The Status Match Merry Go Round Explained (Using Both Hotel and Casino Status Match Opportunities Year After Year)
The Status Match Merry Go Round
I’ve written a number of times in the past about what I call the Status Match Merry Go Round. For those that have never read any of my posts about this before, the Status Match Merry Go Round is a series of status matching opportunities that, by the time all is said and done, will have grant you status in half a dozen programs, many of which you’ll be able to keep year after year.
Here are a few of the posts I’ve written going all the way back to July of 2018:
- 5 Status Matches and 5 Free Hotel Nights in 1 Day: Atlantic City – Hard Rock and Ocean AC Resort
- Easy Status Match to Wyndham Diamond (and possibly Total Rewards Diamond, Hyatt Explorist and Mlife Gold)
- Status Match Merry Go Round: What to Do in January
Without question, these have been some of the most popular and widely shared articles I’ve written. In the MilesTalk Facebook group, I love when people post pictures of their various successes. Makes my day.
The phrase Status Match Merry Go Round comes from the fact that (at least as it stands now) you simply need to find a way onto the Merry Go Round and then, once there, it keeps going and going for you.
I’ve gotten some feedback that some people have lost track of how this all works, as my info has been spread across various posts. So, I’m bringing this “full circle” today with a start to finish guide.
Why Should You Care About the Status Match Merry Go Round?
In short, because it will confer a variety of statuses on you for relatively little effort and much is repeatable year after year once you get on the Merry Go Round.
I’ll summarize all the programs and tiers involved:
- Wyndham Diamond
- Caesars Diamond
- Mlife Gold
- Hyatt Explorist
- Hard Rock Atlantic City Rock Royalty
- Ocean Atlantic City Platinum
What are the Primary Benefits of Each Status in the Status Match Merry Go Round?
Wyndham doesn’t really have a super exciting footprint nor program, but you will be entitled to early check in, late check out, and suite upgrades when you stay at a Wyndham property. I list this first, however, because it’s the primary “on ramp” to the Status Match Merry Go Round.
While some people report better room offers at Caesars casino properties, that’s not a reliable benefit. Nor are upgrades. But what is reliable is this:
– Free Parking at Caesars casinos/hotels
– Skip the Line at most restaurants (I’ve saved hours on line with this perk)
– A free four night stay at Atlantis (Also see:Free Atlantis Stay via Caesars Total Rewards Diamond: What To Expect with Room Fees, Food Costs, and More)
– A free $100 “Celebration Dinner” each year including status renewals
– Free monthly show tickets.
– Waived resort fees
– Diamond Lounge access (requires $10 in comps per person)
– Taxi Queue line cut
Free parking (including valet) at Mlife resorts, priority checkin, priority buffet seating, potentially better room offers. Most important for matching to Hyatt. If you have never had Mlife before and match at Borgata, you’ll get a free night as well.
Upgraded rooms (not suites) and late checkout. American Airlines Fast Track offers to Elite Status.
Priority access to beach chairs, Rock Royalty lounge access for a $10pp fee (in comp dollars), free self or valet parking, priority line at buffet. Priority checkin and 12pm check out. Free car wash once per month at Rocktane. Your first time new member match should include a free night as well. New members also get two free nights, a buffet for two and $75 or $100 slot dollars.
Access to the Player’s Lounge ($10 comp dollars per person), free parking (including valet). If you’re curious, I reviewed the Black card benefits last year, though you only get matched to Platinum now. This first time match for a new member includes $100 slot dollars. (They have discontinued the free nights.)
One Thing to Note about the MLife Match:
You can do some of these matches online, but you will need to visit, in person, one of three MLife properties:
- The Borgata in Atlantic City
- MGM Springfield in Massachusetts
- MGM Grand in Las Vegas (May not be year round – enquire first. On Aug 13, 2019, I received a report that MGM Grand may have stopped matching as of Aug 9. Would like more data points. Safe to assume you should not rely on Vegas to match.)
How Does One Take The First Step in the Status Match Merry Go Round?
Right. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? To find out how this all works.
When I did my first ride on the Status Match Merry Go Round, I did everything I’m sharing with one exception. Before Wyndham was status matching to Diamond, you needed to find a way to acquire Wyndham Diamond or Caesars Diamond on your own. That was much hard than it is now which I’ll share in a second. Back then, a Founders Card membership was the easiest way. Not wanting to pay for Founders Card as I didn’t (and still don’t) see value in it, I won my Wyndham Diamond in a charity auction for about $250. It’s been well worth it.
But now, it’s so much easier.
Status Match Merry Go Round Flow Chart
I created this flowchart to make things easier to follow and reference. The post itself provides much greater context, however.
Status Match Merry Go Round Step 1: Wyndham Diamond
It all begins with matching something – anything – to Wyndham Diamond.
You’ll do that at this page: Status Match to Wyndham
You will need one of the following statuses (note, some are really low to mid tier statuses and easy to obtain):
Marriott: Gold or higher
Hilton: Gold or higher
Best Western: Diamond Select
IHG: Platinum or Spire Elite
Radisson: Gold or Platinum
Hyatt: Globalist (Note: If have have Globalist, you can skip many steps. I’ll outline this at the end of this section.)
