9 Tips for Dealing With Atlantic City Resort Fees

Man Holding Wooden Blocks That Spell Fee With an Atlantic City Background

Atlantic City offers some fantastic casino resorts. However, the cost to stay at these establishments has been going up within recent years.

Resort fees are a huge reason for the price increases. Casinos tack these fees onto your bill at the end of a stay.

Atlantic City casinos and hotels argue that such fees are justified when considering the amenities they provide. If this is the case, though, why don’t they just add resort fees into the booking cost?

You shouldn’t feel obligated to pay full value on a resort fee. Instead, you can use one or more of the following tips to reduce resort costs or even eliminate them entirely.

1 – Be Prepared to Pay Resort Fees Just in Case

I realize that this discussion is about getting rid of or at least lowering resort fees. But I’d like to start off by noting that Atlantic City casinos expect you to cover the entirety of these fees.

They don’t see themselves as billing you extra with resort charges. They actually claim that they’re providing you a deal by bundling multiple individual services (e.g. fitness center, pool, Wi-Fi, toiletries) into one charge.

Casino resorts and hotels throughout the city also make sure to get your credit card details upfront. This way, they can add the resort charges without question.

Borgata Casino in Atlantic City at Night

I highly recommend that you try several of the tips covered here to avoid paying so much in resort fees. But just in case you don’t succeed, you should budget as if you’ll have to cover these charges.

A resort fee typically adds 20% to 50% to the booking cost. If your room originally cost $100, for example, then you should prepare to pay anywhere from $120 to $150.

2 – Search for Reduced Fees

The first and most obvious thing that you want to do when trying to lower your Atlantic City hotel bill is look for the cheapest fees. Hotels throughout the city vary quite a bit on prices.

The Borgata, which is the premier Atlantic City resort, is going to cost more than the Super 8 Motel on the outskirts of town. They’ll also require a higher resort fee, too.

Of course, you can still find plenty of decent resorts that won’t charge you $40 or more on top of your booking cost. Here’s a list of various Atlantic city hotels and casinos along with how much they require in resort fees during the time of writing:

3 – Call Atlantic City Resorts Beforehand and Negotiate

If you’re like many people these days, when planning your Atlantic City trip you probably book through a third-party website. Travelocity and Expedia offer convenient ways to book your trip as well as other services in the fastest manner possible.

You probably don’t like the idea of calling a hotel ahead of time. However, phone calls give you a chance to find out more on resort fees. At the very least, you know exactly how much more you’ll pay on top of the booking cost. In the best-case scenario, you’ll be able to negotiate for a lower fee.

Of course, you can’t just tell the resort that you don’t want to pay the fees and expect them to be fine with this. You need valid starting points to start the discussion.

For example, you might not plan to use the swimming pool and business conference room. You can mention the amenities you won’t be using in hopes that the casino lowers your resort charge.

4 – Bring up Services That Don’t Work Properly During Your Stay

Atlantic City resorts do their best to ensure that you have a good stay. After all, their business model relies on ensuring you have a wonderful time and want to come back.

But AC hotels and casinos aren’t perfect. Their amenities and services may not be up to your standards.

Harrah's Atlantic City Indoor Pool

If so, you shouldn’t be afraid to let the resort know about it afterward.  Assuming the heater didn’t work properly in your room, for example, then you definitely want to vocalize this problem.

The checkout clerk may have clearance to lower your resort fee or at least give you some freebies. If they don’t have this authorization, they can ask their manager to speak with you.

5 – Sign up for the Player’s Club

You always want to join the loyalty program whenever you stay at a new Atlantic City casino. VIP programs give you access to exclusive promotions and benefits.

You get more perks by moving up the loyalty ladder. One of the benefits may even be getting your resort fee waived during a stay.

When you climb high enough on the VIP scale, you might get “hosted.” The latter refers to when you gamble and/or spend enough money to where a casino host begins catering to your needs.

They’ll ensure that you can get the exact comps you’re looking for. If you don’t want to pay a resort fee, then the host will handle this for you.

6 – Book Rooms With Loyalty Rewards

Resorts in Atlantic City tailor their VIP programs around loyalty points. The more points you accumulate, the more freebies you receive.

You can even pay for your hotel stay with these points. When booking your room through loyalty points, you normally don’t have to pay a resort fee.

Casinos treat such bookings as “loyalty stays.” Therefore, they don’t want to charge you extra money when you’re supposed to get your room as a reward.

7 – Ask Your Credit Card Company to Remove the Charge

Resort fees aren’t the most transparent aspect of the hospitality industry. In fact, their sole purpose is to disguise the full amount you’ll be paying for a hotel room.

Hotels in Atlantic City and elsewhere begin adding these fees in the early 2000s. Unfortunately, this trend stuck and continues today.

But you can still act surprised and shocked that you’re being forced to pay an extra charge on top of the booking cost. You could use this surprise as an arguing point to get the casino to eliminate the additional fee.

Assuming you aren’t successful, you can call your credit card company as a back-up plan. They may be willing to take the resort charge (not the booking cost) off your bill.

Be prepared, though, to provide additional information on why you shouldn’t have to cover the resort fee. Assuming something wasn’t working, or a certain service was advertised for free (e.g. Wi-Fi), you can begin here when speaking with your credit card company.

8 – Tell the Casino That You Won’t Come Back

Atlantic City casinos and hotels rely on repeat business. Each one wants to be your preferred spot whenever you visit the town.

That said, they do their best to ensure you want to come back. If you’re really upset about the resort fee, you can speak with a manager and threaten to take your business elsewhere.

Bally's Casino in Atlantic City During the Day

This is another option that doesn’t always work out. The manager and associated casino may be willing to part with your business if they see you as a headache.

On the other hand, you might have success in this department if you have legitimate complaints. At worst, they’ll simply tell you that they won’t waive or reduce the fee.

9 – Ask for Extra Comps to Help Offset the Resort Fee

Casinos may not be willing to do anything about the resort fee, but they could compensate you with casino comps.

Again, they tack resort fees onto your bill while fully expecting you to pay them. However, they’re also usually reasonable if you have a valid reason for not wanting to cover this extra cost.

In most cases, you may be offered something like a free breakfast buffet or slots voucher. Such deals won’t ultimately offset a $30 resort charge that you may be paying, but they at least give you something back.

Conclusion

Resort fees aren’t going away in Atlantic City or elsewhere anytime soon. But you don’t have to pay the full amount of these charges every time.

Sometimes, the amenities you receive just aren’t worth the cost. These points represent times where you definitely need to speak up and let the casino know that you won’t pay the full resort fee.

You may even complain about the simple fact that the charges are being added to your bill. After all, you might’ve actually booked your room under the assumption that you’d only be paying the upfront cost.

Whatever the case may be, you should always consider your options when getting resort fees reduced. You’ll be successful in some cases and save yourself money in the process.