The Caesars Rewards Visa credit card recently added a welcome bonus of 2500 tier credits and a yearly 5000 tier credit bonus for spending $5000. This credit card should now be more appealing for gamblers visiting Caesars properties.
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Thanks for joining me for podcast episode 63: Caesars Rewards Visa Credit Card Update. The Caesars Rewards Visa credit card recently added a welcome bonus of 2500 tier credits and a yearly 5000 tier credit bonus for spending $5000. This credit card should now be more appealing for gamblers visiting Caesars properties.
Caesars has finally responded to criticism of its lackluster, at least before a recent update, Caesars Rewards Visa credit card. Months ago, the card gave a measly 10,000 Reward Credit welcome offer worth about $100 and lacked the ability for its holder to earn tier credits. MGM’s MLife Mastercard, now the MGM Rewards credit card, has always added tier credits to the mix, and now the Caesars Rewards Visa does the same – to a point.
With the Caesars Rewards Visa in year one, you earn a 10,000 Reward Credit welcome offer and 7500 tier credits for spending $5000 in a calendar year. The card also automatically gives Caesars Platinum status after making just one purchase. For those unfamiliar with the Caesars program, typically 5000 tier credits are needed for Platinum status. Platinum status benefits include free parking and valet at Caesars properties, hotel discounts, and sports betting bonuses in certain states.
Diamond status is more appealing than Platinum, which offers many benefits, including waived hotel resort fees and Laurel Lounge access. Sadly, many Laurel Lounges have closed, but some locations, Harrah’s Atlantic City included, have reopened on weekends. Earning 7500 bonus tier credits in year one with the Caesars Rewards Visa effectively halves the requirements for Diamond status since 15,000 tier credits are needed. In subsequent years, 5000 bonus tier credits cuts the 15k requirement by a third.
A 5000 tier credit boost can be excellent for people who barely hit 15,000 tier credits, perhaps because they, like me, play low tier credit earning games including Blackjack, Jacks or Better Video Poker, and Poker. During tier multiplier days, I play some Video Poker to hit Diamond Plus status, the next status level achieved at 25k tier credits.
Diamond Plus gives me four $20 drink vouchers per day in Las Vegas, free entry into Laurel Lounges, and discounted hotel rates. While I’m not sure Diamond Plus contributes to this, it may just be from gambling, I regularly receive free nights in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. 5k bonus tier credits from the Caesars Rewards Visa would reduce the Diamond Plus earning requirement by 20%, so this credit card is very appealing to me.
Usually, I play 1000 hands of five-credit $2 video poker, $10 per hand, or $10,000 coin-in through Jacks or Better Video Poker during five times tier credit promotional days. This play gives me a total of 6000 tier credits since the 1000 tier credits I earn multiply to 5000 with the 5x promo, and then I get an unbonused bonus of 1000 tier credits because I earned a base of 1000 tier credits. America loves math!
On $10,000 in play, I give up about $150 in the long-run since the house has about a 1.5% edge on the game I play. My last session took about an hour and a half, and that of course, has some opportunity cost versus Poker play where I am generating positive expected value. Maybe this $150 theoretical Video Poker loss is offset by future offers and some Reward Credits I earn, but who knows.
Rather than trading about an hour and a half of my time and about $150 for 6000 tier credits, I can spend $5000 on the Caesars Rewards Visa and get 5000 tier credits every year. I really like this proposition! Last year, I needed two Video Poker sessions to hit Diamond Plus, so with the Caesars Rewards Visa, I can save $150 and an hour and a half every year. Maybe, too, there’s an argument for reducing variance because some Video Poker sessions can result in a day-to-day loss of hundreds of dollars. Eliminating one session or maybe even two can lead to me not being as exposed.
Additionally, at least according to credit card terms, tier earning beyond the initial 7500 tier credits is possible because the Caesars Rewards Visa can sometimes offer additional tier credits on spend. I wouldn’t expect this to be a significant amount, but the extra earnings can make a difference if you reach certain milestones.
Every 5000 tier credits you earn in a calendar year, up to 35,000 tier credits, gives you a free night to redeem at Caesars properties in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. Year one with the Caesars Rewards Visa, assuming at least $5000 spend, will get you close to two free nights because you earn at least 7500 tier credits just from the credit card. In years two and beyond, you gain at least 5000 tier credits from $5000 spend, which is good enough for one free night. Without this credit card, gamblers who would not reach 35,000 tier credits can stand to benefit from more free nights.
Non-gamblers will gain 5000 tier credits from $5000 spend every year, so the Caesars Rewards Visa becomes a no-annual-fee hotel credit card to some extent. Credit cards including the American Express Hilton Surpass and Chase World of Hyatt personal cards provide bonus annual free hotel nights, but at the cost of a small annual fee. Most people would prefer Hilton Surpass and World of Hyatt credit cards because of other perks they contain, but of course, the correct answer here can be all of the above rather than wondering either.
