Changing of the Card

Have you used your Boarding Pass card this week? If you haven’t, you’re in for some surprises the next time you do. Station Casinos has instituted a major revamping of its players club structure, and the news is all good. For starters, you can now get cash back as a rewards option. This is a pretty big deal for Station, which has always had a generous club, but has not offered cash back in the past.

Of course, the ultimate value of cash back depends on the schedule by which it’s rewarded. That varies quite a bit from casino to casino, and Station has made a move to put itself near the top in that category by accelerating its accumulation rate. Whereas $1 coin-in used to earn one point, a dollar now earns three points on slots, video poker and video keno. There was an upward adjustment in the conversion rate—the amount you need to change points into comps or cash—but the net result is that more is being given back to players.

Knowledgeable video poker players would describe the new rate as a .3 percent players club return, but this is a funky concept that’s better understood by considering real terms: A typical quarter video-poker player will play about 500 hands over the course of an hour. Under the old system, that player would accrue a little more than $1 in comps or free-play. However, the giveback under the new schedule is just below $1.90, nearly twice as much. It’s easy to see the value in that.

Yet another positive change is a consolidation of all of Station’s programs, meaning that your card can now be used across the systems of Station, Fiesta and Wildfire casinos—18 properties in all.

What makes all of this even better is that the Boarding Pass improvements come in tandem with an across-the-board upgrading of Stations’ video-poker product. Slowly but surely, Stations Casinos have been adding machines with better pay schedules. And while the $1-earns-three-points ratio doesn’t apply to the best of these schedules (it’s $4/three-points on those), it’s still one of the best game-and-club combos in town.

The last important tweak is a relaxing of the criteria to qualify for higher-status cards within the program. Be sure to use your card at the machines, as well as when you play bingo, poker or make a bet in the sports book, and you’ll find yourself moving up the status ladder.

A Boarding Pass card alone won’t make you a casino killer, but if you play the games, there’s a compelling new case to play at a Station property.

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