Wow, change brings about a lot of questions and discussions, some of it very heated!
I can’t answer all your questions but I will try to explain a little more to follow up the discussion on this subject in my last entry. Some details about the Stations new players club you can find if you go to their Web site. More details might appear if you log into to your personal account there. And there are brochures at the various slot club booths, but they might not tell you all you want to know. However, be careful if you ask questions at the booth. I had someone complain that they were given entirely wrong information from one employee. It always pays to check with more than one source when you want to be sure of casino facts!
The biggest misunderstanding seems to come because there are two different parts to the benefit program. The point system has all machine players (except on Optimum machines - see question about them below) getting 3 points for every dollar of coin-in and you can turn in these points – at the rate of 1000 points equals a dollar (.3%) – for cash, free play, or comps. Then there is the tier system, with slot players getting 3 status credits (not called “points”) per $1 coin-in while video poker players get only 1 status credit for each $1 coin-in.
Here are the status credit requirements that someone requested:
Gold level = 1,000 credits
Platinum level = 40,000 credits
President level = 100,000 credits
Chairman level = 300,000 credits
One of the biggest complaints I have heard, in person and on Internet forums, is about the major reduction of food comp benefits. It seems like many locals don’t want to do much cooking at home. I can identify with that. About three months after we moved to Vegas someone asked if we had a gas or electric stove in our new condo here. This was a little embarrassing because I didn’t know the answer to the question. However, I recovered quickly and gave an answer that seemed logical to me, “We do have a microwave to warm up leftovers that we bring home from casino restaurants.”
A disappointment to many players, both those that play at the lower levels and those at the higher ones, is the big reduction in discounts given on buffet meals when you use your points. Gold used to get a 25% discount; now they get none. All the other tiers have reduced discounts from the previous system: Platinum gets 25%. President and Chairman both receive a 50% discount, a fact that seems a little strange since Chairman requires 3 times the play, with no increased benefit here. Plus all of the discounts are limited to just four persons in one party.
Some people will applaud the new cashback and not worry about the comps; they may have plenty of food comps at other casinos in town – or they like to cook! However, if the reduction in comp benefits is important to you, I suggest that you might want to wait and see whether monthly mailers will include food coupons that may take up some of the slack here.
Here was a good question since the new club will have only one card for 18 casinos: “Had a ton of accumulated Fiesta points. Will they all transfer to the new card?”
Happily, I can report they will, but it will not happen automatically. You need to go to the players club to have this done manually. There is one related point here: All your old Station Points willautomatically be upgraded by 40% – every 600 points will be changed to 1000 points – so you don’t lose any value in your old points. I checked my account online and it already registered that new increased point number. If yours hasn’t increased, you need to go to a slot club booth and check on this.
What is an Optimum video poker machine and how does one know if they are playing on one? Is it identified somewhere on the machine?
Optimum VP at all Station casinos is marked with a sign above the bank of machines. Watch! It may not be on both sides of a bank. In fact it is usually only on one side. These machines contain pay schedules that have an EV (expected value, long term) of 100% or higher. You can go to vpFREE2 to help you find their locations and the specific games they include. Because of the higher return on these machines, they accumulate points slower, taking $4 to earn 3 points (.075%).
Later I will address other issues about this big change at the Stations. If you have further questions or observations or would like to share your experiences during this change, feel free to put them in the Comments.