Station Casinos: The Truth About the New Player’s Cards

Big signs and small advertised changes at Station Casinos.
Photo by Diane Taylor

If you live in Las Vegas, you have seen this year’s coming-out-of-bankruptcy ads from Station Casinos. “We Luv Locals,” the ads say. In recent weeks, Station Casinos’ ads also began shouting, “The all NEW Boarding Pass. The best card in Las Vegas just got better.”

The truth squad be damned. South Point, for one, has long had a more generous deal for locals than Station Casinos. Stations’ new ads should have said, “In an effort to keep up with the competition…….”

Station Casinos has transformed its player’s card rules for all 18 of its casinos. The company has been so excited about the changes they’ve had little parties all over town, inviting players to see what’s new.

My husband and I went to one such party a week ago at Sunset Station Hotel & Casino. Sunset is our local casino of choice based on location, the nice folks in the poker room and the pretty good food in its restaurants..

O.K., so we go to the Madrid ballroom for our meeting at 9:30 a.m. and wait in line to have our cards scanned and then we enter the dark ballroom. At one end, we wait in another line to be offered free coffee and our choice of donuts and cookies. Fine.

We find a seat; the place fills up. A blond lady with a microphone heads to the center of the room and basically says, “Here are a couple videos about the changes.” She doesn’t introduce herself, and the videos are extremely repetitive. Yes, some of us are past 50, but we don’t need to hear the “three points for $1 of play” 10 times.

Players at Sunset Station can't escape the hype.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Yes, $1 in a slot machine now automatically accumulates three players points and with those points, a player can have “free” movies, “free” bowling, “free” meals, etc. Of course, “free” is marketing talk for having spent hundreds of dollars in the casino. Granted, a player no longer must “swipe” a card to get a three-times points multiplier, and that’s good, but we haven’t been told if we will continue to get mailings from the casino with other multiplier offerings.

With no one noticing my raised hand during the very abbreviated question time, as I exited the meeting and was picking up my coupon for a free t-shirt (an inducement to have folks attend the little parties), I asked the blond lady if half points in the restaurants on senior Wednesdays would continue. Her answer: “I guess so. ‘They’ haven’t said anything about that.”

After leaving the ballroom, we were asked to wait in another long line to get our new cards and our gift t-shirt. We’re not line-waiters, so we went directly to the t-shirt lady, got our “free” t-shirts and went elsewhere until the line for new cards dissipated.

As part of the new deal at Station Casinos, in addition to “points”, a player must be aware of “credits”. “Credits” are the stuff that determines if a player is issued a red, gold, platinum, black or maroon card.

Cash back means free money, yes?
Photo by Diane Taylor

The more “credits” a player has, the more perks are available to the player. (You’ll want to hang with folks having a maroon Chairman’s card; they get the largest discounts at the buffet and preference at the valet.) Most of my friends are occasional players and like me, in the past carried a gold card. What the meeting didn’t tell us was that the new gold card no longer carries a small discount at the buffet. To get that discount, one would have to move “up” a notch, meaning that in a six-month period, an individual would need 40,000 credits or more. For slot players other than players of video slots, the person would have to put at least $13,333 through the slots. Credits are also available through video slots, table games, the sports book and poker, but they are not as generous as credits issued with non-video slot play, clearly the casino’s profit center.

One friend we know who spends most of every day in the poker room and has more than 2 million accumulated points (but only enough “credits” for a gold card) was so angry at losing the 25% discount for buffet meals that he literally charged the Rewards Center demanding an upgrade to a Platinum card so that he could keep his discount. He got the upgrade.

The good thing? All station casinos cards are now one card; a player doesn’t have to carry a bunch of different cards. The bad thing? At Thanksgiving time when some folks collected pumpkin pies at several different Station-owned casinos, these same folks may now get only one pie (the real financial reason Stations made all these changes, I’m sure).

Because gambling points from all Stations’ locations are now consolidated and the various levels of cards have been made more generous, some of us actually did move up a notch in terms of the colors of our cards. I have until June 30 of next year to accumulate enough “credits” to keep my new designation.

