If you’re like me, when you’re booking a hotel room, you usually book the cheapest room possible at the hotel.
It just doesn’t seem economical to pay $250 for a deluxe room or $500 suite, when I can pay $100 for a standard hotel room.
My thinking process usually goes something like this: They have beds right? Why would I pay 2 to 3 times more to have a bigger space? I didn’t travel here to hang out in a Hotel; It’s a no-brainer to book the cheap room!
I didn’t even know what the inside of suite or deluxe room looked like until I traveled to Taiwan a couple years ago, and we needed a bigger room to fit my entire family of 4. So we booked a suite out of necessity.
It was only $50/night more than the cheap room. I think it was $60/night for the regular room, and $110 for the Presidential Suite we booked. (Taiwan is a great off-the-beaten place to travel to, it’s cheap and a Foodie Heaven too)
Staying in the suite has ruined hotel rooms for me forever. The $50/night seemed well worth it for the nicer view, large shower and tub, an office desk, and just more room to put all of our stuff.
But did you know you can get upgrades to hotel rooms in Vegas too, without really “paying” for it? That’s right. You can a lot of times, just book the cheapest room in Vegas, and get upgraded to better rooms, and possibly Suites, using the now infamous “Vegas $20 Trick”. I’ll explain below.
How does Vegas $20 Trick Work?
Book a cheap hotel room at a Vegas Hotel that is on the Strip. The trick seems to work best for the larger and newer resorts like The Palazzo, Bellagio and Ceasar’s Palace.
When you check-in at the hotel, you put a $20 bill between your Credit Card and drivers license, when they ask for an ID and your CC.
SmileComplementary room upgrades available? It’s very important to say Complementary, so the clerk is not confusing your request for a paid room upgrade
Smile, be patient, and over 80% of the time, you’ll get at least upgraded to a room with a nicer view. Some have gotten upgraded from the basic room to a full suite.
FrontDeskTip has compiled the success rates of various hotels, and reports from various people.
Bonus: After the clerk has confirmed you the new room, or in cases where you were not upgraded, always ask for the resort fees to be waived. The resort fees are just another way for the hotel to charge customers additional fee, and are often at least $20/day. If the clerk refused to give you an upgrade, they’ll often waive the resort fees as a consolation.
What If I Feel Embarrased to Give the Clerk $20, and Ask for Upgrade.
The $20 Vegas Hotel Front Desk trick is widely known, and the Check-in clerk see it multiples times each day. They often know exactly what you want, as soon as they see the $20 bill.
If you feel uncomfortable asking, or afraid the clerk may take the $20 and laugh in your face, or afraid the clerk is going to call the police on you for attempted bribing, keep in mind that the Clerk 100% of the time will be delighted at the chance to get $20 tip.
90% of the people never tip the hotel check-in clerks. Dealers, Valets, Doormen, Bartenders always get tips, the clerks are excited to finally get a tip coming on their way.
Why does the $20 Trick work.
The hotel check-in clerks have a lot of power on assigning rooms to guests. The vast majority of the hotel books are for the basic rooms, and the suites often sit empty.
All the hotel deals are usually for the basic rooms, as a result, the basic rooms are often overbooked The hotels have no choice but to upgrade some of the guests anyways.
Being nice and friendly goes a long way as well. If you act like a jerk, show impatience, or anyway make the clerk’s job difficult, the clerk wield the power to choose to “downgrade” your room as well. To a room next to the ice machine, by the elevator, or one with no view.
Will the Vegas Front Desk Tipping for Upgrade Work Outside of Vegas, In Other Cities Like in NYC or Hawaii?
The $20 trick is much less common outside of Vegas. The check-in Clerks will know immediately what you’ll want as soon as they see the $20 Sandwich, in between your CC and Driver License. The hotel check-in workers in other cities, that are not used to getting tips. So you’ll have to state specifically what you’re looking for. Be confident, friendly, and give the clerk a look in the eye when you ask “If there are any Complimentary upgrades available.
Reports of results of $20 trick in other cities are sparse on the Internet. But there have been reports of success.
If no upgrades available, you could ask them to waive resort fee, spa credit, or restaurant voucher. Have fun, and don’t get upset if it doesn’t get what you want. Worst case scenario is you’ll lose the $20.
What’s your experience with the twenty dollar tip sandwich and asking for an upgrade at a hotel in Vegas? Let me know in the comments below.