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Tips and walkthrough on the $20 trick - First time I will try it this weekend

mikenmike0001 2,817 276 April 15, 2014 at 08:17 PM
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So I had a thread on getting help for the Las Vegas trip I'm having this weekend. Thanks to the contributors who helped.

The total price I got in the Indigo Tower for a 2 nights, 2 queen bed per room, for 2 rooms with 2 guests in each room at Bally's totaled about $400 after taxes and an $80 resort fee. They are in the middle of the strip, so I think that's ideal to walk around. Circus Circus was the cheapest in rates, but that's a long walk.

So the thing is that, I'd like to save up as much money from spending on hotel costs as possible to use that money for gambling and dining on a budget and at the same time, have a nice stay in a hotel, particularly since some people going with me have never gone to Vegas before. I know Bally's is reviewed good, so I don't think I'll have any problems there.

However, today, I talked to the hotel reps on the phone and found out the Indigo tower is the North Tower and is older than the South Jubilee Tower. Also, they didn't really budge on the $80 resort fee I have for 2 nights there and said that's for the WIFI and Fitness Center.

Ideally, I'd like to figure something out. I remember a long while back, I heard about the $20 trick that you do with the front desk person to upgrade and visited this website.

So I visited this website and read about the intro of it:

http://thetwentydollartrick.com/FAQ/


I also visited the Bally's page on that website

http://thetwentydollartrick.com/H...allys.html

and it seems like there were some recent posts as of last year in which there were successes.

Oddly, there's hundreds of thousands of people, particularly in the US, who travel to Vegas annually, and I think this trick has been known for a few years now at least, and has been viral, but there's only like at Bally's for example, less than 140 successful stories, which makes me concerned and I'm not sure why it is like if that's how low the percentage of success is with respect to the number of travelers and hotel bookings annually???


So the name under the reservation isn't under mine, but a relative, and there's been an initial charge for deposit on the first night already, but I'm going to be walking up with her to the front desk to check in on Saturday and I really want to try to do this $20 trick that people talk about to see if it will work to do the following:

- Waive the $80 resort fee in exchange for the $20 tip
- Get complimentary upgrades to the South Jubilee Tower with the strip view.

I don't know how good or what's the difference between that room and the Jr Suite or regular Suite, but we just like a nice view and comfortable double beds and a nice roomy layout. Never gone to Vegas doing these things before so I don't know what to expect.

Now, from that website, it mentions success with upgrades to the towers and suites, but not on the resort fee, but I select other hotels, and they have stories of resort fees waived.

So, my questions to get help here from SD is:

1) How big or known is this trick by the staffs working at the major Casinos along the strip like Bally's?

2) So what's a typical dialogue to practice on to talk to the right person for this $20 trick to work?

3) How many things can you ask for complimentary that's worth the $20 to the worker? Can you ask for room upgrades, waived resort fees, and show or dining vouchers altogether?

4) Does the $20 trick only work for complementaries for one room in the reservation, or if you have 2 rooms, is $20 enough for them to accommodate with requests for both rooms?

5) Who should I talk to and who shouldn't I talk to when I go to the hotels there? Am I supposed to avoid talking about it if a manager is nearby? Do I just talk to any front desk representative available?

6) Is this something where to work, I have to secretly slip the $20 to them and conceal it so that other people checking in beside me don't question what's going on and why they're not getting the same type of deal?

7) Do I get a new receipt printout of the changes if the workers allow the free upgrades and other complimentaries?

8) I am nervous what happens if I slip the $20 bill and give it to them and they hold on to it after they say they can't do anything. Can I ask for it back? I read on that website, that there's been some cases where the worker has kept it.

9) How do those tricks work with your Total Rewards Card (Just heard about it today for getting points and hotel stays and gambling)?


Hopefully you guys know and have tried this before and can help answer these questions.



Thanks.

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#2
Ok, just a couple of quick thoughts on some of your questions. I'm going to work backwards from number 8.

8) First of all, there are cameras everywhere. No employee wants to be on camera taking your twenty bucks for nothing. It's not going to happen. However, the second thought that comes to my mind is that if you're nervous about the prospect of losing 20 bucks on a gamble that you might get a room upgrade, please cancel your Las Vegas trip immediately. You're not ready to spend a couple of nights in a casino. You need to be prepared to lose a lot more than twenty bucks, my friend.

