MGM M Life Takes Away a Benefit That Hyatt Elites Should Care About

Last summer Hyatt launched a pretty incredible alliance with MGM hotels.

It’s a pretty revolutionary hotel alliance, not unlike airline alliances. Hyatt didn’t have a big footprint in Las Vegas. Their members can earn points and elite qualifying stays and nights, as well as redeem points at MGM’s M Life hotel properties like Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, and MGM Grand. MGM members have reciprocal benefits at Hyatt properties as well.

And the deal they struck even includes elite status recognition as well. Hyatt Diamond members get MGM’s Platinum status (even Hyatt Platinum, the level you get signing up for a Hyatt Visa, gets you MGM Gold).

The key here is that MGM members get the benefits of Hyatt when staying at Hyatt and Hyatt members get MGM’s benefits when staying at MGM. In other words, no free breakfast for Diamonds at Bellagio but they do get to skip the taxi queue.

Heels First discovers that MGM has devalued its M Life elite benefits without notice. They used to offer ‘priority’ early check-in and late check-out. That benefit is no longer listed, although presumably it’s still possible at the discretion of the hotel. (It’s hard to imagine a top tier Noir, whose status was earned via a $250,000 theoretical loss, being denied late check-out.)

Here’s the benefits, sans late check-in or even check out:

At least Golds (Hyatt Platinums who link their accounts) still get priority check-in and the possibility of an upgrade, and scrolling down to transportation benefits Platinums still get to walk straight to the front of the line and waive their elite card to take the first available taxi. Both Golds and M Life Platinums (Hyatt Diamonds) get cafe and buffet line passes..

Update: The website for matching Hyatt and M Life status is down, although it seems that Hyatt can assist via Twitter with this. (HT: Hans M.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks for the heads up
    Its bad enough it takes these crooks a month to post a stay to Hyatt
    I suggest to Hyatt that all matched M life members be denied late check out and see how their members like it
    And deny breakfast to M life matched Diamonds while they are at it
    The change sucks!!
    Ill go back to Venetian,Palazzo and Westin where I am guaranteed a 2 to 4 PM check out
    Bad move MGM!!

  2. @D Wonderment,

    Not sure where you’ve been staying in Vegas, but over the last year my 8 stays at both Aria and Vdara have posted to my Hyatt account in 3 days max. I’m a Matched M-Life Plat due to my Hyatt Diamond status.

    Never had an issue checking in early (I use the Invited Guests desk at ARIA) and the couple of times I needed a late checkout, it was never a problem.

    Perhaps you’re not losing enough cash at M-Life properties? 😉

  3. Yes, D Wonderment. Please go to Venetian/Palazzo where you don’t get free breakfast either, even as a RA.

  4. @Kevin
    Lucky you 🙂
    I have only stayed at Aria and Vdara and like both properties very much.
    I spend plenty in gambling and F&B thousands
    The properties themselves treat me well
    As for stays posting late the internet is filled with cases of those who stayed at am MGM property who struggle to get their stays posted to Hyatt GP
    Hyatt is aware of the issue and so are a number of their program members
    I got lucky once and my stay posted in approx two weeks
    However I called the hotel and stayed on top of it
    My latest stay is said to take 40 to 60 days to post (roll eyes)
    being they missed the first month sending it over and they only transmit in cycles (sigh)

  5. @Jimmy
    I’m on my way 🙂
    Palazzo has a free minimal continental breakfast every morning (fruit, Danish cheese,cereal juice beverages) for RAs. They have let me come in as an Ambassador as an exception (shhh) who spends a lot and has a good relationship with the team on hand.
    Westin also guarantees Platinum’s breakfast as do Marriott properties where I am a Gold

  6. Hyatt really took advantage of all the travel blogger buzz a while back. They really took everyone for a ride.

  7. D Wondermeant, if you really spend thousands on gambling then getting comped for your breakfast charges shouldn’t be an issue if you’re rating is good. Also, it’s not hard to get a 4PM or later check-out if you’re in good standing with the casino or your host.

