Many people use Starpoints just to transfer into airline miles. Starwood points transfer to most airline miles at a 20,000:25,000 rate. (Some airlines are at 20,000:12,500, others at 20,000:50,000) But another amazing use of Starpoints is for Starwood hotels. You can redeem points with no blackout dates or capacity controls on standard rooms starting at just 2,000 points per night. When you redeem 5 consecutive nights with points the 5th night is free. There are also cash and points options that make the rooms even cheaper and help stretch your Starpoints. There are also nights and flights options that make stays even cheaper when you transfer Starpoints to miles at the same time. And of course you can also use points for upgrades to suites and much more.
The redemption points rate is determined by the category assigned to them by Starwood. This redemption category is usually assigned yearly, based on the predicted room rates for each hotel for the coming year.
Effective 03/01 some 84 hotels will go up and will now cost more Starpoints, 93 will go down and will now cost fewer Starpoints. The vast majority of Starwood hotels will stay the same as they are now.
Important: You can lock in the old rates for hotels going up in category by booking before March 1st!
Starpoint reservations are generally fully refundable until a day or so before check-in. Again, the old rate is valid for stays anytime until the end of scheduling at all Starwood hotels as long as they are booked before March 1st!
If you have a Starwood AMEX you can also borrow Starpoints from AMEX and pay them back as you spend money on the card in the future!
If you have Starpoint reservations at a hotel that is going down in category just wait until March 1st and then get it readjusted downward.
Hotels that went up in category: 84
Single category jumps:
From 1->2: 11 hotels.
From 2->3: 17 hotels.
From 3->4: 31 hotels.
From 4->5: 15 hotels.
From 5->6: 6 hotels.
From 6->7: 2 hotels.
Double category jumps:
From 2->4: 1 hotel.
From 4->6: 1 hotels.
Hotels that went down in category: 93
Single category drops:
From 2->1: 1 hotel.
From 3->2: 37 hotels.
From 4->3: 26 hotels.
From 5->4: 18 hotels.
From 6->5: 6 hotels.
From 7->6: 1 hotel.
Double category drops:
From 3->1: 1 hotel.
From 4->2: 1 hotel.
From 5->3: 1 hotel.
From 6->4: 1 hotel.
Here are some sample hotels that will change categories that caught my eye. What other hotels do you see that will affect you?
Le Meridien Dead Sea, Israel, from 3 to 1 (Now just 2,000 Starpoints on weekends on 3,000 Starpoints on weekdays!)
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles from 3 to 2
Le Meridien Chiang Rai Thailand Resort from 3 to 2
Westin Resort Macau from 4 to 3
Sheraton Tribeca New York from 5 to 4
W San Diego from 5 to 4.
Luxury Collection/US Grant San Diego from 5 to 4
Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar Resort & Spa Los Cabos from 5 to 4
Luxury Collection/SLS Beverly Hills from 6 to 5
W Retreat Koh Samui from 6 to 7.
Hotel Gritti Palace, Venice from 6 to 7.
Westin Ka’anapali Maui Ocean Resort Villas from 5 to 6
The Westin Excelsior, Rome from 5 to 6
Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel and Towers from 4 to 5
Westin Harbour Castle Toronto from 3 to 4
Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel from 3 to 4