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Be careful how you book MGM hotels in Vegas; My mistake cost me a valuable Hyatt perk

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 6/23/2021 Zach Griff
a pool next to a palm tree in front of Mandalay Bay © Provided by The Points Guy
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What could go wrong with a seven-hour overnight in Las Vegas?

For some people, it’s a string of bad luck in the casino. For others, maybe it’s one too many drinks. For me — a full-time traveler — it’s missing out on elite credit.

In advance of an early morning preview of the newly expanded Amex Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas, I spent a very short night at the Delano. I checked in late at night and left around 4 a.m.

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Despite the short stay, I maximized all my perks by booking through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program (FHR). As a cardholder of the Platinum Card® from American Express, I had access to the FHR suite of benefits, which included a ton of valuable amenities, including early check-in, guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, a $100 food and beverage credit, free breakfast and more.

In fact, the $100 dining credit nearly offset the entire $109 stay (minus the resort fee, of course). I even prepaid through the Amex Travel portal to earn 5x Membership Rewards, worth $11 according to TPG’s valuations.

Almost as big of a win as doubling down on an 11 and pulling a face card.

Since I was staying at the Delano, which is an MGM resort and a member of the M Life Rewards program, I asked to add my World of Hyatt membership number at check-in. This way, I could earn elite night credit and Hyatt points towards requalifying for Globalist status. (Hyatt and M Life have a partnership that allows members to earn points and match status between programs.)

This would be on top of the FHR perks I’d receive by booking through Amex, representing a fantastic double-dipping opportunity.

Related: Complete guide to the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program

Well, fast forward two weeks since checkout, and the elite night credit hadn’t posted to my World of Hyatt account. I filled out a missing stay request, and much to my surprise, my request was denied.

“The rate you paid was an Ineligible Rate and therefore does not count toward earning Tier-Qualifying Night credits or points,” read the email I received a few weeks later.

a river running through a city: (Photo by Lucky-photographer / Shutterstock.com) © The Points Guy (Photo by Lucky-photographer / Shutterstock.com)

Based on reader reports and anecdotal evidence from the TPG team, I thought I’d been short-changed. In the past, I’ve received World of Hyatt elite credit for FHR rates at Hyatt.

So, I turned to a World of Hyatt spokesperson to find out what happened.

Unfortunately, the spokesperson confirmed that there’s an interesting nuance to the M Life partnership. For a night at an M Life property to be eligible to earn World of Hyatt credit, it must be booked directly through either MGM, M Life or Hyatt. Third-party rates, including those booked through Amex, do not qualify.

As a result, my Fine Hotels and Resorts booking at the Delano was indeed an ineligible rate, and I wouldn’t receive any elite credit or points.

Note that this just applies to the MGM properties in Las Vegas, not any Hyatt-branded hotels.

If I’d booked a Hyatt property through FHR, like I’ve done before at the Park Hyatt in Paris and others, then I would’ve earned World of Hyatt credit, according to the spokesperson.

Though I didn’t earn any World of Hyatt credit for my night at the Delano, the FHR benefits far outweighed the elite credit I forfeited.

Now, I’ll start packing for a night in a Hyatt property elsewhere to make up for the one that I missed in Las Vegas.

Featured photo courtesy of Delano Las Vegas

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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