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Input Wanted - The Ultimate Loyalty Program Design

Discussion in 'Comps - General Comp Discussion' started by FormerlyKnownAsCosmoSlotVP, Jun 5, 2022.

  1. ted_nancy

    ted_nancy Platinum
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    Other than the rewards desk (which would cease to exist in my ideal program), I don't use line cutting benefits, so I'm happy to see them go. I'm also happy to pay $20 in points if I'm really in a rush or to let someone who paid $40 in points go ahead of me. That's the beauty of my system! You only get the benefits you actually want, and none of the ones you don't.

    Does your play warrant a suite, but you're solo this trip? Great, get a standard room instead and get the difference in additional free play. Visiting with friends you really want to impress on the next trip? Give up all your free play and resort credit and splurge for a two bedroom penthouse. Like to play at the bar but can't use all your drink tickets, or drove to Vegas and don't need a limo this time? Now you get a little extra free play, nothing goes to waste.

    Remember, we are cutting out all the excess fat of the marketing budget here, so there should be way more total value to go around AND it gets allocated in a way that maximizes the utility for each player. So it may feel like "giving up" free line cutting, parking, limos, buffets, etc. but I'm very confident (based on nothing, including absolutely no knowledge of casino financials) that we'd all be left with more total value in the end even after "paying" for all of those things out of points.

    The third benefit to "real" players is we'd be cutting out all current attempts to game the system. There would be no one putting a $20 in at the bar, playing one hand and walking away with a free drink. No milking offers for months after one big trip of play. No taking advantage of poorly designed marketing offers, etc. All that leaked value would accrue back to the consistently loyal players who actually "deserve" it.
     
  2. claired67

    claired67 Palladium
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    I’m struggling to make this coherent.

    I went to Vegas 3-4 times a year before Cosmo opened and that’s still the same. But other than 2 nights at Wynn and 1 night at Aria, everything has been at Cosmo since it opened. And it’s mostly because of the rooms, restaurants, pools-but having resort spend count for something and being easy to understand was huge. Like I can get 4 nights comped at Luxor but that’s not where I’m gonna stay (never say never.)

    From reading here and seeing people post what they have lost and risked, I get the gamblers (gambolers?) point of view as well. But if I’m willing to pay $1000 for a Lanai suite and $600 for a cabana and $350 for a bar tab (don’t judge)-that should count for something.

    I liked the slot promotions. Easy to understand. Earn x, get a chance to earn x free play. Could swipe my card and see how far away I was without being embarrassed with a real person. And I won a few times-$125 slot play in the mini slot tourneys and a $500 Apple Store gift card (I think I had 2 entries). But feeling I had a chance was what mattered.

    I like tiers and the perks with tiers. My SIL chased Gold when she realized I had it and she didn’t. It’s not a self actualized place to be, but social media is full of people showing how they skip lines, get upgrades. So if it’s by play or spend, it shouldn’t matter. It just makes the people that spent more feel more valued and they should.

    And sorry guys, drink tickets need to have a value limit and an expiration time. Clearly marked and enforced. Drinks are free when you gamble. Plan accordingly.
     
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  3. NickPappageorgio

    NickPappageorgio ¿Quién vigila a los vigilantes?
    VIP Pledge Member Founding Fanatic 2018 March Madness Winner

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    On this, we are in agreement. After some initial reluctance I've come around on the drink ticket system (or the green light/red light system whichever). It does tend to open up spots at the bar tops for those of us who want to gamble by getting rid of the bar flies who slow press a game just to get a free domestic beer from time to time.

    That said, I do think the technology is there to adjust the limits on the tickets depending on the size of the bet. My drink ticket for playing at the $1 level should have a higher limit than my ticket for playing at the $.25 level IMO. You bet more, you get more. Just like most other things in a casino.
     
  4. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Palladium

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    Is that in reference to the idea where somebody could gamble in the morning to earn a drink that night (or at another time in the future)? While I'm not sure I agree with that, my frustrations are sometimes around inconsistent service on the floor while actually gambling. It's similar to what @ted_nancy is saying - at an extreme level nothing should be based on human interpretations or behaviors. Somebody playing a 50-line penny slot, 1 line at a time X1 is eligible for the exact same service as the person next to them playing all 50 lines X 5. If that drink service is crappy, then the person max betting will be frustrated assuming they want the drinks. If that service is great, then the person min betting is gaming the system.

