MGM Resorts and Marriott Partnership
In a not very surprising move a new MGM Resorts and Marriott partnership is coming later this year. It was just announced a week ago that the MGM and Hyatt partnership would be ending this fall. It was speculated that Marriott would be the next brand to step into that role because of their tie in with the recently purchased (by MGM) Cosmo hotel & casino in Las Vegas. We were kind of in wait and see mode though, since no long term deal had been struck for that property or the rest of their Vegas hotels. That shoe finally dropped this morning with the new Marriott and MGM Rewards partnership announced that will happen in October of this year.
Whether this change is good or bad likely depends on where your loyalty lies. Overall, it is a downgrade in value, in my opinion, because of Marriott's lack of an award chart.
Updated 7/17/23: The official press release had some properties outside of Vegas participating so I added those in too.
Details On The New Partnership
According to Yahoo Finance the partnership will include all 17 MGM Resorts casinos in Las Vegas. This is similar to what Hyatt had set up, but they are also including the following hotels outside of Vegas too.
- Borgata (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
- Beau Rivage (Biloxi, Mississippi)
- MGM Grand Detroit (Michigan)
- MGM National Harbor (Maryland), and
- MGM Springfield (Massachusetts)
HT: MtM Vegas
The set up should be pretty much the same as their previous tie in with Hyatt. You will be able to redeem, or earn, points at each other's properties. So you can book MGM Las Vegas hotels with Marriott Bonvoy points or earn them on your stay. You should be able to choose to earn MGM Rewards on your Marriott stays if you prefer that as well.
In an interesting addition Marriott has also paired up with BetMGM, MGM's online casino and sportsbook available in many states now. It looks like Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to earn points on some of the BetMGM games. They will also have access to exclusive games and experiences.
The Good Side Of This New Partnership
If you are a Marriott loyalist, and also travel to Vegas, then this is likely good news for you. You will now have the ability to rack up Bonvoy points on your Vegas trips. I also like that you can earn points on their sportsbook app even when not in Vegas. We will have to see what that means in terms of earning power but that may be the most interesting part of this new partnership for some.
If they match Bonvoy Gold to MGM Rewards Gold that will be a huge win for the miles and points sector too. That is because Marriott Gold is easier to earn versus status with Hyatt because of the elite night credits Marriott Bonvoy cardholders get. The status even comes with some credit cards, like the Amex Platinum. If this is the case then it could be easier to maintain MGM Gold status and get waived resort fees in Las Vegas. We will have to wait and see how the status levels match up later this fall.
If it doesn't, at least anyone who already has MGM Gold status (from earning it or the Hyatt match) should hopefully be able to start the matching back and forth with Marriott and MGM again. We will have to see how that plays out though.
The Bad Side Of This New Partnership
The downside to this new partnership is Marriott's lack of an award chart. With Las Vegas rooms fetching sky high prices, especially on weekends, Bonvoy points won't offer the price gouging reprieve World of Hyatt points did. That is because they will fluctuate and increase in cost as the cash price goes up. Maybe that was a point of contention with Hyatt and MGM Rewards?
The MGM & Hyatt partnership also offered people chasing Hyatt status access to cheap elite night credits. That won't be as important with Marriott because their status is much less valuable and easier to get as well.
MGM Resorts and Marriott Partnership: ToP Thoughts
A expanded MGM Resorts and Marriott partnership seemed like the most likely conclusion after the Hyatt breakup was announced. That is because they already had familiarity from their Cosmopolitan partnership. The unknown was we didn't know if MGM wanted to break ties from hotel loyalty programs all together or not. Well, now we know.
Overall, I think this partnership offers less value for people going to Las Vegas. That is because the lack of an award chart means that there will not be a sky high prices points rip code to pull to book MGM hotels with awards being dynamic. I also think the loss of cheap Hyatt elite night credits will be a bigger hit for people versus the Marriott access gains.
I find the new BetMGM partnership tie in with Marriott to be the most interesting potential part of this partnership. As online sportsbook continue to expand across the country many will have access to this option. If it is something you use already this could be a points windfall in the near future. I am guessing it won't be super rewarding but we will have to see what they come up with in the Fall.
What do you think overall? Is this a good or bad change? Let us know in the ToP Facebook Group.