Penthouse suites, poolside bottles, rooms with a dream-view of The Strip – think they’re only for high-rollers? Out of your price range? Think again. Upgrades to your Vegas experience are readily available to the common customer; provided you’re sharp enough to pull off one little trick that’s sweeping the travel industry – ‘The Vegas Sandwich Trick.’
It’s common knowledge Las Vegas is a tip-driven culture. What most people don’t realize is how far one little tip can go.
LAS VEGAS - MAY 12 : Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas neon sign with Las Vegas strip road background View of the strip on May 12, 2015
The Vegas Sandwich Trick Explained
The Vegas sandwich trick is a simple tip to your check-in receptionist for their good service in the hope of receiving complimentary upgrades/enhancements to your room booking.

Executing the $20 sandwich is simple. Upon arrival, have your driver’s license and credit card at the ready. Simply take a crisply folded $20/$50 bill, press it between your license and credit card, smile like a boss, and present your sandwich to your receptionist at the counter. A $20 bill should suffice, although if you are hoping for a larger upgrade it may be worthwhile handing over a $50 bill for maximum impact.

Most receptionists, being well aware of the process, will either take your offering and quickly place it in their pocket, or place it by their keyboard in plain view while entering your check-in data. At your first chance, simply state you’re in town for a special weekend with friends, or an occasion such as a birthday, bachelor party, wedding, celebration, etc., and that you’re wondering if the hotel has any complimentary upgrades available. If you have a receptionist who ‘gets it’, it’s possible they may offer this straight up without prodding.

The sandwich will not always result in a room upgrade. There are only so many suites to be had, after all. But don’t forget – receptionists are much like airline gate agents. That person behind the counter has more power than you think, especially in Vegas.

So, while an upgrade won’t always be available, many other enhancements to your trip certainly will be. And these things can’t ‘sell out.’ How about a $100 drink voucher for the pool? Or $100 in free food at all property restaurants? Line passes/free entry for clubs? Complimentary gym and spa access? All can be had. The sandwich can very easily pays for itself!

Vegas Palms


What if it Doesn’t Work?

Our advice here – don’t stress about the whole process. If you awkwardly hand over the sandwich and nervously mutter something about an upgrade, it probably won’t have the desired effect. It’s Vegas – and Vegas is built on tipping, so relax and don’t make a big deal out of it.

What’s important to remember is that the process is almost risk-free. You give $20 or $50 and you may receive hundreds in value back. Or, your money comes back to you. No loss.

The biggest risk in executing the Vegas sandwich trick is attempting it on a rookie receptionist or a receptionist being watched closely by his / her manager. This is a recipe for disaster, although the chances are that they will look blankly at your sandwich and simply return the money to you.

It’s therefore paramount that before you check-in; size up the staff and approach a receptionist who looks like they know what they’re doing.

All in all though, the benefits of attempting the Vegas sandwich greatly outweigh the risks.

So next time you’re in Vegas, don’t check-in like your average tourist. Don’t just settle for an ordinary hotel room. Try a $20 sandwich at check-in, crisply folded, with a smile – and you’ll be rolling like boss with an upgrade in no time.

Las Vegas at night



  1. Ah the classic Vegas $20 trick! Have tried it before at several hotels – Bellagio, Aria, MGM, Cosmopolitan and got some sweet upgrades.

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