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SPG Cash & Points analysis of changes March 5, 2013 (Part 1)

How clever of SPG to announce their Cash & Points award changes on the same day Priority Club Reward Nights launches a system-wide global hotel reassignment of hotel categories. I think the Priority Club changes in general had far more negative impact on Priority Club Points and Cash rates than these SPG Cash & Points increases. There will be good value expansions to the SPG Cash & Points program for members to access upgraded hotel rooms at a discount rate beginning March 5, 2013 when the changes take effect. 

We wanted you to be among the first to know that starting in March, we’ll be making some changes to our Cash & Points offering. It’s been a member favorite ever since we introduced it to the industry in 2002, and was made even more important with our 2011 announcement of redemption nights counting toward elite and lifetime status.

Knowing this, we’ve worked very closely with our hotels to make some changes that will both improve the availability of Cash & Points and enhance the program overall.

Beginning March 5, Category 1 and 2 hotels worldwide will be included, and you’ll be able to redeem for upgraded room types including suites. In addition, for the first time, we will be updating the Cash & Points pricing on standard rooms to encourage more availability. You can book at the current pricing until March 5th.

Many of you have also asked about our annual Category changes. As with past years any adjustments will take place in early March, and as soon as we have the list we will post it here. Currently we’re estimating mid-February to have this finalized.

To learn more about the upcoming Cash & Points changes, please visit

Best regards,

Christopher Carman
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Source: (January 18, 2013)

The new SPG Cash & Points award chart


[click on SPG image to open in large version in new window]

Every hotel category from Category 1 to 6 will require 25% more points for a Cash & Points award night on March 5, 2013.

SPG Points Component Increase March 5, 2013

  • Category 1 = 1,500 points, up from 1,200 points (25% increase).
  • Category 2 = 2,000 points, up from 1,600 points (25% increase).
  • Category 3 = 3,500 points up from 2,800 points (25% increase).
  • Category 4 = 5,000 points, up from 4,000 points (25% increase).
  • Category 5 = 6,000 points, up from 4,800 points (25% increase).
  • Category 6 = 10,000 points, up from 8,000 points (25% increase).
  • Category 7 = 15,000 points, no change.

The basic effect is the points component of SPG Cash & Points Awards increases from 40% to 50% points compared to lowest priced SPG Standard Awards.

A Category 3 hotel with a Standard Reward price of 7,000 points is currently 40% points at 2,800 points + $45. As of March 5, 2013 the Cash & Points rate rises to 3,500 points + $55. The points required for SPG Cash & Points rises from 40% to 50% of the 7,000 points for SPG Category 3 Standard Award rate. The cash portion for SPG Cash & Points at a category 3 hotel rises to $55, a 22% increase on the current $45 rate.

There is no change to the Category 7 Cash & Points award rate introduced in 2012. Basically SPG just raised the Points portion of Cash & Points awards to match the 50% rate already introduced with the addition of Category 7 hotels in 2012.

Changes to the Cash Component of SPG Cash & Points


Current SPG Cash & Points chart until March 5, 2013.


SPG Cash & Points rates effective March 5, 2013.

SPG Cash Component Increase

  • Category 1 = $30, up from $25. (20% increase).
  • Category 2 = $35, up from $30 (17% increase).
  • Category 3 = $55, up from $45 (22% increase).
  • Category 4 = $75, up from $60 (25% increase)
  • Category 5 = $110, up from $90 (22% increase)
  • Category 6 = $180, up from $150 (20% increase)
  • Category 7 = $275, no change


Addition of Category 1 and 2 Hotels EMEA and Americas

Category 1 and 2 hotels worldwide will be participating in SPG Cash & Points effective March 5, 2013.

This means Europe, Middle East, Africa, South America, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean will possibly offer Cash & Points award nights at some 40 hotels not previously eligible to participate in Cash & Points.

There are currently nine (9) hotels in category 1 and 31 hotels in Category 2 in these new regions adding SPG Category 1 and 2 Cash & Points awards. There will likely be changes in hotel award category assignment for some of these hotels March 2013 when the SPG Cash & Points changes take effect.

The vast majority of SPG category 1 and 2 hotels are located in the USA and Asia Pacific and already participated in SPG Cash & Points. SPG Category 2 currently has about 210 of 240 hotels located in USA, Canada and Asia Pacific. SPG Category 1 has 31 hotels currently in USA and Asia Pacific.