  8. @ Jimmy
    I don’t disagree with your assessment I have a good relationship in all the properties I stay with typically
    Especially Vdara.
    And there’s a chance it wont affect me personally but its not the point
    In principal I object to it as the MGM group tries to monetize with additional late check out fees to their Platinum customer base
    Fundamentally wrong

  9. @dhammer – Absolutely right. They were brilliant in pampering the influencers and then slowly dismantling things that are valuable. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, especially with such limited coverage.

    SPG by stays and Marriott via United just fine for me.

  10. staying at the Delano right now. They let us check in at 9am yesterday and comped us $50 for breakfast because the elevator wasn’t working (waited 10 mins). Even got the cruise invite last year. Hyatt/mlife is all good in my book!

  11. @Gary, you say
    “It’s hard to imagine a top tier Noir, whose status was earned via a $250,000 theoretical loss, being denied late check-out.”

    Of course, that’s always the issue with casino elite status. For the most part, in the hotel and airline world one platinum/diamond/gold is “almost” equivalent to another. In the “casino world,” status (or card level) is just window dressing. It’s all about your THEO. If you have a good THEO, or if you had a strong (play) weekend, or a large loss; you are going to get more “discretionary” benefits. That’s not to say some of the benefits aren’t nice (like cutting the lines for taxis, or the buffet); but basically, “Casino Elite Status,” without the requisite theo (and casino action) to back it up provides limited benefit. With regard to casino elite benefits, I still feel CZR-group is best with the “soft touch” benefits.

  12. I have been going to vegas for many years. All of these alliances tend to break up/or the “perks” are always changed, reduced or not honored in Vegas. This has always been the case and I don’t expect it to change. Many years ago I had the Chase MGM credit card. This story is so good I have told this to people and they cannot believe it. I got that card because it had a few nice perks and I was going to use the points for shows and meals in LV It was a `1% card and there were not any 2% cards at the time. The card “GUARANTEED” late checkout. I checked into Bellagio and mentioned this. The front desk told me to take a hike and that wasn’t happening. I told them the card perks. Front desk said “I never heard of that” Held me up for a quite a while before telling me that I would still have to call down on checkout day to the front desk. On checkout day when I called they also tried to jam me up. I then went to MGM hotel to pick up expensive show tix. I handed my prepaid MGM vouchers and the ticket seller told me to take a hike and she wasn’t accepting those certs issued by Chase. Left me at the front desk for 25 mins. She cam e back and said get lost. I called Chase who said I should speak to the redemption center on Monday since they were closed for the weekend and to have a nice day. The show was that night. I want around the MGM hotel and I see a guy hawking the MGM credit card. (ON PROPERTY!) I told him the card sucks and he said I should get the manager to come out of the back and show him the certs. (The manager is like the Grand OZ as he is in back. I got the manager and he accepted the certs and bought me dinner. One other sidenote which is too funny for words. There is a Total Rewards (Harrahs) credit card. Also with various status perks etc. One such perk is no resport fees. Those fees are a complete scam and rip pff anyway. So this guy flashes his card and they say “there are no resort fees for you” (at Caesars) he feels pretty big because he avoided getting ripped off due to his sweet credit card. The next morning he feels frisky so he goes down to the gym for a quick workout and they tell him “sir you have to pay to get in” He finds out while his resort fees are indeed waived, he does not get to the use internet or gym which are part of the resort fees. Only in Vegas would they state resort fees waived and do this. If I told 100 people the resort fees are waived, not one single person would think )waived means (free) resort fees.

  13. Just stayed at the Bellagio with comped M Life Platinum status based on my Hyatt Diamond status. No benefits… nada. Worthless in my opinion.

  14. Very nice stay at Mirage in March. However, after December trip, I was halfway to Pearl. As Mlife says (on website) Pearl earns “invitations to members only events and tournaments,” so in March I eagerly went for it. I shot way past 25k points to 42k. I called yesterday to book my fourth trip in one year and Mlife said oh you do not qualify for tournaments. I am filing a formal complaint as website is quite explicit (no caveat it is based on activity/THEO).

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