Las Vegas $20 trick?

By ThatThat,

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A friend and I recently rented two rooms for six nights at the Stratosphere through PRICELINE. When it was time to check in, my friend and I approached the desk one at a time so we could check in separately. I wanted to try the $20 tip trick and didn't want to complicate matters by involving more than one room. Instead of presenting the clerk with a sandwich, I flashed and fiddled with a folded $20 bill while asking the clerk if it would be possible to get a complimentary upgrade. The clerk offered me a suite on the 22nd floor and even told me he waived the $7.50 per day resort fee. I thanked the clerk profusely and asked if it would be okay if I gave him a tip. He responded "yes" then took the $20 placed it in an envelope, wrote a number on the envelope, and put it in a drawer. It was the best $20 I ever spent.

Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention that the Stratosphere is great. Super good value, really nice staff and nice, clean rooms. I'm serious. Great location too. The double-decker trolley stops in front of the hotel every 20 minutes and will take you to any hotel on the strip. There's also a bus (#108) that will pick you up at the airport just outside the baggage claim area and drop you off right in front of the Stratosphere.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Went to Flamingo Hotel recently and try the 20$ trick with success ! I put my twenty dollars between my licence driver and credit card and ask for a complimentary upgrade room. The woman clerk refuse my 20$ but change my standard room third floor to another standard room in the 26 floor with a perfect view of the Caesar Palace and the strip ! I was very nice with her, polite, and I think my french accent helped me a lot. Even if she refuse my 20$, I put it on is desk and immediately leave after. She left a message on my room voice mail saying that she hope I'll enjoy my stay in Las Vegas and to not hesitate if I need anything. Simply perfect !

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  • 3 months later...

My wife and I just got back from a 3 night stay at the Trump International and received a "complementary upgrade" to 1 bedroom suite. Followed the instructions of the "$20 tip trick"and had a nice young man in his late 20's helping us at the front desk. We wound up receiving a room that was larger than the apartment we currently live in! The upgrade seems that it costs about $100 more a night. So $20 for a $300 upgrade... that's not bad!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was at the Luxor checking in August 17th and I was thinking about this 20$ trick. Well I was lazy and just flat out asked is it possible for an upgrade to the tower rooms instead of the typcial pyramid rooms.(see if it would cost more) The counter person let me have a complementary upgrade so that was it. Maybe it was because it was a Monday even though I had to wait 30+ minutes get to the counter. In the end I left a decent room tip when I left.

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I $50 tricked at Bally's last Septemeber. Upgraded to a beautiful, massive suite for the five days of our stay.

Will be trying the same at Venetian, Luxor etc this November.

Worst case scenario you end up losing your 20/50 and get no upgrade. Even if the clerk says no, who cares?! You'll never see them again.

If you don't ask you don't get.


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  • 2 months later...
Sorry, i have to disagree with him on both counts...

Tips are part of Las Vegas culture, and while the casino side of the business is highly regulated, the hotel side is NOT, and upgrades based upon tips is fairly common in Vegas.

As well, to think upgrades are only given to folks who've lost a ton of money it to not understand the casino business... the casino gives upgrades and comps to anyone who gambles a lot, regardless of whether they have won or lost. The idea is to keep you happy and coming back, for even if you won this trip, they know the odds are in their favor and if they can get you to return to their property again in the future, as the more you gamble, the better chance they stand in having the odds play out in their favor (and threfore more likely to win their money back)

My ex-boyfriend was an extremely avid gambler so we got comped all the time whether it was a room, an upgrade, dinner, spa services, etc. Well he went on a crazy winning streak and the next time he talked to the casino host who normally gives the upgrades she said according to his players club card he had a 40% win ratio (and the average is about 4-7%) so unfortunately we aren't able to comp anything at this time. It was crap. But I guess it made sense... I doubt that's the case everywhere but it happened. I stopped using those damn players club cards after that.

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  • 1 month later...
Any knowledge of the $20 trick working at Trump International?
This worked for me when I stayed March of 09. $20 got us a corner room directly looking down the strip on one side and the mountains on the other. seeing the stuff from treasure island from that high was pretty sweet.

I really enjoyed my stay there. I think it was $99 a night which shocked the hell out of me when we got there and saw how glitzy it was. I guess it's because it's a bit of a jog to anywhere.

I wanted to live in the bathrooms there.

I did not try the food there. Cabs took a bit longer to come out during peak times.

Staff was excellent and what I would expect from the place.

There is NO CASINO in this hotel. That's actually a plus for me, less noise, less crowds, and less chance for me to lose more money! Nearest good casino only 10 minute walk at the most.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just back from Las Vegas and used the trick at the new Hard Rock Suites Tower (and wow, are those rooms gorgeous!). Got a "pool view" room but the pool was under construction, but it was at least a higher floor. Did it again when I moved over to the Bellagio. No rooms were available till 3, but the $20 got us in at 11 am and a PERFECT view of the fountains. It's well-worth the money. I would love it more if I got a room upgrade (like, to a suite!)