6) See what I said about cameras in #8. It's not exactly going to be "secretive" -- but like you're guessing, you don't want to broadcast it on the big screen out front. You definitely don't want to draw extra attention from the other people in line. That just seems obvious to me -- you want this to be a conversation between you and the person checking you in.

5) You're not going to have any choice about who to talk to. You're going to stand in the check-in line and someone is going to say "next" and you're going to get that desk agent.

4) If they're going to upgrade you, they'll upgrade all the rooms on your reservation together. Whether or not twnety bucks is enough for this is questionable. You're not staying at Wynn or Bellagio -- Bally's is middle-of-the-road, so maybe twnety bucks would work. Forty wouldn't be a bad idea necessarily. I've never heard of a desk agent keeping the money without an upgrade, but I guess they may -- and see #8 again about whether or not you're ready to gamble.

3) You're getting awfully greedy for twenty bucks. You don't ask for show tickets or resort fees waived.

2) Just be friendly. I'm always friendly when I check in -- commenting on the surroundings. If there were a lot of people in line, I'd comment on something like, "Wow -- busy day around here, eh?" or make some sort of joke. It's especially good if they had someone who wasn't so pleasant right before me -- I'm extra cheery and smiley to set myself apart. Just be nice.

Then, I put the $20 between my license and credit card and hand it to them. As they take it and notice the twenty bucks, I ask, "Are there any complimentary upgrades available?". Actually, the last time I was in Vegas, it took her a second to notice the twenty and I asked and she was like, "Oooh....let me see....". She offered a room with a pool view or a room with an L shape....and then she kept looking and said they had a suite. I said I'd like the suite and she actually made a quick phonecall to tell someone she was giving away that room and then it was done. And I was staying for a week and paying next to nothing (I often visit during low season).

However, what you get is going to depend more on how busy the hotel is than anything else that anyone tells you. In order to get an upgrade, they have to have an upgrade. Weekends are the busiest times. It's a crap shoot, no pun intended.

As for the resort fee, a lot of people report success in getting it waived based on their casino play. You don't actually pay the fee until you check out, so you can ask at checkout to have it waived or maybe even try the casino host desk before you check out to see if you can get it waived.

1) Everybody knows about this trick. Everybody. Yes, that means everybody. Yes, that means everybody at Bally's.

And finally........you read a whole website about this -- and you don't feel confident about it yet? It's a gamble. Welcome to Las Vegas. May you hit big from the moment you check in. And if you don't, I hope you at least have fun.
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#3
Quote from Parachute07 View Post :
Ok, just a couple of quick thoughts on some of your questions. I'm going to work backwards from number 8.

8) First of all, there are cameras everywhere. No employee wants to be on camera taking your twenty bucks for nothing. It's not going to happen. However, the second thought that comes to my mind is that if you're nervous about the prospect of losing 20 bucks on a gamble that you might get a room upgrade, please cancel your Las Vegas trip immediately. You're not ready to spend a couple of nights in a casino. You need to be prepared to lose a lot more than twenty bucks, my friend.

6) See what I said about cameras in #8. It's not exactly going to be "secretive" -- but like you're guessing, you don't want to broadcast it on the big screen out front. You definitely don't want to draw extra attention from the other people in line. That just seems obvious to me -- you want this to be a conversation between you and the person checking you in.

5) You're not going to have any choice about who to talk to. You're going to stand in the check-in line and someone is going to say "next" and you're going to get that desk agent.

4) If they're going to upgrade you, they'll upgrade all the rooms on your reservation together. Whether or not twnety bucks is enough for this is questionable. You're not staying at Wynn or Bellagio -- Bally's is middle-of-the-road, so maybe twnety bucks would work. Forty wouldn't be a bad idea necessarily. I've never heard of a desk agent keeping the money without an upgrade, but I guess they may -- and see #8 again about whether or not you're ready to gamble.

3) You're getting awfully greedy for twenty bucks. You don't ask for show tickets or resort fees waived.

2) Just be friendly. I'm always friendly when I check in -- commenting on the surroundings. If there were a lot of people in line, I'd comment on something like, "Wow -- busy day around here, eh?" or make some sort of joke. It's especially good if they had someone who wasn't so pleasant right before me -- I'm extra cheery and smiley to set myself apart. Just be nice.

