Earn free flights by staying in Las Vegas hotels, and get casino perks for flying

Las Vegas Strip casinos are viewed from the window of a Southwest Airlines passenger jet as it takes off from McCarran International Airport on Dec. 9, 2011.

MGM Resorts International and Southwest Airlines have formed a partnership linking their customer rewards programs.

Members of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards and MGM’s M life programs now can accrue points toward free flights and VIP hotel stays from both companies.

Starting Monday, M life members who are part of Southwest's rewards program will receive 600 Rapid Rewards points each time they stay at one of MGM’s 12 Las Vegas properties, which include the Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Mirage. For all reservations booked between June 3 and June 30, M life members will receive double points from Southwest as part of a special promotion.

A round-trip ticket between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, for instance, typically costs about 5,600 Rapid Rewards points.

M life members also will receive special offers for room upgrades and pre-sale concert and fight tickets as rewards for taking Southwest flights.

The partnership comes after more than a year of negotiations between the companies.

“We wanted a way to make this rewards program relevant to people when they go home,” said Scott Voeller, MGM Resorts International’s senior vice president of brand strategy and advertising.

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