Funding a vacation with points and miles is a great way of saving money and extending your budget for meals and excursions. However, points and miles have a worth and aren’t always easy to earn—they should be a part of your budget as well. The fewer points you redeem, the more you have left for a future trip, hence you don’t want to be throwing around points like there’s no tomorrow.
Both Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott announced category changes for some of their properties, and some will require more points per night. Here’s a list of hotels you absolutely want to book before those redemption rates go up starting next month.
This Starwood property is going up from Category 5 to Category 6, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in reality, it is a huge deal. To book a standard room at a Category 5 SPG hotel you need to redeem 12,000 to 16,000 Starpoints per night, depending on the season.
A standard room at a Category 6 property requires 20,000 to 25,000 Starpoints per night. The difference in redemption thresholds is astounding! If you’re looking to spend some time on a gorgeous stretch of sand that is the Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, make sure to book this property before March 6 when redemption rates skyrocket.
This hot property is creating buzz among frequent travelers and for a good reason. JW Marriott Phu Quoc, located in Vietnam, is a world-class hotel with a private beach, three pools and a huge breakfast buffet. I was lucky enough to visit this property in December as a guest during the day, and let me tell you—it’s ridiculous! Well, the word got out, and this hotel is changing tiers from 5 to 6, which means that instead of 25,000 Marriott Rewards points per night you’ll need to redeem 30,000 points per night. Marriott category changes take effect March 6 also, so you have until then to lock in your lower redemption rate.
Southeast Asia has become a popular region in the recent years, and so have the beachfront hotels in the area. Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, a five-star resort located in one of the most popular beach towns of Thailand, is also changing award categories.
This property is going up from Category 7 to 8, and booking a night at this hotel will change from 35,000 Marriott Rewards points per night to 40,000 points per night. Considering Marriott implements nine tiers for its award chart, there’s not much higher it can go. Remember that you can transfer SPG points to Marriott at a rate of 1-3 and redeem about 11,666 Starpoints per night at the current rate.
A Disney vacation is rarely cheap. Park tickets alone can set you back hundreds of dollars. As a parent, you want to stretch your dollar as much as you can, but you also want to stretch your points as far as you can. The Walt Disney World Dolphin is a Category 4 SPG hotel for the moment, but it’s changing to Category 5.
Effective March 6, it will require 12,000 to 16,000 Starpoints per night based on seasonality, so book it now while you can snag nights for just 10,000 points per night, no matter the season. And remember that booking five award nights will require just 40,000 points.
This property might not be on most people’s radars, but I love Spain and its islands. Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa is located on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Mere minutes from the beach, this property is going up from Category 4 to 5. Before a night here requires 12,000 to 16,000 points, you can book a stay for 10,000 Starpoints per night and soak up the sun just off West Africa’s coastline. As with many higher category properties, the 5th Night Free promo applies, and you can book a five-night stay for 40,000 Starpoints.
Which SPG or Marriott properties are you looking to book before the category shakeup on March 6?
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