Expiration Policies: Knowing When Your Earned Comps Expire

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When you play at casinos, you generally earn comp dollars as part of your play. At some places, like MGM properties, you may even earn slot dollars and comp dollars concurrently.

These buckets can provide additional perks to players above and beyond the comps that they may be sent to entice them back to the casino. But there’s an important wrinkle to be aware of when it comes to them: Their expiration date.

What do you think of a casino taking back your earned rewards points? Our local Jack casino started doing that and didn’t even say they were going to do it. I just lost about 100 and another person that was next to me lost a few hundred. That’s just a small sample of the people near me. I think that is a very shady and underhanded practice.

Stephen J.

Let’s start with your example. When I go to Jack’s website and look up the club terms, it says this about expiration of earned rewards:

Any earned rewards may expire on a 6-month rolling calendar basis.

ClubJACK Rules

While this falls on the more aggressive side of the expiration policies, most casinos have an expiration rulebook. Whether Jack enforced this 6 month rule or not in the past could be the reason why this happened to players recently, or the rules may have been updated at some point, but it’s an element players should always pay close attention to.

Both MGM and Caesars, the two biggest programs, have a six month expiration for their lowest tier, but it’s based on inactivity. If you go every few months, you’re fine, as there’s activity on your account. (MGM waives the expiration window altogether on higher tiers.)

Some casinos opt for 12 months as their window, while a rare few have a no expiration policy (and when they do, they lean into it in marketing because it tends to be more rare to find). If you’re not likely to visit a casino for awhile, you should always factor in that comp bucket and make use of it. 

Does your casino have a fair comp expiration policy?

Players polled on Brian Christopher’s YouTube page are divided on whether the policies are fair, but the policies can differ by casino so there’s likely that element factoring in. But roughly a third felt the expiration policy wasn’t fair, with the rest between it is fair and that some of their casinos are fair, but not all.

Casinos don’t necessarily want players building gigantic balances that they sit on – aside from it being a liability, they’re designed to encourage players to use them over time through visits. In this case, JACK is giving a nudge to players to use them more aggressively so they don’t have to keep those unused points on the books forever.

If you have rewards points on credit cards, hotels, or even for discounted gas at your supermarket, they all have expiration policies, and knowing them is an important aspect to getting the most out of it – just like you don’t want your cash back to expire from your credit card if you didn’t apply it in time, you don’t want your casino comps to vanish because you saved them for too long.

So no, we don’t think it’s shady or underhanded when it’s spelled out in black and white in the rules – it’s just another area players should be aware of when they patronize a casino. And if the policies in place aren’t something you’re happy with, we recommend patronizing a casino that structures their offerings more to your preference.

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