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Total Rewards Visa Credit Card: Is it Worth the Gamble?

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Shows Las Vegas at night with total rewards credit card on the right side

Sometimes, credit-card signup bonuses and benefits are worth the effort, and the Total Rewards Visa – tied to Caesars Entertainment hotels and resorts – is one of those. But unless you’re a regular gambler or you regularly stay in Caesars hotels and resorts, then there are better credit card options.

Should I Apply for a Total Rewards Visa Credit Card?

Yes, if you regularly frequent Caesars properties for gambling or resort vacations in 13 specific states (Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as Ontario, Canada).

Yes, as well, if you want a complimentary 3-night stay at The Beach at the Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, which I’ll come back to in a moment.

And, yes, if you have damaged credit because you can use the “shopping cart trick” to obtain the Total Rewards Visa – and I’ll come back to that in a moment, as well.

All that said, if you’re not much of a gambler and you don’t regularly look for a Caesars property in which to spend your vacations, then, no, this is not a useful credit card for you. Better options exist to collect airline miles, hotel stays or cashback that you can use for travel or whatever else in life.

Total Rewards Visa Credit Card: Benefits and Rewards

Clearly, the biggest benefit is the complimentary 3-night stay at the Atlantis.

This arises because of the signup bonus: Spend just $750 in the first 90 days and the Total Rewards Visa card will drop 10,000 Rewards points into your Caesars Rewards account. That immediately puts you in Caesars’ Platinum tier … and Platinum, Diamond, and Seven Stars Caesars Rewards members are eligible for one complimentary stay at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Platinum level members are eligible for a complimentary 3-night stay and can add two additional nights for just $65 per night.

As a Platinum level member, you’ll also be able to translate those 10,000 Rewards points into a two-night stay in Caesars’ Las Vegas or Atlantic City properties.

Beyond those two benefits, the card also offers:

  • 5x points for every $1 spent at Caesars Reward destinations resort and casinos in 13 states and Ontario, Canada, and on tickets purchased through TR Live Events;
  • 2x points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries and airline tickets;
  • 1x points on everything else.

What Credit Score You Need to be Considered for Total Reward Card

In theory, you need a credit score north of 720.

But if you’re credit score is weaker than that, you might still likely get a Total Rewards Visa card by using the shopping-cart trick. The full details are here, but in a nutshell, the trick is a method of getting a retailer’s website to present you with a pre-approved credit card offer during the checkout process. In doing so, the retailer will perform a “soft pull” of your credit worthiness, rather than a more detailed “hard pull.”

Just be aware that Chase’s 5/24 Rule applies to the Total Rewards Visa. If you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months – from any credit card provider, not just Chase – then you will not be approved for any new card from Chase.

What if I Don’t Get Approved for a Total Rewards Visa Credit Card?

If you don’t get approved because of the 5/24 Rule, you can either do but wait for the first of those five cards you opened to roll off your credit profile, or you can consider alternative cards.

If you don’t get approved because of inferior credit, then you should consider the Capital One Platinum card – one of the absolute best cards for consumers with impaired credit or no credit history. The card imposes no annual fee and it offers an automatic credit-limit increase after five, consecutive on-time payments. 

The on-time payments and the credit-limit increase will bump up your credit score because of the way scores are calculated. You won’t earn miles or cash-back or rewards points of any kind, nor will you get any sort of signup bonuses with Capital One Platinum, but in a situation where you’re trying to build or repair your credit, perks are not what you need.

Which Credit Cards Do Better Job than Total Rewards Visa?

Well, that depends on what you most want from a credit card’s rewards program.

If you’re considering the Total Rewards Visa, then you’re probably looking for cards that offer free hotel stays and hotel/resort-related perks. If so, then you’re likely not going to do much better than Capital One Venture Rewards.

You’ll earn 10x miles for every dollar spent on thousands of hotels worldwide, which will help you accumulate faster the miles needed for future hotel stays. 

You get 2x points on everything else you buy which compares to 2% travel cashback. You can use the miles you accumulate to fly any airline or stay at any hotel, anytime, with no blackout dates.

As well, Capital One will give you a 50,000-mile signup bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and you’ll get a $100 credit you can apply to the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The annual fee is $95, though that’s waived the first year.

IHG Rewards Club Premier

In terms of a hotel-specific card, the IHG Rewards Club Premier card from Chase is pretty good (Think: InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, EVEN Hotels, Indigo Hotels, Holiday Inn and others). 

You get 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, plus for the first year that you own the card, you get 40x points for every dollar spent at an IHG hotel and 4x points on everything else. After the first year, you’ll still pick up 25x points on every $1 spent at IHG properties, and 2x points on everything else.

Along with that, you have Platinum Elite status at IHG hotels for as long as you’re a card member, which gives you room upgrades and a 50% points bonus when you stay at an IHG property. 

You also get $100 in statement credit every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck applications, and on each anniversary or your card you earn a free night at eligible IHG properties worldwide … plus when you redeem points for a stay of four nights or longer at an IHG property, you’ll receive an extra night free. The annual fee is $89, though the free night each year at an IHG hotel covers that cost.

Likewise, the World of Hyatt credit card, which is connected to some truly great hotel brands such as Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt.

This card (from Chase) is offering a 25,000-point signup bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and another 25,000-point bonus if you spend $6,000 in the first six months.

  • You’ll also get 9x points for every $1 spent at Hyatt properties; 
  • 2x points on dining, airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, gym memberships, and ground transportation (trains, taxis, metro, Uber, tolls, etc.); 
  • 1x points on everything else you buy.

Hyatt gives you one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel on your card anniversary every year, plus the opportunity to earn an additional free night if you spend at least $15,000 on the card each year. And you automatically have given Hyatt’s Discoverist elite status. The annual fee is $95, but, as with the IHG card, the free night each year covers that cost.

Should I Get the Total Rewards Visa Credit Card?

If you really are a fan of Caesars hotels and casinos, and you regularly frequent those destinations – or you want three free nights at Atlantis – then, yes, you should get a Total Rewards Visa.

The benefits you will help you quickly parlay your spending into free nights and other perks at Caesars properties.But if you’re not much of a gambler, or you are not particularly beholden to Caesars hotels and resorts, then I would argue that the Total Rewards Visa isn’t the card for you.

So many other cards, such as Capital One Venture Rewards, offer greater hotel benefits. Or, if you’re a fan of specific hotels, then take a look at this hand-picked list of best hotel credit cards.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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