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If you have an upcoming stay at a Marriott or Starwood hotel, this news may affect you!
I’ll tell you what this means for you, and how to make sure you get the most for your points!
Marriott and Starwood Category Changes 2017
Marriott and Starwood usually make hotel category changes every year. And on March 7, 2017, Marriott and Starwood will change the categories of 1,600+ hotels. That means you’ll pay either more or fewer points for award stays at these hotels.
I like that Marriott and Starwood have announced these changes nearly a month in advance. So folks can adjust their travel plans if they need to!
Marriott hotels include:
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Bulgari Hotels
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Delta Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
- Gaylord Hotels
- JW Marriott
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Moxy Hotels
- Protea Hotels
- Renaissance Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Springhill Suites by Marriott
- TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Starwood hotels include:
- Design Hotels
- Four Points
- Le Meridien
- St Regis
- The Luxury Collection
- Tribute Portfolio
When Should You Book?
If you plan on staying at a hotel that will move up in category after March 7, 2017, it’s a good idea to book now and lock-in the lower rate!
For example, the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino is jumping from a category 5 to a category 6. That means you’ll need 30,000 Marriott points to book this hotel after March 7, 2017. But you can book it now for 25,000 Marriott points.
Folks who have the Chase Marriott card can also use their annual free night certificate at this hotel. But if they wait until after March 7, 2017, they will NOT be able to use the certificate. Because it’s only valid at category 1 to 5 hotels.
But if you’re booking a hotel that will drop a category, it’s a good idea to wait, so you’ll spend fewer points!
For example, the Sheraton Grand Istanbul Atasehir currently costs 10,000 Starwood points. But if you wait to book after March 7, 2017, it will cost just 4,000 Starwood points (and 3,000 on weekends!).
Note: If you’ve already booked an award stay at a hotel that will drop a category, you can cancel your reservation and re-book after March 7, 2017. That way you’ll get a better price! But you’ll want to be sure award rooms are still available.
Need More Marriott and Starwood Points?
The easiest way to earn Marriott points and Starwood points quickly is by signing-up for their co-branded credit cards.
You’ll earn 80,000 Marriott points when you sign-up for either the Chase Marriott personal or small business card and complete the minimum spending requirement. And you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points when you sign-up for either the American Express Starwood personal or small business cards and meet the minimum spending.
Plus, you can transfer your Marriott points and Starwood points back and forth between your accounts! You’ll get 1 Starwood point for every 3 Marriott points you transfer, or vice versa.
But if your hotel is moving down a category, book after March 7, 2017, because it will be cheaper!
Do any of these category changes surprise you?