New Total Rewards Diamond Levels

Vegas Tripping shared information they received about two new divisions of the Diamond tier of Harrahs Total Rewards program.  No real information has been released besides the names “Select” and “Signature.”

Time to change the sign

Continue reading “New Total Rewards Diamond Levels”

Seven Stars Insider – Sept Edition

Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider.  This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s players.  Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  There is lots of information in this edition, so read on for all the goods.

NOTE: While this newsletter was originally designed exclusively for Seven Stars members, there is useful information for anyone who has a Total Rewards® player’s card and/or plays/stays at a Harrah’s property.  Please feel free to pass this on to your friends.  Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online at http://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider.

Rio For Sale – Maybe

It’s been in the news for months, but several media reports – chiefly Bloomberg News, whose story August 20 was then picked up the following week by the Las Vegas Review-Journal – claim the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is for sale.  Harrah’s continues to deny it.  I know it’s popular with a lot of Seven Stars players who read this, but I like to be a little closer to the “action” on The Strip.  Plus, it’s just a little too noisy for me with all those “flair bartenders” and “bevertainers” (most of whom should stick to delivering beverages and stay away from microphones).  I guess I’m just getting too old!

Question Of The Month
I have a companion card and tried to go with a friend to the special Seven Stars weekly Sunday brunch at Showboat in Atlantic City.  I was told that the primary cardholder had to be present, and he/she could invite only one guest.  I thought I had all the privileges of the primary cardholder.  Well, yes, sort of.  Think of it in terms of other offers your husband gets, e.g., three complimentary nights at Paris.  Only he could claim it – you could accompany him, of course.  Same with a free coffeepot or blender.  The offer is for the cardholder, not the companion.  In terms of the brunch, do I think it’s fair?  Once again, Harrah’s is being short-sighted and causing unnecessary irritation for its best players (and their companions).  As long as the brunch is limited to two people per card, what difference does it make if you and a friend take advantage of the brunch, or you and your husband attend?  In the overall scheme of things, this is a very low-cost benefit that Harrah’s [Showboat] is offering.  What they might be gaining in loyalty and customer satisfaction for some, they are losing as much – or more – by alienating others.

Planet Hollywood Page Added To Seven Stars Insider Site
Thanks to a Planet Hollywood “veteran” who has stayed there on a number of occasions, there is now a page on the site with details about this latest addition to Harrah’s Total Rewards casinos in Las Vegas.  Some of the more interesting “highlights” are a rumored Seven Stars Club that may open there, and the fact that the staff hasn’t really grasped the Total Rewards concept, and isn’t sure what to do when they see a Seven Stars or even a Diamond card.  Check it out by clicking here.

Continue reading “Seven Stars Insider – Sept Edition”

Grazie Upgrade, Upgrade!

I was chatting with some locals at the Diamond Lounge at Rio after I got knocked out of the poker tournament on my last trip to Las Vegas and they tipped me off that I could get my Grazie card upgraded at Venetian/Palazzo if I show them my Harrah’s Total Rewards Diamond card.

So, of course I upgraded my Grazie card from purple to gold, but it was a little late on the trip to have any real effect.

Unfortunately the upgrade is only for 3 months and my first impression was not good.  I could not get a later checkout than normal and the room rates I was given were higher than I have ever seen.

There are quite a few perks with the gold card, but most important to me is access to the 24 hour Gold Club and 50% increase in points for play.  Here are the extras you get with an upgrade.

•    Guaranteed suite availability 72 hours prior to arrival

•    Complimentary suite upgrade*

•    Invited guest check-in

•    Early check-in and noon late check-out*

•    Complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the McCarran International Airport (limit 2 guests)

•    Valet – Front-of-the-line priority service

•    Venetian Gold Club Lounge access

•    Slot Rewards points- Up to 50% more

•    Priority Concierge phone line

•    Priority show and restaurant reservations*

•    Phantom – Receive $25 off Orchestra or Golden Circle-level seats

•    10% off select non-sale items at Venetian & Palazzo-owned retail shops**

◦    Venetian: Apothecary, Baccarat, Emporio D’Gondola, International News II, Mercato III, Newstand 2, Ricordo, Venezia, and Pool Shop

◦    Palazzo: Apothecary, Café Presse, La Fortuna, Prosecco, Seasons and Pool Shop

•    Gondola Ride- 20% off tickets

•    Canyon Ranch SpaClub ® – 10% discount on services**

•    Azure – Complimentary entry for 2 (Thursday-Sunday)***

•    Tao Beach – Daybed rental with $100 F&B purchase (Monday-Friday)*

•    Tao Beach – Line pass and complimentary entry for 2 (Friday-Sunday)*

•    Tao & LAVO Nightclubs – Line pass and complimentary entry for 2*

There is a lot of *stuff* given to gold card member, but most of it doesn’t interest me.

