Starwood Preferred Guest Announces Award Category Adjustments for 2018

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Starwood Preferred Guest has released the list of hotels that will be changing award category in 2018. These changes will be implemented on 6 March, 2018.

If you are interested in a specific hotel that is going to cost more points, you should book now and ask questions later. You can always cancel your reservations if your plans don’t quite work out.

I tend to focus on the following category shifts:

  • Moving from Category 2 to Category 3 or vice versa. Why… Because a Category 2 only costs 3,000 Starpoints on Friday and Saturday nights (4,000 the rest of the week), whilst Category 3 hotels cost 7,000 Starpoints per night
  • Moving from Category 4 to Category 5 or vice versa. Why… Because Category 4 is the highest category for SPG’s “Nights & Flights” award option.
  • Moving from Category 5 to Category 6 or vice versa. Why… Because Platinum members staying 50 nights in a year can choose a free night certificate valid at any hotel in Categories 1 – 5.

With that in mind, these category changes jump out at me:

  • The Great Northern hotel in London is moving from Category 5 to Category 6
  • The Westin resort in Whistler, Canada is moving from Category 5 to Category 6
  • The Westin Palace in Madrid is moving from Category 5 to Category 6
  • The Westin in Dublin is moving from Category 5 to Category 6
  • The Sheraton and Aloft hotels in Brooklyn are moving from Category 5 down to Category 4
  • Le Meridien Visconti in Rome is moving down to Category 4
  • In the Canary Islands, the Sheraton Fuerteventura is moving from Category 3 to 4 and the Sheraton La Caleta on Tenerife is moving from Category 4 to 5.
  • The Four Points in Las Vegas is moving back down to Category 2. This makes weekend stays cheaper, when paid room rates normally increase for the weekend in Vegas…
  • The Element at Frankfurt airport is moving to Category 2.
  • Le Meridien Cairo Airport is moving to Category 1. Always useful for those travel hackers positioning to Cairo for a very cheap Business Class flight…

If you collect Starpoints, make sure to check out the full list for yourself. You can find it by clicking here

What jumps out at you? Any hotels that you’ve been eyeing?


  1. Pangolin says

    Bummed about Westin Madrid but it could have been worse (look at Marriott).

    SPG is being relatively benign in its final moments (sob! sob!)

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Definitely… although I usually only find value in hotel night awards in the low categories. Above 3, maybe 4, and I start calculating the free flights I can get in exchange for those points.

      I need to stop procrastinating and start burning those Starpoints…

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