Parking fees in Vegas are back: Here’s how to avoid them

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MGM recently announced that it would resume charging parking fees at its Las Vegas hotels in June. While this decision might be disappointing for travelers planning to return to Vegas this summer, it’s not the worst news. There are still plenty of Vegas hotels offering free parking to guests and visitors alike. Plus, there are a few workarounds for getting free parking on the Vegas Strip. Here are all the tips and tricks you need to know about.

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Stay at a hotel that offers free parking

From budget to luxury properties, there are still plenty of hotels on The Strip where parking is free. The Palazzo and Venetian both offer free valet and self-parking. So do the Tropicana, Sahara, Stratosphere, and Treasure Island. At Cosmopolitan, valet and self-parking are free for guests only.

It’s worth noting that during special events at T-Mobile Arena, the Tropicana will impose a $20 valet parking fee on non-hotel guest parking.

While Circus-Circus offers free self-parking for all, valet will set you back $12-16, depending on how long you’re staying.

Get free parking through M life Rewards

Elite members of MGM’s M life rewards program will continue to get free parking, depending on their status level. Members who have Pearl status or higher receive free self-parking, while those with Gold status or higher qualify for free valet.

Getting M life elite status is actually attainable if you’re a World of Hyatt elite member. M life will match Hyatt elite status based to the following levels:

  • Hyatt Member = M life Sapphire
  • Hyatt Discoverist = M life Pearl
  • Hyatt Explorist= M life Gold
  • Hyatt Globalist = M life Gold

If you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you get automatic Discoverist status, which will get you matched to M life Pearl. That will get you free self-parking and if you want to move up to M life Gold via Hyatt Explorist status, you can earn extra elite qualifying nights through the card.

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New cardholders receive five elite qualifying nights, plus all cardholders can earn two additional nights for every $5,000 in card spending. With Hyatt lowering elite status requirements due to the pandemic, you’ll need 15 nights to hit Explorist status. Once you’re ready to match to M life, head to the Hyatt website to request your status match.

Free parking through other rewards programs

Aside from M life, several casinos have rewards programs that offer elite members free parking. Caesar’s Rewards offers free valet and self-parking to those with Platinum status or higher.

The Cosmopolitan’s Identity rewards program offers free self-parking for members with Sterling status and higher. Those with Gold status and beyond get free valet parking. Just bring your rewards card and show it to the attendant to take advantage of this benefit. Parking is free to all guests at The Cosmopolitan.

Free parking at shopping malls

If you want free parking during the day and don’t mind a short trek to your hotel, then consider parking at a shopping mall. Fashion Show Mall, The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay and the Shops at Crystals all offer free self-parking.

Parking at a shopping mall for free might be convenient if you’re visiting different casinos nearby that don’t offer free parking. Just be aware of mall hours and remove your car, since overnight parking isn’t allowed.

Free parking for veterans

Caesars Entertainment has a special discount program for veterans, active U.S. military members and their spouses. SALUTE offers discounts on dining, show tickets, and even a free stay at the Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas. In Vegas, SALUTE members get complimentary parking at Caesars hotels, including Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Planet Hollywood and more.

Use a rideshare service

If you want to avoid parking fees and the hassle of a potential car rental shortage, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are the way to go. You can hail a ride at McCarran airport to a hotel on The Strip for around $25 each way. Getting around without a rental car is feasible, thanks to free shuttles offered between popular hotels on The Strip.

Bottom line

With travel to Vegas set to pick up this summer, it’s no surprise that hotel companies like MGM would reinstate parking fees. Hotels have suffered low occupancy rates over the last year and the summer travel season is the ideal time to recoup some of those losses. Higher room rates are a given, but the added parking fees can generate extra revenue from an already captive audience.

Hopefully, by following some of these tips, you can avoid parking fees in Las Vegas this summer.

Featured image by f11photo/Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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