I have to get 10,000 points on my next trip to keep the status.  I’m pretty sure I won’t, but it would be sweet if I did.  They count cash spending 2-1 for points, so I’ll earn a few bucks drinking wine and eating steak, so ya never know!

Beyonce…kick it.

New MGM Players Club – MLife

MGM Resorts M Life Players Club
M Life

MGM Resorts has been planning to launch a new players club to rival Harrah’s Total Rewards.  MGM Resorts International announced Mlife and will slowly start rolling it out to most of its properties nationwide.

Mlife is currently available at Beau Rivage in Tunica Biloxi, MS.  In August Mlife will be available in Detroit and in Las Vegas before the year is over.

Essentially MGM will try to mirror everything Total Rewards offers does both offline and online.  Examples from the Mlife FAQ:

  • Mlife will slot play more heavily than table play.
  • Mlife will now group players by tiers.
  • Use of tier credits and reward credits.
  • Ability to link users to one account.
  • MGM Holiday Gift Shoppe rivals Total Rewards Gift Rewards.

If imitation is the most sincere for of flattery Harrah’s should be blushing.  Current Players Club points will move to Mlife when your favorite property switches over to Mlife.

To their credit the MGM Mlife website is pretty sharp looking.  Cheers to the rollout working smoothly.  Keep the room offers coming.

Harrahs Adds Starwood To Total Rewards Alliance

I notice that Harrah’s added Starwood to their Total Rewards Alliance while I was poking around Total Rewards to make sure I was confirmed for an upcoming trip to Atlantic City.  The Total Rewards Alliance includes deals with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Hawaiian Airlines.  Here are the details on how things will work with Starwood.

Total Rewards introduces Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®) as our newest member of the Total Rewards Alliance! By adding new members to our Total Rewards Alliance, we are giving you more flexibility to build your Reward Credit balance. Now, earn 2 Bonus Reward Credits for every eligible dollar you spend at over 500 participating SPG locations in North America, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. As a Total Rewards member, you’ll also receive exclusive SPG rates at incredible resorts including the W, Westin, and Sheraton.

To be eligible for this exclusive promotion, you must register with your Total Rewards number prior to booking at www.spg.com/TotalRewards. Reward Credits received through your stay will post to your account within 14 days of checking out.

Eligible dollar spent includes only the hotel room rate at participating locations in North America. Taxes, incidentals, or other fees are not included as eligible spend, and will not qualify for Reward Credits. Guests must register for the promotion with their Total Rewards account number prior to booking, and must book through the designated booking site. Other Terms and Conditions apply. For a complete list of Promotional Terms and Conditions, visit us at www.spg.com/TotalRewards.

Total Rewards account must be in good standing to be awarded Reward Credits. All Rules and Regulations of Total Rewards apply. Click Here to see a complete list of Rules and Regulations for Total Rewards.

I’m a starwood member and try to stay at their locations whenever I travel, so getting Total Rewards points is just a bonus.  I don’t see many points coming from this, but if I can get a free meal out of some business travel I’ll take it.

I have to make hotel reservations for an upcoming trip, so this comes at a convenient time for me.  The FAQ answered most questions I had.

Wynn Red Card Info Now Available Online

Wynn and Encore are finally allowing you to access information for your Red Card online.  Of course, there is no noticeable place to find this on the Wynn website.  You will find your access point at the upper right corner of the reservations page.

Since you now know how to find the red card page, you’re about 1/3 of the way through the process.

Now you have to spend about 10 minutes registering for an account.  The process is annoying, but once you register and confirm you now have access to Red Card info you once had to call Las Vegas to get.

You’re about 66% done now and the rest is fun.  You can now see what the Red Card has for you.  You can check the following:

“My Promotion” – Latest offers available to you.  I have room offers and early booking offers.  I’m sure this will be different for everyone.

“My Account and Profile” – Address, Email, Password updating.  Access to all of your account info.  This is good to check.  The person at the Red Card desk entered a wrong letter in my email address and street address as well so I never got offers.

“Contact Wynn Las Vegas and Encore” – Find out more and contact Wynn. Easy access to all Wynn numbers

“My Casino Account” – Player Information.  You can apply for credit or check your comp dollars.

