Are MLife Hard Benefits Worthless? – MGM Hotels Having Trouble To Properly Apply MLife Tier Benefits (Upgrades, Airport Transfers)

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Hotel Elite Tiers are usually straight forward and it’s easy for the properties to accommodate the guests benefits as per program description but MGM Hotels and their MLlife program seem to have a hard time with that.

There is a wide gap of benefits as described (promised) and the actual application of these benefits once a guest checks into a casino hotel, especially in Las Vegas.

I’m MLife Noir with them for several years now and find it extremely difficult to deal with MGM for simple hotel reservations. That all starts with the fact that you can’t just make a reservation online or talk to reservations when you want to utilize your limousine pick up benefit. This requires to talk to the in house VIP services of the individual hotel and 90% of the time they are not trained in MLife benefits at all.

You can access the MGM MLife tier and benefit chart here.

The Noir tier has a variety of benefits but the only ones that really set the status apart from Platinum is the complimentary Limousine Transfer and VIP Lounge check-in.

This Limousine perk is nice but MGM makes it hard to actually use it. As mentioned before you have to make your booking and then call up the casino/hotel and ask for the VIP services desk (usually that means they transfer you to the people in the lounge).

When you tell them you want to use the Noir benefit of the limo transfer most of them (as I mentioned above for me thats 9 out of 10) don’t know what you’re talking about and assume you ask for a casino comp or that you want to pay for it. It’s important to make it clear to them that it’s neither a comp or a paid item but a guaranteed benefit per the MLife program.

The VIP Services people usually know nothing of their own players club. Zero. Zilch. They usually have to call the MLife booth or their own support hotline to figure out anything related to the matter. There is a blatant disconnect when it comes to the MGM hotel side and the MLife program with the associated benefits. Why is that? Well for one, probably 95% of the casino resort guests that have Players Club related reservations and limousine transfers do so through a casino host or a pre-qualified offer. If you make a regular reservation on your own then all of a sudden this team has to scramble what you’re actually entitled to.

I just made a reservation for the Monte Carlo, respectively the new Park MGM Las Vegas as I want to see how their renovations are coming along. The same drama. Reservations can’t do it, transfers me to VIP Services, the guy there thinks I’m asking for a comp and after I explained 3 times this is my tier benefit he transfers me to a casino host who then also doesn’t know a thing about it. It took almost 40 minutes to have them confirm the limousine which involved the host from Monte Carlo to call his MLife support to get schooled. Why would I use comps for a limousine transfer when that’s a complimentary perk?

The same goes for upgrades and hotel rates which is always a disaster to deal with. I understand it’s Las Vegas and everybody asks for an upgrade there. Some even go so far and apply the infamous ’20 Dollar Trick’ but if you have Platinum or Noir members and every single time the better hotels refuse to give any noteworthy upgrade then something is coherently wrong with the structure of that loyalty program. I have gotten a Penthouse on a few occasions but that was not due to being Noir but rather because the property fouled up in some way during the previous stay. Funny enough all the lower grade MGM Hotels such as Luxor and Monte Carlo usually give out huge suites without even pressing hard for it. Let’s see how the Monto Carlo (Park MGM) will start to operate once renovations are completed.

Now I have to say the rates displayed for Noir members at MGM properties are pretty good. The discount is usually substantial. The downside? The website is simply horrible. Trying to complete reservations on MLife.com is a science experiment that often goes wrong. When I made the reservation for the Mirage all was fine until in the final confirmation all of a sudden the triple rate appeared which was also taken from my credit card. Cancelling it online wasn’t possible (error message) and again it took half an hour to have it rectified (cancelled) over the phone.

MGM’s website even puts the Hyatt website to shame as far as IT issues are concerned. What a coincidence that MGM and Hyatt are partners. Of course then neither the reservation hotline or VIP services was able to book exactly these rates again as it’s apparently ‘online only’.

Conclusion

I have outlined the factors that likely cause these misunderstandings but that is by far no excuse for a company to have such a blatant disconnect between the published benefits of their loyalty program, the way these are actually provided and the complete ignorance of the employees as far as the basics of the program are concerned. Doesn’t MGM train these people?

I wouldn’t go so far that the MLife Benefits are worthless per se but they might very well be if you consider the aggravating factor of arguments and waste of time involved in order to get them to honor what is promised in the program description.

Last week I wrote about the Total Rewards Diamond Match (see here) and I think I’ll bite the bullet and do it this time around (havent been Diamond for a few years now). MGM’s attitude regarding the MLife program is becoming a pain including the parking fee waivers when again the players club cards can’t be read properly.

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