To be clear, a lot of these make no sense. Hyatt Globalist is incredibly hard to earn. Marriott Gold and Hilton Gold are easy as pie to get. But whatever, let’s roll with it.
If you have ANY of the above, head over to the Status Match to Wyndham page and have at it and skip to Step 2 below.
If you don’t, let’s get you there.
The absolute easiest way, by far, to get on the status match merry go round from scratch is one of five credit cards:
The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express ($95 annual fee) which grants Hilton Gold.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 annual fee) which grants Hilton Gold.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card ($89 annual fee) which grants IHG Platinum.
The Platinum Card from American Express ($550 annual fee) which grants Hilton Gold.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card ($450 annual fee) which grants Marriott Gold.
There are more cards that will get you there as well, but these are the easiest. The first two, with a mere $95 annual fee, are the easiest by far.
Once you have your card activated and your Gold status granted, you can proceed with the match to Wyndham Diamond outlined above and once you see Wyndham Diamond in your account, proceed to Step 2.
** Note: If you are already Hyatt Globalist, most of this may not be needed. You can match your Globalist straight to MLife Gold online and take that to a Caesars property to match that to Caesars Diamond when Caesars is running a status match promotion, which they often do but not always. Otherwise, just continue with the steps as outlined here.**
Status Match Merry Go Round Step 2: Caesars Rewards
Now that you have a nice shiny Wyndham Diamond card, you are entitled to an automatic match to Caesars Rewards Diamond. You can do this online here. Wait for your account to update at Caesars. It could be the next day or it could take a week.
You’ll be automatically eligible for that Atlantis stay now and the $100 Celebration Dinner credit is in your account to redeem in person.
Step 3: Mlife
It’s getting easier now, right?
You’ve got your Wyndham Diamond status and your Caesars Diamond status.
But now, for the first time, you have to take a walk (or a drive or a train or a flight).
You’ll need to get yourself to a Caesars Entertainment casino to pick up your Diamond card. No, they won’t mail it to you. And then you will need to take it to one of the Mlife casinos I mentioned before:
- The Borgata in Atlantic City
- MGM Springfield in Massachusetts
- MGM Grand in Las Vegas (Not year round; enquire first; see notes above; don’t rely on this one)
If you can get to Atlantic City, you can ALSO and separately take your Caesars Diamond card to the Ocean Casino Resort and the Hard Rock Atlantic City for your Ocean Platinum and Hard Rock Rock Royalty statuses. These are really a diversion on the Merry Go Round as you don’t need nor can you use these two casino cards for much else, although you will get the free nights at each.
I’ll repeat the benefits from above:
Priority access to beach chairs, Rock Royalty lounge access for a $10pp fee (in comp dollars), free self or valet parking, priority line at buffet. Priority checkin and 12pm check out. Free car wash once per month at Rocktane. Your first time new member match should include two free nights and $100 slot dollars as well.
Access to the Player’s Lounge ($10 comp dollars per person), free parking (including valet). If you’re curious, I reviewed the Black card benefits last year, though you only get matched to Platinum now. This first time match for a new member includes and $75 or $100 slot dollars. (No free nights)
Borgata allows you to match year after year, however you’ll only get a complimentary night the first time you match.
I’ll also take a moment here to mention that IF you plan to actually gamble for comps, your first trip to a casino plays heavily into the comps you’ll initially receive, so play wisely and read this article from TravelZork before you go…
If you cannot get to Borgata, MGM Springfield, or MGM Grand Las Vegas (when applicable), you’ve hit the end of the road. But I have faith that you can, at some point, get to one of these. And so, let’s continue….
Step 4: Hyatt Explorist
You now have, at minimum, 4 statuses now. You have the one you started out with plus Wyndham Diamond, Caesars Diamond and MLife Gold. Now, my friend, you can match to Hyatt Explorist as well. And this is, happily, an online match as well. Just hit the OPT IN button here. Note, if that doesn’t work, try going to this page on the MGM Website and logging in. Look for the OPT-IN button on that page.
Step 5: Bonus Match to American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status
Bonus Round: Thanks to the new Hyatt and American Airlines partnership, you can get a 3 month status trial and fast track challenge to AAdvantage Gold by linking those accounts.
Step 6: Round and Round it Goes
In January and February, you have homework. Come January, your Wyndham will drop to Blue Level. But you have your Caesars Rewards Diamond that you matched online. Login and check your Caesars Rewards. Still Diamond, right?
Now go ahead and go back to the Wyndham page and match. This will re-up your Wyndham Diamond status.
Then make a note for a few days into February. Your Caesars status will lapse Feb 1. But you can go back to the Caesars page then and re-up for another year!
Lastly, when your Mlife status expires, you can head back to Borgata with your Caesars card and reup for another year there as well.
See Why I call it the Status Match Merry Go Round?
I’m sure you do…
Did you do the Status Match Merry Go Round?
MilesTalk Facebook group members love to post pics of all their new shiny cards and I’d love for you to let me know how it went for you as well. You can let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private group.
You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.