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  • 3 months later...

I will definitely try this on my next trip because my "upgrade without a tip luck" is probably going to run out sometime.

I have been lucky in the past and have received upgrades just because I asked and was polite. No $20 sandwich and no implied $20. Sometimes you just need to read people. Reading the desk clerk AND using the $20 trick will increase your chances.

Example: My friend and I were in one of the 5 check-in lines at the MGM. We had chosen our line because it had the only guy desk clerk and guys are usually nicer to us. However, while waiting we noticed that the line next to us only had one "group" of people in line and that they were arguing with the desk clerk. They were mad that she couldn't get them into their room yet (it was only 10:30 am) and were just over-the-top rude. My friend and I have both been in the customer service industry for a while so we know how unreasonable and frustrating dealing with customers can be. So we scooted over to that line and waited for the argument to cease. We then walked up to her, smiling and said, "Some people. It's not your fault they are here too early. Right!" She vented to us a little bit but then regained her composure and apologized for her lack of professionalism. We told her we understood because we deal with people like that all the time. We knew we had her on our side so we asked for a room upgrade with a strip view on a high floor.

Not only did we get a beautiful room with a great view (facing west toward the strip, perfect for the sunset) but she made sure our room was cleaned ASAP so we could get into it right away. We had already planned on waiting by the pool since we were so early, but this was even better. She handed us our room keys on the spot so we didn't have to come to the lobby again and just asked us to wait until 12 p.m. to go to our room. A cup of coffee and a bagel later, we went to our room happy as could be.

The desk clerks at hotels deal with people who feel entitled every day and aren't treated well by a lot of guests. Be nice to them, show them that you understand them and be personable. Treat them like you would a friend and you will receive friendly service.

We were lucky that someone was being rude to her, but in reality... there is always some jerk trying to force better service, just listen and react.

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  • 2 months later...

I was on a 3 night stay in Vegas at Treasure Island. I had the $20 bill in my hand while asking about any complementary upgrades. The host behind the counter checked for a while on his computer and found me a room on the top "executive level" floor overlooking the strip and the Sirens show. It was by far the best room I have ever had for the $65 I paid. I will definitely use this approach for future check-ins.

This was also during a weekend stay 7/24-27/10 if this matters to anyone.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi, i tried the 20$ trick last september during a 7-day stay at Luxor (although i made it a "30$ trick").

While handing over my credit card, my id and 30 bucks i asked the lady very politely for a complementary upgrade. She took my cc and id, let the bills disappear in her pocket and started typing.

She upgraded me to a junior suite with a jacuzi which was in the tower instead of my regular room in the pyramid. Winking she added that she saved me some hundred bucks :) . Never thought it would work out that fine and easy.

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  • 1 month later...

Just got back from a 4 night stay at Wynn. Called ahead to confirm, and ask for a double config rather than the usual king. I was told that it would be an additional $50 per night, and it looked like they only had a few left. Rats.

We got to the hotel in the early evening when it was relatively quiet, and I asked if there were any double rooms available. He stated that there would be an upgrade charge of $50 if they had any. As I opened my wallet to remove my credit card and ID, I removed a $20 and laid it on the top of my wallet. I then asked if there was any chance of a complementary upgrade to a double. His reply... "let me check that for you!" While I can't say it was the $20, he managed to find a SWEET double room on the 51st floor for no additional charge - and he was aware it was a priceline purchase so it isn't only for full pop guests. Well worth the $20, and much less awkward that I thought it would be. :)

Worst case scenario if he said no to the complementary upgrade, I keep the $20, and life goes on. If you don't ask, they can't say yes.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

in october of 2010 my bf and i attempted the 20 dollar trick at TI. I told my bf to do the sandwich but he chickened out, and just handed the man his two cards. He then held on to his wallet in the man's sight, playing aroudn with a 20 dollar bill peeking out of the wallet. we asked if there were any complimentary upgrades, and he gave us the top floor of TI which had taller ceilings and a more private floor seeing that you had to put in your room key to access that top floor. so it was worth it. we gave the man our 20 dollar bill as we were leaving and just said thangs ;D

im heading out to vegas again on June 8, and am staying at vdara. I really want an upgrade.....so we probaby will try it. Has anyone tried it out at vdara? any tips?

and how have you checked in early?

is there ever an instance where you hand them the 20 dollar bill sandwich and ask for an early check in or "complimentary upgrade" and they for somereason CANT do anything extra for you? haha taht would be a waste....but i guess that's what vegas is? a gamble? ;D haha

i would love to hear more :) thanks


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It just worked for me at the Wynn. I successfully parlayed a $20 tip to the Check-in agent into a room with 2 beds on top of an $86/nt Priceline winning bid. When I inquired over the phone, I was offerred the option to purchase an upgrade to a 2-bed room for $30/nt plus tax, which would have cost me $100 for a 3 night stay. Rather than taking this offer, I tried the $20 trick at check in and was given the 2-bed room - thus saving $80.

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