SPG Hotel Category Adjustments Announced

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‘Tis the season for hotel award chart shake-ups (and mutilations in some cases…).  Thanks to SPG for sharing the list of hotels changing category on Milepoint.  On first glance, I’m not thrilled with the SPG category changes since it seems that there are at least 3x hotels that are increasing in category as opposed to decreasing (just based on the number of pages of hotels listed), but I am not overly upset with the SPG award chart changes since it is mostly gradual adjustments (I see a bunch of 2’s to 3’s and 3’s to 4’s type changes).  Sure there are some properties that went up that I wish didn’t, but there are also some that went down that I also like.  The changes just also seem pretty fair based on what is happening in the hotel markets where the properties increased.

Thank goodness they didn’t disappoint me too much since I basically wrote them a love letter this morning.  I will say that this probably stings less than it otherwise would because of the timing coming right on the heels of the HHonors devaluation.  In a vacuum I might be more upset about these adjustments – hard to say.

These changes go into effect on March 5, and remember you can also still book at the “old” cash and points rates until March 5th.  I actually recently made a cash and points reservation at the Moana Surfrider in Hawaii that is going from a 5 to a 6, so I squeaked in under the wire with a double win – lower category and lower cash and points rate.  I encourage you to make similar reservations if you can at properties that coincide with some trips your family wishes to take over the next year.

Examples of hotels decreasing in category:

Westin Resort & Casino Aruba – 5 to a 4

The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas – Beaver Creek – 6 to a 5

Aloft Abu Dhabi – 3 to a 2

W Istanbul – 6 to a 5

Sheraton Baltimore North – 3 to a 1

Aloft Denver International – 3 to a 2

Examples of hotels increasing in category:

Westin San Francisco Airport – 3 to a 4

Sheraton Park Hotel at Anaheim Resort – 3 to a 4

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort – 2 to a 3

Moana Surfrider Waikiki – 5 to a 6

Four Points by Sheraton Chicago Downtown – 3 to a 4

Aloft New York Brooklyn – 3 to a 5

Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville – 2 to a 3

Westin La Cantera Hill Country – 4 to a 5

Aloft Austin at the Domain – 3 to a 4

As always, don’t just sit on your points.  They are worth less over time.  Saving up for a little while for a big trip is one thing.  Saving for years “just because” is entirely different.  I think I have already booked out 2013 as well as I can with hotel points, but I will now be looking at early 2014 to see if there are any reservations I should make now before the “price” goes up.

What do you think of these changes?



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  1. I don’t anyone can be happy when a points charts increases. One of the big reasons I love the SPG program is the ability to do cash and point reservations and with those stays counting toward elite status. I did the same think you did and booked as many C&P stays as possible before the rate increases. My starpoints balance really took a hit. With all these devaluations lately It really has me looking into additional options to add to the portfolio. I am really starting to like the Club Carlson program. Since the Houston meet up I have not used the points or stayed at any of their properties. But just booked the Radisson Blu Disneyland Paris for 3 nights and it only cost me 2 nights worth of points because of the CC benefit. In a couple weeks I have a MR stay in Orlando that only cost 9000 points and I’m looking at staying at the Radisson in San Juan for cash which will net me over 10000 points enough for another free night! I know that Club Carlson doesn’t have the greatest properties but they will do in a pinch if I don’t want to burn my valuable SPG and Hyatt points. Well, now I’m off to burn my Hilton Points before they turn into the dreaded land pesos.

  2. Wow, this is just … awful. The C&P rate at my local hotel where my family often stays when they visit me here in town has just gone from 1,600/$30 to 3,500/$55 (increase from Category 2 to Category 3). That is insane. Priceline is for sure a better deal than that.

    • I do think that all of us need to evaluate our strategies and other options like Priceline are worth considering. Stinks when a property you frequent goes up for sure!

  3. Just to add more about how nuts this is, if you value Starpoints at 2.8 cents each, the total cost at this local hotel using C&P has just gone from $74.80 to $153.

    This is for a hotel that you can frequently book for $110.

    Do they not want anyone to use C&P, is that the plan??

  4. This is funny, it seems like we are being pushed to skip going for any kind of status. Use the free points you can get from credit cards, but don’t dare spend real money expecting a return that may not be there in a month.

  5. You know…you don’t necessary HAVE to spend SPG points on hotel…

    You still get the BEST bang for your points on airline transfer, (business/first class)

  6. The Westin Kaanapali and St. Regis Princeville are going up. This is unfortunate. Though the Westin Kaanapali makes sense as the Hyatt next door is a top Category hotel.

    Le Meridien Khao Lak is going up. I am going to book 5 nights there ASAP for my trip to Thailand in December.

    Vedema Resort in Santorini is going to a Category 7, which was definitely on my list. Oh well.

  7. I am not too upset with the SPG changes as the hotels I am eyeing for my trip to China end of this year all going down!! I decided not to spend my SPG points if possible but rather transfer them to AA for a business or first class ticket to Hong Kong. Hilton’s devaluation on the other hand makes me mad, as I literally just signed up three cards on Monday for hilton points! Now my wish to stay at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is down into the toilet!

  8. NY Brooklyn Aloft 3–>5. This one really hurts. I like this place and a weekend (2 nights) is now going to change from 14000pts to 24000-32000. SMH…

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