Rudi, if you have an elite status with Westin there probably is no need to get Gold membership with Sheraton, since you will in that case automatically get an elite status in the new program. If you do not, then it may be worthwhile depending on how much you stay with Sheraton/Westin next year (assuming that is that they will let you get the membership). Last time I checked with them they said that they would be announcing details of the new program in the middle of December. Maybe you should wait till then.
Rudi... you just made me realize that Sheraton did not write me to ask if I wanted to renew my Gold membership. It expired on Halloween (no joke, card says valid till 10-31/98.) I got so busy I did not realize that happened. I guess forgetfulness comes with age!
And with Sheraton and Westin merging, I too will wait to see what Starwood has to offer.
I hope it's a free membership program with the best of both Sheraton and Westin and going back into Membership Rewards (it would be nice if they linked up wtih Diner's Club for so many of you who are members.) CATMAN
I have both the Diners Club and the Sheraton Optima. I think that it is more important that Starwood does not devalue the Sheraton Optima card (than the inclusion/non inclusion of Diners Club in the new Starwood program).
Personally, I have never used the Diners Club for hotel transfers, but have used my Diners points for the double mile promotion with BA. That way $5000 charged which is normally 5000 miles, gets you 10,000 BA miles which can be used for a free night with Marriott and some other BA hotel partners.
I too have the Diners and Sheraton Optima. I would say the $30 renewal fee is worth the benefit of $1 = 4 clubmiles = 4 ff miles if used at Sheraton.
Mostly I like the fact that (I think I may have written this under another thread) one can use 10K points for a night at their luxury collection hotels, a higher value than 10K airline miles (or 20K if one uses the Diners promotion), in my opinion. Anyone tried to use 10k points at Sheraton?
I checked my statement with a note "Your SCI Gold membership has expired" and if you want to renew for 25 dollars please call Sheraton service center.
I'm surprised Rudi that you and others are paying 30. they are charging me 25 dollars.
I called SCI and asked if it was worth it paying the 25 dollars with the Starwood program. the agent admitted they had not received all the details of Starwood's changes. Rather than stay on the phone, I renewed for 25 dollars (it's 25 more AMEX Membership Rewards points anyway.) With weeks before the change I'm disappointed Starwood hasn't told us all the details of this groundbreaking program.
Sheraton is my "disaster" hotel (the hotels are fine, "disaster" in the sense of last minute trips, being stranded in snowstorms, etc.) The Sheratons in NYC know me and accomodate me.
I talked to a general manager at a local Sheraton and he told me a few details of the new "Starwood Preferred Guest" program.
- Need to be a current member to get the new
application and have points roll over to account.
- New! No blackouts on award stays
- A few awards will be introduced at lower point levels.
- Sheraton points will not be devalued, but
Westin points will have a conversion.
- His staff will be going to training in LA
around 4 or 5 January and he mentioned that I could call him and get more details then, but
I heard the new program won't kick in until Feb. 99.
Hope this helps.
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Westin did not have any details, their rep said that details would be forthcoming in February 99.
The Sheraton rep gave me some details - they are adding another level - level 5 for 12,000 points. Other levels remain at current levels, level 1 for 3,000, level 2 for 4,000, level 3 for 7,000, level 4 for 10,000. I do not know if any of the current hotels are being rearranged in the level standings. The rep also said that the Sheraton Optima may be discontinued since the agreement is up for renewal and Westin has an existing Visa. He said that current Optima holders will have the card until its expiration, after that time Starwood may or may not continue the card.
Sheraton tell me that the $25 renewal fee or 2,500 points renewal fee is gone from the new program.
However, don't look for anything too generous as Starwoods Stock has collapsed in the past few months.
My Travel Blog - http://milesfromblighty.boardingarea.com/ - with a European Flavour. (The link above is to my blog or a blog to which I am a regular contributor. FT rules require that I disclose that in the post.) (Member Number - 196)
Coming back from my ski-weekend I have in my mail the renewed Sheraton Club International GOLD membership card, good through 11/99. I paid the usual $25 to renew (postal stamp from dec-22).
There is no information at all about any program-changes and/or the new program.
Included are the usual "receive second dinner free voucher" (good till june-30-99), 2 "complimentary confirmable club level upgrade certificates" (good in US and Canada till july-30), one "suite upgrade" (good till june-30).
The letter reminds me of the following privileges:
- complimentary room upgrades (subj to availability)
- "9 to 5" plan at participating hotels in North America and European airport hotels
- 4PM late check-out worldwide
- exclusive member offers
- miles for dining.
there is no mentioning yet of any Westin (only Luxury collection, Sheraton and Four points).