OK folks, time for a quick update on the Status Match Merry Go Round for those local to Atlantic City….
I took a trip down this past weekend. Thanks to COVID, I hadn’t been in almost two years and I wanted to check in on the state of status matches. After all, MilesTalk is quite possibly best known for the Status Match Merry Go Round.
And thanks to this trip, I have some tips to share that you won’t find anywhere else…
I’m not going to recap the entire Atlantic City portion of the Merry Go Round as you can read that on the Status Match Merry Go Round page. I’m not going to touch on the MGM/Caesars matches here because we all took care of that in January/February (right?)
But if you’ve been on the Merry Go Round, you may think that your Hard Rock and Ocean matches are once per lifetime – because that’s what they imply. Neither is “quite” accurate.
In this article
Re-Matching at Hard Rock Atlantic City
The official Hard Rock Atlantic City Tier Match page clearly states that the Tier Match is for new members only.
In practice, at least in 2019 and again in 2021 (this past weekend), I was able to re-match from Caesars Diamond back to Rock Royalty. Now, Rock Royalty doesn’t mean too much on its own. You won’t get any new member offers like the free room or slot dollars. But you will get free parking and you’ll also get a free monthly car wash.
OK, that’s cool…. but hardly enough to make a trip down for.
Note that I’m being told that as of Dec 2021, expiration dates are not printing on the Hard Rock cards which makes them invalid for matching at Ocean. You can show Ocean that card and your online expiration date – but it can take 24 hours for the status to show online. So, plan accordingly.
Re-Matching at Ocean
On the boardwalk just a 5 minute walk south of Hard Rock sits the Ocean Casino Resort. I love the Ocean for its ocean views, pool./jacuzzi, and fun gambling vibe. I kind of dislike its nightlife and dining.
The last time (in 2019) I tried to “re-match” as an existing cardholder I was denied. But I was down for the weekend partially to test all the matches, so why not give it a whirl!
I walked up to the rewards desk with my Caesars Diamond card and my MGM MLife Gold card – the usual matching cards – and asked if they were matching. The answer was very surprising: “We do not match to Caesars Diamond or MLife Gold.” (They require Seven Stars for Caesars or Mlife Platinum.)
Then he added “We also match from Hard Rock… Rock Royalty and up.”
I forked over my newly minted Rock Royalty card and he started the process. The gentleman took quite a bit of time, filling out some manual forms and the like, and then returned with a shiny purple “Ocean Prime” card. (Details on Ocean Prime)
At first I thought I just got super lucky. My address has changed since the last time i was there…. I thought maybe he made a new account. (Note: they would rarely make such a mistake since your birthday and phone number is also in the system).
But later on, I found out why he was able to re-match me. Ocean will match both new members AND members that have been “inactive” for 12 months. Well, due to COVID, I had indeed been inactive for 12 months!
Along with the purple Prime card, I was given a coupon for a free lounge visit (+1) to use within 72 hours as well as a hang tag for the card allowing for parking in “preferred” spaces on levels 7 and 12. Valet is also free with Prime.
But that’s not what got me all excited.
I read over the benefits and saw that Prime members get an annual free oceanview MSC cruise in the Caribbean with no port fees and an annual 2 night COMP stay at Wynn.
Read ALL of the details on the Wynn Free Nights in my followup post.
Next, you get a once annual free cruise in an oceanview room. It’s a 7 night Caribbean cruise and they cover tax and port fees. When I searched for a cruise of this type on the MSC website, I found that this is worth over $1,700. I do not know if there are any blackout dates for the free cruise. I suspect that either you love cruises and will make this work or you probably don’t care that much.
Read ALL the details on the free MSC Cruise in my followup post here.
On top of all this, you get a free 2 night hotel stay at Ocean, but Saturdays are excluded. I *think* that is also available for “re-matched” players as everything else seems to be.
If you do stay at Ocean while you have Prime status, resort fees are waived and you can access the Avila Lounge for $10/pp in comps.
One more thing:
The brochure lists both the cruise and Wynn nights as “annual” benefits. I’m not positive, but it seems that much like an Amex incidental credit, you should be able to use this in both calendar years of your status year, meaning that you may be able to have a cruise and a Wynn stay in 2021 and again in 2022 – but before the June 30th program year end. I will be sure to test this out with at least Wynn.
