What Else the SPG Award Category Changes Mean

This year’s award category changes are now published for the Starwood Preferred Guest group and, like most year past, a decent number of properties are changing. Just over 10% of the hotels worldwide are going up in redemption category and slightly more are going down. The full list of changes is available here. But the changes for individual properties are not what interest me; the bigger picture trends are what I find interesting. Award categories are assigned based on average daily rates so these changes can – very loosely – be used to follow some overall patterns in the way room booking demand and rates are playing around the globe.


In the United States, for example, the increases outpace decreases at roughly a 4:1 ratio. This suggests strong demand in the domestic market. Europe, on the other hand, is seeing the opposite: zero hotels are increasing in reward category while 42 are decreasing.

At the lower end of the market things seem reasonably stable. The Four Points brand has 26 properties increasing and 22 decreasing in category. At the high end, however, the Luxury Collection sees only three properties increasing while 20 are decreasing in award category.

So, any notable changes in rates for hotels (or cities) you like to frequent?

As always, my SPG Alerts Tool and Hotel Hustle will reflect the proper rates for the hotels as the numbers change. I have not, however, built anything in to warn you against booking now for the properties which are decreasing. You’ve got two weeks to figure that out.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Does the falling price of the euro play a part? It’s down 20% against the dollar in the past year, that’s about 1 category of decrease.

    1. That’s what I was assuming as well… but then again, I’m not clear how the contracts for SPG redemptions work… are they dollar or Euro denominated when SPG pays the property for an award room?

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