The Starwood Preferred Guest program (SPG) recently announced on flyertalk their category adjustments for 2015.

According to their announcement, the changes impact just over 22% of hotels, and of these hotels 11.78% are moving down a category and 10.49% are moving up a category.   The annual category changes will go into effect on March 10, 2015.

This is not a major change, just a normal realignment that happens each year around this time.  SPG is not adding new categories or changing category pricing.  However, this does change the number of Starpoints you would need to book certain hotels.

Which Hotels are Affected?

There are almost an even amount of hotels going up a category as there is going down. There are 130 properties going up a category and 138 properties going down a category.

SPG Properties Going Up a Category:

Of the 130 of Starwood properties going up a category, the majority (94) are in the United States.  Of those 94 properties, 21 are located in California and 10 are located in Florida.

Other countries with larger number of increases include: China with 11 hotels going up, India and Indonesia with 4 hotels each and Mexico with 3 hotels.

SPG Properties Down a Category:

The 138 properties going down a category are more spread out.  Areas with a lot of properties going down include:

  • Europe (46 properties; no properties in Europe are going up a category)
  • US (22 properties, with 3 hotels each in Hawaii, Maryland and Colorado going down)
  • Canada (15 properties)
  • China (15 properties)
  • India (13 properties)

While 46 properties in Europe going up a category, none are going up, making Europe cheaper to book with Starpoints after March 10.

Conclusion

The SPG changes will take effect on March 10, 2014 and will affect those of you planning on using Starpoints to make hotel reservations.  If a hotel you are planning to book with Starpoints will be going up a category, please make sure to reserve at the current award rate before then.

If you are looking to use your Starpoints in Europe, Canada or Hawaii these changes are good news because you will need fewer points to book many hotels in these destinations. If a hotel you are considering booking is going down a category, you might want to wait until after March 10 to make your reservation at the lower rate or book now and rebook after March 10.

For more information, here are links to the entire preliminary list of hotels changing categories and the current Starwood Preferred Guest award chart.

Do any of these changes affect any hotels you were planning to book?

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