For those within easy driving distance of Atlantic City, it’s a bit of a no brainer to match your Caesars Diamond or MGM MLife Gold to Rock Royalty at Hard Rock and then walk next door to Ocean for the main event.
However, if you have played (even one minute) with your player’s card at Ocean within the last 12 months, you will sadly be ineligible.
As an aside, Atlantic City was absolutely packed last weekend. And the casinos are both 95% mask free and are allowing smoking. So, if you are being careful like I am, bring your “good” mask, like an N95 or KN95.
I sure do miss Ocean being part of World of Hyatt. But it’s not anymore, and Borgata, though part of MGM Mlife, is not yet bookable using Hyatt points either. There are not currently any casino hotels in Atlantic City at which you can use points, although there is a Courtyard just off the boardwalk and a Sheraton at the Convention Center and you can also redeem Wyndham points at Caesars – however generally at a rate that is not worthwhile.
Lastly, if you know of any additional ways to further parlay this Ocean Prime status, please let me know in the comments!! I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a casino in the northeast that will match something good from Ocean Prime. Perhaps if someone is local to MGM Springfield they can take a stab at it there and see if they will match higher than Gold.
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“There are not currently any casino hotels in Atlantic City at which you can use points”
Can’t you use Wyndham points at Caesar’s hotels?
Great catch. The redemption rates are usually awful so it slipped my mind! You are very correct and I’m updating now.
Hi. I read in another post that people are able to score free nights at Hard Rock for status matching, but it was an older post. Is that still happening if you go this route? I have Caesars Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Wynn Diamond, and all the other usual contenders that give status. Thanks!
Yes it is 🙂 See https://www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com/promotions/wild-card-tier-match
But you must be getting HR for the first time.
Great post! A few questions:
1. For the initial match from HR to Ocean, the HR website states that they match Rock Royalty to Diamond *Plus/Elite*. From what I understand, the Wyndham to Caesar’s match only gives regular Diamond, and the Caesar’s card states the level of Diamond. Is this not an issue?
2. The HR website also states that they match M-Life Gold to Rock Royalty. I know you were told that they don’t– is that an official policy change or just an employee making up rules on the go?
3. The HR website also states that “Cards traded up from another casino will not be accepted”. Does HR have any manner of confirming the manner in which someone gained their status at a different casino?
4. You say Ocean will match members that have been inactive for 12 months. What does that mean exactly? No gambling at an Ocean casino in the previous 12 months?
Thanks for all the information!
Hey Al – in order…
1) You are right and I had a typo. That should say MGM Rewards Gold (and it does now)
3) I haven’t seen that term but they would have no way to know. I have rematched 3 times.
4) No gambling, including no free play or anything on the casino floor or promotions at all, for 12 months.
The Ocean website states the following:
Earning Period: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Benefit Period : July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
If someone gains status through a match, does their benefit period end on June 30 of the current year or of the following year? Meaning, if someone matches on April 1, 2022, will their benefit year end on June June 30, 2022 or 2023?
same Q as Al’s… Dave or any folks happen to know? TIA
I would like to know that as well. I need to decide whether head to AC in June or July of this year for the status match. And thanks for the great articles!
With regards to the fact that it can take up to 24 hours for the Rock Royalty status to show online, and idea whether that is 7 days a week, or does status only get updated weekdays? Trying to figure out if I can do the merry go round on one weekend. Thanks for the info!
It should be 7 days….
A new data point, having done the MGM Gold – Rock Royalty – Ocean Prime journey over Labor Day weekend 2022: the Rock Royalty card immediately had the expiration date printed on it, so there was no need to wait 24 hours for the Ocean Prime match, which I did immediately after receiving the Rock Royalty card.
This was terrific info – thanks Dave and everyone who contributed.
Do you have to be at the casino physical to get matched? I know Caesar has an online status match thing with Wyndham. I was wondering if the status match for Prime can be done online/via email.
Must be done in person. So does the HR RR card you need for the Ocean Prime.
So I did the Ocean Casino Prime status match successfully in mid July 2022 but I tried calling into the MSC number given in the flyer today (its Aug 24) to book the cruise but they said they did not have my Ocean Prime info. Any thoughts why? Does one get a free cruise if one gets status matched?
