Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes

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Update: Categories will change at midnight on 03/10 local hotel time. Book now to lock in lower prices on hotels going up or rebook existing reservations on 03/10 to save on hotels that are going down!

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Originally posted on 03/08:

Read about previous category changes:
Starwood 2014 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2013 Category Changes
Starwood 2012 Category Changes
2011 Starwood Category Adjustments
-2010 had no Starwood category changes
2009 Starwood Category Adjustments
2008 Starwood Category Adjustments
Starwood 2007 Changes: Launch Of Worldwide Cash+Points Awards (The good old days of Starwood in Israel)
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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Starwood 2015 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer American Express and on the Starwood Business American Express.

Book stays before 03/10 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 03/10 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

Just over 10.5% of SPG hotels will become more expensive and 11.8% of SPG hotels will get less expensive when redeeming points.

Most hotels chains reorganize their categories yearly to keep them current with the average rates that they charge.  The beauty of hotel points is that there are no blackout dates or capacity controls, if there is a room you can use points for it.  So even if a major event is in town and rates are quadruple what they normally are you can still use the regular amount of points as long as the hotel is not sold out of standard rooms.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

Starwood’s standard award chart will not change:
If you stay 5 nights with points at category 3-7 hotels the 5th night will be free.
Category 1 = 2,000 (weekend), 3,000 (weekday).
Category 2 = 3,000 (weekend), 4,000 (weekday).
Category 3 = 7,000
Category 4 = 10,000
Category 5 = 12,000 (Low Season), 16,000 (High Season).
Category 6 = 20,000 (Low Season), 25,000 (High Season).
Category 7 = 30,000 (Low Season), 35,000 (High Season).

The capacity controlled cash and points chart doesn’t change either:

 

Point transfers to airlines with a 25% bonus for 20K transfers remains unchanged as well.

Overall changes are pretty good this year. Some favorites, like the Westin Lagunamar Cancun, jump from 4 to 5.
However lots of other popular hotels get more affordable, including all of the SPG properties in Maui.

Sample hotels going more expensive:
-W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand, was 6, now 7.
-Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs, was 5, now 6.
-The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Scottsdale, was 5, now 6.
-W Boston, was 5, now 6.
-The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancun, was 4, now 5.
-W San Diego, was 4, now 5.
-Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino, was 3, now 4.
-Sheraton Gateway LAX, was 3, now 4.
-The Westin Cleveland Downtown, was 3, now 4.
-The Westin O’Hare, was 3, now 4.

Sample hotels getting cheaper:
-W Paris, was 7, now 6.
-S. Regis Rome, was 7, now 6
-Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Greece, was 7, now 6.
-Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas Maui, was 7, now 6.
-Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Colorado, was 7, now 6.
-Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, was 6, now 5.
-Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, was 6, now 5.
-Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain, was 6, now 5.
-Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens, was 6, now 5.
-Le Méridien Taipei, Taiwan, was 6, now 5.
-Hotel Excelsior, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Naples, Italy, was 5, now 4.
-Le Méridien Vienna, Austria, was 5, now 4.
-Sheraton Towers Singapore, was 5, now 4.
-Le Westin Montreal, was 5, now 4.
-Westin Los Angeles Airport, was 4, now 3.
-Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, was 4, now 3.
-Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort, Malaysia, was 4, now 3.
-Sheraton Rome, was 3, now 2.
-Sheraton London Heathrow Hotel, was 3, now 2.
-Aloft Montreal Airport, was 3, now 2.
-Element Vaughan, Toronto, was 3, now 2.
-Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, was 3, now 2.
-Aloft Panama, was 3, now 2.
-Aloft BWI Airport, was 3, now 2.
-Four Points by Sheraton Detroit Airport, was 2, now 1.
-Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica, was 2, now 1.

HT: Deal Guy, via DDF

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24 Comments On "Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Chapshnell

The Westin Lagunamar devaluation hurts.

Joe S

Interesting, the Maui hotels went back down to a 5. Good news.

Ethana

Still would stay at the king George over the grande Bretagne in Athens.

Anonymous

Mahwah is great for folks visiting Monsey.

Sol

the Rule of “If you stay 5 nights with points the 5th night is free” only applies to Categories 3 and higher.

morris s

Hey Dan, do you know when this comes into effect, sorry I don’t see that above and I just called spg about vadema in greece and its still category 7.

Josh

I have an upcoming 5 night stay at a hotel dropping from a 6 to a 5, checking in on 3/9/15. Will Starwood use the original rates when I booked or the lower rates?

yitz

The Sheraton gateway LAX is going up and the Westin Lax is going down? I think they got it mixed up. Sheraton Gateway LAx is poor service compared to the Westin.

IsraelGiy

if you make a reservation under the old value and need to change the date do that kill your old rate?

Abe

Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs Going up to 6 ugly hotel was just there had a terrible smell like a 1star hotel I don’t understand how they can still go up

Dan

@Chapshnell:
Indeed.

@Joe S:
Great news there.

@Anonymous:
Sure is, stayed there myself when I gave the Monsey seminar.

@morris s:
03/10.

@Josh:
Ouch.
You can’t access the lower rates until 03/10. And reservations made before than don’t qualify.

@yitz:
I like the Sheraton better than the Westin. Neither is great though.
I remember the good old days when they were category 1 properties!

@IsraelGiy:
It sure will. No date changes after 03/10.

@Abe:
Because it’s based on price, not quality.

John

Just stayed at Westin Maui for 20,000 points a night. What do you think the chances are of getting SPG to give me an accommodation for the fact that two months later it’ll be 40% fewer points for the same room?

Dan

@John:
0%
And 20K points at that property is a rip-off. Far better staying with Hyatt.

At 12K points it’s a steal though.

Yitzhak

Hard to complain about most of the changes. Lots of European properties are going down in points due to the falling euro.

ari

Dan, do u think SPG Amex sign up bonus will go up to 35k (total) some time this year again?

Isaac

Anyone know how to find out when the high and low seasons are for Maui? Want to know if its worth using my points not or waiting to hit 48k points at the sheraton maui this august and get the 5th night free. If its going to be 16k points a night not going to be able to make it either way.

Dan
Bin

The worst part of this by far is the westin lagunamar in cancun, I went for 5 nights last year for 40k spg points when the cash price would have been $1400 (3.5 cents per point). since if it’s a category 5 now they can use high season 16k price which drives a 5 night stay up to 64k spg points( a 2.1 cent worth). It really is a gorgeous property. Probably even still worth it.

DanT

Just got approved today for an SPG. Do you mean total of 25,000 points? Because what I see is 10K for $1 and 15K for 5K in 6 Months…. 25k? Where did u get 30K from? Thanks Dan!

yo

Dan that’s interesting. We allways consider the westin lax the best hotel at lax. Usually not worth paying with points for that one since it’s generally pretty cheap.

yo

The Westin Maui is the BEST News. We are there bout once a year or so!

Mike

@DanT 10k +15k +5k (since u r spending $5k to get 15k pts)

Platinum

just came back from grande Bretagne. I was also not impressed Although SPA was good and is think King george Doesnt have. Property is One next to the other and i think Its worth to staY in both to get your stays for platinum

Chase

How do I keep my points active it is over a year since I stayed at a spg property

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