Cash & Points Redemption Requirements Increased by Starwood Preferred Guest

Effective as of March 5, 2013, Starwood Preferred Guest is increasing the redemption requirements of the Cash & Points offering in most categories.

The good news is that upgraded rooms — such as suites, Club Rooms, Smart Rooms and rooms with a view — will now be a part of the Cash & Points offering, as will all Category 1 and Category 2 hotel properties worldwide. Currently, only Category 1 and Category 2 hotel properties located in the United States, Canada and the Asia Pacific region are offered for Cash & Points.

The comparison of the old and new charts below shows that you will need to both spend more cash and redeem more Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program points in every category except for Category 7 hotel properties:

The current Cash & Points award chart offered by Starwood Preferred Guest.

The new Cash & Points award chart offered by Starwood Preferred Guest, effective as of March 5, 2013.

When comparing the Standard Rooms charts, the differences per category are revealed as shown below:

  • Category 1 300 additional Starpoints plus an increase of $5.00
  • Category 2 400 additional Starpoints plus an increase of $5.00
  • Category 3 700 additional Starpoints plus an increase of $10.00
  • Category 4 1,000 additional Starpoints plus an increase of $15.00
  • Category 5 1,200 additional Starpoints plus an increase of $20.00
  • Category 6 2,000 additional Starpoints plus an increase of $30.00
  • Category 7 No change

Expanded availability for standard room redemption is expected to increase — perhaps easing the pain of the increase in cash spent and Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program points.

I am not the type of person to use the Cash & Miles option — or the equivalent in other frequent travel loyalty programs as well — so I cannot comment on these changes from personal experience. However, there are FlyerTalk members who do consider these changes as a devaluation — some consider it a double devaluation — to the Cash & Points portion of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program.

The good news is that if you have already booked a reservation for a room via the Cash & Points offering before March 5, 2013 for a stay after March 5, the current redemption values will apply.

In my opinion, if the availability of standard rooms does significantly increase, then that — along with the addition of various upgraded room options and the inclusion of all Category 1 and Category 2 hotel properties — should not only mitigate the devaluation at least somewhat, but may actually benefit some members of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program. Again, I cautiously and optimistically use the word may.

We shall wait and see. In the meantime, here are the updated terms and conditions for hotel properties offering the Cash & Points option:

  • Offer is valid at Cash & Points participating hotel properties only and is subject to availability.
  • Cash & Points is offered at select Category 7 hotels and resort properties in select room types as noted below:
    • Cash & Points is offered in standard rooms and some upgraded rooms and/or standard suites at the following hotels:
      • The St. Regis Florence
      • Cervo Hotel, Costa Smeralda Resort
      • The Gritti Palace, Venice
      • The St. Regis New York
      • The St. Regis Aspen Resort
      • Hotel President Wilson, Geneva
      • The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort
      • The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel
      • The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
      • W South Beach
      • The St. Regis Bali Resort
      • The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
      • W Paris – Opéra
    • Cash & Points is only offered in upgraded rooms and/or standard suites and must be booked through a Starwood Preferred Guest Awards Center at the following hotel properties:
      • Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa Smeralda
      • Hotel Pitrizza, Costa Smeralda
      • Hotel Romazzino, Costa Smeralda
      • Le Méridien Bora Bora
      • Mystique, Santorini
      • Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
      • The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal
      • Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
    • The following hotels do not participate in Cash & Points:
      • W Retreat & Spa – Maldives
      • The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
      • Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort
  • Blackout dates may apply. The Starwood Preferred Guest No Blackout Dates policy applies only to Free Night Awards in standard room types and is not applicable to this redemption option.
  • Rooms are for single or double occupancy in a standard room; some hotel properties may offer Cash & Points in non-standard room types and/or suites at higher cash and Starpoints amounts; these rooms may only be booked through a Starwood Preferred Guest Customer Care Center.
  • Charges may apply for additional guests and bedding; smoking preferences are not confirmed.
  • Guest is responsible for all taxes and service charges affiliated with this award reservation.
  • Local guarantee and cancellation policies apply.
  • Guest will not receive Starpoints or airline miles for these stays. Cash & Points rates are ineligible for Starpoints earnings, even though the member does pay money directly to the hotel; however, Starpoints are still earned on eligible incidentals as usual, and all in-hotel benefits should be honored for members staying on this rate.
  • Cash & Points Award stays and nights do not qualify toward any promotions requiring stays or nights; however, Cash & Points Award stays and nights from October 1, 2011 onward do qualify as an eligible stay or nights toward earning elite levels.
  • Cash components of this award that are confirmed in non-United States dollars will be adjusted, as needed, to reflect the United States dollar equivalent of the award before being posted in local currency to the customer’s bill at time of checkout.

Comments (Showing 1 of 1)

  • dave88991 at 9:22pm January 19, 2013

    Is the Starwood Preferred Guest Program a good thing? or bad thing?

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