“Reservations” – Room, Dining, Shows, Other.  This is an excellent and easy way to plan out a trip.  The restaurant reservations have enough detail to never have to go to the main website.

Overall Wynn’s online rewards system may not be the most robust and may be a pain to set up, but it’s once you are into the system everything is set up nicely.

I’ll be bookmarking this page so I never have to hear Steve Wynn talk to me again or the music in the background.  Everything I could want for a trip to Wynn is located on the Red Card page.

Do yourself a favor – spend the 10 minutes or so setting yourself up.  Bookmark the page.  Never deal with the rest of the Wynn website.  Or you can go to wynncore.com and enjoy that.

Seven Stars Insider – July

Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider.  This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s players.  Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  There is lots of information in this edition, so read on for all the goods.

Seven Stars Insider – July 2010

NOTE: While this newsletter was originally designed exclusively for Seven Stars members, there is useful information for anyone who has a Total Rewards® player’s card and/or plays/stays at a Harrah’s property.  Please feel free to pass this on to your friends.  Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online at http://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/.  You will need Adobe Acrobat to view them, but this is a free program available at www.adobe.com.

Fall Signature Event

The fall Signature Event has been confirmed for September 10-12 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.  September 10, however, is the last day of Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, and many players are not happy about the scheduling.

Harrah’s Plans Las Vegas Retail, Entertainment Complex

Harrah’s Entertainment plans to develop a retail and entertainment center in a short thoroughfare that runs from the Las Vegas Strip to Audrie Street, between the Flamingo and O’Sheas.  “Project Linq” will include 20 restaurants and bars, and 20 individual retailers along a promenade that leads to a 550-foot observation wheel in the back of the property.  Construction is expected to begin next year.  Here’s a link to a Las Vegas Review-Journal article which appeared July 1.

Cashback Back – Sort Of

It’s now official.  No need to look in your mailbox for those Reel Rewards coupons that replaced the actual cash cashback from Atlantic City casinos.  While you still won’t get cold hard cash, you now will be able to retrieve a coupon through the kiosks.  Simply print the voucher – minimum $5, in increments of $5 – and take it to the cashier.  In the future, the only thing you’ll get in the mail is a postcard telling you how much you’ve earned, and you’ll probably receive at least one last Reel Rewards coupon in the mail for all cashback earned prior to the conversion.  If you have any cashback balances prior to April 6, you can still get the cash up until July 15.  After that, you won’t get the cash, just Reel Rewards coupons available through the kiosks.  All existing cashback offers that were sent through the mail as Reel Rewards coupons will continue to be valid through their expiration date.  Finally, don’t cash out more coupons than you can use during your visit because they expire sometimes within a day or two after you receive them.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I received a survey from Harrah’s asking my thoughts on the “new” – now “old” – cashback program the day after the revised program was announced.  Some department wasted a lot of money, and a lot of our time, by polling us after the decision was made.

Continue reading “Seven Stars Insider – July”

Seven Stars Insider – June

Here is the Seven Stars Insider newsletter for June.  Go to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  Enjoy the Insider.  Congrats on the column with the Examiner!

Examine My New Column
For those of you who play regularly in Atlantic City, or have an interest in the casino and gaming scene there, check out my columns at examiner.com .  While much of the information will be “old hat” to “regulars”, hopefully you’ll find something of interest.  Click here to go directly to my portion of the site.  To be alerted when a new article appears, click the “Subscribe” button to the right of my picture and name.

Atlantic City Crime Alert
“It started off innocently enough when the guy at the slot machine next to me asked where to insert his cash ticket,” a player reports.  “But this minor distraction gave him just enough time to try to stick his left hand into my right pants pocket and take my cash.  Fortunately, realizing what was happening, I grabbed his wrist and he ran away – without any of my money.”  Incidents like this probably happen at other AC casinos, as well as at casinos across the country, but this occurred at Caesars around 10 p.m. on a weeknight.  Apparently there also were a number of individuals sleeping at machines scattered around the second floor of the casino.  “What made it worse,” my correspondent writes, “is that the two Caesars employees I spoke to seemed more interested in their personal conversation than walking around to wake up and usher out these vagrants.”  [I witnessed a number of “slot sleepers” at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City about a year ago, and had a similar experience trying to get Harrah’s employees to take any action.]  “What aggravated the situation even more was that the next morning around 7:30, as I was walking to check-out, there still were people sleeping at the machines.  Meanwhile a whole ‘parade’ of business-suited male employees walked by oblivious to the situation.”

