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What You Should Know About CNF Fees — Another Las Vegas Surcharge

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Las Vegas is becoming more synonymous with fees than it is gambling (or your favorite vice of choice).

In addition to resort fees, there’s another surcharge you should know about: the “CNF” fee.

So if you’re headed to Sin City this weekend or any time soon (maybe for one of the mileage runs involving LAS), watch out for this bogus fee — and know you can fight it.

Even if your travel plans don’t include Las Vegas, it might be something worth keeping in mind during future travels. Other destinations might think, “Oooh, we can do that and make more money!?”

What is the CNF Fee?

CNF stands for “Concession and Franchise.” They’re charges some restaurants and bars add because, well, they can.

But they’re not official taxes. They’re little “Gocha!”s these businesses add — and hope you won’t notice. Or if you do, you may just assume it’s a legitimate, mandated tax — and pay extra charges you can avoid.

No.

CNF fees “can amount to as much as 5% of the total bill,” writes the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiller. “And state and local sales taxes are applied to those extra fees as well.”

Gross.

“With resort fees, you ostensibly receive something in return, no matter how dubious,” says Las Vegas Advisor’s Anthony Curtis. “With CNFs, you don’t get anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. The CNF is supposedly related to fees that the casinos collect from the restaurant concessions, a surcharge for a restaurant’s prime location.”

A picture of the Las Vegas strip at night taken from a high vantage point. The view is north along the mid-strip area on December 23, 2015.
(©iStock.com/d25higgins)

Commercial real estate broker Frank Volk told the Times, “I’ve never heard of these fees in a lease, and there’d be no requirement in a lease to pass these fees on to customers. These are made-up fees, pure profit. They charge it because they think no one will question it, so they can get away with it.”

It sort of sounds like the infamous Ticketmaster fees — but for drinks and food.

Which Las Vegas Bars and Restaurants Charge a CNF Fee?

Vital Vegas — a fantastic blog I’ve found extremely helpful for Vegas tips — maintains a list of establishments charging the CNF fee.

Can You Fight the Dreaded CNF Surcharge?

Yes.

Kindly asking your server to remove the charge has done the trick for a few people whose experiences I read about.

“Should a guest be uncomfortable with the surcharge, our policy is to explain it and, if appropriate, remove it,” Kelli Maruca, of Las Vegas’ Hexx told Mr. Hiller.

The casino at Mandalay Bay Resort in Paradise, Nevada, outside of Las Vegas.
Mandalay Bay Resort’s casino.

I love Las Vegas. I visit there for business and fun several times each year. The locals are incredibly nice, I enjoy the atmosphere, and there’s plenty to do.

But Sin City’s escalating prices are becoming a deterrent for many people I know. (In fact, one of my clients has cut their Vegas travel budget.) And these bogus surcharges certainly don’t help its reputation.

— Chris

 

Featured image: ©iStock.com/pashyksv


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 Comments

  1. At Caesar’s last two night. Didn’t see CNF but $53 per night for resort fee … and pool is closed. Up early for flight and $14 in- room coffee alternative was 2/3 of a mile walk RT (thru smoke-filled casino, obviously) for small coffee – only size. I’m not demographic and sure some like it, but you can have the whole town.

  2. “Should a guest be uncomfortable with the surcharge…” yeah I am super uncomfortable with bill altogether

  3. HuntingtonGuy

    Maybe we can pay the CNF FRES w SkyPesos?

    I/we are so fed up with being nickle and dimed at every turn. As if paying $5.50 for a bottle of water or $7.00 for a bag of chips or pretzels wasn’t enough of a gouge, SMH.
    This is one reason lounge access is valuable, to the extent we get much out of visiting some of the lounges. At least if I am disappointed yes w the offerings I don’t get hit for an additional 5% on top of it in a lounge.

    Keep milking the flying public folks…there are options to every destination! Pick my locket and I will spend my money elsewhere.

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