    "Drinks are free while you gamble" is just a little to vague and has challenges in implementation. "Drinks are earned while you gamble and may be redeemed within a reasonable amount of time" is what I'm hoping for, just that "reasonable" I think might be 48 hours instead of 2. Putting limits on how many can be redeemed within a certain time frame would also prevent folks from hoarding them.
     
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  5. Grid!

    Grid! Platinum

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    1: Value of points and what it takes to earn points. (transparent coin in or opaque theo based earning)

    Transparent coin in. I actually haven't spent a penny with MGM since they made their point system so hard to understand. I want to now what it takes to earn a point. In knowing that, I can back track how much I am gambling. That way, I can set targets for my play. If I am going for $10K coin in, all slots, a day. I want to be able to measure that. I don't want a slide rule and abacus to figure out how much I ran through. It is not like slots are a winning proposition. And if the fear is those that only gamble on high denom with better odds, just dilute the earning rate to match your fears.

    2: Tables vs slots vs non-gaming (points/ tier credits, etc...)

    Earn points based on the expected returns. Tables earn at a much lower rate, but still make those points somewhat universal. IE, any table games earn .25 (or whatever) those of slot games. And resort spenders earn twice as much (or whatever) as slot games. Whatever the math is, make it simple and universal.

    3: Do tiers matter to you (does that tier status/different card really mean anything)

    It does. Back at home, I live a normal upper middle class life. I'm no one. In Vegas, I get to cut lines, have hosts walk up to me on the casino floor (Like CET does when a Diamond or up is active) and generally feel like someone important. The experience means a lot to me. And I will often over-kick my coverage to level up, as that is important to my overall enjoyment of gambling.

    4: What tier benefits (assuming there are tiers) have REAL value to you (real perks)

    Everyone will give a different answer. Some like discounts on tickets and shopping, where as I don't care. Some want free shows, where I want free food (like the old Diamond Lounges). Some things are expected, like line cuts. In reality, the most important benefits to me, are accelerated earnings. That is to say, when I level up, I earn tier credits or base points faster. I like when casinos dangle that carrot, as it helps me justify my spend.

    5: How hard should it be to level up in tier

    Of all the stupid things CET did to Total Rewards, the "bonus points" system for gambling in a day is not one of them. Using an aggregate of all points earned in a year is fine. But you need to account for people like me, that show up two or three times a year for a few nights. If I spend just as much gambling in 9 days, as some local does in 90, I am a much more valuable asset. Just like offers being based on "Per Day" tier credits should take that into account as well.

    6: Do you want points to always be used first when comps are factored in or should discretionary/host comps be completely that, but you get to bank your points forever

    I would much rather a host tell me they can cover $xxx, and if I go over, I can pay the balance on my own or with points. I hate the idea of a casino taking my points first, as I like to bank those for future trips, when I cant rely on DC.

    7: If there are tiers, how long should you be qualified in that tier (6 months, calendar year, rolling year)

    Always calendar. Again, keep it simple. You should want people to play to move up, just as much as they want to play to move up. Cosmo had the most transparent program out there, with realistic goals to move up. The only thing I hated, was the rolling. It changed for me every year. Jan 1st to Dec 31st. And if you patch in the bonus points for playing high on a day, that is a good crutch for those that joined your club late.
     
  6. sparkydog

    sparkydog Palladium
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    Offer match will get me in the door. Also don't have to clear off points before host comps rest. No resort fees on comp nights.
     
  7. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Palladium

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    CET's 13-month(ish) calendar is brilliant for this too, where typically the points earned in December count for both the current year as well as for the future year.
     
