Do MGM Gold Members Pay Resort Fees On Amex FHR Stays?
MGM completely retooled their rewards program earlier this year. They moved from M Life to MGM Rewards and made a ton of changes to the perks you get from their status. Probably the biggest change to the Gold Tier and above was waived resort fees. The best part of this change is that many readers are eligible for MGM Rewards Gold status via their partnership with World of Hyatt. You can find details on their reciprocal status match here. One of the big questions was, do MGM Gold members pay resort fees on Amex FHR stays? We know they don’t have to pay resort fees on MyVegas bookings but is American Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings the same? I’ll show you what the rules say and what our boots on the ground experience was.
MGM Rewards Gold Waived Resort Fees
In the biggest thing since sliced bread (over the top much?) MGM Rewards eliminated those pesky, and super expensive, resort fees for Gold tier and above. There were a few other changes as well.
Here are the main perks of Gold status:
- Tier credits required remains at 75,000+
- Waived resort fees for Gold+
- Exclusive tier appreciation events and experiences Gold+
- New Tier Advancement Celebration Dinners and access to exclusive tier appreciation events recognize members who reach Gold or above tiers based on 2022 gaming and non-gaming spend. (Only for earned status)
- Free Parking for Pearl (& above)
- Complimentary tickets to MGM Rewards concerts for Pearl (& above)
- MGM Rewards Points and Slot Dollars will not expire for Pearl (& above) members due to account inactivity.
Once the news came out for the changes everyone scrambled to find out if people with matched status get the waived fees as well, they do. Plus, the status match from Hyatt to MGM is so easy, and it hasn’t been greatly restricted like the Caesars match. We also wondered if Hyatt bookings and Amex FHR bookings counted.
Here are what the terms say for the waived resort fees:
Applicable daily resort fees will be waived on up to two room reservations per trip when an eligible member books direct, under their name, with MGM Resorts International and his/her eligible MGM Rewards account number is attached to such reservations. To be eligible, must be a member with Gold+ Tier Level status at time of stay. To redeem, the eligible member may be required to visit the Front Desk during their stay to confirm eligibility and request waiver of the daily resort fee (e.g., if member advances to eligible Tier level during stay). Not applicable to reservations associated with convention, trade show and/or group sales unless billed to the qualifying member.
The booking direct language is what was tripping people up. Is an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts booking technically considered direct? We know they don’t waive resort fees on Hyatt award stays because it isn’t direct. If that is how they treat their actual partner it doesn’t look good for Amex FHR.
Our Personal Experience With FHR Stays Getting Waived Resort Fees
We have received a few data points in our MtM Diamond Lounge as well as my first hand experience. I had two booked stays with Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts during our recent trip. One was at NoMad and the other was at Delano. The results were a bit mixed.
When checking out at NoMad they told me what was left on my bill and she said the resort fee was a part of that. I simply inquired if it was removed since I was MGM Rewards Gold. She had an aha moment and said, you’re right! She then took it off the bill without a hassle. My buddy Rick, from Travel on Point(s), was staying there as well. He asked the same question and was informed they are not supposed to since it isn’t a direct booking. They said they would do it for him this time though after calling to get it approved.
During my stay at the Delano the front desk agent informed me of the resort fee at check along with all of the other FHR booking details, as one should. I played dumb and said I thought that fee gets waived since I am a gold member. She said that American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings are not direct and I would still need to pay it. I could have tried again at check out but I left in the middle of the night and didn’t bother swinging by the desk.
Another member of our Diamond Lounge was in Vegas for the meet up and was 2 for 2 for getting it waived with some pushback. Both were at Bellagio. PDX Deals Guy was at Delano for two separate stays and was 0 for 2 there.
So, what do we learn here? As with most things, it is very your mileage may vary.
Do MGM Gold Members Pay Resort Fees On Amex FHR Stays: Final Thoughts
I think you have a 50 / 50 shot to get the resort fee waived on an Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts booking if they have MGM Rewards Gold status. It will likely require some pushback but you should win about as often as you lose.
That could of course change over time as employees get used to the new perks of MGM Rewards Gold status and dealing with Amex FHR bookings. On the other side, maybe they get to the point that they just do it if asked. Only time will tell, but for now you should have a better than 50% shot if you have results similar to ours. If you don’t feel like pushing back a bit it may be worse than that though. Where you stay will likely play a large role in it as well. Social engineering for the win!
Did you get a waived resort fee on an Amex FHR stay as a MGM Rewards Gold member? Share your experience in the comments.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.