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Any way to earn Identity points remotely?

Discussion in 'Identity - Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas' started by Kingpasty, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. undathesea

    undathesea Gold

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    Ah... damn.
     
  2. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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    Prior to our trip last May we were just under Gold and since we were bringing a friend along we figured it would be worthwhile getting to Gold beforehand so she could use the companion nights. She and my wife were going to the spa anyway so we bought a $900 gift card in March to receive the 4500 tier points needed for Gold.

    Side-note: It's possible for Canadians to purchase the GC remotely - it's just a bit of a pain. But concierge walked us through it and were fantastic. The physical gift card was ready for pickup at concierge when we arrived, months after purchasing it.

    During the trip we charged everything to our room, and at checkout I went down to pay off the room charges with the gift card first. Then, apply resort credit to some more, and lastly pay off the rest with our credit card. The room charges included the ladies' spa treatment and several meals including a big one at Beauty & Essex. When I look at the "my recent activity" page even now - a few weeks after the trip - I see the 4500 tier points from the gift card purchase, plus another 3000 from the spa ($600), plus more from Wicked Spoon, Overlook Grill, The Henry, Beauty & Essex, etc. The only tier points that were taken away were the ones that the resort credit was applied towards (and those have shown since the day after we left).

    If that changes down the road I'll update this thread, but just an FYI about our case. Hopefully this post doesn't tip somebody off as I know Cosmo employees read these threads :) But still, this is an absolute no-brainer IMO - especially if you've got a sense for how much you plan to spend on the spa / dining / cabanas you might as well pre-pay via a gift card purchase, and the worst-case scenario is that the double-dip doesn't happen but it's a nice bonus if it does.
     
    Texas Steph likes this.
  3. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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    See my last post above. Basically concierge will send a PDF to be used as a credit card pre-authorization request which will need completed & signed, then after a few other emails back-and-forth you'll get a receipt that you can send over to the identity desk. I can't recall if the GC has to be picked up on-site or not, but if you're going there anyway I'm not sure why it would need to be shipped.
     
  4. Marilynfan

    Marilynfan Silver

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    Thanks for updated experiences with this. I had to cancel my June trip due to health issue and I'm still heartbroken for missing Gaga and losing my first ever gold nights since my status has dropped now

    Anyway, I need to get back to Gold because I have a group trip planned for our anniversary next June. I'll need the gold nights back and want the companion nights for my parents.

    Plan to go solo in October so will not have a chance with just gambling or spend on myself. Might get crazy and buy an obcene amount of gift cards to get the points on that trip. I figure with a group going next year maybe I can organize a cabana day or a group meal at wicked spoon to spend some of it on. Not sure if I'll be able to reserve that stuff in advance with the gift cards though. Sure wish I could use it on hotel costs since I want to upgrade to a suite.
     
    #44 Marilynfan, Jun 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  5. Marilynfan

    Marilynfan Silver

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    How long ago was this accomplished? I just tried and conceige said it can not be done over phone or via email for a pickup later. Online or in person only to get gift cards.
     
    #45 Marilynfan, Jun 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  6. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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    We bought them in March for our trip in May. I'm planning to do it again for our late Sep / earl Oct trip so I'll try to update this thread once that's done - we plan to buy another GC sometime in late July.
     
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  7. Marilynfan

    Marilynfan Silver

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    Ok. Let me know if your successful again. I'm only $42 in spend short of Sterling!
     
  8. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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    I sent in my request to concierge today and to the actual person at concierge who processed our last transaction. I got an out-of-office reply from the specific person, but received a regular reply from a different person at concierge who also stated online for US residents or in-person only. I'm not going to give up though - I've reminded this new person of the exact process we went through a mere 4 months ago and asked that if something has changed that it would be great to know when and what the rationale is - because I can't seem to figure out why that policy makes any sense at all.

    I'm hoping to buy now instead of in September because the exchange rate is decent right now and who knows where it'll be in a couple months. Will post back here with any updates...
     
    Marilynfan likes this.
  9. mcc192

    mcc192 Bronze

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    Stuck in this position also, only 925 points short of staying Sterling and my next trip isn't until April 2020.
    Can't purchase the gift card as I live in Northern Ireland.

    Does anyone know if you make a room reservation, do the points add upon making it or when you check out?
     
  10. Hoofy7

    Hoofy7 Chairman
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    I would bet when you check out since you technically haven’t spent the money until after your stay. I was actually surprised how easy it was to go from zero points and Velvet card to Gold there. Hotel spend helps a lot. I think I read ( perhaps even in this thread) that you can buy a gift card to their restaurants or bars and it can be linked to your Identity account and the points are added remotely.
     
    mcc192 likes this.
  11. Goldenknight

    Goldenknight Palladium

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    They won't ship the gift cards outside of the US though, so that won't work for him.
     
    Hoofy7 likes this.
  12. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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    Concierge is going to let me do this remotely (from Canada) although this was the response I got from the same contact I had when I purchased earlier in the year:

    I just wanted to reach out to you in regards to the gift card purchase. [the other guy at concierge] is correct in regards to the gift card policy. When the purchase was made in March we did make an exception to the policy due to your status in Identity to move from Sterling to Gold. I will check with my manager to see if it can be purchased to show good faith, however moving forward any gift card purchases are only available in person or on The Cosmopolitans website.

    Shortly after that message I did receive the credit card authorization form to complete, so I'm guessing I got the special permission again. I did ask about why this policy exists, since it makes absolutely no sense, and did not get that answer. To be very clear, I'm happy to make the purchase via the Cosmopolitan website as suggested, but the website doesn't allow purchases to non-US credit cards. I may persist for an answer to that question after I've made the purchase and had the points added, which I haven't done yet.

