My Borgata Black Label trade up experience

For quite a while now My Borgata Rewards has been running a status match program called "Trade up to Black Label." New My Borgata Rewards members who show elite status with "Caesars Entertainment, MGM, Tropicana Atlantic City, or Trump Casinos" will instantly receive My Borgata Rewards Black Label status and:

  • "$100 BONUS SLOT DOLLARS or Match Play
  • "Complimentary Stay in a Classic Room
  • "Access to VIP Lounge"

During a weekend trip to Philadelphia I popped over to Atlantic City to see how the status match works in practice. Here's my report.

Getting the status match

When I arrived at the Borgata, which is not on the Boardwalk but rather stuffed into a little corner of Atlantic City along with the Golden Nugget and Harrah's, I went straight to the My Borgata center and got in line for a new account. I mentioned the promotion (it's prominently advertised on-site as well) and showed a screenshot on my phone of my M life Platinum status (showing 0 tier credits, points, etc.). In other words, I didn't need a physical M life Platinum card in order to take advantage of the status match.

The My Borgata agent was happy to get me set up with a new Red Label account and immediately upgrade me to Black Label.

Although she kept apologizing for her "system being down," it seemed to me to work perfectly so I'm not sure what she was talking about.

Using $100 Bonus Slot Dollars

I chose the $100 Bonus Slot Dollars option, which can be redeemed for credit on any of the casino's slot machines. The $100 in match play option can be used on table games, but requires a real dollar to be matched to each bonus dollar.

The only two things you need to know about Bonus Slot Dollars are that once added to a machine, they can't be withdrawn and added back to your account, and that only your winnings can be cashed out, not the Bonus Slot Dollars you add to a machine. To simplify things, I just added $10 at a time to the machines I played, then after betting $10 withdrew however much I had won.

I ultimately won about $280 on my $100 in free Bonus Slot Dollars. If you go to Atlantic City, you should definitely try to do that.

Hitting the Amphora Lounge

After "gambling" up an appetite, my partner and I decided to head to the Amphora Lounge for dinner. Both the Amphora Lounge and the buffet cost $10 for Black Label members (and $10 for up to one guest), and the My Borgata staff member had added $20 in comp dollars to my account when I signed up. My impression is that the Amphora Lounge has a more limited food selection than the buffet, but drinks are included (and as Matt suggested on Twitter, they are happy to make drinks to carry out).

(Not) redeeming my complimentary stay in a Classic Room

Once back in Philadelphia, I activated my online My Borgata Rewards account and logged in to see how the free night benefit works. The stay has to be booked within one month for a stay no later than 3 months in the future.

Long story short, there are no complimentary rooms available in the next 3 months, or at least none available online. I assume this varies with demand and with the season, so maybe if you status match at some other time of year there would be more complimentary rooms available. But there aren't any right now, so don't count on this benefit when deciding whether to make the trip.

Is it worth it?

On the one hand, I came out pretty far ahead on my day trip to Atlantic City: after backing out the $46 in train tickets, plus cabs and tips, I made about $200 and got material for this blog post.

On the other hand, if you go to Atlantic City and status match to My Borgata Rewards Black Label, you might not win $280 on the slot machines. After paying for gas and parking, or train tickets and cab fare, plus the obligatory salt water taffy, the trip might turn out to be a pretty expensive "free" dinner with cocktails in the Amphora Lounge.

Still can't get your Hyatt status to match to Mlife? Do this now.

Last month I shared my experience getting a Haytt Gold Passport Diamond tier match. I mentioned that I was unable to use Hyatt's online tool to match my Diamond status to Mlife Platinum.

My initial assumption was that my new Hyatt status hadn't yet populated to the database the two loyalty programs share. But a few weeks having passed, I was still unable to update my Mlife status online. It was time to act.

Hyatt doesn't handle Mlife status matches

My first move was to call 1-800-514-9288, since that's the number listed on the Mlife status match page. But that number turns out to be for Hyatt member services, and the representative I spoke with told me that there was nothing Hyatt could do.

But she did give me the number for Mlife member services: 1-866-761-7111.

Mlife can verify your Hyatt status in real time

It took me two tries to find the right representative to help me at Mlife. The correct automated phone selections are "5" (partnerships) followed by "1" (Hyatt Gold Passport partnership).

That immediately took me to a phone representative, who asked for my name, my Mlife account number, and my Hyatt Gold Passport account number. She then placed me on hold for a few minutes while she verified my Hyatt Diamond status.

When the representative came back, she told me she had updated my Mlife status to Platinum, and that it would be reflected online in 10-15 minutes.

The entire call took about 6 minutes, and my status was updated well within the timeframe she mentioned.

Does Mlife status have any tangible benefits?

Only after I jumped through all these hoops did I finally look into the benefits of Mlife Platinum status, to which I am now entitled. I wasn't exactly overwhelmed. Here are the most tangible benefits of the partnership:

  • Earn elite-qualifying night and stay credit at Mlife properties. Unlike the Starwood Preferred Guest partnership with Total Rewards, which limits elite-qualifying nights to 10 annually, and doesn't award elite-qualifying stays, the Hyatt-Mlife partnership allows you to earn unlimited elite-qualifying stays and nights while staying at Mlife properties. That's convenient for picking up extra stays if you think you'll fall short by the year's end (it's nice that winter is a less popular time to visit Vegas anyway, driving down your per-stay cost even further).
  • Redeem Hyatt Gold Passport points at Mlife properties. While it's usually possible to find Las Vegas properties cheap enough to make point redemptions feel wasteful, that's not always the case. If you need to be in Vegas on a particularly expensive weekend, and especially if you need to stay at a particularly expensive Mlife property on that weekend, a Hyatt Gold Passport reservation could save you some serious cash.
  • On-property Mlife Platinum benefits. These are quite a bit more nebulous than the foregoing, but they're not nothing. If you've ever waited for an hour or more in a Las Vegas buffet line, you may find the ability to skip those lines extremely tangible! Skipping cab lines and priority access to pool bungalows and cabanas can save you time and make your vacation that much more relaxing as well.