Starwood Preferred Guest – the Westin / Sheraton / W / aloft etc loyalty scheme – is one that many Head for Points readers will be elite members of, since Gold status is a free benefit of the American Express Platinum card.
(By the way, if you DO have SPG Gold via Amex Platinum, remember that you need to re-apply for the Gold status each year. You do have it for as long as you hold the card, but you must contact Amex each year once you are dropped down to the base level to boost yourself back to Gold.)
Starwood has now decided not to send out Gold cards automatically. This does make some sense – your number will automatically be in any booking you make online anyway (although not all corporate travel agents are efficient at adding in numbers for employees). And printing and posting membership cards around the world is not cheap.
Instead, Starwood now offers ‘MyCard’. Via this website, you can design your own Gold card from a number of pre-set images, and then download it to the Starwood app on your iPhone or Android phone. Or – if you really insist – choose to have a card posted to you.