Last Chance: Redeem Starpoints & Marriott Rewards Points Before Category Changes

The major hotel loyalty programs often make adjustments to their hotel categories, sometimes on an annual basis. With these changes they’re not adjusting the number of points required for a stay at a particular category of hotel, but rather are changing which hotels are in which categories.

Several weeks ago, both Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest revealed their 2018 hotel category changes, which kick in as of tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. So if you haven’t yet made any bookings, you have just hours left to redeem points with Marriott and Starwood before prices change (I’m not positive which timezone they use, so I’d plan on midnight eastern time to be on the safe side).

These category changes aren’t exclusively positive or negative, as some hotels are going up in price, while others are going down in price. Whether or not it makes sense to book now depends on which hotel you’re looking to redeem at.

Here are the basics of these changes:

The St. Regis Dubai is decreasing in category

As you can see, Marriott’s changes are much worse than Starwood’s, as a higher percentage of properties are increasing in price. This is a consistent trend with Marriott, and it’s a quiet way in which they devalue their points year after year, since more and more hotels are in the higher categories.

Typically these category changes are supposed to reflect projected occupancy and average daily rates at the hotels over the coming year, so these changes largely reflect general trends in cities, rather than the specifics of a hotel.

Are you making any last minute bookings before tomorrow’s Marriott and Starwood category changes?


  1. This is off topic, but what is the property in the main picture of this post?
    Looks quite nice and…grand!

  2. That’s the Castle Hotel in Dalian, China, part of “the Luxury Collection” of Starwood

  3. Can we book it before deadline and change/cancel at a later point..I have the Marriott 7 night cat 5 certificate

  4. @ Rav — You can cancel later, but if you rebook you’ll have to pay based on the new category.

  5. Holy crap that hotel is ugly. Looks like Disney crossed with Atlantis crossed with gulf coast Alabama with maybe a bit of Fairmont thrown in.

  6. The hotel is obviously a copy of Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, which was already a romanticised copy of medieval German castles.

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