New Category 1 Hotels for Cash & Points (9 hotels)

Four Points by Sheraton Monterrey Linda Vista, Mexico, Nuevo Leon, Guadalupe

Four Points by Sheraton Mexico City, Colonia Roma, Mexico, Federal District, Mexico City

Four Points by Sheraton Galerias Monterrey, Mexico, Nuevo Leon, Monterrey

Sheraton Ambassador Hotel, Mexico, Nuevo Leon, Monterrey

Four Points by Sheraton Panorama Zagreb, Croatia, Zagreb

Sheraton Dreamland Hotel & Conference Center, Egypt, 6th of October City

Sheraton Luxor Resort, Egypt, Luxor

Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort, Villas & Spa, Egypt, Sharm El Sheikh

Le Méridien Dead Sea, Israel, Dead Sea

New Category 2 Hotels for Cash & Points (31 hotels)


Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, Dominican Republic, Punta Cana

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta

Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles, Chile, Los Angeles

Four Points by Sheraton Medellin, Colombia, Medellin

Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Hotel, El Salvador, San Salvador

Four Points by Sheraton Colon, Panama, Republic of Panama, Colon

Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center, Peru, Lima

Four Points by Sheraton Montevideo, Uruguay, Montevideo


Four Points by Sheraton Panoramahaus Dornbirn, Austria, Dornbirn

Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, Bulgaria, Sofia

Sheraton Athlone Hotel, Ireland, Athlone

Sheraton Bologna Hotel & Conference Center, Italy, Bologna

Four Points by Sheraton Bolzano, Italy, Bolzano-Bozen

Sheraton Catania Hotel & Conference Center, Italy, Catania

Sheraton Firenze Hotel & Conference Center, Italy, Florence

Sheraton Genova Hotel & Conference Center, Italy, Genova

Sheraton Padova Hotel & Conference Center, Italy, Padova

Le Méridien Vilnius, Lithuania, Vilnius

Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal, Spain, Barcelona

Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort Canary Isle, Spain, Fuerteventura

Aloft Bursa Hotel, Turkey, Bursa


Sheraton Montazah Hotel, Egypt, Alexandria

Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, Egypt, Cairo

Le Méridien Heliopolis, Egypt, Cairo

Le Méridien Dahab Resort, Egypt, Dahab

Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna, Egypt, El Gouna

Sheraton Gambia Hotel Resort & Spa, Gambia, Serrekunda

Le Méridien N’Fis, Morocco, Marrakech

Middle East

Sheraton Karachi Hotel, Pakistan ,Karachi

Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dubai


Related Loyalty Traveler Post:  Part 2 Analysis of SPG Cash & Points Upgrades and Suites options (Jan 19, 2013)

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.


  • Elizabeth January 18, 2013

    Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center in Peru already had C&P. Stayed there for only 1600 SPG points + $30/night + taxes in Spring 2012.

  • Tara January 18, 2013

    And of course there is STILL no C&P at Maui Westin or Sheraton (don’t want to stay at the condos)for Sept. What do you want to bet on 6 March all of a sudden ALL the hotels will suddenly have C&P available?

    Priceline or maybe Hyatt 22k awards via UR is looking better for Maui at the moment.

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  • Nick January 20, 2013

    This is the kind of calculation that runs through my head, SPG has been my secondary program for a while, and I recently started staying more often, mostly because I liked Cash and Points so much.

    Ignoring taxes & all elite benefits:

    W San Francisco (SPG Category 5) 20-21 Jan:

    For a Wonderful room:

    Lowest standard rate: $299

    AAA rate: $269

    Points: 12000 points.

    Cash and Points: $90 + 4800 points.

    Post 3/5 Cash and Points: $110 + 6000 points.

    So using AAA rate as a basis :

    The value of Starpoints pre 3/5 would be ($269 – $90)/4800 = $179/4800 = 3.73 cents per point.

    The value of Starpoints post 3/5 would be ($269 – $110)/6000 = $159/6000 = 2.65 cents per point.

    For points only redemption: $269/12000 = 2.24 cents per point.

    If you are really looking to get value out of your points you might consider opaque options before going with any of the 3 rates above. I see a 4.5 star on Hotwire for $191 which is either the Taj or the Intercontinental, both of which I would consider about equivalent to the W, even though the W is a 4* on Hotwire. If you want to use this Hotwire price as a value basis, you would be getting 2.1 cents under the old scheme and 1.35 with the new C+P prices.

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