It’s supposed to be the 15th of the following month (ish) so by 16/17 for sure. I would call Ocean. Yes, you get the cruise on a match.
Ok I will call Ocean and see what they say. For sure I know I am Ocean Prime as i just logged into my online account.
Just an update to everyone: I sent an email to Ocean Casino outlining my problems. I did get a response from them – it seems they never credited my 2 free nights and asked me to call MSC the week after. (I suspect they may not have sent over my wife’s and my info to MSC). But they did confirm that I was eligible for the MSC cruise from the Prime Upgrade.
I called MSC a week later and managed to book my cruise!
Hello David, I have never played at oceans but have played on their online casino. Would that disqualify me from card matching from mgm platinum to their prime status?
Great question that I’ve never been asked. I would call Ocean and ask. If it’s linked to your regular Ocean rewards card, probably.
Thanks. I have never actually obtained an oceans rewards card. Have not been there since it was the Revel. When I do go and attempt to match, I’ll post on here!
Can the cruise start in June 2023 and end in July 2023?
Wish I could answer that one for you but I think for such an edge case you’ll need to call MSC and see if they’ll book it.
I will be the test case on that one! I’ll let everyone know.
Dave you have any datapoint whether the cruise or stay is based on calendar year not ocean program year?
Calendar. The cruise itself, not just booking.
We did the MSC cruise this year with a 6/25 departure and a 7/2 arrival. That being said, has anyone tried booked the cruise for July or August of next year? I know the terms state the cruise must be used by 6/30, but I was wondering if it was different when actually booking.
does one still get 2 free nights at Ocean being a new member and matching to Prime?
Also I see Hard Rock Royalty – 2 free nights, must be used in 90 days, based on availability.
So…I could get the new HR card and matched status (From MGM gold)…then just immediately stay 2 nights, or the day after, if available?
What’s the less busy months for Atlantic City?
ok…I found the detailed info. Ocean Prime…2 nights…but must be within 60 days. And available after 72 hours. This could work still….let’s see…only prob is August would be my window to visit in 2023…and that’s high season, so maybe no availability. Though I can do weekdays.
i will meditate on this…2H 2024 will be near, but the wrong month (Nov/Dec) to visit other things I would like to see elsewhere.
FYI, the status year ends June 30th. So no, you wouldn’t get anything for 2024 if you match now. You’d get one cruise and one set of 2 Wynn nights.
And we also don’t know if the promotion will be renewed on July 1 for another year or not.
Good reminder. So very little point going sooner.
2H 2024 was referring when I would organically be in Atl City area….as opposed to making a special trip this year. So I either go August 2023 (Only window) and get benefits for 23-24 or go in 2H 2024, and get benefits for 24-25, assuming all these matches are still working. But 2H 2024 is really late fall / near winter 2024….so that just complicates things as well – and realistically, I wouldn’t use the Ocean nor HR free nights then. But I could if I go in August 2023 – some things around Philly I could visit – but those are closed/not enjoyable in colder months.
Cruise doesn’t look that interesting to me…unless it was a balcony – and even then (I’m not a cruiser), and that has a sizeable upcharge by reading your notes. Destinations look pretty boring to me – but free is free I guess, novelty factor.
I’m thinking now too many mental and physical gymnastics just to get a few Wynn nights (Primarily)…. hahahahah. But let’s see how this year progresses…
How does Hard Rock AC compare with the Hard Rock Unity now in Vegas? Are these two separate loyalty programs? I’m planning to match my MGM Gold at the Hard Rock (Mirage) in Vegas in April as a new HR member but I’d like to get to AC as well and get matched to Ocean as a new member.
For now they remain separate, though I was mailed a Unity card for my Rock Royalty stays despite their program not ending yet.
1. Is the Hard Rock Atlantic City still using the Wild Card program or have they moved to Unity now?
2. Will Ocean match Unity Icon or ONLY Wild Card Rock Royalty?
Currently they are still doing Wild Card at HR, I just did the match this past weekend. Also as a side note, Oceans currently shows on their website that anyone who matches now through June 30th will automatically get their status extended through the next year: