Editor’s Note: Nobody is more suited for providing the latest update on Total Rewards than Eric Rosenthal. Eric was kind enough to put together the major points of the current changes (devaluations) shortly after the announcement yesterday. Be sure to continue the conversation about these changes on twitter (@erosenthal1029) and also in the ZorkCast Facebook group.
Caesars unveiled their Total Rewards benefits for 2018. While rumors had been circulating of an upcoming degradation of benefits, nobody predicted how steep it would be. Most of the key benefits of the Total Rewards program that made it the best casino loyalty program in the country are all gone. The biggest head-scratcher, is that the higher the tier one attained, the more that was taken away.
Total Rewards offered 4 official tiers, in ascending order: Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Seven Stars. The two lower tiers are largely unchanged, including parking benefits, but the two upper tiers lost substantial value.
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Changes for 2018 – Mostly Bad, Some Very Bad
– Aspiration Level 1 and 2 REMOVED
The third tier ranged from 15,000 Tier Credits to 149,999 tier credits. To entice players for their play, spend, and loyalty, there were two Aspiration levels at 40,000 and 80,000 tier credits. At Aspiration Level 1 (40,000) members were given a 4 night complimentary stay at any Caesars property as well as a $100 Folio credit on that stay. At Aspiration level 2 (80,000) members were given $750 towards airfare for 2 as well as an additional four night stay at any Caesars property. Additionally a two night stay in a suite at any Las Vegas property was added in 2017. As of 2018, both Aspiration levels and their associated trips are all gone. Leaving a chasm between Diamond at 15,000 and Seven Stars at 150,000.
Devaluing Diamond status further are the new national requirements for entry into their Diamond Lounges. As of 2018, Diamond status (attained at 15,000 tier credits) will not be enough for free admission into the Diamond Lounges. A Diamond member will need to have at least 25,000 tier credits in the current year, or year prior, to gain free admission. Any diamond member beneath that threshold will be required to pay 1000 Reward Credits (worth $10) per person. Cash will not be accepted, Reward Credits are the only official way to gain admission.
Note: This has been the case in a few markets for some time (such as Atlantic City), but will extend to all Diamond Lounges nationally.
Diamond members had been able to redeem Reward Credits at a Rate of 1.75: 1 for free play. As of 2018 the conversion will now be 2:1.
The good news: Resort fees will still be waived for all Diamond members, and $100 celebration certificate used for dining are still available in 2018.
Seven Stars Tier
– Guaranteed Rooms REMOVED
The top tier for all players earning 150,000 tier credits and up. Subjectively, the largest benefit of attaining Seven Stars were guaranteed complimentary rooms in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. This benefit has been removed in 2018. A room is guaranteed in these two markets with 72 hours notice, but the asterisk denotes that prevailing rates will apply.
Reward Credit redemption for free play will change from the current 1.25:1 ratio to 2:1, like any other tier.
In order to qualify for Seven Stars one would need to achieve Aspiration 1 and Aspiration 2 along the way, those trips are no longer available for Seven Stars players either.
The good news: Annual Trip with $1,200 airfare and $500 Folio credit still applies. Five $100 celebration certificates for dining remain for 2018 as well.
In short, those that rely on their higher level gambling for comps and offers will see fairly little change. Those that play at a lower level, or compiled their way to status will likely find another place to play. As a business decision, the stance can be justified, but delivering the message with two weeks left in the year while encouraging players to reach the next level, is an unfortunate way to treat loyal customers. Loyalty programs like everything else in a casino are a gamble.
Brooklyn born and NJ raised, Eric frequents Atlantic City and uses casinos as his summer beach home. He travels to Las Vegas and other warm-weather destinations and pays pennies on the dollar for flights and hotels. He is a contributor to several gambling and travel related websites and podcasts and discusses all things Atlantic City and his passion for “Comp Harvesting.” Eric is also one of the featured speakers at the Casino and Travel Loyalty Conference ZorkFest. By combining his knowledge of miles, points and casino loyalty programs, he teaches people how to travel for free and maximize value for your gambling dollar. Be sure to follow Eric on Twitter.