Like many others, when the total rewards credit card came out, I read about it, weighed the pros and cons, then jumped on board because of the great value!  After my spending was met I was given $100 in total rewards credits to spend, 2 free buffet of buffet passes, and what I felt was the coolest and most valuable perk, platinum status!  It was not mentioned if this would only be given the first year but even so it's a great value for someone to get this without gambling a dime.  Then to my surprise they extended the platinum for the next year!  For a no-annual fee card this was amazing!

The changes I'm referring to are that as of November 11th you cannot have your resort fee waived if you are platinum status and below.  It now is only given to diamond and above.  Looking at this from the perspective of those who gained platinum status from the credit card, it was a fun ride, and you definitely received some great value from this card while it lasted.  For those who achieved this status through gambling, it is certainly going to upset these customers.  From a business perspective, given the debt this company is in, and the number of "new platinum members" they received from this credit card, I am not surprised by this move.  This was saving most customers $50-$100 on their trip by waiving these fees.  So how do you make this business move without upsetting your core gambling demographic?  Waive the fee on comped stays.

Take a look at the model BOYD gaming uses.  They are a locals casino, but with a big presence downtown as well.  They continue to buck the trend with the downtown joints by not charging a resort fee, but at this point this is no longer an option for CET.  BOYD does charge a resort fee at Gold Coast, Orleans, Sun Coast, and Sams Town.  The perk is that if your are comped a stay at any of these properties, the resort fee is waived.  As nice as Total Rewards is, they seem to get married to their card statuses which alienates the lower level consistent gamblers that are still money makers for them but are left out of these perks.  

I am fortunate in that I made diamond for the first time this year, so this policy change will not affect me unless I drop my status after 2015.  Had this not been the case and I was still at the Platinum level, I would be pretty upset with this change.  A comped room used to mean a comped room, and that is tough to swallow.  Given the nicer properties MGM offers, I will occasionally stay on a "comped offer" at one of those properties knowing I'm stuck with the resort fee.  CET doesn't have this luxury in my opinion.  The properties that truly comp their players, are properties worth keeping in your tool bag.  My up-coming trip over New Years will be 4 nights at Ballys but Im staying my first night on a comp at the Gold Coast.  My old stand-by, I think they deserve some play for rewarding the gamblers, even if they did drop my 9/6 super times pay machine!