Then, I put the $20 between my license and credit card and hand it to them. As they take it and notice the twenty bucks, I ask, "Are there any complimentary upgrades available?". Actually, the last time I was in Vegas, it took her a second to notice the twenty and I asked and she was like, "Oooh....let me see....". She offered a room with a pool view or a room with an L shape....and then she kept looking and said they had a suite. I said I'd like the suite and she actually made a quick phonecall to tell someone she was giving away that room and then it was done. And I was staying for a week and paying next to nothing (I often visit during low season).

However, what you get is going to depend more on how busy the hotel is than anything else that anyone tells you. In order to get an upgrade, they have to have an upgrade. Weekends are the busiest times. It's a crap shoot, no pun intended.

As for the resort fee, a lot of people report success in getting it waived based on their casino play. You don't actually pay the fee until you check out, so you can ask at checkout to have it waived or maybe even try the casino host desk before you check out to see if you can get it waived.

1) Everybody knows about this trick. Everybody. Yes, that means everybody. Yes, that means everybody at Bally's.

And finally........you read a whole website about this -- and you don't feel confident about it yet? It's a gamble. Welcome to Las Vegas. May you hit big from the moment you check in. And if you don't, I hope you at least have fun.

Hi, that was very helpful and you answered most of my questions. I appreciate the prompt reaction to my post and helping me out. I repped you.

I guess I'll have to be willing to lose a $20 to try to ask for an upgrade in the worse case scenario if the worker doesn't give it back for not being able to help with asking for complimentary accommodations.

I don't mind gambling in general like the slots and tables in Vegas. Just not used to thinking that I can lose $20 that easily in a minute or two from a conversation if I don't gain anything from it. I don't feel too excited if I gave $20 to the front desk worker and didn't get anything positive back and they kept the $20 instead of giving it back for not being able to offer anything due to being busy or unavailable.

I went to a smaller casino last week somewhere else in another state and gambled a bit on the slots and other things there, so it's just a preference on what I feel comfortable or satisfied with gambling money on. It's just worth gambling and spending money for me if I got some entertainment or fun out of it.

I suppose I am getting greedy trying to get the most that I can get in terms of savings by trading off $20 bucks. Smilie I'd rather use that money saved on gambling and dining with the relatives. Of course, we'll be gambling more money than that, but every bit will help.

So are there other websites of people reporting their success with this trick? Seems like this website was the first one that popped up in the results, but they've had less than 100 entries of reviews over the past 3-4 years for most of the listed hotels of it working and comparing that to the several hundreds of thousands of people coming to Vegas annually. I thought this place would be as social as a Yelp in a way.
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Last edited by mikenmike0001 April 15, 2014 at 09:22 PM
#4
Why has another thread like this being started? This is a repost.
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Quote from MrBlueScreen View Post :
Why has another thread like this being started? This is a repost.
For 2 rooms I would try to do it with a $50. Also, you don't have to make it some super secret, folding the bill between the license and CC is stupid. And when you are there just mention that you don't plan to use any of the resort fee services (free coffee, newspaper, health club, etc) even if you do.

As for dialogue just say something like "This is my girlfriends first trip to vegas and we were wondering if there's anyway we could get a complimentary upgrade to a room in the Jubilee tower with a view of the fountains"
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#6
Quote from MrBlueScreen View Post :
Why has another thread like this being started? This is a repost.
Sorry, I couldn't find the other threads that were recently discussed on this. And I probably had different questions too that people here are helping in this thread.
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Quote from bta15 View Post :
For 2 rooms I would try to do it with a $50. Also, you don't have to make it some super secret, folding the bill between the license and CC is stupid. And when you are there just mention that you don't plan to use any of the resort fee services (free coffee, newspaper, health club, etc) even if you do.

As for dialogue just say something like "This is my girlfriends first trip to vegas and we were wondering if there's anyway we could get a complimentary upgrade to a room in the Jubilee tower with a view of the fountains"
Thanks for the dialogue. I think I hear the Jubilee Tower is good. The North Tower I'm currently in, I don't know if they have a strip view or anything like that, but I put that in as a request to hopefully try to get at check in before trying to do the $20 trick to upgrade.

I don't know if workers help with "free requests" if you're early or on time or if they only budge with the $20 trick.
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#8
Hi SDers.

So I've been thinking since yesterday and wondering about this $20 trick.

What I think about right away that is good for everyone is roomy space, nice comfortable beds (no bugs Smilie ), comfortable pillows, cleanliness of the bathrooms, maybe a fridge and microwave, and things like that. The view of the strip would be nice at night just to stand out on a balcony and look out at the view for a little while.

