Starwood Cash and Points Devaluation and FAQ
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Hilary Stockton
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Starwood Cash and Points Devaluation and FAQ

 

3/3/13 Update: Don't forget to book by 11:59pm the hotel's time Monday March 4, 2013 to lock in the old SPG Cash & Points rate! Also, if your dates aren't firm, consider making multiple one day bookings so that you can easily cancel the ones you don't need without canceling the days you'll actually use.

---------Original Post from 1/18/13-----------

Starwood Preferred Guest has announced an "enhancement," or rather, devaluation of the SPG Cash and Points Award Chart. Now, Starwood's case for it being an enhancement is that:

  • You'll be able to redeem for upgraded rooms and suites
  • All Category 1 and 2 destinations worldwide will now participate in Cash & Points
  • Expanded availability
While in general I do have an interest in true suites, since traveling as a family, it's nice to be able to put our son to bed without also having to go to bed at 8pm, I'm not keen on the pricing, which for Category 6 properties (the ones we'd normally redeem for) at 20,000 Starpoints and $450. $450 on its own will get me into some pretty nice properties in many places, and when you factor in the 20,000 points, figure ~2 cents per Starpoint, you're looking at $850 just for a Category 6 suite.
 
Umm, no thanks--I can do better with Hyatt, where a suite award can be had at any Park Hyatt for 33,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night and I can earn Hyatt points at 5X using my Ink Bold or Ink Plus and gift cards, such as Amazon

Anyway, here's the new Starwood Cash & Points award chart, which takes effect March 5, 2013:

Starwood Cash and Points Devaluation - New Award Chart

 

And here's the current Starwood Cash & Points award chart, valid for about 6 more weeks, through March 4, 2013:

Starwood Cash and Points Devaluation - Old Award Chart

 

FAQ

What Are the Changes?

  • The Starwood Cash & Points award chart is changing, requiring more points and more cash for every category except Category 7, which was only introduced last year in 2012
  • You'll be able to redeem for upgraded rooms and suites, although at significant points and cash cost for suites, which will require double the amount of points and more than double the cash of regular Cash & Points awards
  • All Category 1 and 2 destinations worldwide will now participate in Cash & Points

 

By How Much Are Cash & Points Rates Increasing?

By 20-25% for both the cash and points components.

 

So Are Cash & Points Still Better Value Than Free Nights?

Yes, but not by that much. And remember that even Cash & Points rates are not always better value than paying all cash for the room, depending on how you value SPG Starpoints. See When Is It Worth It to Buy Starpoints

 

Can I Book by March 4 or Do My Stays Have to Be By March 4 to Use the Current Cash & Points Award Chart?

As long as you book by March 4 you can use the existing Cash & Points chart, even if your stay is later this year or early next year. But if you later, from March 5 2013 on, want to change the reservation, you'd need to book under the new Cash & Points award chart.

Related Posts

Best Ways to Use Starwood Preferred Guest Points

Starwood Preferred Guest: New Elite Amenities and Benefits

Starwood Preferred Guest: Turn SPG Points into Airline Miles

When Is It Worth It To Buy Starpoints?

Do SPG Cash & Points Awards Earn Elite Status? 

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Comments
Picture?type=large John M. commented 22 Jan 2013
Starting to wonder if my mattress run and SPG Amex app at the end of 2012 was worth it.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 22 Jan 2013
John, Agree, am in the same boat--will need to really figure out which properties I may stay at later this year and try to book before the cash and points chart changes. But after meeting minimum spend, I'll be directing further non-bonused spend elsewhere and not on the SPG card.
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