Earning and using a complimentary or deeply discounted hotel room is always great. However, there’s no better feeling than using those freebies and discounts on hotel rooms when vacationing in Las Vegas. Back in the day, I used a national hotel chain reward to stay at Planet Hollywood when it was a Starwood property. That was before the casino-resort joined Caesars Entertainment Total Rewards loyalty program.
Using rewards from work and everyday life in Las Vegas is one way to get around not earning enough loyalty points in casinos. I have friends that use the rewards/casino partnerships from work travel to stay in casinos like Cosmopolitan (Marriott), W/SLS (Starwood) and various MGM Resorts properties (Hyatt). Likewise, I know others who avoid the casinos and stay wherever the rewards offer the best rates.
Wallethub.com is a website that offers financial advice and more. They also do financial and travel studies nearly every week. They recently released a study about the best hotel rewards programs in the country. This study isn’t specific to Las Vegas but I’ll make it very useful for Las Vegas. First, let’s look at the Best Hotel Rewards Programs in 2017 around the country.
The survey goes into great detail about how they arrive at the winners. I recommend reading the entire list if you’re curious about various hotel rewards programs. My goal with this survey is to make the information useful when you’re visiting Las Vegas. There are plenty of national hotel brands with locations on or close to the Vegas Strip.
Let’s start with the overall best hotel rewards program, Wyndham Rewards. Earlier this year the national hotel operator announced a partnership with national casino operator Caesars Entertainment. This partnership gives Wyndham Rewards members access to more than 20 hotels in Las Vegas:
Caesars casino-resorts include:
- Caesars Palace (and Nobu)
- The Cromwell
- The Linq
- Planet Hollywood
Each property uses the same 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a complimentary room. Depending on availability a room at Rio has the same point cost as The Cromwell. The latter often has cash rates as much as 5x the former. Could be a good deal if you travel often for work and are looking for a connection to Las Vegas casino-resorts. There are many more Wyndham locations around Las Vegas. I’ll just highlight a few.
- Wyndham Desert Blue – This is new and near Rio, Gold Coast, and Palms.
- Wyndham Grand Desert – Condo style resort a couple miles away from the Vegas Strip.
- Travelodge Center Strip – Near Planet Hollywood across from Aria.
La Quinta offers the best rewards value according to Wallethub. There are four La Quinta hotels located all around Las Vegas. The most popular location is probably on Paradise near Flamingo. The closest casinos are Silver Sevens and Hard Rock. It’s about a 3 minute uber/lyft/taxi ride to the center of the Vegas Strip Vegas Strip.
If you must stay at a casino in Las Vegas there are plenty of national chains that are connected to casinos similar to Wyndham and Caesars Entertainment.
- MGM Resorts and Hyatt
- The Venetian/Palazzo and Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG)
- Cosmopolitan and Marriott
- W (at SLS) and Starwood
- Tropicana and Doubletree
You’ll also find timeshares like Hilton Grand Vacations and Westgate properties around Las Vegas.
When I had an employer I would use my work travel rewards for my own vacations. You might need to discuss with your employer. Some small businesses like to keep business rewards with the business. Many of the hotel rewards earned from work were used on hotel room discounts in Las Vegas. Don’t sleep on national rewards programs when considering a vacation in Las Vegas. They can offer more than you may think.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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