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  8. camalott4

    camalott4 Bronze

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    For me:
    1) not being lied to. Everytime a corporation changes their reward system they talk about how much better it is. This is always a giant lie. I am not an idiot and it is insulting to treat me like one.
    2) free rooms. I refuse to gamble anywhere that will not comp my room upfront and this even includes cruises.
    3) resort credit. Same situation as the free room. Chances are you will get my money that I chose to lose. The only reason I come to Vegas is because my wife knows all her meals are comped and she can basically go crazy. Take that away and we no longer come.
    4) the little things. Anyone remember the huge spread they had a few years ago for the mlife holiday gift shoppe. The next year they cut it down to a few cookies and junk. After that you order for a catalog. We have not been back. It is odd to think that someone would fly from the east coast to Vegas just for a great setup when you already had free food but it showed they cared. When they went cheap I stopped caring.
    5) offering perks you can use. Mgm offers free tickets but no free room, Freeplay, or resort credit. I get around 1600 in credit and Freeplay so why would I give that up for 400 in tickets and pay for my own discounted room. That is silly. Also late checkout but not once as a platinum have they let me checkout after 12. I have not tried a suite upgrade as I am in a nomad grand suite as I type this.
     
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  9. Grid!

    Grid! Platinum

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    MGM is a liar, and they ruined their players club. MGM baited people in with a great Holiday Gift Shoppe, just to penny pinch there after. Hates on MGM's comp system, with unbalanced offers that can truly be silly. Bashes MGM fake perks for better members, with things you cant actually use.

    Types all that, while actively staying with MGM still LOL. I Kid, I Kid, but it is sorta funny.
     
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  10. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Platinum
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    Could not have said it better!!! (With freeplay a close second.)
     
  11. Anna T.

    Anna T. Platinum
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    As someone who plays 100% slots and will also run up a nice folio, I like the fact that Cosmo rewards my spend whether it be on slots or food and beverage. I also think the system should be straight forward. I pretty much understand Cosmo's present system, but recently was a little flustered by anniversary date. (My own fault). I also REALLY like the tiers. Yep, totally think the platinum car service is worth it as well as the 3x multiplier. I think people go to Vegas to escape the mundane. At least I do. I want all the good things a casino can offer, provided my play and or spend has earned it.
     
  12. aronius

    aronius Bronze

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    I'm a long time MGM player and here is what I value.

    - Value in the tiers. Old MGM it was next to worthless to get platinum. Now, although much harder to make, there is something tangible for getting there.

    - Stupid status. Yes, stupidly, I would rather have a platinum card as opposed to gold, pearl, etc. Yes, skipping lines is value to me.

    - Incentives. MGM offered me a spend this get an extra amount of resort credit. Damn sure I'm taking advantage of that if the amount is close to what I was going to spend anyway. Offer incentives to book another trip. I'm always looking for a reason to sneak away to Vegas. Slot tournament, double points, concert tickets. Sure I'll take a look

    - The one thing MGM gets completely wrong at the moment. At my level I can get any basic or slight upgrade room at any MGM spot. Sometimes I need/want a better room and I don't have the ability to even get a discount on one. Full freight only, weird and really annoying.

    Other random thoughts. I have been resigned to the fact every casino will eventually use actual theo for points. I like points for spend, it ties some sort of value into the experience. Points should be calendar year only, one less thing to keep track of.
     
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  13. Big Slotter/kdk

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    I'll give my input here too-

    Identity was one of my favorite programs overall.
    Reasons why:

    Loved the bonus free nights and the two nights I could "gift" to someone. While I typically would get free nights based on my play anyway, it was nice if I needed to add a night or just need a place to stay when I wasn't there to gamble. It was really nice to be able to bring someone with yet still have my own room too.

    I loved the bonus multipliers as you moved up tiers.

    I loved the straightforwardness of point earning, and the ability to track that almost instantly on the website.

    I liked the earning for non gaming.

    I liked that the tiers were "attainable", which I'll go more into detail.

    I know with tiers there sort of has to be a line between being too easily attainable and too difficult. The type of casino, whether it's more of a locals casino or a destination casino plays into this, and I think it can be a challenge for casinos to balance this.
    if the casino is more of a locals casino, and the tiers are too easy to get, the player who may come in at least twice a week to play their freeplay and a little of their cash often ends up in one of the top tiers. They maybe cycle $500 or so per visit, but only have a theo value of $50 per visit, and yet end up getting all the good perks. (like a lot of CET players who ate dinner nightly at the Diamond Lounges).
    In this same scenario, you get some players who maybe come in 2 or 3 times per year, but they cycle $10,000 or more per day. That player is worth more even though they don't visit as often. That player gets less perks as their tier is likely lower (although better offers).

