How to Score a Room Upgrade in Las Vegas

by  Teresa Bitler | Dec 21, 2017

You don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy a complimentary premium suite in Las Vegas. Here are six strategies to help you score a free room upgrade the next time you visit.

Ask (politely, of course)

The easiest way to get a free room upgrade in Las Vegas is to ask. Be polite—don’t act entitled—and make friendly small talk. It helps to dress neatly and be discreet, too. Loudly demanding an upgrade in front of other guests is the surest way to not get one.

What you say matters, too. Use the word “complimentary” so the front desk clerk doesn’t think you are willing to pay for the upgrade, and tell the clerk specifically what you want: a larger room or suite, for example. Letting the clerk know you don’t need a room with a view may also help. 

Make a $20 "sandwich"

You can give the clerk monetary incentive to upgrade you with a $20 sandwich. Simply insert a folded $20 bill between your credit card and ID. When the clerk asks for these, present the sandwich and ask for a complimentary upgrade. Most clerks will return the money if they can’t find one.

Some hotels are more willing than others to upgrade you—with or without the $20 sandwich—so research before you go. Front Desk Tip shares statistics on how likely a hotel is to give room upgrades along with reader success stories.

Join a loyalty program

You don’t need to gamble a fortune at the blackjack table to reap the benefits of hotel loyalty programs like Total Rewards (Caesars properties) or MLife (MGM properties). In fact, if you pay for a room, dine in the hotel’s restaurants, shop in its stores, and gamble just a little, you may automatically qualify for an upgraded or free room on your next visit.

How you pay can also make a difference. Booking with certain premium credit cards, such as American Express, may qualify you for a free upgrade. Check with your credit card company to see if your card offers such perks.  

Avoid popular dates

When you go matters. Hotels have no problem selling suites on New Year’s Eve but struggle in the weeks leading up to Christmas when they are at less than 30 percent capacity. If you want a free upgrade, go in December or during the summer, and opt for a mid-week versus a weekend stay.

You may also have a better chance for an upgrade when the hotel hosts a large conference since attendees usually book base rooms. Arriving in the late afternoon or evening, when the hotel has a better sense of its occupancy levels, helps too, as does limiting your stay to a few nights.

Spend upfront

Hotels tend to reward guests who spend more when they book. A guest who has already reserved a mid-range room is more likely to receive a free upgrade to a suite than one who booked a base room through a third-party website.

You also have a better chance of getting an upgrade if you book directly with the hotel (just call and ask them to match any website's rate). Clerks know if you booked through a third-party website, and since hotels make less money on these rooms, they are less likely to give you a free upgrade.

Mention a special occasion

Depending on occupancy levels, some hotels will give you a complimentary upgrade if you mention that you're celebrating a special occasion like a birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary. Even if an upgraded room isn’t available, the clerk may be able to provide you a bottle of champagne or additional perk.

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