It’s winter time and my thoughts do go astray in winter. It brings to mind taking a vacation. For me that vacation just has to be someplace warm, a lot warmer then central NJ in winter! So with that thought in mind, and a reminder of what a frugal genius I am, I’m planning a vacation in Las Vegas this year and my hotel and entertainment, food, and everything except the airfare is going to be free! Yes, I said it…free!
You may recall back in July 2015 I wrote a post about frugal casino gambling and our occasional trips to Atlantic City to “spend” some fun time there with my wife.
Spending Time in Atlantic City
I use the word spend liberally here because if you go on a gambling jaunt like ours to Atlantic City you should and will expect to spend some cash and I know that’s not a frugal way of money managing. But, and it’s a big one, on occasion we have felt like we deserve a break and a bit of fun since we are normally so good and careful about our money, plus we live less than 2 hours’ drive from Atlantic city. When we make the trip, we try as best as we can to limit the financial damages. Call it our vacation and yes, we are entitled to it. You can read all about the details, but I can quickly recap some of our pluses staying at the Borgata:
- We have a loyalty card (free) and that has enabled us to get numerous freebies in Atlantic City like free hotel room nights (up to 4 per month for the two of us) although we do have to pay a small fee for taxes on each stay
- Free slot dollars each time we go from $50 to hundreds of them depending on the dates (up to $1,000)
- Free food and drink credits (called comps) which we earn and use for shopping and breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Free gifts like towels, sheets, and clothing given out as promotions
- Free live shows with comedy headliners
- Free parking
How Did We Get So Lucky?
Well, lucky really isn’t the key here. Rewards on my loyalty card are “earned” by our gambling habits during our stay each time and redeemed over the course of the year. Now before you assume that we are in over our heads here, let me assure you that we are if anything “frugal gamblers” and we have a set budget which we stick to. The rewards are earned based on the time we spend gaming and not the amount of money we spend. It isn’t complicated.
Can You Say Penny Slots?
The secret to our success is playing the penny slot machines over and over and taking our sweet old time in doing it. I first use my free slot money that the hotel so kindly provides, and that usually gets me through the first night of several hours of play. Anytime I have any real winnings, like $25 or more, I put that away and sometimes I can continue playing without using any of my own money at all.
In any event, we are able to rack up lots of time and then that translates in both comp dollars for food and slot dollars for more free play. Not every time every day, but often enough so that over the past 12 years (as long as we have been loyalty card holders), we have spent only about $3,500 bucks and enjoyed over 50 free nights at the beautiful hotel we stay at. The money we spent we consider our cost of entertainment over those 12 years and that averages less than $150 per trip which isn’t too shabby for a couple of nights of glamour and fun. We have made 25 trips over the 12 years and they keep inviting us to come back! I’m pretty sure they’re not making big bucks on us!
And That Brings Me to Las Vegas!
Two years ago, the the Borgata merged its reward program with M Life Rewards. That means now whatever we do and earn here in NJ is also recognized and good at dozens of the huge world famous Las Vegas resorts (and other worldwide locations too!) on the Vegas strip that I am certain you have all heard about!
With M life Rewards, members can earn exclusive access, valuable benefits, and incredible rewards all while enjoying world-class offerings at all M life Rewards destinations in Las Vegas and all over.
You earn tiered credits for virtually all you do which elevates and enhances your travel experience. M Life memberships are free when you get in the program and it’s pretty awesome.
M Life Benefits
All you have to do is enjoy hotel, dining, entertainment, and spa experiences—along with slots and table games—and you’ll earn your way towards amazing rewards and benefits. As an M Life rewards member, you’ll also receive exclusive offers.
Here are just a few of the fabulous Vegas offers available to my wife and me right now!
- Up to 4 complimentary room nights every month at a luxurious resort room through December 2019 (some holiday dates are unavailable)
- $50 in M Life rewards resort credits (comp dollars)
- $50 in free slot dollars
- Food, beverage, and entertainment discount and freebie coupons
- Special discounts for golf and other activities
- Discounts for Military, Seniors, AAA members
- Free self-parking on site
- Choose from hotels in Las Vegas such as Aria, Excalibur, Luxor, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Park, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, Mirage and more!
- Additional hotels located all over the USA are available with some restrictions
You can get all of the specifics and apply at this link for an M Life card!
Planning Our Trip
Suzanne and I are in the process of planning a vacation right now in Las Vegas and of course we will be getting our hotel stay for free along with numerous bonuses too. The only thing we will be paying for upfront is our airfare and if you are one step ahead of me by being into the airfare rewards game you may not even have to buy your tickets for this deal!
Here’s a great offer for flights all across the USA and right here in NJ we can fly on Alaska Air which now is offering a free companion ticket on their credit card bonus promo for signing on with The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card!
If you spend just $1,000 in the first 90 days, you earn 30,000 bonus miles. Even better, when you buy one airline ticket, you get a second one for just taxes and fees (no blackout dates!). Plus you get Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare every year on your account anniversary. Additional benefits include a free checked bag (for you and up to six guests on the same reservation), and 3 miles per dollar spent directly on Alaska Airlines and 1 mile per dollar on everything else, with no mileage cap. There is a $75 annual fee, but the benefits may be worth it.
I’m not getting paid to write about or recommend M Life rewards or Alaska Air or its card. And I am not endorsing wasting money gambling, but I am all in favor of a really nice free vacation stay and spending frugally on a game of chance as my “cost of entertainment”, so yeah…I can rationalize it pretty well.
If you want or need a vacation consider this. I promise you that no one will hold a gun to your head and force you to gamble more than you are prepared to do and if you’re smart you will enjoy the pool, the food, the shows, and the sightseeing in the area and do it for a pretty sweet deal, all for free! So, wanna go to Vegas and stay for free? I do!
Do you enjoy a little frugal gambling like I do? Do you take advantage of the rewards offered?