    I have found two things that work around this well.
    One is the CET bonus tiers. I think this works well as they operate both local and destination properties.
    The other is an automatic tier upgrade based on "theo". For example, when I used to occasionally visit Barona in California after I was playing for a bit, a host would come up to me and tell me they decided to upgrade me and would give me a new card with a higher tier. Not being a local I would never have earned that being I don't come that often, and it was nice when I wanted to eat at the buffet that I got to skip the 2 hour long line.
    Another example was recently I visited Winstar in Oklahoma. I gave them two solid days of play, yet still had to pay some "service fees" on my room that was comped. I know I was no where near moving up a tier yet, but they sent me an email a few weeks later saying they "upgraded" my card level and listed all the new benefits to get me to visit again.
    I don't know the exact formula they use and they don't publish they do this, but its a nice gesture that I really liked. I think more casinos should do this.

    My suggestions that Identity needed improvement on:
    Would have been nice to be able to see how many points earned that day in real time- many casinos offer this on their kiosk, some on the card reader screen even. The website sort of did this, just could have been made a little simpler thats all.
    I liked the extra promos that Identity offered a lot. However, I wish more were self-serve. The line at the Identity desk would often get long. Or a bigger issue was I would earn a bonus after the desk closed for the evening. It always seemed like I would earn something on my last night there after midnight and wasn't able to redeem the next day as I was leaving (without adding a new gaming day to my theo). Most other casinos that have these type of promos offer them via a kiosk or automatically without visiting the desk. (not complaining just a suggestion).

    One final perk I like is a tier based freeplay bonus. Atlantis in Reno does this. Once you move up to the 3rd tier or above, they offer each tier a little bonus each time you earn 300 tier points for example, $15 freeplay shows up on your card, no limit.

    anyway, thanks for asking for input, I also like reading others responses too.
     
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  14. Monie

    Monie Member

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    l just play slots so I will only speak to that.
    Identity is set up very well. I prefer it to Wynn and MGM's reward programs.
    I prefer transparency, simplicity in all things. I like to know what I am earning in tier credits with some simple math.
    I do a lot of nongaming resort spend as well and prefer a program that rewards resort spending too.
    Tiers matter. I like perks!
    Free rooms are most important; then airport transportation; then freeplay; VIP check in; line cutting and dining credits in that order.
    Don't make it too easy to level up in tiers or else what is the point exactly? I think it best to not have more than 5 tiers.
    I prefer discretionary/host comps and banking my points. Forever.
    I prefer calendar year earning. It is an easier way to remember when I need to start earning again.
    Consider using card kiosks where you can easily swipe in with your card and view your tier and rewards info. My local casino, Northern Quest, has this. It reduces time wasted standing in line for simple account info. They also have fun little games and giveaways on the kiosk screens where you can earn freeplay, points, or enter drawings. I like that aspect too.
     
  15. Evoni

    Evoni Palladium
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    Kevin, I would agree with those who said you pretty much nailed it with the Cosmopolitan Identity program, especially after you added an additional line at Identity for gold and platinum level. I didn't care for the rolling year, I was always having to check and create extra work for the staff asking when my year was coming up. I like it when it ends at the end of the year, for example you make X level during the year and it carries over for one year giving the gambler the chance to have it for the following year while earning it for the next. I would have also liked a VIP room that in addition to registration had a larger seating area and more snack items.

    Wynn surprised me when they changed their loyalty club recently and I really like what they did with theirs especially considering there wasn't one previously, LOL. I love their VIP lounge and registration area in the towers but they have added some great perks at certain levels. I used to love Venetian and Palazzo and only quit going there because they wouldn't allow us to record our slot play. However recently I noticed they changed their loyalty card levels and not for the better (shocker). I will not gamble there again even if they allow recording until they once again offer limo service to and from the airport for their higher level and I'm not sure what happened to the nice Venetian and Palazzo VIP rooms. Of course their highest publicized level takes less points now but I would prefer them to increase the points or add an additional level that gave additional perks like in the past with the airport limo pickup.

    Just read about Patrick Nichols former General Manager & Chief Strategy Officer at The Cosmopolitan becoming CEO of Venetian. Looking forward to finding out where you will next be working.
     
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  16. campie1988

    campie1988 Silver

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    answered in bold.
     
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  17. sparkydog

    sparkydog Palladium
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    I think at bartops they should be for players only.
     
