a balance though – especially when using your status means others may wait longer. If I had gambled a bajillion dollars and earned Noir that way I may feel differently, but since I didn’t, I just used it some of the time. I’m no saint though – if the cab line is too long, I will use it. 😉

  12. I’m trying to find out info on the RCL/M-Life partnership. I’m reading that Platinum M-Life might get a 3-5 night free cruise (haven’t been able to actually find official work on it though). Does that mean if I hit Platinum MLive via Hyatt status – I can get a free cruise?

    • Dana, I have read that too, but I am not yet convinced they really want to offer that to all the Hyatt branded Plats. I wonder if level of play will come into the equation for invites as opposed to just simply based on M Life level…however if it does happen it will be pretty cool!
      Jagger, my philosophy is that the more I can learn first hand about different places and programs the better. It allows me to have better info to share here. I do think there is a fine line to walk so that most of my experiences are just normal travel experiences, but I will not rule out a chance to learn and experience a place or a program simply because I was invited. I do understand there will be some who don’t agree with that philosophy, but hopefully the pros outweigh the cons.

  13. I guess integrity takes a back seat to casino freebies.

    You and some your colleagues on boardingarea.com have shown where their true interest lies – themselves and all they can get in return for corporate publicity.

  14. @patricia,

    It is the Hyatt Santa Barbara and the best room, which is highly unusual since it is on thr bottom if three floors, is 152 because it has a spacious patio.

  15. Dana and MP.
    RCCL and MLife have both put out that comped mlife will not earn the free cruise benefit. Only “eligible” platinums and noirs get that. If you read cruising forums etc, you’ll see they base it on play and state that those earning mlife from other sources do not get that benefit.

    However, it does seem you’ll get the on board benefits of mlife on your royal cruises.

    • TTF, that is what I assumed was most likely. Be interesting to see if any slip through the cracks, but makes since they don’t want to give it away to all us fake M Life elites. 😉

  16. I’ve found mlife platinum pretty worthless for business trips. No late checkout, no free breakfast, no club access, no room upgrades. So much for a status “match” for diamonds.

    • A panda, it is good for things like last minute restaurant access and skipping the taxi line. Both of which have some real value for us, but you are right it isn’t the same type of perks as Hyatt Diamond.

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