Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
There are just two days left to book hundreds of Starwood and Marriott hotels at their current award rates before annual award chart increases kick in on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. On the SPG side of things, 276 hotels are changing category, which represents 17% of the total SPG portfolio. Of those, 9% are moving down one category and 8% are moving up one category – a handful are moving more than one category. Marriott has a much larger portfolio, and on March 6th over 1,300 Marriott properties will be changing categories. This represents about 26% of their portfolio. Unfortunately, most of the Marriott hotels changing category are heading up the award chart as 21% of their line-up will move up in category while only 5% will move down.
I encourage you to check out the previous posts about the upcoming 2018 Starwood Category Changes and the upcoming 2018 Marriott Category Changes as there are literally over 1,000 hotels increasing in award cost, so there is no way to effectively cover them all here. However, since we have less than 48 hours to lock in advance reservations at the current award rates, here’s a sampling of 20 different SPG and Marriott properties you may want to lock in today before the 2018 category changes make these properties cost additional points beginning on Tuesday.
SPG Properties That Will Cost More Points Starting Tuesday
- Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview 2 to 4
- Aloft Cancun 2 to 3
- Element Amsterdam 3 to 4
- Aloft South Bend 3 to 4
- Aloft Wichita Northeast 3 to 4
- Aloft Seattle Sea-Tac Airport 3 to 4
- Walt Disney World Dolphin 4 to 5
- The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio 4 to 5
- Aloft New York LaGuardia Airport 4 to 5
- The Westin Dublin 5 to 6
- The Westin Palace, Madrid 5 to 6
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler 5 to 6
- The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa 5 to 6
Marriott Properties That Will Cost More Points on Tuesday
Remember to pay special attention to the Marriott properties that are moving from a Category 5 to a 6 as they will no longer eligible for the Category 1-5 certificates that come from promos and the annual credit card bonus.
- Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland 5 to a 6
- Renaissance Austin Hotel 5 to a 6
- Atlantis, Coral Towers, Autograph Collection 7 to 8
- JW Marriott Guanacaste (Costa Rica) Resort & Spa 7 to 8
- Powerscourt Hotel (Ireland), Autograph Collection 7 to 8 – For what it is worth, Powerscourt was seriously one of my favorite areas on our trip to Ireland!
- Amsterdam Marriott Hotel 8 to 9
- Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance 8 to 9 – right across from Disneyland
It always could be worse, but this year’s Starwood and Marriott award chart changes are hitting some family-friendly properties pretty hard. Many properties we have enjoyed (or are scheduled to enjoy) such as Westin Dublin, Westin Palace Madrid, Westin Whistler, and Westin Grand Cayman, are going to get significantly more expensive when using points as they head from a SPG Category 5 to a 6. Check out those linked reviews to see if the properties are right for you.
The Walt Disney World Dolphin is also making a big jump from a SPG Category 4 to 5, taking it out of contention from the Starwood Nights and Flights program where you get airline miles and 5 hotel nights bundled together at a discounted rate.
Remember that Marriott and Starwood points can transfer to each program at a 3:1 ratio (3 Marriott Rewards points = 1 SPG point). Until March 16th, you can also save 35% on SPG point purchases of 5,000 points per greater. This can make a ton of sense if you need a few more points to lock in the hotel you want before it jumps in award price.
While we are on the topic of SPG points, while it won’t help you add to your account balance before Tuesday, do note that the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card has a temporarily increased highest-ever sign-up bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $7,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus runs only until March 28, 2018, and is as high as we have ever seen it go, so if you can hit the spending requirement, I would strongly consider applying. Terms apply and you can learn more about that offer here.
Personally speaking, in advance of the coming category changes, I have grabbed some award reservations at the Aloft Wichita (to visit family), the Walt Disney World Dolphin (when paid rates are $400), the Four Points Sheraton Tucson Airport (before this awesome experience), and I already had reservations in place for this year at the Westin Grand Cayman and Aloft South Bend. In most cases, you can make changes to your reservations until a few days before your scheduled arrival.
Which SPG or Marriott properties have you made reservations at in advance of Tuesday’s award chart changes?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.