All is not amazing, though, for the Caesars Rewards Visa. The welcome bonus of only 10,000 Reward Credits worth about $100 is tiny compared to heavier hitters like American Express Platinum, US Bank Altitude Reserve, and Chase Sapphire Preferred. The $5000 spend per year can also have some opportunity cost for low spenders who could otherwise gain a welcome offer or two on other credit cards. I’m one for suggesting creative spending methods, so $5000 spending shouldn’t be an issue for those in the know or people with lots of not-so-creative spending.
The earning potential on the Caesars Rewards Visa is also low; the category bonuses are simply not competitive compared to other credit cards. A 5x multiplier (a 5% return valuing Reward Credits at one cent per point) on most Caesars spend is nice, but I have the American Express Gold Card giving 4x Membership Rewards points on dining that can easily be worth 5% or more.
Altitude Reserve’s 3x or 4.5% on travel and dining covers the bases for Caesars spend that would usually be charged to a hotel room or direct dining spend. An extra half percent isn’t going to move the needle on low spending. However, the road to spending $5000 in a calendar year can include that bonus 5x spend, so there’s something to be said for that rather than, say, putting unbonused spending on the Caesars Rewards Visa only earning 1x or 1% back considering many other cards give at least 2% on unbonused spending.
The Caesars Rewards Visa also earns 2x or 2% on travel, entertainment, and dining…nothing special here. The card used to give 2x on grocery spending, which was nice for high grocery spenders maxing the 4x cap on multiple American Express Gold Cards, but alas, the war on happiness strikes again.
Another downside of this card: the Caesars Rewards Visa also reports to personal credit, impacting Chase card eligibility. In short, Chase won’t approve you if you’ve opened five or more cards reporting to personal credit in the last 24 months. Some banks, including US Bank and Barclay’s, may not approve people who opened several accounts in the previous 6, 12, or 24 months. I wouldn’t recommend applying for the Caesars Rewards Visa early on in your credit card quest; instead, prioritize more impactful cards from Chase, US Bank, and Barclays while you can still get them.
Additionally, I value business cards more than personal cards assuming similar overall value because they keep personal credit cleaner in most cases. I’m not sure we will see a business version of the Caesars Rewards Visa anytime soon, but who knows since we have various hotel co-branded business cards. Maybe a Christmas miracle will happen to double-dip in tier credit bonuses!
One may also not value the status bump provided by the Caesars Rewards Visa because many can status match to Diamond from the Wyndham Earner Business from Barclay’s bank. Some may not be able to acquire the Wyndham card, though, because they lack a business or have opened many personal credit cards in the last 6, 12, or 24 months. Status matching from FoundersCard is also an option, but FoundersCard often comes with a cost. Additionally, status matching and re-matching may not last, especially when Caesars joined the war on happiness in early 2022 taking status away from status matchers. In some cases, Caesars restored status, but not all retained their status.
Gamblers who easily overtake the 25k tier credit requirement for Diamond Plus will likely not find much value in a 5000 tier credit boost. Diamond Elite status, for example, requires 75k tier credits, so a close to 6.7% reduction isn’t so valuable compared to the gambler who barely hits 25k tier credits…but those who barely hit Diamond Elite may value this boost. Those who earn Seven Stars status will likely scoff at a yearly 5000 tier credit bonus.
However, maybe gamblers already have the Caesars Rewards Visa because they were unaware of better cards, so existing cardholders might as well spend the $5000 for 5000 tier credits, especially with bonused spend at 5x from Caesars spending. If you would usually spend a few thousand a year on hotel taxes and fees, food, and other expenses on the Caesars Rewards Visa, why not spend a few thousand more outside Caesars properties to get the tier credit bonus?
Even with the weaknesses of the Caesars Rewards Visa, people later in the credit card game who can put in the spend on multiple credit cards, frequent Caesars properties, and value Caesars status can appreciate this card. It’s a niche card, but those who can utilize this card will benefit.
Personally, if it means saving an hour and a half of my time and keeping $150 that I would otherwise, in the long run, lose on Video Poker, the Caesars Rewards Visa packs a punch year-to-year. Many other credit cards’ value propositions drop dramatically after year one so much so that people use the phrase ‘sock drawer card’ and rightly so. I like niche cards like the FNBO Fordpass, MGM Mastercard (also issued by FNBO), and PenFed Pathfinder Visa with ongoing value past year one although, again, I would not prioritize them over heavier-hitting cards. Later in the credit card game, though, we’re low on options, and cards like these and the Caesars Rewards Visa can be good additions.
Caesars Rewards Visa is issued by Comenity Bank partnered, we’re going another level here, with Bread Financial. Comenity, from my experience, isn’t too strict with approvals as they mostly service store credit cards that don’t have high approval standards.
Do note, though, that if you have your Sagestream file frozen, perhaps because you applied for US Bank credit cards, you may be denied for the Caesars Rewards Visa or be asked to unfreeze Sagestream. Don’t gamble with declines and just unfreeze Sagestream, at least requesting a temporary unfreeze. If you don’t know what Sagestream is, you’re probably safe. Comenity will likely pull from the Experian credit report, so people who have lots of activity on Transunion and Equifax can rejoice.
Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for future episodes.
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