February 2008
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Partial Rewards

I just got a response from Harrah’s Total Rewards in response to a question I asked about why I don’t yet have any good Las Vegas offers since I became Diamond.

I can get a fully comped room at almost any other Harrah’s location for up to 3 nights.  In Atlantic City, I can choose between Bally’s, Showboat and Caesars and not pay a penny.  Harrah’s resort in Tahoe or Reno – also gratis. 

Anyone know where Tunica actually is?  The Horseshoe (one that Harrah’s apparently wanted for more than just to chew up and spit out everything except the name of a poker tournament), Sheraton and Grand Casino Resort all want me to spend a few nights there on the house.

The normal rate for these rooms is $80-$120 per night.

So why is it that I can’t even get one lousy comped night in the $59 Imperial Palace?  Here’s my personalised Vegas offers showing my extra special rates (click to enlarge, or just squint):

And this is what it costs if you don’t enter any Total Rewards card when booking:

Should I really get excited about saving $5/night at IP, or $4/night at Paris?  It’s a slightly better $9 discount at Bally’s, $10 at Rio and Harrah’s and a whopping $20 on the luxury rooms at Caesars.

The Flamingo "GO" rooms have the best savings – up to $45 on some dates – but I’m just not the kind of person who goes for these fancy three-figure hotel rooms  Maybe on a weekend, if there’s absolutely nothing else available… after tax.

So here’s the explanation:

Hello Mr. Newman,

Thank you so much for your reply. It is my pleasure to assist you with your account/offer questions.

Please allow me a minute to explain how our offers and the Total Reward program works. Offers are sent based on tracked play in the last 12-15 months at the specific property or pod (2 or more properties in the same area), rather then tier score. Offers generally take up to 6 weeks after a visit to be generated.

Also, because Las Vegas is such a highly sought after vacation destination, we require a slightly elevated level of play for one to qualify for offers compared to some of our other properties across the nation (i.e., Atlantic City) this will also hold true for the different properties as each will have a set criteria needed in order to receive an offer for that property.

Please keep mind that although you may not have an offer for the Vegas area at this time, you may still qualify for discounted rates, based on your overall play. I would encourage you to contact our reservation experts at 866-583-2608 for further assistance with rates.

Mr. Newman, I hope that you will find this information helpful to your increased understanding of our Marketing system. If you have any further questions, or if we can assist you in any way please do not hesitate to contact us.

Have a wonderful day!

Thank you for choosing the one-of-a-kind Imperial Palace!

Although I can understand the logic behind not letting me exploit the system by playing the much better games in Laughlin and then staying in Las Vegas for free, it’s still is a little bizarre.

Firstly, I agree the Imperial Palace is one-of-a-kind, but I didn’t chose it.  It didn’t even chose me this time.  In fact I’ve never played anything other than poker (and a few blackjack matchplays) there.  I didn’t even play poker at Imperial Palace once at Christmas.  So presumably without any Las Vegas action on my card to associate me with a property, by default I end up at the place they want to demolish most of all.

Secondly, I played an awful lot at Harrah’s Laughlin to get Diamond in a Day.  It’s not quite six weeks yet, but if $30,000 coin in doesn’t trigger a mailer from there I can’t imagine what will.  This is also the cheapest hotel in Harrah’s fleet by some way, clocking in at $36/night if you walk in off the street.  My extra special Diamond rate is a pathetic $31.

What’s weirdest though is that I don’t even know where Tunica is – nevermind whether I’ve played enough to meet their requirements for a comp – but I can go there for free.  Perhaps I should…