Are you familiar with the so-called ‘$20 Sandwich Trick’ in Las Vegas? While it might sound delicious, it actually has nothing to do with food. The ‘trick’ involves slipping a $20 to the hotel check-in clerk while asking for a room upgrade. You might be surprised to learn that just twenty bucks in a tip could be enough to get you a major room upgrade that would have cost you as much as $100 a night or more beyond what you paid for your room.
So How Does the "Sandwich Trick" It Work?
Even if you are uncomfortable with the idea of slipping someone money for a favor, the sandwich trick couldn’t be easier. It is called the ‘sandwich trick’ because often people seeking an upgrade ‘sandwich the twenty dollar bill between their license and credit card when checking in. As you are handing over those items so that your check-in can be processed, simply slide a twenty between them and say that you are interested in a room upgrade if one is available.
Most of the time you might get upgrade to a strip view room or perhaps a room a level higher than the one you currently booked. Do not expect a penthouse room although it has happened.
Won’t the Clerk be Confused?
No! One of the best things about the sandwich trick is that it has become so commonplace in Las Vegas that all of the clerks are familiar with it. If they are open to giving you an upgrade, they will likely look through the computer for available rooms. If no upgrade is available, they will customarily slip you the twenty dollar back and you can proceed with checking-in to your normal room. If they find a good upgrade, they will pocket the twenty and you get a great room for a much lower price.
Does it Work, What Are my Chances?
Yes and no. Just like anything else, the sandwich trick is successful on a case by case basis. Some hotel clerks are more receptive to it than others, and some hotels have more flexible upgrade policies than others. Some of the more receptive hotels in the past have been the Luxor, The Mirage, Hotel Paris, Bellagio, and Bally’s. On the other end of the spectrum, hotels like Harrah’s, MGM Grand, and Imperial Palace have seen less success with the twenty dollar sandwich trick. You will never know unless you try, so give it a shot at check-in and see what happens!
Are There Other Ways to Get an Upgrade?
If you are not comfortable trying the twenty dollar sandwich trick, or just want to save your money from the slot machines, you could also just try asking for an upgrade without the tip. You might get lucky and get a free upgrade, or get one for a big discount off of the usual rate. Since the economic downturn, many Vegas hotels have struggled along with all other businesses. Because of that, many of the beautiful suites located on upper floors sit empty night after night. By simply asking about the availability of a room upgrade, you might be offered a great deal. However, don’t expect to get the free upgrade that you might find by using the twenty dollar sandwich trick.
Another idea is to hold the $20 bill while asking for an upgrade and if the clerk finds something then you can tip without it looking like some kind of bribe...
Considering you are likely to spend far more than twenty bucks while visiting Sin City, the sandwich trick is a great way to possibly upgrade your room and get to experience Las Vegas the way a high roller does. You have nothing to lose as the clerk will likely just hand back the $20 if there are no upgrades – and if they keep the $20, you should be in line for an incredible room to call home during your exciting stay!