My Total Rewards Diamond Experience at Harrah’s New Orleans (Thanks to FoundersCard)

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This past weekend, I flew to New Orleans for a few days. I usually stay at a Hyatt (here are my reviews of the Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Centric French Quarter), but stayed at the Sheraton on Canal Street this time (for lounge access, mostly – review soon).

When I realized there was a Harrah’s only 2 blocks down Canal, I decided to pay a visit to grab some free drinks and a free $100 dinner at the steakhouse on property – thanks to my free Total Rewards Diamond elite status from FoundersCard. (Because Harrah’s uses the Total Rewards program and this one has a private lounge for elite members.)

Total Rewards Diamond

There are private lines everywhere for Diamond members

I went 2 days in a row. And between me and my guest, we had 4 drinks, 2 entrees, and a whole $100 dinner – all completely free.

The Palm Room

This lounge is only for Diamond and Seven Star members.

It’s kinda funny. When I walked into Harrah’s – the lights, the carpet, the jangly music, the whole casino experience – it’s always like walking into another realm. Those places are designed to limit your access to the outside world.

I’m not much of a gambler. I stuck a fiver into the nickel slots and ordered a free drink until the funds ran out (didn’t hit the jackpot this time, darn). Then resumed my mission to access The Palm Room.

a man holding a card in front of a door

Rolling up to the Palm Room with my Total Rewards Diamond elite status

I flashed my sparkly Diamond card at the small check-in desk. Then was shown to a table and given a menu. Amazing.

a sign on a wall

Two food items and 4 drinks a day!

I could select any 2 food items and grab 4 drinks that day. Here were the options:

a menu on a wall

Palm Room New Orleans menu

I was saving my appetite for my upcoming $100 free dinner, but ordered an old fashioned and the pralines.

a plate of food and a glass of liquid

Why does free food taste so much better?

Nothing fancy, but it hit the spot.

The lounge wasn’t huge. Just a big room really, with another door that led into its own little kitchen. There were private bathrooms in there, though, which is handy because locating restrooms in casinos can be a project.

Our server was friendly and stopped to ask if we wanted anything else. I was mostly just checking it out. But made a mental note to swing by the next day and collect my free drinks and entrees.

a room with a table and chairs

Some tables, a small bar area, and a little kitchen… just a big, cozy room

I did go back the next day and it was much more crowded. I sat on a couch and couldn’t balance everything in my hands to snap more pics. But between my two experiences, it seems hit or miss with the crowd levels.

Either way, I enjoyed both visits. And it was nice to have a little cave to chill out and grab a couple free drinks.

$100 Celebration Dinner

I approached the Diamond elite line and kind of nervously asked the desk agent if I had any remaining Diamond benefits left for the year. I’d heard mixed reports of Diamond members not getting their free dinner. “Let me check on that.” A few minutes later: “You haven’t had your Celebration Dinner yet!

She printed out a voucher and handed it to me like I knew what to do with it. (NOT a casino pro lol.)

a card with text and a picture of a number


“W-where can I use it?”

She said I could take it to:

I thanked her and set off in search of free dinner.

I saw the sports place advertise their big screens and games and “a place to cheer” or something and was like… pass.

Then took a look at the buffet.

a restaurant with food on display

HUGE spread at the buffet

But opted for the steakhouse in the end.

We got:

a close-up of a receipt

Our haul

  • A $50 steak
  • The famous shrimp BBQ
  • A gigantic burger
  • And a nice cocktail

Very coincidentally, it added up to exactly $100. There’s no tax on the reward dinner, so my grand total was $0!

a man sitting at a table with a plate of food

Bout to dig into my free delicious steak

The steak was so soft and buttery. It looks small in the picture, but the portions were perfect. Combined with the appetizer and drink I had at The Palm Room, the overall experience was amazing.

I left a $20 as tip (20%) and left sated. Afterward, we strolled over the French Quarter, which is only 2 blocks east of Harrah’s. So it was easy to pop in, grab drinks and dinner, and continue the fun.

Interested in FoundersCard?

Right now, you can sign up and lock in a rate of $495 per year.

If you use my promo code “FCHARLAN818” you can get the $495 rate ($100 off the normal rate).

You also get tons of other benefits, so take a look and see if it’s worth it for you.

Most peeps seem to only want the Total Rewards Diamond status, so if that’s you, you get:

  • Access to Diamond Lounges
  • No resort fees
  • $100 Celebration Dinner
  • Guaranteed Room with 72 hours notice in Atlantic City and Las Vegas
  • Access to Priority lines at hotel check-in, restaurants, casino cages and the Total Rewards Center
  • Use of VIP Reservations Hotline
  • Diamond Aspirations eligibility
  • Receive 20% discounts at casino gift shops

The Diamond Lounge access and lack of resort fees in Vegas is easily enough to cover the FoundersCard membership fee. I personally love the card and am going on my 3rd year with it – and this was my first time accessing the Diamond lounges and getting the $100 Celebration Dinner.

I do NOT know if this benefit will come back for 2018 with status through early 2019. But as soon as I know, I’ll have a post on it (in case you wanna hold off to make sure).

Bottom line

I had a great experience at Harrah’s in New Orleans as a Total Rewards Diamond member, with access to The Palm Room and a free $100 dinner at BH Steak. And the elite status came free as a FoundersCard perkI didn’t have any issue accessing the perks even though it was my first time using them.

It was a bit odd bouncing up into a casino with no intention whatsoever of gambling. But it was a nice time – and added a bit of fun to the weekend. The location is fantastic – only 2 blocks from the French Quarter.

Obviously, it would be even easier to maximize in Las Vegas. And after this experience, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t spend a weekend in Vegas sometime soon…

Any questions about the perks or FoundersCard, lemme know! 

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. You realize diamonds matched from founders card no longer get lounge access from January . They did not tell you this?

  2. By people like you posting information like this, too many people may sign up for the diamond status via FoundersCard and destroyed the benefit. The founders card is for Self-employed entrepreneurs Who are in their own business. Not for non-gamblers with freeloader diamond aspirations. So pal, you’re basically ruining it for the people who are in FoundersCard for business reasons.

    • I am a self-employed entrepreneur, so I’m definitely FoundersCard’s target audience. I just happened to be in New Orleans and enjoyed one of the perks of the cards, which is exactly why I stay a member – for the various perks. I could see how it would be freeloading if I lived in NOLA or LV and went by to get free drinks all the time. And if someone is going in that much, they’re probably there to spend money, which is what these companies want. But once or twice a year I think is fine. I don’t see an issue for signing-up and enjoying a good perk a weekend or two per year.

      I appreciate your time to read and comment to share your thoughts – and welcome more of them if you’d like. Thank you, hope you have a good weekend! 🙂

  3. I spent more than 100000.00 in 2010 and became a 7 stars member, next year I spent less than that and they dropped me like a fly. What the hell are you trying to tell people how good Harrah’s are? You either got paid or they gave you a nice dinner to say something nice to them? Screw you Harrah’s!

    • That’s pretty rough of them to drop you like that. I don’t visit Harrah’s a lot, and don’t really gamble, but I had a good time there for a couple of days. Sorry they gave you a hard time. 🙁

  4. The pralines and steak look fantastic! Really funny how the dinner added up to $100. That’s happened to me a few time with the gift cards I get. I’ll go in expecting to pay whatever extra, and it will be the exact amount of a little less!

    • Lol, it was almost as if we’d planned it that way. Sometimes things have a way of working out perfectly. And yes you better believe I spend every CENT on my gift cards! :p

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