It looks like the news has been filtering out for two months, but somehow we just learned of this today. Caesars Entertainment has made some notable adjustments to the Total Rewards tier benefits for 2018.
For many Diamond members, and most Seven Stars members, this won’t be a severe downgrade. If you stay at Caesars properties regularly and leave a lot of money in the casino, you’ll probably be okay. But for people barely squeaking in to Diamond (or getting in through tier matching or FoundersCard), you’re going to notice some differences.
Up through 2017, in addition to the one cent per reward credit (RC) redemption at restaurants, you could redeem 175 RC (at Diamond) and 125 RC (at Seven Stars) for a dollar of free play. In 2018, those “discounts” go away and freeplay is redeemed at $1 per 200 RC for all levels.
The other noteworthy (to us) change is that complimentary Diamond Lounge access for Diamond members is now limited to members with 25,000 tier credits (not reward credits) in either the previous or the current year. If you have less than that, it’s 1000 RC ($10 value) for entry.
The benefits page isn’t clear on whether this is per person (if you’re a couple) or per membership, but I’d assume per person unless I hear otherwise. also, the Caesars web site says “may be charged” but the buzz on the street is that it means “will be charged.” Seven Stars members still get in free, but there’s now a reference to “additional fees for guests” at both levels.
If you’ve been between Diamond and Seven Stars, you’ll also notice the “aspiration levels” are gone in 2018.
What’s staying the same?
There are still noteworthy benefits to the Diamond status, like priority check-in lounges/lines, 20% discount in the gift shops, a guaranteed room in Las Vegas or Atlantic City with 72 hours notice, and waived resort fees.
Platinum and Diamond/Seven stars members still seem to get the show tickets benefit as well (Platinum is BOGO, Diamond and Seven Stars are two free tickets). This benefit has actually improved a bit, in that the High Roller discount is no longer counted as one of your free tickets (and there are some new shows added as well). Be sure to keep an eye on Mark’s Las Vegas page for the current ticket offers.
And the $100 annual celebration dinner voucher is still a benefit of Diamond status. If you combine the voucher(s) with reward credits, you don’t pay tax, and you can tip your wait staff that much more.
There have been some rumors about FoundersCard switching their Vegas benefit to MGM Resorts MLife program, or just eliminating the Caesars benefit. But it’s not entirely up to FoundersCard (Caesars would have to renew the deal too), and these are just rumors.
What we know is that the current FC Total Rewards benefit expires January 31, 2018. There will be rumors and dubious insider reports and plagues of locusts on the topic until FC announces either the renewal or the change near the end of January 2018.
If you’re thinking of applying to FoundersCard just for the Total Rewards Diamond status, it’s not the right time. There are lots of other benefits, of course, from status challenges to luxury hotel benefits to business and personal product and service discounts. There’s even a Peloton boutique discount that I hadn’t seen before (20% off New York studio classes and 30% off boutique purchases online!).If you’re buying a new Dell or Lenovo computer, you can easily make back your membership in one virtual card swipe. But look at the big picture, not just the Total Rewards benefit.
We’ll update this post (and other applicable ones) with any updates on the Total Rewards status changes, and when the news comes out on FC and Total Rewards next month.