No Rain On This Parade
Showboat in Atlantic City has resumed its four-day-a-week schedule of free indoor parades.  Wednesday through Sunday, you can see the parade at 3:30, 6 and 8 p.m.  While entertaining, the concept is a bit ill-conceived, especially when crowds gather for the first “stop” across from the registration desk.  On busy weekends, security guards are necessary to herd the audiences away from the lines of people trying to check-in.  And, with folks in wheelchairs and children on top of their fathers’ shoulders, it’s often difficult to see the acts.  Still, you have to give Showboat credit for trying something different – and most of the performers are very talented.

Atlantic City Cashback Update
Harrah’s may be rethinking its decision to mail those Reel Rewards coupons in lieu of cashback from your play in Atlantic City; however, no official statement has been issued, and folks working the Caesars Total Rewards desk claimed to know nothing.  However, floating around the Internet is the following plan, but it cannot be confirmed:  While you still won’t get cold hard cash, you’ll be able to retrieve a coupon through the kiosks.  Print the voucher – minimum $5, in increments of $5 – and take it to the cashier to exchange for a Reel Rewards coupon.  In the future, the only thing you’ll get in the mail is a postcard telling you how much you’ve earned.  And, if you still haven’t redeemed any cashback balances prior to April 6, you won’t get the cash, just vouchers for Reel Rewards coupons available through the kiosks.  All existing cashback offers that were sent through the mail as Reel Rewards coupons will continue to be valid through their expiration date.

1:1 Comps At Pier Shops Restaurants
From June 20 – 30 you can redeem your Total Rewards credits on a 1:1 basis at the Pier Shops’ Phillips Seafood, Sonsie, Game On!, The Trinity and Souzai.  While these restaurants always have accepted Reward Credits, it was on a 2:1 basis.  In other words, your $100 dinner would cost you $200 in comps.

Claridge, Wild Wild West Getting ‘Facelifts’
The 29-story circa-1929 Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City will undergo a major renovation, thanks to a $20 million investment by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and another $3.6 million, courtesy of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).  Describing it as a “modern cool” design, Harrah’s will be replacing furniture, bathroom fixtures, carpeting and bedding.  The CRDA money will be used for exterior work.  Meanwhile, down the street, another $1.5 million is being invested to completely overhaul the gaming floor at Wild Wild West.  The Wild Wild West project is expected to be complete

Harrahs Has A Blog

Sometimes I’m not the smartest beer in the 6 pack.  I was (am) going to post info that Harrah’s Total Rewards Magazine is now available online.  While, I was looking through the page I noticed that all of the contact and privacy information pointed to Harrah’s.  I also read the site for the first time where it states the following:

Welcome to the official blog of the Pulse of Vegas casino-resort destinations: Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Imperial Palace, Paris, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and O’Sheas. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual contributors, and not necessarily those of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.

It’s kind of tricky that the blog is run separate from harrahs.com, but the disclosure that this is all Harrah’s is nice to see.  I’m not a member of the internet police.  I just look for useful information.

Sure the blog will be promoting Harrah’s properties with only positive information, but since they are not hiding the source I know how to take the information.

Check The Pulse of Vegas Blog

If you frequent Harrah’s properties anywhere in the US the Total Rewards magazine is usually good for one trip to the bathroom or 5 minutes of your time.  Click the cover to read.

Planet Hollywood – A Tale of Two Rooms (Part 2)

As I mentioned yesterday my stay at Planet Hollywood was a tale of two rooms.  After walking around and taking pictures of dirty room 1, I went back downstairs to check in to inform them about the room.  Without question and before I could list off all of the dirty items I had a new room.  I think the old man in the scooter yelling about his stay helped me get a nice room. 🙂

I’m pretty sure I was upgraded to a resort room, which I’ll call “Room 2.”  This room was MUCH larger and thankfully cleaner.  There was ample room and options for me to charge my iPhone.  I chose the work area as my charging station.

You can see how big the room is by turning around from the work area.  The TV and wall unit was on the opposite wall with the bed set to the right.  This was a slightly awkward angle to watch TV, but it wasn’t too bad.

There were two big comfy chairs and a table to the left side of the room.  I spent most of my time in the room in one of the chairs.

I may have passed out in the chair after my 3rd tall Grey Goose and Soda, which was proceeded by two drinks in the Diamond Lounge.

Pictures and more after the jump

Continue reading “Planet Hollywood – A Tale of Two Rooms (Part 2)”