Las Vegas is many things to many travelers but for years, it was something of a dead zone when it came to hotel points and elite status. Each resort offered their own comps and loyalty programs but when it came to the major US hotel brands, there was essentially nowhere for even the savviest traveler to earn and redeem hotel points for free nights.


Bathhouse at Delano

Thankfully that’s no longer the case. The past two years have witnessed an explosion of partnerships between the major US hotel brands and almost all casino/resorts in Vegas.

The biggest, best and without question for travelers – most important – of these is the partnership between Hyatt and MGM Resorts and their loyalty programs (Hyatt Gold Passport and MLife, respectively).

You can now earn and use points from either program at the properties of each brand and more importantly, you can now enjoy the reciprocal benefits of elite status with both brands as well.

This means if you’re a particular tier of elite status in the Hyatt Gold Passport program, MGM must honor that by matching you to an equivalent status in the MLife program and vice versa, regardless of how often you stay at either.

Not only does this mean potential room upgrades, but you’ll also receive all the other elite status benefits such as the VIP check-in queue and resort credits.

So, how and when can you use this new partnership to your advantage on your next Vegas trip? Like most hotel and airline elite status programs, the real fun begins at mid-tier status – in this case Platinum status in Hyatt Gold Passport and Gold status in MLife.

Credit Card Shortcut to Hyatt Gold

The easiest and fastest way to mid-tier status with both brands is by enrolling for the Chase Hyatt Visa. Currently, this card offers 2 free nights at any Hyatt worldwide, a $50 statement credit, and 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points after spending $1,000 in the first three months – a phenomenal all-around signup bonus and one of the best on the entire US credit card market.

Even better – although we highly recommend spending the $1000 to get the bonus, what’s most amazing about this card is you don’t need to spend a dime to enjoy elite status, because you are granted Platinum status with Hyatt immediately upon approval as a cardholder.

This means you are entitled to a status match with MGM, which is equivalent to Gold in the MLife program. You are now enjoying mid-tier status at any MGM property without even setting foot on one, a feat that would normally require a traveler to spend well over $5000. Not a bad shortcut!

You can enjoy your newfound Gold status in Vegas at any of the following properties: Aria, Vdara, MGM Grand, Bellagio, Luxor, Monte Carlo, Circus Circus, Mandalay Bay, Delano, Mirage, New York/New York, and Excalibur. A full list of MLife tiers and benefits can be found here.


Tower Spa Suite at MGM Grand

What is MLife?

When sizing up the benefits of MLife, it’s important to remember this is primarily a gaming loyalty program, designed and structured around your visits and the frequency/amount you gamble and spend on MGM properties. This isn’t a traditional hotel points program, whereby you rack up a specific number of points and free nights. You can earn free nights, of course, but the program’s main function is to reward you with casino comps – freeplay money and chips, free food, beverages, etc.

While gambling is the fastest way to rack up MLife tier credits, you need not worry if you’re not a big gambler, or even a gambler at all. You can still earn points for all money spent anywhere on MGM properties (including room rates of course) and enjoy plenty of noteworthy perks outside the casino floor, most notable of these being: discounted room rates, VIP check in line, VIP Line access to nightclubs for you and a guest, a room/suite upgrade (pending availability), and many more.

We tend to favor the room upgrades as the most valuable perk (this can vary greatly among MGM properties depending on capacity), but the VIP check in lines are often underappreciated. At peak times, the lobbies of many resorts can look like an absolute circus with wait times of well over an hour. Don’t underestimate the time you can save.

It’s also worth noting that if a room upgrade is not available, management has enough leeway to honor your elite status in other ways with all-around resort credits or restaurants/dining certificates. Don’t be shy about asking at check-in. Many people don’t and this is a huge mistake. Las Vegas is a city that runs on tips and comps. You could be leaving a few nice meals on the table. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.


Great Room Suite at Mandalay Bay

Here are a few extra RLB inside tips to using your Hyatt status to enhance your experience at any MGM property:

  • Use the right programs at check in – This partnership is still in its early stages so at check in, make sure to notify the receptionist that you want to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points as opposed to MLife points for your room stay. You’ll need both your MLife and Hyatt Gold Passport numbers on hand to do this. As many readers know, we often stress Hyatt Gold Passport points to be one of the most valuable loyalty programs on the market. Dollar for dollar, their value vastly outweighs MLife tier credits. Make sure you have your stay credited properly, as this can be a real pain to reverse mid-course.
  • Charge everything to your room – With a few exceptions, almost any dollar you spend on MGM properties earns you MLife tier credits and/or Hyatt Gold Passport points. And anything spent on your room stay will earn 5 Hyatt Gold Passport points per 1 dollar, an amazing return on your spending. Note: This is capped at $5000 per stay.
  • Book a ‘ghost room’ – Not for rookies – This is a pure move for the ultra travel warrior. If you have a short stay in Vegas and plan on spending a fair amount on dinners, shows, entertaining clients, etc, it can often pay to book a room at an MGM property in which you aren’t even staying. Sounds off the wall, but it’s true. Many rooms at the lower end MGM resorts such as Luxor or Excalibur, especially during midweek, can be had for $70 or even well under that. What you’ll do here is simply check in to your room (it doesn’t even matter if you walk in), and charge any spending on MGM properties during your Vegas trip to this specific room. You’re going to spend the money anyway, so you may as well rack up Hyatt points while doing it. The small amount spent on a cheap room, $150 or so over several days, will be vastly outweighed by the quality and pace at which you’re earning free rooms and suites with Hyatt!

This is just a brief overview of the partnership between Hyatt Gold Passport and MLife, and how you can maximize your Vegas trip to take full advantage of it. We’ll be providing more insight into how this works with in-depth reviews at specific properties in the near future.


Note: Photos courtesy of


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