But the thing is that I'm not sure that we'll be spending a whole lot of time in the hotel rooms during our stay besides sleeping and resting a bit for the weekend trip as I plan to take people out during the day time to walk along the strip to locations and take photos and gamble.

So my questions are:

1) Is this a type of trick that ALL people who go to Vegas should try their luck on?

2) Or, are there certain individual or group profiles or use cases where this trick would be useful or not useful for certain people?

3) For instance, are these types of free upgrades only useful if you plan to stay in the hotel room for more than a couple of hours for your entire stay there in Vegas (besides sleeping overnight)?


Thanks.
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#9
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
The view of the strip would be nice at night just to stand out on a balcony and look out at the view for a little while.
You aren't going to get a balcony and most likely not a fridge or microwave.

Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
So my questions are:

1) Is this a type of trick that ALL people who go to Vegas should try their luck on?

2) Or, are there certain individual or group profiles or use cases where this trick would be useful or not useful for certain people?

3) For instance, are these types of free upgrades only useful if you plan to stay in the hotel room for more than a couple of hours for your entire stay there in Vegas (besides sleeping overnight)?


Thanks.
1. Yes if you are staying at a decent hotel where an upgrade can improve your room.

2. Its nice to not have a view of mechanical units on the rooftop 20' below you. I think you get the best value from the $20 when you can actually move from your standard 'studio' type hotel room to an actual suite.

3. When I go to Vegas we usually end up having small get togethers in the room in the late afternoon or before we go out. We also seemed to end the nights partying in the room.

I have stayed at the old Imperial Palace in the cheapest room on the strip and I've stayed at Aria in one of the nicer rooms on the strip. In all honesty I don't think the quality of the room made the trip great or suck.


EDIT: I was wrong, it looks like Bally's does have fridges at least in the Jubilee tower. I would have thought Ceasars would try to gouge you for the fridge.
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Last edited by bta15 April 16, 2014 at 05:08 PM
#10
Since you have 2 rooms (and I assume you would like them near each other), then I would absolutely offer $40 or $50 to the check in agent since it will be more difficult to find 2 upgrades for the rooms that are adequate. There are 4 people in your group, so literally think of it as everyone throwing in a $10 for this person helping you out. You already got a cheap rate on the room, so the few extra dollars added to the TOTAL cost over the weekend really ends up being worth it. Just be friendly, honest, and conversational and they will do the best that they can do. Afterwards, you can also mention it is some people's first time and see if they have suggestions for places to get cheap show tickets or buffet meals. They are there to help you and, again, will do what they can to make your trip great. They may know of some specials going on and be able to point you in the right direction.

I've never had a desk agent keep my money if no upgrades were available, so really do not freak out about it. I think you seem overly concerned by the number of reviews, but I've tipped the desk agent and received upgrades numerous times over the years but never actually logged it online on a website. I honestly think people would be more likely to log a bad experience than good (just think of restaurant reviews, when people get bad service they rush to yelp & the internet to warn others away... same situation here. The agent kept my money, stay away!! yada yada yada), so don't let that deter you. It's a very well known practice: you are tipping a service industry person for helping you, simple as that.
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#11
A nice room is worth the $20 IMO if you are staying for a few nights. A nice room with a nice view makes me feel better, it's that simple. Having said that, if it's a busy weekend and I feel like the occupancy is probably high I'm probably not going to attempt it. That isn't based on any actual data point, just a gut feeling. People tend to read way too much into this kind of thing. If it feels right I'll go for it, if not I'm fine with letting it pass.

Also, FWIW there is no right or wrong way to do this. My biggest success of the '$20 trick' came when I casually tucked my $20 between my ID and Credit Card, placed them on the slippery counter, only for all three to somehow slide in totally opposite directions for all to see. Real smooth. Got upgraded to a gigantic suite that time. But I've had plenty of firm "no"s as well and everything in between. Just remember, there's a lot of factors out of your control here, so don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy your trip!
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#12
Quote from youstayslick View Post :
Since you have 2 rooms (and I assume you would like them near each other), then I would absolutely offer $40 or $50 to the check in agent since it will be more difficult to find 2 upgrades for the rooms that are adequate. There are 4 people in your group, so literally think of it as everyone throwing in a $10 for this person helping you out. You already got a cheap rate on the room, so the few extra dollars added to the TOTAL cost over the weekend really ends up being worth it. Just be friendly, honest, and conversational and they will do the best that they can do. Afterwards, you can also mention it is some people's first time and see if they have suggestions for places to get cheap show tickets or buffet meals. They are there to help you and, again, will do what they can to make your trip great. They may know of some specials going on and be able to point you in the right direction.

