$20 Trick for Free Upgrades

This is the ‘trick’ you’ll hear and read about: when you walk up to check in at your Vegas resort of choice, and you have booked either a standard room or a basic upgrade, at the time when you are asked to hand over your credit card (the one you have booked with) and your ID (US drivers licence, passport or photo ID card) you place a twenty dollar bill (or more, depending on the upgrade you want) in between or inside the passport page (the one they will check, with your photo on it), making sure they see it, when you ask (at the same time) if they have any complimentary (free) upgrades available. If they do, they’ll give it to you, if they don’t, they’ll return the 20 dollars with your ID card or credit card.

Does the Twenty Dollar Trick Work?

Many say it works, some say it does not. We have never tried it because we have some techniques that let us have free upgrades without paying any money to anybody. More on these further on.  However, we saw somebody try it at the MGM Grand and it worked!  Moreover, a reader recently told us that a 50-dollar trick worked at Cosmopolitan, obtaining a big upgrade!

It is not the resorts’ policy to give free upgrades in this way when in fact they reserve any type of upgrade for those who gamble and ask for them at casino marketing (which is the ‘legit’ way to get a real upgrade, and the way the resorts prefer, namely rewarding casino players) or for those who have a problem with their existing room. It is allegedly disapproved of (by management) when clerks willy-nilly offer upgrades for a tip (which does not even end up in the resorts accounts!) = it is not supposed to happen. As I said, we have never tried it nor needed to try it. But this page is to help you understand your options given the ‘rumors’.

So, our advice to you is this:

– if you don’t mind looking goofy or maybe arrogant (who knows how it’s interpreted, it ultimately depends on the check in clerk you meet, if they have a sense of humor or… if they’re on their last day and may have decided to be unprofessional…), you could try it if you want to. At worst you’ll look like a goofy newbie who’s trying to get a 200 dollar upgrade for a twenty dollar trick! If you meet a really mean check-in clerk who makes you feel bad for trying it, laugh it up, smile nicely and say sorry … Would I do it? No. But it’s up to you.

– if it’s a busy weekend with high-traffic, it is very unlikely you will be offered any upgrades with this ‘trick’ (or any trick) even with the least professional clerk. If they are not busy (if they are running at a low occupancy rate) they may give you a free upgrade in many other ways, and these are explained on our free Vegas upgrades page.

How to Get a Free Room in Vegas