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  18. tringlomane

    tringlomane Theoretical Video Poker Addict
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    I guess we'll let you join...
    At many casinos they are. But I really can't blame Cosmo bartenders to not chase away people paying ~$20 a drink because they may often be getting better tips from people that blindly tip 15-20%.
     
    #38 tringlomane, Jun 13, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
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  19. FormerlyKnownAsCosmoSlotVP

    Official Account Founding Fanatic

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    All responses were greatly appreciated! Thank you to everyone who chimed in with their thoughts. This feedback will hopefully, someday soon, be put to good use!

    -KS
     
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  20. sisubaby

    sisubaby Silver

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    Sorry, I'm probably going to duplicate what many of these fine people already stated (tons of great ideas!), but it is a survey afterall..

    1: Value of points and what it takes to earn points. (transparent coin in or opaque theo based earning)

    Transparent for sure. I'm an extremely logical, deterministic person (wife may disagree), and so I love the "put $3 coin in, you get 10 TC's" kind of math. If you want to tier that out and give some machines $3/pt, and others $4 or $5 or $6/pt, I can handle that. Just don't make it too hard to figure out which is which. The new MGM method sucks. It's a trust thing. I just don't trust that I'm getting my proper credits for all my play at the end of a session, day or trip. With coin in, I can always go back and get a pretty good estimate.

    2: Tables vs slots vs non-gaming (points/ tier credits, etc...)

    I'm not too worried about this honestly. I don't expect much from my pai gow play, but to be honest, I'm usually just killing some time to take a break and having a little fun, so I don't expect much. Craps has been treating me crappy, so I just haven't been playing it. Used to love it. Blackjack is where I'd like to get some credits, but it just feels like unless I'm betting at least $100/hand, I'm not going to get anything out of it TC-wise. Does it disincentivize me from playing blackjack? ...maybe.

    3: Do tiers matter to you (does that tier status/different card really mean anything)

    YES. I'm a trophy chaser. (I didn't say comp chaser, but I'm probably that too if I'm being honest :) ). I like achieving higher levels that give me some tangible, visible benefit. I have no expectation of ever hitting Noir, and I have no interest in Sapphire or Pearl. I'm targeting Platinum, and I'm on the fence about Gold. I can honestly say that if I only make Gold this year, I am going to be extremely disappointed, and I likely won't come to Vegas as often in the future. ...or I'll look for a different loyalty program.

    4: What tier benefits (assuming there are tiers) have REAL value to you (real perks)

    #1, 2 and 3, Room comps - or to be more precise, suite comps.
    One of the big reasons we go to Vegas is due to room comps and that we feel that the value you get for the price is beyond any other destination. For the same price, you just can't find any other destination with the same size and luxury as Vegas.

    I LOVE the idea that a previous poster had about having a choice - get a suite, or take a standard room and get more FP. I would also suggest a different variation of that where you offer huge discounts on upgrades to better suites on comp stays (or take away some of my FP and RC for the upgrade, I don't care). During the pandemic, I was able to upgrade from a standard comp room at Aria to a Sky Suite for $150-250 more per night at check in. I loved that. Even cheaper for Platinum would have been better, but now it feels much harder to get.

    Furthermore, please, please, please fix the stupid app at MGM. I'm a self-serve guy. I like to browse on my own. I can easily spend 30 minutes just looking through the different properties on different dates to see what's available to me. But in the apps, I can't see all the comp rooms available to me. I only see standard rooms at most properties, even though suites are available to me. It's so frustrating. I'm forced to call the VIP line. They are very nice, but they're just doing a search like I am. Give me the same access!!

    Just recently, I increased my play and got almost no increase in FP or RC. I was pissed. But then I found out that suite, and especially Sky Suite, comps were available to me at Aria. That made my day. I was so happy. I could have cared less about the FP and RC, as long as there was some.

    Room Discounts
    I want to extend my stay with super discounted room/suite rates.

    Waived Resort Fees
    For sure.

    Number of Comp Nights
    I'd like to see more comp nights for those that qualify for it. I don't like the cap of 4 nights. The 3 night cap (maybe just for me) at V/P is a big turnoff for me. I like that Caesars will give you 5 (or more?) nights. We want to make a trip out of it. With four nights, I have to take some time off of work anyway, so I'd prefer to take longer trips. If my coin in drops on longer trips, then take it away from me.

