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  • November 2009
    M T W T F S S

Free Room Upgrade? Let me introduce you to “The $20 Trick”

The Twenty dollar trick is a popular subject on many Vegas forums and is often mentioned on podcasts. In fact there are entire websites dedicated to it. The basic theory of the trick is to tip the hotel registration clerk $20 in exchange for a complementary upgrade.

As you may know Vegas hotels often have many different promotions going on at any one time. These promotions are identified by promo codes and are often sent to player club card holders through direct mailings or email. It’s my understanding that it’s up to the registration clerk’s discretion whether to upgrade customers. So the twenty dollars acts as a little incentive to upgrade you.

The trick requires a little finesse. You just don’t wave a twenty around screaming free upgrade. The preferred method is to fold a twenty and place it between your driver’s license and the credit card you reserved the room under. While some suggest a wrap around, that is, wrap a twenty around your credit card. Which ever method you try make sure the folds are crisp as you don’t want the twenty to unfold and sit on the counter like a dead fish. When handing the clerk your information make sure the twenty is visible and ask “is there any complementary upgrades available?” they will either quickly dismiss it by saying no and most likely hand you the twenty back or they will look to see what rooms or promo codes are available.

I can’t help to think if anything is this popular Vegas hotels registration clerk’s and hotel management must be well aware of it so I wonder if the word “trick” is even appropriate. Regardless, many people have been successful trying this trick. But be aware that upgrades vary widely, reading user experiences in the links before will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Tip: Another spin on the trick is if you have already reserved a higher end room, instead of asking for a complementary upgrade specifically ask about a complementary “suite upgrade“.

Tip: When you go may be key to your success. If you are there during a large convention or major holiday the hotel may be either fully booked or close to it and hence less likely to be upgraded. On the other hand, if you arrive Monday afternoon during a quiet week your chances increase significantly.

Now I have never tried the trick myself but plan on doing so during our January 2010 trip. I am just going to consider it my first gamble of the trip. After all, it’s only twenty dollars. I will let you know how it goes…..

More Information

Front Desk Tip Is a good site with lots of information including a “How to” guide and stats of success by hotel. This site also has “Field Reports” by readers on their experiences.

Note – No need to login or sign up to get most information.

Fat Wallet Forums is a great site all around with lots of good information from forum readers regarding the $20 trick and other topics.

Note – Click the highest number “Go to Page” to see the latest post.

4 Responses

  1. I will be in Vegas next week, Jan 14th. We are staying at the Bellagio and already have a Deluxe Lakeview Room. I plan to try the $20 or $50 trick. Have you already been on your Jan. 2010 trip? Did the $20 trick work?

  2. Nice, a deluxe room at the Bellagio sounds great. I think next week will be quiet especially after CES and AVN are over so I suspect your chances are in your favor. I am leaving for Vegas TOMORROW (1/7/09) night and let me tell you I can’t wait. Unsure about the trick because the Hotel is fully booked because of CES. I will be posting a Trip Report after my trip so stay tuned..

  3. […] buddy, let’s call him Paws, just got back from Vegas. Inspired by my post: Free Room Upgrade? Let me introduce you to “The $20 Trick” he decided to give the trick a try since he was going to be in town for four nights in a standard […]

  4. […] Free Room Upgrade? Let me introduce you to “The $20 Trick” Plan on using a cab while in Vegas? Read this first! Las Vegas Rent A Car Tips Tips on how to find the lowest hotel rates in Las Vegas YES drinks are FREE in Las Vegas! […]

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