The very first time we went to Vegas, when we stayed three months, we blew a very large part of our budget during our first 2 months; by the third month we were limited in our accommodation choices (it was not fun!) and we couldn’t splash out on lavish buffets or lavish shows as we did in the previous months; in fact, then we experienced our most miserable weekend stay in Vegas. So, finding ways to save money or finding ways to get things for free is key in Vegas. These day we stay in Vegas comped most of the time and we eat at buffets for free often. Even if it’s your very first time and you have fewer options to stay for free, the following tips will help you a lot.
First of all, remember that it now makes a gigantic difference if you go to Vegas on weekends vs weekdays. The crowds will change and so will the ‘freebie’ potential, though the gambling freebies will be the same. Second of all, and very importantly, you need to remember that Vegas trends change all the time, and that resorts policies and choices also change all the time, trying to respond to ‘traffic’ and also trying to anticipate visitors’ traffic. For example the Flamingo resort, which (people say) used to love to attract middle aged Vegas visitors (in particular women trying to have a good time in all aspects of this holiday) now it’s targeting young party crowds on a budget (so shouting, yelling, beer breath and plenty of smoke everywhere is the reality). On the other hand, during the week Flamingo is much more peaceful and soothing, with a nice variety of guests. Let’s go back to freebies and free stuff in Vegas:
Getting free stuff in Vegas – Update: these days ‘free stuff and free upgrades’ (when given directly by the resorts) seem to be, primarily, for those who gamble a lot in the way described on ‘how to gamble in Vegas‘. The new ‘freebie’ trend goes like this: you book, you pay the price (it could even be comped, this does not matter), you gamble in a clever way and the next day you go to casino marketing or to your casino host and get your room rate (or buffet price or whatever) refunded or, at least, get it all refunded (or partially refunded) when you check out. Last time we stayed at Mirage, we had practically everything we paid for refunded.
Some resorts are better than others at this. Mirage is one of the best in our experience and, luckily, they have a lot to offer in terms of ‘freebies’ (shows, dolphin habitat and secret garden, great rooms, etc).
Update on free shows (regular shows, not the most popular ones): you can get free shows in the way described below) but it’s not a guarantee; some timeshare presentations tell you upfront (as to what you get) and, if they are not clear, I would simply walk away to the next offer). Vegas is still a place where you can have a great time at a reasonable price, but (unlike in the ‘good old days’) you have to be really careful and … Experienced. If not experienced, you need to research many sources online ahead of time. Don’t listen to one bell only; and remember: Vegas is always evolving and changing, and so are the resorts’ policies. Make sure that what you read is updated and phone before booking asking all the questions you want. The following is the general overview on how to get free stuff in Vegas.
There are ways you can enjoy the best Vegas shows without breaking the bank account, so to speak. Discounted Vegas show tickets are a good way to do so.
More on free stuff in Vegas: a toolkit list:
In the ‘good old days’ you would get so much ‘free stuff’ as a way to be lured in by all Vegas casinos, since they would do anything to get you into the door and gamble. In those days you could get free fancy meals pretty much anywhere, free fancy rooms pretty much anywhere, free champagne and so on. Today things are very different; they don’t need to lure you in like before since Vegas has become a magnetic attraction per se and people are flocking no matter what. However, there are still many ways you can get still get lots of free stuff in Vegas.
1 – The first thing to do when you arrive in Vegas is to sign up for a player’s card, in every casino group you can get to. New members always get free stuff in Vegas, from a meager T-Shirt to a free lavish buffet for 2 or, sometimes, some free play (namely you can play at slot machines for free for a limited value/amount of time). After you have received these freebies, you can use the players card to accumulate points; from playing slots to buying your lunch, make sure you get the cashier to register the amount paid (if at a buffet, for example) onto the card so that it contributes to your points.
Every casino group (such as MGM, Caesar’s Entertainment or Boyd Gaming, for example) has a different points structure but the principle is the same: at some thresholds you will be entitled to either free food or free accommodation or free shows or anything that is being part of their promotional strategy at the time you are playing. We recommend our updated page on which Vegas resorts gives you the Best Rewards for your Gambling.
2 – If it’s your first time in Vegas you must mix your paid activities with the many free Vegas attractions you man enjoy; in fact, even if you are seasoned Vegas visitor you could re-visit these free attractions simply because they do change occasionally and, at the very least, they get ‘revamped’. Hosting free or low-cost attractions is still a viable way for casinos to entice new crowds, so they will always try and offer something worth seeing.
3 – Las Vegas Coupon Book. This is a ‘book’ (usually named a ‘fun book’) made of coupon pages and it varies from hotel to hotel, each promoting a series of events, restaurants, shows and stores; they are often given at check-in but you an always ask for one. A general Las Vegas fun book is found in the back seat area of cabs or taxis; these are not as useful in my opinion but you will always find at least a couple of restaurant coupons you may want to use. The most famous coupon book is for purchase, and we discuss this on our next page.
Of course through myVegas you can earn rewards to redeem when you are in Vegas and choose among a lot of freebies. We have a whole section on myVegas explained with tricks and tips.
Go to our the 2nd part of our free stuff in Vegas topic: Tools to Get Free Stuff in Vegas BUT, before you read it, book mark our new page on Vegas Deals of the Week (we selected only the most recommended). They are all non-affiliated links, which we think it’s important for neutrality! 😉