Loans at 0%. Flexible repayment terms. Step right up and apply for some credit at your friendly neighborhood ... casino?
A casino might seem like the last place you'd want to borrow money from. You might expect all kinds of service fees and convenience charges. Certainly, most casinos have no shortage of ATMs, complete with expensive transaction fees and high-cost credit card advance offerings, so that those who lose too quickly can easily replenish their bankrolls. Yet casinos want to make it as easy as possible for creditworthy gamblers to spend their money at the tables. After all, casinos are designed as profit centers.
If you ask, you'll find that many casinos will offer credit to their customers. Vegas resorts such as those run by MGM Mirage
The key to casino credit is applying in advance. You can obtain a credit application from the casino where you'll be staying. It's similar to a credit card application -- you'll be asked for financial details such as your bank account balance and how much credit you want. You should be able to find out before you leave home how much credit the casino will give you.
Once you're there, using your credit is as simple as asking for it. When you're at the tables, you can ask the dealer to draw against your credit line. Or if you like to play slots, you can go to the casino cashiers. Casino personnel will fill out the necessary paperwork to get your chips or tokens, in a process known as "taking a marker."
Convenience without cost
The best thing about casino credit is the cost: You pay absolutely nothing to use it. For modest amounts, you generally have between one and two weeks to repay your debt; for larger amounts, payment terms may extend even longer. Because the casinos want you to gamble, they don't charge application fees on the front end, and they also don't charge interest during the repayment period.
Of course, if a casino isn't what you had in mind for your vacation, you'll have to settle for regular credit offerings. With the help of our Credit Center, you can find the best interest rates and rewards on credit cards, as well as helpful advice on how to avoid burying yourself in debt. But if you're headed to Atlantic City, Vegas, or any other gaming destination, check out casino credit. It can save you a bundle.
If managing your credit is a challenge, you may need some outside help. Our personal-finance newsletter service, Motley Fool Green Light, might be exactly what the doctor ordered. With easy-to-follow plans to help you make a budget and stick to it, you'll find solutions to your debt problems in no time. Try it out free for 30 days with no obligation.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger hasn't availed himself of casino credit yet, but he thinks this will be the year. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. The Fool's disclosure policy is always a sure thing.