Feb192016

Marriott and Starwood 2016 hotel reward category changes

Marriott and Starwood Hotels both released their lists of 2016 hotel reward category changes. Starwood will happen first with new category levels effective March 1, 2016. Marriott Rewards members have more time to consider reservations as reward category changes take effect in more than one month on March 25, 2016.

These are hotels increasing and decreasing for number of points required for a free night. No surprise that more hotels are increasing in cost than decreasing and most of the changes globally are for USA hotels.

Today is my last day in Amsterdam and I do not plan to spend it studying hotel reward category changes. This post provides links and basic information to the Marriott and Starwood announcements. I’ll post more details on changes next week. In the meantime, you can look for your favorite hotels affected by an increase or decrease or no change at all.

Marriott Rewards Hotel List:

2016 Marriott Rewards Category/Tier Update 

    Will my existing redemption reservation be impacted?

    All redemption reservations booked on or before March 24, 2016 for stays beginning March 24, 2016, will be honored at the point price booked. If you have not ordered your certificate prior to March 24, 2016, call Guest Services to request the lower-priced certificate before your stay. Any changes made to existing reservations after March 24 will be subject to the new category level.

    How many hotels are affected?

  • 553 to 560 hotels increase (seeing different numbers on different blogs)
  • 237 hotels decrease
  • 82% of the properties remain unchanged.
  • 62% of the properties will remain in Categories 1-4.
  • 18% of the hotels are changing. Of those changing, 30% are decreasing by one category and 70% are increasing by one category.
  • How long can I book a redemption stay using the current hotel categories?

    You may book redemption reservations up to 50 weeks in advance of your stay, even before having the required points in your account. For example, on March 1, 2016, you may book your redemption stay as far out as February 15, 2017.

    You can also use the NEW Cash + Points to book your redemption stay starting March 24, 2016.Learn more about Cash + Points.

Starwood Hotels SPG List Effective Tuesday March 1

Starwood Hotels link: 2016 SPG Category Changes 

  • 168 hotels increase
  • 114 hotels decrease

Starwood Hotels announcement leaves only eleven days to book hotels before increases to category levels take effect on Tuesday, March 1.

There are a lot of references to the Element Hotel in Hanover, New Hampshire rising from category 2 to category 4. All I can say is I booked two reward nights for this hotel last July at one of the highest redemption values I ever had with SPG points, paying 3,000 points per night for a hotel priced at $250 per night.

I’ll have more commentary on these Marriott and Starwood hotel reward changes when I resume a regular writing work week after this weekend.

Marriott 2016 category changes

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. I like it when you say: “today is my last day in Leiden and I do not plan on studying hotel categorize changes”. Shows your priorities are right. You use the programs they do not use you. Your blog is refreshing differently!

  2. Hmm, can’t say I’m surprised, but the SPG SF increases really hit hard. Looks like most cat 5+ go up and cat 4- are where drops occur.

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