One of the easiest cities to travel hack is Las Vegas. Travel hacking Las Vegas is simple to do but not always necessary.
Las Vegas is one of those destinations that you can do on the cheap by staying at off strip hotels or inexpensive strip hotels. Or you can live it up and splurge on huge suites and fancy meals. If you’re a high roller or have elite status with a casino, you can get comped rooms and meals.
Pro-tip: You can get elite status with a casino without spending a lot of money.
Although, Vegas is a cheap place to visit. There are times when it’s very expensive, such as when CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and other conventions.
By travel hacking Las Vegas, the money you save means more money for other trips.
There are many ways to travel hack Las Vegas. From free or very cheap flights to free hotel rooms so that you start your trip in the black.
Living in San Diego, I’ve been to Vegas many times. I’ve even gotten kicked out of a casino. 🙁 I usually go when hotel rooms are insanely cheap, like $19 a night. So it’s worth paying cash instead of using points.
But when big conventions, the Raiders, or huge concerts like Taylor Swift are in town and hotel rooms at the Excalibur start at $240 a night, it makes more sense to travel hack.
Here’s how I hacked my most recent trip to Las Vegas: a weekend in Vegas for $63 including flights and hotel rooms!
How to Travel Hack Las Vegas
This is part 1 of a multi-part series on travel hacking Las Vegas:
- How to Travel Hack Las Vegas
- Review: Gambling on Frontier Airlines to Las Vegas
- The Palazzo Las Vegas Review: All Suite Elegant Luxury
- Canyon Ranch Spa Las Vegas Review: Serene Oasis on the Strip
- European Massage School: The Best Kept Secret Spa in Vegas
- The Las Vegas Hotel With Free Breakfast, Free Wi-Fi, Free Airport Shuttle, and No Resort Fees
- Where to Take a Shower at the Las Vegas Airport
I flew roundtrip from San Diego to Las Vegas for a three-day trip, stayed in a luxury suite the first night, and one of the best resort-free hotels in Vegas for $63.
You can too and even do it for cheaper. Keep reading to find out how.
|Cost if We Paid Cash
|What I Paid (Actual Cost)
|Miles or Points Used
|Roundtrip coach ticket on Spirit Airlines
|1 night at the Palazzo Las Vegas (Luxury 2 Queen Suite Select View)
|$25.51 (half of the resort fees of $51.02)
|IHG Free night certificate
|1 night at the Hyatt Place Las Vegas
|8,000 Hyatt points
But there are other ways to travel hack Las Vegas. Scroll down to the “How to Earn the Miles and Points” section to learn more.
Because flights from San Diego to Las Vegas are cheap, I didn’t have to use miles or points. If you’re flying from further away, depending on the cost of the ticket, it can make more sense to use miles and points.
Pro-tip: Las Vegas is a great city to use your Southwest Companion Pass.
With prices that low it was cheaper to pay cash than redeem airline miles or travel rewards points.
Plan ahead and it’s easy to get cheap flights to Vegas. Don’t feel like flying? It’s a five-hour drive from San Diego or four and a half from Los Angeles.
Another option is to take Megabus, Greyhound, or FlixBus. If you book early enough, you can get $1 tickets on Megabus.
Many hotels charge for parking so factor in the daily cost to park your car vs how much an airline ticket would cost. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly than driving and having to pay for parking.
Pro-tip: M-life hotels offer free self-parking for Pearl, Gold, Platinum and NOIR members. Caesar’s hotels offer free self-parking for Platinum, Diamond and Seven Stars members.
On the way to Las Vegas, I used The Business Platinum Card® from American Express to get the San Diego Airspace Lounge for free. It also includes a $10 per person credit for food and drinks.
You can also use your The Platinum Card® from American Express. Enrollment is required for select benefit.
The Airspace Lounge is in Terminal 2 and Frontier Airlines flies out of Terminal 1. It’s a short walk between terminals or you can take the free inter-terminal bus.
Airspace Lounge is now the Aspire Lounge and part of Priority Pass. So you don’t get the $10 food and drink credit with your Platinum Amex or Business Platinum Amex.
Flying home from Vegas, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express got us into the Centurion Lounge.
Pro-tip: The Centurion Lounge has a shower.
Read how to get free access to airport lounges with your credit card.
I stayed at two hotels during this three day trip to Las Vegas.
The Palazzo Las Vegas
IHG free award nights have changed. You can redeem them for a room that costs up to 40,000 points per night. I paid $25.51 (half of the resort fees of $51.02).
We spent the day at the Canyon Ranch Spa. After a day at the spa, we went to the best kept secret spa in Vegas for 80 minute massages for only $45 each!
Pro-tip: Resort fees weren’t covered with free night certificates.
Read my review of The Palazzo Las Vegas.
Hyatt Place Las Vegas
On the second night, we stayed at the Hyatt Place Las Vegas. It’s one of my favorite no-fee hotels in Vegas.
Parking, airport shuttle, and transportation to the strip are free. I used 8,000 Hyatt points for the two queen room.
Read my review of the Hyatt Place Las Vegas.
How to Earn the Miles and Points
The fastest and easiest way to earn miles and points to travel hack Las Vegas is through credit card bonuses.
Twenty-nine airlines fly to Las Vegas, many offer mileage earning credit cards. Some cards are a better fit depending on where you live and how often you fly.
These are the best travel rewards cards you can use to travel hack a trip to Las Vegas.
These cards will help you earn miles and points for free flights to Las Vegas.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card – check the current bonus offer. Take advantage of cheap flights and use your Southwest Companion Pass to fly someone for free!
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card – see the current bonus offer. This card also offers travel insurance benefits.
The Platinum Card® from American Express – lounge access. You can also use for flights and hotels.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express – lounge access. You can also use Membership Rewards points for flights and hotels.
These are the cards we used to travel hack Las Vegas
The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card – see current bonus offer.
IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card – see current bonus offer. You get free Platinum Elite status when you have this card.
IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card – see current bonus offer. You get the fourth night free when you use points.
There are other cards you can use to get a free trip to Las Vegas. Check out these travel rewards cards.
It’s easy to travel hack Las Vegas. My most recent trip to Vegas should have cost $773 but I only paid $63.
Las Vegas is a cheap place to visit so sometimes it makes more sense to pay cash than to redeem miles and points. Especially if you want to save those points and miles for a trip to Australia, Hong Kong, or Europe.
For those times when hotel prices are high, the quickest way to earn miles and points to get a free trip to Las Vegas is through travel rewards credit cards.
Stay tuned for the next part of this series: flights to Las Vegas.
What are your favorite how-tos when you travel hack Las Vegas?
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