Last Chance: Book Marriott & Starwood Award Nights Before Prices Change

In early February, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest announced their 2017 hotel category changes.


It’s normal for the major hotel chains to adjust which hotels belong in which categories each year. Typically only a small percentage of properties overall are changing categories. Furthermore, they’re not adjusting the number of points required for a redemption in a specific category of hotel, but rather they’re adjusting which hotels belong in which categories.

Well, the category changes are kicking in for bookings as of tomorrow (March 7, 2017). So if you want to lock in any stays at the old costs, you’ll want to do so today. As a reminder, here are the lists of hotels changing categories:

Some people will want to lock in some bookings today, while others will likely want to book tomorrow, after the categories of some hotels have dropped.

Based on my redemption patterns, I don’t view the Starwood changes as being especially negative. More properties I’ve redeemed points at are going down in price than up in price.

I’m heading to Bhutan soon, and the two Le Meridien properties there are dropping in category. They’re both Category 5, while they’ll drop to Category 4 as of tomorrow. Unfortunately it’s outside the cancelation deadline for me. Hopefully my experience is good, in which case more of you can maybe redeem points there, as it’s an exceptional deal compared to paid rates (though unfortunately Bhutan still isn’t a great value destination, given the crazy visa fees).


Anyone locking in any stays today before the changes kick in, or are they any properties you’re waiting until tomorrow to book?


  1. Ben are you jet lagged? It’s 6:28 a.m. in ICN and you have been posting since 4 or so hours ago… Just curious 🙂

  2. @Pete I’m always under the impression that he tries to stick to the East Cost time in terms of working. Also, these posts could have been written beforehand and scheduled to be posted at specific times.

  3. Happy to see that a planned stay at the Ritz Carlton in Bali at the end of the year is dropping a tier.

  4. We booked a 2-night stay at a Ritz that was supposed to cost 120k Marriott points before the change (we have an e-mail confirmation), we didn’t order the ‘e-certificates’ then as we were going to transfer our SPG points closer to the stay (next year). Now when we log into our reservation, the stay shows 140k points required. Do you think it will be a problem to get it adjusted to the original reservation requirement?

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