MGM’s New Elite Benefits May Extend To Hyatt Members, But Resort Fees Still Apply On Awards

MGM Rewards has revamped its elite program to make tier status more difficult to earn (for non-gamblers) but more rewarding.

One sweet spot is that MGM Rewards grants Gold elite status to Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members. This now includes a waiver of resort fees, upgrade at check-in if available (view, high floor); dedicated line at restaurants; and complimentary valet parking.

However if you’ve gained your Gold status via Hyatt you will not receive the Gold level’s $100 tier achievement celebration dinner. And if you redeem Hyatt points for your stay you will not have your resort fee waived.

That’s because booking through Hyatt – which you have to do in order to redeem points – is not considered ‘booking direct’ to be eligible for waived resort fees.

MGM shares with me,

Bookings on Hyatt channels are not considered “direct” MGM channels to receive the waived resort fee benefit. This includes Hyatt prevailing cash bookings, Hyatt point redemption bookings, and Hyatt points + cash redemption bookings.

If you are (or become) MGM Gold via your Hyatt Globalist or Explorist status, waived resort fees will only benefit you on paid stays when booking direct – not when redeeming your Hyatt points to stay at MGM properties.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. @Gary. Just to clarify, if you book direct with MGM on paid stays you will not get Hyatt points? So booking direct to avoid resort fees means you are not earning with Hyatt?

  2. @ Stuart I’ve booked directly through MGM many times over the years as have others have and always received Hyatt points for revenue stays

  3. Booking with MLife gives you points AND night credits? That’s the key here. Always looking for the best path to 60.

  4. You will receive Hyatt points but you need to make sure to give them your Hyatt membership number at check-in. Also charge everything to your room if you eat at other MGM properties to get more points.

  5. I read that booking through Amex FHR will still allow for the resort fees to be waived. Does anyone know if this has been confirmed?

  6. @Stuart. I don’t think that’s right. I have booked through MGM’s site in the past and gotten Hyatt night credits. I don’t see why that would change.

  7. @GS Guy. Oh, sorry, was not saying this as my experience. Was asking as it seemed unclear to me. @777 actually clarified it for me above. Thanks.

  8. @Wes – anything *paid at the hotel* is direct booked and waives resort fees. anything that used to count as booked direct still does. MGM committed to confirm for me whether they consider prepaid Amex FHR to be booked direct and therefore eligible.

  9. But why would you use Hyatt points to book cheap MGM stays? There will be a TON of new 60 night Globalists this year with this new no resort fees promotion. There are tons of $25/night cheapo MGM hotels without the resort fees. Previously they didn’t make sense as there would be as much as $50/night resort fees.

    But now I will probably just go to Vegas. Stay in my normal hotels (Cosmo, Bellagio, Conrad, etc) and just pay the $25/night and not stay to keep my Hyatt Globalist. Yeah.

    Then again, after this EVERYONE will be Globalist so not sure how it will be next year.

  10. Perhaps answered elsewhere, so apologies, but is there any chance that comped nights (that is, through casino marketing in MLife) can be credited to WOH? Perhaps just by adding the WOH number during checkin?

  11. “There will be a TON of new 60 night Globalists this year with this new no resort fees promotion.”

    I doubt it since there are very few people that will burn two months worth of MGM stays in vegas, esp. considering the fact room rates rise dramatically on the weekends.

    Will there be people that drop by and get 4 nights for cheap? (sun-thurs) Absolutely. But folks that will fly to vegas and book these 4 night stays consistently? I doubt it.

  12. @Jefrey- In my experience, as long as 1 night is paid, all nights on the reservation will count for hyatt status.
    I book for 1 day longer than my offer (4 days if I’m offered 3, 5 if I’m offered 4). The additional day is usually heavily discounted.
    I’ve gotten some great 5 night mattress runs at the lower end properties for about $50 all in.

  13. I’m on the phone with MGM right now and they say no waived resort fees for MGM Gold’s who obtained status via match from Hyatt even on paid stays.

    When I challenged this they went back three times to supervisors who all reiterated this is the rule.

    Hopefully MGM will clarify this one way or the other since when booking the resort fee isn’t being waived and MGM claims that only Golds who have earned their status via the MGM program will have the charges removed at checkout.

  14. @Gary – any update on the FHR bookings?

    “MGM committed to confirm for me whether they consider prepaid Amex FHR to be booked direct and therefore eligible.”

  15. Hi @Gary. Yes, any update on the FHR bookings? This would be a significant upgrade to booking direct at M Life.

  16. @Nate
    Stayed one night Delano (3-5) with FHR and sadly can confirm resort fee IS NOT waived due to FHR not being a direct booking channel (shows 3rd party Expedia). Pushed them on it, was removed as a one-time courtesy. YMMV.

  17. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here is that while, yes, you would receive night credits and points with Hyatt — the MGM terms says you have to use an *MGM Rewards Number* AND book “direct” to actually get the resort fee waived. So… it appears to be an either/or situation. Do you want Hyatt Night Credits/Points — or waived resort fees? Searched google for bloggers and can’t find anyone who has articulated this important point.

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