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I am always on the pursuit for new credit cards that will deliver value whether that be discounts, points, cash back, etc. I’ve cycled through my fair share of travel reward card options and wondered if the M Life or Total Rewards branded credit cards are worth adding to the Las Vegas regular’s wallet.
Let’s take a look at the two primary casino loyalty branded cards which are affiliated with Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards and MGM Resorts M life Programs to help you gauge if applying makes sense.
M life Rewards MasterCard
MGM Resorts’ branded credit card allows you to build reward points that are redeemable for free play in the casino or express comps on property as well as tier credits that increase your status within the M life program. Each reward point is worth 1 cent in comps.
Points are earned at a rate of 3x for each dollar spent with an MGM Resorts property, 2x for each dollar spent on gas and groceries and 1x on all other purchases.
Key Benefits of the M Life MasterCard
- 10,000 reward points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles ($100 Value)
- No annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- 3x reward credits for purchases made at M life properties.
- Earn M Life tier credits based on spend to increase status within the program.
- Automatic Upgrade to M life Pearl Status entitling you to free self parking, buffet line pass and a 10% bonus on points/express comps earned based gaming spend.
Should I get the M life MasterCard?
It depends. How often do you frequent MGM properties? If you are a regular that parks on the property then this card along with your automatic elevation to Pearl status could be a great fit due to free self parking, saving you $18 daily at Bellagio. Big spenders at the resort also benefit by taking advantage of the 3x point category (essentially 3% cash back) and the 10% boost to rewards points earned via gambling.
If you travel to Vegas infrequently, don’t park on site or do much spending at the resort, there are likely better options on the market for you. If the previous sentence pertains to you, you are likely better off using a typical cash back credit card that offers a similar return that doesn’t tie your rewards spent to a particular resort chain.
Total Rewards Visa Card
Caesars Entertainment’s branded credit card allows you to build reward credits that are redeemable for free play in the casino or comps on Total Rewards properties. Generally, each reward point is worth 1 cent in comps, although there are certain dining options that will charge a less advantageous ratio.
Reward credits are earned at a rate of 5x for each dollar spent within a Caesars property, 2x for each dollar spent on airline purchases, gas and groceries and 1x on all other purchases.
Key Benefits of Total Rewards Visa Card:
- 10,000 reward credits after your first $750 in purchases ($100 Value).
- Reward credits earned don’t expire as long as you earn at least one reward credit every 6 months.
- No Annual Fee.
- Automatic Upgrade to Platinum Status after your first purchase entitling you to free self parking, 15% discount at spas/gift shops, preferred pricing at Caesars restaurants, pre-sale access to select shows and a complimentary buffet pass after your first purchase is made. To maintain Platinum Status within the program cardholders will need to spend a minimum of $5,000 per year.
- VIP Status is earned after $10,000 in calendar year spend granting the cardholder access to VIP lines at restaurants, for check in and the taxi queue. Additionally, you will be able to access all Caesars Entertainment property Las Vegas Pools.
Should I get the Total Rewards Visa?
Once again, if you are in Las Vegas frequently and plan to spend time and money at Total Rewards properties this card could be a strong option offering 5x points (essentially 5% cash back) redeemable for comps and free play. Free parking alone worth $15 a day at Caesars Palace is a valuable benefit from a card with no annual fee.
At 2 points for purchases on airline travel, gas and groceries and 1 point per dollar for all other purchased, the benefits of this card are comparable to other cash back cards on the market. If self parking is not of interest or you don’t spend a hefty amount at Caesars properties I would advise opting for a traditional cash back card that won’t limit your reward spending to a particular brand.
Note that the Total Rewards Visa does NOT offer free foreign transactions like it’s M Life counterpart. Leave this card at home if traveling abroad.
Casino loyalty branded credit cards are NOT for everyone’s wallet. In summary, you should consider one or both options if you:
- Plan to park in Las Vegas – With no annual fee, receiving free self parking is cash in your pocket.
- Spend money at the resort. Charges for rooms, meals and merchandise on property are rewarded at a healthy 3x (M Life) or 5x (Total Rewards).
- Don’t mind being restricted to redeeming your points for comps and purchases with one set of properties.
- Have an upcoming trip and would like to earn either card’s 10,000 point bonus ($100) after meeting spend requirements.
Personally, I spend more time at Total Rewards properties than M life and so the Total Rewards Visa made sense due to the bump in tier status, free parking and 5x reward credits for purchases made on property.
*We are NOT affiliated with either properties credit card and do not receive a commission if you decide to enroll.