Ohio’s casinos and racinos have a lot of common features: plentiful slot and table gaming, great dining options and retail sportsbooks. But all casino loyalty programs are not created equal.
Some gaming companies in Ohio, such as PENN Entertainment, have expanded their footprint, bringing multiple brands into the fold. As casino companies grow and acquire other casinos, hotels and destinations, their loyalty programs become more powerful for the customer. The best casino loyalty programs in Ohio allow customers to earn and redeem rewards at casinos, hotels, restaurants and retail stores.
Most Ohio casinos have loyalty programs with either a four- or five-tier structure, offering more rewards, discounts and VIP services at higher levels. The best benefits come when members have earned 50,000 or more tier points, which requires spending a whole lot of money.
However, the programs offer discounts, perks and cash back even at the lowest levels, so it pays to pick up a rewards card when visiting an Ohio casino.
PENN Play — Hollywood Casino (four locations)
PENN Entertainment’s PENN Play might be the most impressive casino loyalty program in Ohio. With four casinos across the state, members have more than one main destination to earn and redeem rewards on gaming, dining and shopping. All of PENN’s brands, properties and mobile apps use the same rewards program, giving even more bang for your buck.
PENN currently operates the following casinos and racinos in Ohio:
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley
PENN Play is a standalone mobile app that allows cashless gaming and keeps track of points. A unique feature of PENN Play is the in-app marketplace where members can use PENN Cash toward everyday purchases like clothing and electronics.
In addition, PENN Cash can be redeemed outside of PENN destinations through PENN’s partnerships with Choice Hotels, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Baha Mar and National Rental Car.
MGM Rewards and Caesars Rewards
Two of the biggest names in gaming are bound to have robust loyalty programs. The downside for Ohioans is there’s only one place each where you can earn points toward these programs in the state.
Still, joining up with MGM or Caesars rewards programs can come in handy even at the lowest level. The first MGM Rewards tier offers reduced hotel and rental car rates and discounts on select shows at MGM destinations. Earn points by booking MGM Resorts hotels and gaming and dining at MGM locations.
Caesars Rewards members can earn at over 50 Caesars destinations, including golf courses, spas, hotels, dining and shopping. Members can also earn through Caesars Rewards partners. Not only does Caesars offer lower thresholds for tier levels, the expanded menu of ways to earn points makes the levels much more attainable for the average person.
MGM and Caesars rewards members will keep finding places to save and earn with these rewards cards.
Unity — Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming are rolling out a new rewards program called Unity across all of their properties, including Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati. The new program allows members to earn and redeem at locations including Hard Rock casinos, Hard Rock cafes, hotels and rock shops.
Members earn tier points and Unity points when gaming, shopping, dining and traveling. Unity points can be redeemed like cash at over 150 participating Hard Rock properties, including cafes and retail.
The four tier levels are Star, Legend, Icon and X. Members can move more quickly up the tier levels than with other programs, with lower thresholds between levels. The X tier however, is invite only.
- Star: 0-3,999
- Legend: 4,000 – 14,999
- Icon: 15,000
Overall, it’s a great program, but a lack of Hard Rock locations in the vicinity means some of the earning potential might be lost for local Cincinnati Hard Rock Casino visitors.
Boyd Rewards — Belterra Park
Boyd Rewards allows members to earn and redeem at 28 Boyd gaming properties, including some in surrounding states and on the Las Vegas strip. Belterra Park Cincinnati Racino is the lone property participating in Ohio.
Boyd points are redeemable for food and slot play and can be redeemed for airline miles at Hawaiian Airlines.
Members don’t start accumulating Boyd Points until they reach the second tier– Sapphire. But the Sapphire level is easy to obtain, requiring only 750 tier points. Above the Sapphire level, members enjoy exclusive rates on airfare and additional VIP amenities and services at Boyd locations.
ClubJACK — JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown
JACK’s loyalty program can only be used at the JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino. But it’s a must have for gamblers in the greater Cleveland area. Tier points accumulate more quickly than with other rewards cards, allowing a quicker path to the next tier level.
ClubJACK members earn 1 tier point for every $1 wagered on slot machines and 1 point for every $3 played on video poker. The poker rewards are great, too. Each hour of poker played earns $1 in rewards and 33 tier credits. Members also earn points wagering on racing and sports.
The JACK Entertainment mobile app can double as an electronic version of your rewards card, connecting to games and promotional kiosks via bluetooth.
MVG Players Club — Miami Valley Gaming
Miami Valley Gaming is a great property with a lot to offer, but its rewards program is a bit lackluster. Like other programs, members can redeem points for free play and food at the racino.
Reaching the first tier requires 7,500 points, or $7,500 coin-in. The next level is 50,000 points. However, there are tier level promotions that can help get you to the next tier more quickly. All tiers also offer other promotions, drawings and giveaways.
As with other programs, the best benefits are exclusive to the highest tiers. Because MVG is owned by Delaware North in partnership with Churchill Downs, the higher tier members enjoy a few perks from their other properties as well.