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There are a few credit cards I always carry just for the benefits. Because I have a business, I put plenty of spend on my American Express SPG Business Credit Card. I like earning those SPG points! But when I travel, I take it with me for a different reason. I’ve had my American Express SPG Business Credit Card for many years, and it was always a keeper for me. Back in 2015 when American Express added new benefits to their personal and business SPG credit cards, I was glad to see complimentary Sheraton Club access added as one of those benefits.
I’ve always been an SPG Gold elite member, but I’ve never had SPG Platinum elite status. Sometimes as an SPG Gold elite member, I’d be given a complimentary upgraded room and Sheraton Club access, but it certainly wasn’t guaranteed. This did, however, give me an introduction to Sheraton Clubs, and since I knew I’d always keep the American Express SPG Business Credit Card, I looked forward to experiencing the Sheraton Clubs whenever I stayed at a Sheraton. I also liked that Sheraton Club access was available no matter how I paid for my stays, regardless if my stay was paid for with points, cash and points, or all cash.
When this benefit was first introduced, people reported having to educate Sheraton hotel staff about access to Sheraton Clubs (Grant can attest to this happening in San Diego). Maybe that’s the case when new benefits are added or changed in a hotel loyalty program or maybe it’s a training issue. Having the American Express SPG Business Credit Card didn’t show up on our SPG profile the same way our SPG elite status did. The first few times I checked into Sheraton hotels after the benefit was added, I just showed the hotel staff my credit card and it was never an issue. I like to start a hotel stay with a friendly check-in process that goes as quickly and smoothly as possible!
I took a look at some of my Sheraton stays since the Sheraton Club benefit was added to see which Sheraton Clubs I enjoyed the most. After my trip to Ireland, I went to Scotland. I had a great stay at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh, and their Sheraton Club was excellent. The food and drink offerings were great both for breakfast and in the evenings. The staff was really accommodating and, one day when the coffee machine was broken, the staff went downstairs to the restaurant to get everyone cappuccinos. That was a very nice touch.
My go to hotel when I transit through LAX (Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles) has a great Sheraton Club as well. And the Sheraton Tel Aviv has one of the best Sheraton Clubs of all the Sheraton properties, with a spectacular ocean view. Speaking of great views, the lounge on the 30th floor of the Sheraton Waikiki provides a beautiful ocean view. In Vancouver B.C., I’ve used the Sheraton Club at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. It seemed very underutilized, and though the food offerings weren’t in the same category as some of the other Sheraton Clubs, it was certainly fine. I also found this Sheraton Club to have good natural light and a pleasant place to hang out, drink coffee, and get some work done.
In case you were wondering here’s the list of all Sheraton hotels that have Sheraton Clubs. For me, I don’t mind carrying my American Express SPG Business Credit Card with me when I check-in to Sheraton hotels that have Sheraton Clubs. Even if I told the hotel ahead of time that I qualify for Sheraton Club access, I always present my American Express SPG Business Credit Card without being asked. It is a good reminder to the check-in staff. Why not make things as easy as possible?
How about you? Did you keep your American Express SPG Business Credit Card when they added some benefits and raised the annual fee to $95? Do you keep this credit card with the other cards you carry but don’t put spend on? What’s been your experience at check-in and which have been your favorite Sheraton Club?