Reminder: Starwood Changes Taking Place Tomorrow – Book Today!

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A few weeks back I posted the news that the Starwood Cash & Points redemption chart is changing, and not for the better. Since that news, Starwood also announced a bunch of their hotels changing categories (some are decreasing in category, but for the most part of the ones changing, they are increasing a category). So these are TWO big changes to be aware of. All reservations made through end of day today, even if they are for future stays are valid at TODAY’s rates. Now, the tricky thing is, you must book by 11:49pm LOCAL TIME. So if you are making a reservation for a stay in Thailand, it is their local time, not your local time. Starting tomorrow, the number of points needed to redeem will go according to the new charts. I highly suggest speculatively booking stays (as long as you can cancel) to get the most out of your points. Worst case scenario, you cancel that speculative booking

Starwood Cash & Points redemption chart change (SPG website info):

Here is the new reward chart starting March 5, 2013:

  • Category 1: 1,500 points + $30 (an increase of 300 points and $5) – an increase of 25% in points and 20% in cash
  • Category 2: 2,000 points + $35 (an increase of 400 points and $5) – an increase of 25% in points and 16.66% in cash
  • Category 3: 3,500 points + $55 (an increase of 700 points and $10) – an increase of 25% in points and 22.22% in cash
  • Category 4: 5,000 points + $75 (an increase of 1,000 points and $15) – an increase of 25% in points and 25% in cash
  • Category 5: 6,000 points + $110 (an increase of 1,200 points and $20) – an increase of 25% in points and 22.22% in cash
  • Category 6: 10,000 points + $180 (an increase of 2,000 points and $30) – an increase of 25% in points and 20% in cash
  • Category 7: 15,000 points + $275 (staying the same) – no increase
This is a pretty significant increase in my opinion – 25% more points required is huge! However, this has always been an amazing value, so I still believe the C&P redemption will still be worthwhile (stay tuned for another post on that and an update on my prior post “Evaluating which redemption option to redeem at each hotel category“). On the bright side though, C&P redemption for Category 1 and 2 hotels used to be limited to only Asia hotels, but with this change the redemption opportunity will be available globally. For right now, make sure to book book book with the current rate!
Starwood category changes (PDF with the hotels changing):
At the beginning of the new year almost every hotel chain goes through a process of re-evaluating the category for every hotel in their portfolio. Sometimes they are actually decent changes, while other times they are not in the benefit of the frequent traveler. This year, I personally think there is more bad than good. About 50 hotels are going down a category and 200 hotels up a category! Again, you can book at the current rate through end of day today, but starting tomorrow, new category point requirements will go into place.
The good:
  • Westin Aruba – Going from a category 5 to 4
  • The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain – Going from a category 6 to 5
  • Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens – Going from a category 6 to 5
  • W Istanbul – Going from a category 6 to 5
The bad:
  • SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills  – Going from a category 5 to 6
  • The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Kauai – Going from a category 6 to 7
  • The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui – Going from a category 6 to 7
  • The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas – Going from a category 5 to 6
  • Sheraton New Orleans Hotel – Going from a category 3 to 4
  • Aloft New York Brooklyn – Going from a category 3 to 5
  • The St. Regis Deer Valley – Going from a category 6 to 7
  • Santa Marina Resort & Villas, Mykonos – Going from a category 6 to 7
  • Vedema Resort, Santorini – Going from a category 6 to 7
  • Le Méridien Budapest – Going from a category 3 to 4
  • Hotel Danieli, Venice – Going from a category 6 to 7
  • Le Méridien Angkor, Cambodia – Going from a category 2 to 3
  • Sheraton Denarau Villas, Fiji – Going from a category 4 to 6
  • Le Méridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort, Thailand – Going from a category 3 to 4
  • Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11 – Going from a category 1 to 2 (I personally stayed at this hotel at a cat 1 and it was a great value!)
  • Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru – Going from a category 4 to 5
Of course there are many more than what I listed above, but these are some more globally popular hotels that you might want to take advantage of booking now.
If you were planning on booking, do not let today pass by!

Pingbacks

  1. […] Now remember, Starwood just went through a devaluation of their Cash & Points redemption and increased the point requirement of many of their hotels. While this promotion can be extremely great for certain properties, it is definitely not as lucritive as it used to be. However, in the past Starwood has run this promotion before, but at a flat 20%. This time around you have the opportunity to get 25% off, so maybe this can make up for the devaluation, slightly. You can read more about this recent change here. […]

Comments

  1. I already booked my 5 night stay at Le Meridien Khao Lak this December. Hotel rates are $400 a night then so $2000 of hotel bookings for 28,000 Starwood points. Insane!

    I actually used a Nights and Flights award to redeem 60k Starwood points for five nights at Le Meridien Khao Lak + 50k miles with their transfer partners.

    Sad to see so many Hawaii properties going up in price, but nice to see Westin Beaver Creek going town. I’ve heard good things about the hotel and may use it for my next ski trip!

    http://themilesprofessor.com/2013/02/27/conrad-tokyo-how-i-am-getting-2-nights-at-a-hilton-new-category-10-hotel-for-20000-starwood-points-by-acting-quickly/

  2. It seems that some of the Hawaii hotels (still clearly March 4th local time) are charging the new category rates on the website as of 8PM EST.

  3. Just tried booking Moana Surfrider at 8:48pm Hawaii time on Monday 3/4 – unfortunately it’s already showing that it’s now a category 6 hotel (instead of 5)
    I thought we had until 11:49pm local time on 3/4, to book at the current rates ?

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