One more benefit of the new program: whoopee, one can turn in points for cash (as players have always been able to do at the Coast Casinos and at South Point). Of course, some cynics would say the cash will go right back into the machines. No, never. Station Casinos simply luvs locals.


12 responses on “Station Casinos: The Truth About the New Player’s Cards

  1. great article, Diane. They really aren’t giving anything, and taking away the buffet discount is very disappointing I’m sure to a lot of people. South Point and M have always had more liberal programs. Thanks for the heads up, sounds like you and Paul weren’t very impressed.

  2. “…For slot players other than players of video slots, the person would have to put at least $13,333 through the slots…” Nice work cutting through the marketing hype and presenting the elements of this new affinity program in cold, hard reality!

  3. After all the hype Stations is not giving anything away. They give nothing for loyality but everything to the BIG money players. Believe me, if it wasn’t for the morning poker players I would not be giving my time to Stations. I’m right at the edge of taking my bussiness elsewhere. Thanks for the truth behind the card.

  4. When we moved here almost 15 years ago, my husband played a lot of Blackjack at Boulder Station. He could get a voucher for a wonderful meal by just asking the Pit Boss. When “the card” became the THING, he couldn’t even get a soda. It didn’t matter what he had played before it was that day and that day only. I lost my fascination with club cards at that point. I’ll take what they “give” in free play – but I really don’t need more gifts to clutter my garage or their pumpkin pie.

    Great recap of the “new” card. Thanks.

  5. Stations devalued my existing points, so they took approx $400 in F&B from me overnight by devaluing the points I had already accrued. Fine they bumped me from Platinum to President but they also devalued the tier of President. President tier has the exact beneifts as Platinum, so the only distinction between Plat and Pres is the color of the card. How is that fair? Do they really expect to fool the people that kept them in business. Is this any way to reward the people that were loyal players during their recent financial debaucle? I think not! Stations does not “luv” locals, they “luv to screw” locals. I will be cashing in my points and taking my money to the “M” and MGM where I get more bang for my buck and am appreciated.

  6. RPO brings up a good point and Station Casinos apparently was listening. I checked my own point value today and found I suddenly was given 1000 points in credits for every 600 points I had earned previously. That’s a great move, Stations! I hope the folks who already cashed in their points aren’t the losers.

  7. Great article! I would just like to add, that in the LVRJ it implied that the machines would be looser as
    well. Stations said that rather than shooting for a 4-5 % profit they would rather settle for 1% and have
    many more players. Well I normaly play at GVR and since the Promo has been in effect, I have not seen machines so tight in my entire life. I have been there about eight times and not even close to hitting anything near to a good payout after playing all sorts of VP machines.
    I did not see anyone getting any hand pays either. I think this is one of the biggest marketing scams in the history of Las Vegas. Oh but I racked up lots of points. Big deal, what I can do with those points should be comped anyway. Very disappointing…………………………………………………………………..

  8. I would like to add also that the Chairman members (biggest spenders) actually lost some of their perks as they now only get 50% off on buffet and not 75% as previous. There are not much difference between President and Chairman. Shame on Station Casino !!!!!

  9. I go to Red Rock Casino occasionally, the bartenders are absolutely scared to death of being fired. Everyone knows the Fertittas scammed the world with thier bankruptcy and ruined many small businesses that were unsecured creditors in the Station Casinos bankruptcy. I am not a member of any union but I resent the constant attack adds of Station Casinos that plays them as the victim. The have been the vitimizer in most past instances. Anyway I now know I need a new players card, but I wonder will it really do me any good or is it just hype?

  10. Good article. However here are the real facts about this program for those who like math.

    $100 coin in gets you 300 points. A point is worth 1/10th of a penny

    Meaning every $333 coin in gets you a whopping $1 in comps. That’s 1/3 of one percent back.

    In a word. PATHETIC

    It actually makes them the worst players card in Vegas

  11. A casino exists to MAKE money, just like you idiots did ( and still do ).Do you think they are some kind of charity ?????

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