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The 20 Dollar Trick – How to get the cheapest hotel upgrade in Vegas


The 20 Dollar Trick

This is something that you may have heard of, and if you haven’t the 20 dollar trick is something that you definitely should try!!

The 20 Dollar Trick Explained

It couldn’t be simpler – when you are checking into your Las Vegas hotel, the front desk agent will ask you for your ID and a credit card as they are checking you in.  Wedge a 20 dollar note in between the cards and as they are registering you in the computer, and then simply ask if they “have any complimentary upgrades available”. And that’s it!

Why Should I Try It?

You can’t get a room upgrade for only $20 any other way. You’ll be a hero to whoever you are traveling with, and imagine tellign everyone that you got a room upgrade when you got home…

What Might Happen?

  1. The desk agent will upgrade you
  2. The desk agent may return the money if they can’t upgrade you
  3. They will offer a premium upgrade that you can pay for at a discount

Can I Try It?

Of course – it’s an unspoken tip in exchange for a potential room upgrade.  There’s no need to be scared of trying, Vegas works on tips.  Imagine if it works for you!

How Successful is the 20 Dollar Trick?


(Source: thetwentydollartrick.com)

Will The 20 Dollar Trick Work in Every Las Vegas hotel?

No, and we can’t guarantee it will work for you.  The chart shows that 20 dollar trick has varying degrees of success, which radically depends on your hotel.  Remember – It’s very very rare to not get your $20 back, as that is essentially theft.

As the chart shows – For those of you think that this would only work in the lower end hotels, you are wrong.  We have has success in Bellagio and Wynn amongst others.

What Kind of Upgrade Can I Expect?

Depends on your hotel, but if you booked a standard room the upgrade is likely to be a move to a higher floor or a better view.  Although obviously this is much rarer, we have heard of people being upgraded from a standard room to suites, given free buffet passes, nightclub entries and much more.

Who Invented The 20 Dollar Trick?

No one knows who came up with the idea for the 20 dollar trick and whether it originated in Las Vegas.  We first heard of it in 2004, and successfully tried in the following year. If you know different please let us know!

Is $20 the maximum?

You can, and if it is a high end hotel with rooms costing hundereds of dollars a night this makes sense.

Is it Illegal?

It is not illegal, and in most hotels there is no explicit policy against front desk employees receiving tips from guests upon check-in.  Remember – most properties let agents give upgrades at their discretion, so trying the 20 dollar trick isn’t doing anything wrong.

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