    For us, this time around, the only reason to purchase the gift card will be to try to double-dip on the points again but even that probably won't matter since after our trip coming up this September, the next one probably won't be until October 2020 and all the status points / levels will have expired by then anyway. So my motivation for getting this done isn't exactly top priority.
     
    Hoofy7 likes this.
  13. undathesea

    undathesea Gold

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    I hate to ask a dumb question... but what is a U.S. vs. non-U.S. credit card? Like... the American Express card. They bank internationally. Are Canadians not eligible to apply for that credit card? I bought a few gift cards from the Cosmo using the Amex.

    And, here's another dumb question... can't you just buy a gift card from a U.S. bank and then use that to purchase the gift cards? Heck... buy an Amex gift card online and use that.

    I know it's more work for an odd policy... but at least it seems to be an option.
     
  14. mcc192

    mcc192 Bronze

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    Thanks for your reply, I guess my only option is to email them and see if they can help.
     
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  15. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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    I think you're revealing a little bit of why this is such a silly policy. Visa / Mastercard / Amex are all international credit companies doing business worldwide - and I can use my Canadian credit card to buy the Cosmo gift card when on-site, just not remotely via their website. My head explodes trying to rationalize that. But to answer your questions...

    You can't apply receive a U.S. credit card without having a real US mailing address. I think you may also need to have a US Bank account but I'm not completely positive on that, or a Social Security Number, etc. In short, a Canadian citizen living in Canada will not be able to get a U.S. credit card (at least, not easily).

    Now, in my personal case, @Mrs2BOBCATS is an American citizen living in Canada with permanent resident status. She has maintained one of her US bank accounts and also has a US credit card, using her dad's address. So we actually DO have access to a US credit card, legally. So why don't we use it in this case? Well, because the cost of moving money between the two countries is somewhat ridiculous. Notwithstanding the spread in the exchange rate, which is bullshit, to do a wire transfer will have a crazy fee attached to it. Mailing cash across the border? Maybe 10% chance it'll get there. Physically bringing money with us when we go to visit is the only cost-effective way to do it, but it's not like we do that all the time and we'd never make a trip solely for the purpose of doing the money transfer since that would cost more than the wire transfer. Perhaps if we had the means to just store "extra money" down in her US bank account then we'd do that, but we're not at that point in our lives just yet, sadly.

    Interesting point about the pre-paid Visa / Mastercard though - I might have to look into that. Although I think you may have to buy those in-person? I'm sure my Canadian-backed Mastercard would love to have us purchase a US-backed pre-paid Mastercard, charging something like $1400 for a $1000 purchase just because they can. Assholes :)

    Even though Cosmo breaking their own policy on this benefits me, I think I'd rather they didn't break their own policies. If they agree their policies are stupid then they should change them for everyone, not just look the other way when somebody like me bitches enough about it.
     
    undathesea likes this.
  16. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Platinum

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  17. mcc192

    mcc192 Bronze

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    I emailed identity and they replied that concierge would be happy to process a gift card for the spa.
    I confirmed this would be ok and shortly after received an email with the relevant credit card authorization form, filled in it and got a call shortly after.
    Just sent all the info off to Identity so at least I can now retain my status.
     
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  18. 44inarow

    44inarow Cool Story Bro
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    There's also the fact that despite having common branding, in many cases bank branches located within a particular state (and in some cases, bank branches within each individual state) are considered to be individual institutions for certain legal and regulatory purposes. For example, despite moving out of state, which is reflected on my account statements, my Citibank account technically still "lives" at a branch in New York City.

    With U.S. versus non-U.S. cards, there's also the issue of currency. I can obviously use my Mastercard outside the U.S., but any transactions will be converted from local currency into U.S. dollars. So there needs to be a distinction for that, as well.
     
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  19. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph I think I'm addicted to Vegas...
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    Bumping this thread...

    Just returned from a Cosmo trip and checked my points online. I am like 3000 points away from attaining Gold status. My current points won't start falling off until early May 2020, and I am going to schedule our next trip for late April. I am seriously considering buying a gift card through the Cosmo website, and have the identity desk add the points from that purchase to my account to get to Gold level.

    The plan is to stay a week at Cosmo late April thru early May. I will use the 2 comp Gold nights, and reserve the other nights at whatever my discounted rate is (sans any addtnl comp room offers).

    My question is... can I use the gift card at check-out to pay the final bill? (the cost of the rooms and room charges)

    I'm not sure this was answered definitively earlier in this thread, and I want to be sure before I buy the card. I won't do it if it can't be used to pay for the room. Thx!
     
  20. YOleven

    YOleven Silver

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    Yes! I've done this many times, most recently at the end of my trip last month. Just present your gift card at check-out, and they will apply the gift card balance to your final bill. The gift card actually shows up as a Mastercard payment/credit on your bill, and you can pay for any remaining portion of your bill with a standard credit card. On a related note, it's best to keep track of the balance on your card if you've also used it at bars, restaurants, and so on. I don't believe the front desk has the ability to quickly check the balance of a gift card...they can just apply whatever amount you request to the gift card and see if it is approved. However, you can easily check the balance online if there's ever any question.

    I've found that instead of using a gift card at bars, restaurants, and so on throughout your trip, it's just easier to charge everything to your room, then apply the gift card to your final bill at check-out.
     
    #60 YOleven, Nov 3, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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