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Less than two years ago the big Las Vegas Strip properties decided that tacking on huge resort fees wasn’t enough and they instituted a wave of parking fees. The Mlife properties led the charge on this, but most of the others weren’t far behind. Now, less than two years after this fee onslaught started, the Mlife properties are on their third parking price hike. Color me jaded, but parking spaces hardly feel like they are at a premium in the massive garages in the middle of the desert. For what it’s worth you can use SPG points to stay at the SLS and they don’t charge parking – just sayin’.
Taking a trip in the way-back machine, remember that before these parking fees were introduced in 2016, it was free to self or valet park in Vegas. When these parking fees were introduced in 2016, it became $10 per day to self-park at the higher-end Mlife resorts such as Bellagio, Aria, and Mandalay Bay and it was $18 to valet park at those same properties. Self-parking at the lower end Mlife resorts was $8 per day.
Another round of Vegas parking fee increases
Fast forward to today, when the Las Vegas Review and others share that the next round of Mlife parking increases hits on January 31, 2018. Beginning on that date it will cost you $18 per day to self-park at Bellagio, Aria, and Vdara. Thinking of valet? That will cost you an insane $30 per day at those properties. The day rate to self-park at the Delano, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Monte Carlo and New York-New York will jump from $12 to $15. For a typical three-night stay in Vegas that is $45 just for parking at those mid-tier resorts. Add on the $39.68 daily resort fee at a property such as Mandalay Bay, and for a three-night stay, you are at $164.04 just in fees before you even begin to pay for your actual room rate, taxes, car rental, food, gambling, or entertainment. Vegas, I love you, but you have lost your mind.
— Todd Prince (@toddprincetv) January 29, 2018
Avoid Vegas parking fees
Thankfully, most of us can still avoid the obnoxious parking fees. Parking is still free for Mlife Rewards members who have Pearl status or higher. You can get Mlife Pearl status from the Mlife Rewards Mastercard or from linking your Hyatt elite status to Mlife. All you need is the first Hyatt elite status tier above general member, otherwise known as Discoverist status, to match to Mlife Pearl. You can earn Discoverist status with 10 nights at a Hyatt each year – and remember award stays now count towards that ten. If that won’t work for you, just get the Hyatt Visa which will confer with it Hyatt Discoverist status that you can then match to Mlife Pearl status for free self-parking. My parents are in Las Vegas as we speak and that is exactly what my mom did in order to be able to park for free on the Strip.
If you are a Wyndham Rewards Platinum members you can match that to Total Rewards Platinum and avoid self-parking fees at the Caesar’s family of resorts. The Wyndham Rewards credit card will give you Platinum status and perhaps that needs to be on one of my parents’ credit card application lists this year since they enjoy staying at the Caesar’s properties in Vegas and always rent a car.
Vegas is not what it used to be. The landscape has changed and you should now expect to be nickel and dimed at every turn unless you are a high roller. Don’t get me wrong, with excellent food and entertainment, Vegas can still be a ton of fun, but erase any outdated expectations of it being the land of cheap meals, free parking, and endless free drinks while slow-playing the cheap slots.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.