Rebook Starwood Stays At Select Hotels For Fewer Points

In late February, Starwood announced their annual hotel category changes, which kicked in for bookings made as of March 10, 2015.

Every year Starwood adjusts which hotels belong to which categories, to better reflect the anticipated average daily rate and occupancy for the hotel.

Starwood-Hotel-Categories

While most hotel category changes across the industry the past few years have been a bloodbath, this year’s Starwood changes were actually arguably positive, depending on where you like to redeem your points:

  • 22% of hotels changed categories
  • 10.49% of hotels moved up in category
  • 11.78% of hotels moved down in category

Anyway, these changes have now kicked in, so if you have an award booking at a Starwood property that has gone down in category, you’ll want to call to rebook.

Keep in mind that while other chains (like Hyatt) can just credit you the difference in points, Starwood actually requires you to cancel and rebook in order to receive the difference in points. This means that:

  • You can’t be within the cancellation deadline of your stay
  • There still needs to be free night availability for your dates

As a general rule of thumb, we’re seeing a lot of hotel category decreases in Asia/Pacific and Europe, and there are also a good number of properties going down in category in Latin America and North America.

Just to give a personal example of how these changes are impacting me, I’m headed to Munich later in the summer. Le Meridien Munich just switched from a Category 5 to Category 4 property, meaning it went from 12,000 Starpoints to 10,000 Starpoints per night.

Le-Meridien-Munich
King room at Le Meridien Munich

The lowest refundable rate for my nights is 247EUR (~$263).

SPG-Hotel

I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me 10,000 Starpoints are worth ~$220. Previously redeeming Starpoints was basically breakeven at best, while now it makes sense. Though still only marginally so. Perhaps the takeaway is just how weak the Euro has become. šŸ˜€

Have you rebooked any Starwood stays under the new 2015 award rates?

Comments

  1. Are there Starwood properties that have 2 or 3 bedroom suites/villas that you can book completely on points?

  2. @ Mary Jane — Hmmm, you can usually redeem for a suite for roughly the standard points required, but I don’t think there are any properties where you can get a 2-3 bedroom villa on points. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  3. Looks like not all the properties has been updated. Le Meridian Taipei still holding on to Category 6.

  4. Was really excited about this change for the exact same reason ā€” the Meridien Munich. I am there for 5 days over Oktoberfest and the room rate is just under $500 USD a night. 8,000 points a night is a steal (at a value of 6.25 cents a point).

    Although at the end we ended up switching to the Aloft Munich. It should be open August 1st so plenty of time and is right next door. The rooms at the Meridien are a bit long in the tooth!

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