How To Do A Weekend in Atlantic City & Get Paid to Do It!
I recently went over all of the details of my Atlantic City status match trip. But I wanted to go into a little more detail and show you how you could do a quick weekend trip for status matching and get paid to do it. You will need to use some miles and points to get there and get around but you can come out of it with a weekend vacation and some money in your pocket.
Spirit Airlines to Atlantic City
There are a few different options for getting to Atlantic City. You can fly into Atlantic City’s airport but it is small and only Spirit really covers it. I can hear it now, ugh Spirit. They aren’t all bad but they can be downright awful at times too. But a Big Front Seat to AC isn’t the worst thing.
You could book the flight through Citi’s travel portal with the Citi ThankYou Premier card. Sadly Spirit is no longer in Chase’s portal, thanks Expedia!
You could also go to the airport to buy the ticket and save $40 roundtrip per person. Pay for it with a Capital One card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Card or Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card and wipe the charge. Barclay Arrival Plus works the same way.
Fly into Philadelphia
The other main option is to fly into Philly. I may have been singing the Fresh Prince song the entire time I walked through the airport and yes my wife LOVED IT. Not Really :(.
It is a pretty big hub for American Airlines so that is what we booked. We snagged the tickets for 15,000 British Airways Avios per person or 11,000 Membership Rewards because of the recent transfer bonus. I would check American’s site too to see if they have any of their web special awards. Most any major airline will work though and it will depend on where you are flying from but American will probably have the most award availability.
Get into Atlantic City
We rented a car using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and cashed in some points to book it. The drive from Philadelphia’s airport (PHL) to Atlantic City takes about an hour. The rates usually hover about $50 a day for base cars.
If you fly Spirit into ACY you can grab an Uber to the city. Hopefully you have some Platinum credits to use. Remember this tip if you forget to select your credit before booking the ride! If you go this route there will be some cash outlay that we will cover later. Let’s call it $25 each way.
We ended up staying at Ballys on a comped stay. Not the best place but it served its purpose. If you matched to Caesars Diamond usually you can snag a few free rooms before they figure out you don’t gamble like a Diamond.
If that isn’t the case then try to time the trip when the city is less busy. The status matches come with 2 nights at Hard Rock and they work right away. So there is a chance to book a room after you land although that comes with risk. You also get one night at Borgota that is usable right away as another option. You can also book the Ocean Resort for 12,000 Hyatt points a night as a last resort (Learn More).
Dining for Free
If you just did the status match from Wyndham Rewards to Caesar Rewards you should have a $100 voucher that you can use in Atlantic City. The wife and I each had one so that was $200 we could use towards meals. You have to use the full $100 or you lose it so dinner is the best option. Let’s say those come with a $20 tip each or $40 total.
For some of the meals we are going to time up our status matches. Let’s say we get to AC on Friday morning then you would want to head directly to the Hard Rock. Their status match comes with free play and 2 free buffets or lounge entry. Either will get you a free breakfast but the lounge would come with some drinks too.
On Saturday we would head to Borgota and get brunch in the lounge after the status match and some free drinks to start of the afternoon.
The $100 celebration dinners would cover our Friday night and Saturday night dinners. That only leaves Saturday afternoon to grab a cheap lunch somewhere and Sunday morning breakfast at the airport. Let’s say $25 for each or $50.
You could drop those prices some if you have $20 in Caesar Rewards credits. That gets you access to their Diamond Lounges with your newly minted Diamond status. That could cover lunch on Saturday and wouldn’t cost you anything out of pocket but you would have had to gamble in the past, signed up for their credit card or transferred Wyndham Rewards points to Caesars Rewards etc. so it won’t apply to everyone.
Running the Numbers
We have a potential of $50 in Uber fees if you flew into Atlantic City or nothing if you flew into Philly and rented a car with points. Parking is covered from your status in AC if you do rent a car.
There is $40 in tips for the two dinners and another $50 for lunch and breakfast.
That is a max total of $140 but as low as $90 out of pocket. My wife and I made $235.71 and it would have been around $75 more if I didn’t already have MLife status. But let’s say a loss rate of 25% on the $100 free plays. That would be a total haul of $300 if you were eligible for all 4.
That would leave you between $160-$210 for drinks, entertainment or anything else you wanted to do. Don’t forget that the Hard Rock status match comes with 2 free comedy show tickets which could keep you entertained one night too.
I hope you enjoyed this run through of how to do a weekend in Atlantic City free. Is it worth it? That is up to you. Atlantic City was far from our favorite place but having a weekend trip somewhere that essentially pays you to take it is always intriguing. I would do it again if I could get more status matches. I probably will never go back without them though.
If you do like Atlantic City you could use those free nights that you get from Hard Rock and Borgota to go back within 90 days. And you could use some of the free money you won to help cover the cost of a second trip. If you live within driving distance of AC these numbers get way better!
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I think I missed where the free plays came in. Can you fill me in? Sounds like you got $100 in free play somehow and won $235.71 from those plays.
Yeah $300 in free play. $200 at HardRock ($100 each for me and my wife) and $100 at Borgota ($100 for my wife).
More detail on it in my status match guide though.
Good Series on AC, you inspired me to do the same. Im gonna do a quick AC trip in Nov on my way home from ICN but im landing in NYC. Im doing Greyhound to get to AC from NYC on “Lucky Streak” for $15.. Why am i telling you something you already know? Bc, you can also book AC to PHL for $10 and get a 1 hour layover in NYC for some PIZZA. Thats def winning.
But I wanna make sure the order of operations is done right.
I have Bonvoy titanium I status match to Wyndham online immediately
Then I physically sign up in person and status match in AC with Caesars and Also MGM and also hard rock
I then status match MGM to Hyatt. (end game)
Please let me know if im missing a step or if Im wrong, TIA
You should do the status match from Wyndham to Caesars online now. Then when you get to Atlantic City just pick up your Diamond card at one of their casinos. Then you take that to Hard Rock and Borgota etc. for the match.
Great tips! I status matched Wyndham to Caesars Diamond, but it looks like Hard Rock requires platinum. Also, is there any bypass if I’m already an M Life member? It looks like the match is only for new members
No you should be fine with Caesars Diamond at Hard Rock. If you don’t have Gold or above status at M Life I think it should still work.