    FP + RC Offers with Comp Stays
    More is always better, but rooms still reign supreme. Being honest though, I have selected NoMad my last few trips because the FP and RC was basically double of what I'd get at Aria, and NoMad gave me suites. Aria did not. Now that Aria is giving me suites, FP/RC is less important. Though if the RC went above the cost of the suites, I might feel differently.

    Cutting Lines
    I love cutting lines, or rather, I absolutely loath waiting in long lines. I've said this before, but I'll pay to cut lines almost anywhere. Disneyland, AMC Theaters, you name it... In an Uber world, I could care less about the taxi line cut. I've never used it. I want line cuts at check in, at the Rewards desk, at the cage, at the Aria Patisserie, at the buffet, and I want special access to restaurants. I want to walk up to DTF at Aria and get a table within a reasonable time, at any time.

    Annual Celebration Dinner
    We like this one a lot. It's a nice perk for hitting a tier level.

    Points and FP for playing slots
    To be honest, meh... They just seem so small compared the money I'm putting through those machines, that I really don't pay much attention to it. I'm particularly jaded with FP accumulation. It takes forever to get anything worth cashing, and every time I do use $50 or so, it's gone with seconds, and I almost always win nothing. I'm convinced that the computer knows it's FP and refuses to pay out. Again, a trust issue. The one time I feel it did keep me engaged was at Resorts World I think. They had something where you'd randomly get some extra FP, or maybe play a mini game randomly to get more FP. That was fun. A game within a game, and the uncertainty of it was kind of fun too. The anticipation.

    Points for RC's are just ok. Again, it feels like it takes forever to accumulate. I'll also echo what others have said about redemption at the end of a stay. Some of the most frustrating moments I've had with MGM Rewards is when I've gone to the rewards desk at the end of a trip (or at the front desk at check out) to ask for back end comps, and they say "we can offer to convert your RC's". DUH!!! I know I can convert my RC's. That's obviously not what I'm asking for. I'd rather just hear, sorry, your play didn't qualify you for any back end comps. Fine. I know I should probably ask a host, but I don't have one, and I'm not sure I qualify for one. I'm riding the wave of marketing dollars...

    Other Misc.
    I have no interest in free concert tickets. They never line up with the times I want to travel, and the selection is not great. I actually see it as spam and wish I'd stop receiving those offers. Free entry to slot tournaments is the same. It feels like spam. It seems like it's always on a Sunday/Monday, and it never lines up with my dates. These feel like you're trying to get more out of me, rather than a benefit to me.

    A complimentary show on each trip, on the other hand, would be great. A free CDS show, shark reef, whatever...

    R/T airport transfer would be cool, but is not at the top of our list - especially if we get Sky Suite comps that come with it anyway.

    5: How hard should it be to level up in tier

    Not as hard as it currently is at MGM. It sucks right now - even with the 2x TCs. I get that 25 TC's per dollar of spend was too high. That's fine. Make it less. But don't blow up the whole program because of it. Don't feed me shit and tell me it's sugar. Seemed like too many opportunistic cooks (execs) in the kitchen and waaaay too much scope creep when they decided to make an adjustment.

    I'm good with the relative amounts of 75k for Gold and 200k for Platinum. Just over double, but not triple, feels about right. Just don't make it impossible to reach. And I'd be ok with adding another tier at 500k for a higher level (that I'd never reach). Just don't move all the good Platinum benefits to that level. Add something better, but not Noir-like to it. Or I'd probably be ok with bumping Platinum a little to like 250k if there were noticeable improvements to it. Any higher would be too much.

    6: Do you want points to always be used first when comps are factored in or should discretionary/host comps be completely that, but you get to bank your points forever

    As stated above, HELL NO!! The points should be completely separate as a nice additional benefit to members (for those that value it). Comps should be completely separate and based on your play/spend.

    7: If there are tiers, how long should you be qualified in that tier (6 months, calendar year, rolling year)

    Calendar year is easiest. I already get confused juggling fiscal years with calendar years at work. I don't need MGM adding to my confusion.
     
    #40 sisubaby, Jun 25, 2022 at 11:42 AM
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022 at 11:57 AM
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