I've never had a desk agent keep my money if no upgrades were available, so really do not freak out about it. I think you seem overly concerned by the number of reviews, but I've tipped the desk agent and received upgrades numerous times over the years but never actually logged it online on a website. I honestly think people would be more likely to log a bad experience than good (just think of restaurant reviews, when people get bad service they rush to yelp & the internet to warn others away... same situation here. The agent kept my money, stay away!! yada yada yada), so don't let that deter you. It's a very well known practice: you are tipping a service industry person for helping you, simple as that.
Very nice and kind advice there. Thanks for that. So do you first give out $40/50 first right on the spot in one gesture, or do you see if they'll try to fulfill your room location requests first for free (like what I asked, which was the adjoining rooms and 2nd preference, adjacent rooms, and a strip view) , and then if they don't budge, slip one $20 first to see if they'd budge or help out and then slip the other $20 to see if they'd help out again at that point?

I think that's a good idea to ask for cheap buffets. I know there's a cheap asian mall of restaurants on Spring Mountain Road. I think if I were to walk around the strip to check out attractions and stuff, then I'd want to eat along the strip and not have to drive and later find parking on a busy Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening.

I hear that Circus Circus offers the cheapest buffet on the strip. Anyone can verify about that?

I repped you by the way.
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Quote from smarmy View Post :
A nice room is worth the $20 IMO if you are staying for a few nights. A nice room with a nice view makes me feel better, it's that simple. Having said that, if it's a busy weekend and I feel like the occupancy is probably high I'm probably not going to attempt it. That isn't based on any actual data point, just a gut feeling. People tend to read way too much into this kind of thing. If it feels right I'll go for it, if not I'm fine with letting it pass.

Also, FWIW there is no right or wrong way to do this. My biggest success of the '$20 trick' came when I casually tucked my $20 between my ID and Credit Card, placed them on the slippery counter, only for all three to somehow slide in totally opposite directions for all to see. Real smooth. Got upgraded to a gigantic suite that time. But I've had plenty of firm "no"s as well and everything in between. Just remember, there's a lot of factors out of your control here, so don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy your trip!

Thanks for the advice. I heard you and others mention about getting upgraded to a suite. I'm not familiar with how suites and jr. suites and the other types of rooms are laid out. Do they have double beds per suite or jr suite?

I'm going with 4 people and we each want our own beds, which was why I originally paid for 2 rooms where each room has 2 queen beds. So do jr suites and suites have more than one bed, or are they meant for couples to sleep together?

Otherwise, I think the next option would be to try to upgrade to the Jubilee Tower for the 2 queen bed rooms and try to get the adjoining and strip view. What do you think? Have you stayed at Bally's to know or is it universal across all hotels in the strip what a suite or jr suite and stuff are laid out in terms of what's inside the rooms?


I repped you.
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#14
I haven't stayed in Bally's specifically but I think the standard configuration for a suite regardless of Hotel is a King Bed with a couch in an adjoining room. I think a suite with double beds is rare, but they do exist (TheHotel at Mandalay Bay for example has some). Based on your needs trying to upgrade to a nicer tower/higher floor seems more reasonable.

On a side note, I've definitely been in two situations (both busy weekends) where I've booked a King or 2 Queens and I've been told at check-in that configuration wasn't available, or wasn't available immediately. I know we've been talking about upgrades, but if you or anyone else is ever offered a "downgrade" it is perfectly reasonable to ask for resort fees to be waived (especially if you've accepted a different type of room). Unlike the $20 trick this is a situation where I've always been successful, but you have to ask. Obviously this wouldn't apply if you're being upgraded Smilie
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#15
I have been to Vegas the past 10 years and the $20 trick has worked about 90% of the time. I usually go for about 10 days and split my stay between 2 or 3 hotels. Other people may not think so but I do think it matters who you get to check you in. Young people are you best bet epically males. I find they are the most likely want to make a few quick bucks. Usually if I dont like the prospects of the person who is going to check me in I will tell the person behind me that I am waiting for someone and they can go ahead of me. The few times it has failed it was either because I trie dit with an older woman or it was the week-end of a special event. I have never had someone take my money and not upgrade me and once I even got the upgrade the girl smiled and gave me my $20 back. TI has worked the best for me and always hs given me a free bottle of champagne
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