Booking Category 8 Hotels Right Now?

 
Old Aug 8, 18, 2:21 pm
  #1  
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Booking Category 8 Hotels Right Now?

Hi All,

Am I crazy, or is everyone doing this already?

I'm using my SPG points to book Category 8 hotels right now for 5 days. I've booked the St Regis Bora Bora, Princeville Maui, and Prince de Galles Paris. Plan on doing another 10-20 reservations in the next week.

After 8/18/2018 but well before 12/31/2018, I plan on asking them to refund the point difference, so instead of paying 150,000 points per night at the St. Regis Bora Bora, I pay 20,000 points per night. As the date of the reservation gets closer, I might still cancel. However, by doing it now:

1. I can do it easily and without having to deal with the craziness of what will happen post 8/18; and
2. I can lock in the dates, because I'm sure a bunch of people will be reserving post 8/18.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 8, 18, 2:51 pm
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There are several threads on this topic, started long ago. I'm sure many people have considered and/or acted on this strategy.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 4:01 pm
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I was under the impression that they will not "refund the point difference" while letting you keep your existing reservation. Instead, they will ask you to cancel your reservation and to rebook.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by myko85 View Post
I was under the impression that they will not "refund the point difference" while letting you keep your existing reservation. Instead, they will ask you to cancel your reservation and to rebook.

Even if that's the case, you'll probably still lock down a room and may be able to cancel/rebook so fast that no one takes your reservation!
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Old Aug 8, 18, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by myko85 View Post
I was under the impression that they will not "refund the point difference" while letting you keep your existing reservation. Instead, they will ask you to cancel your reservation and to rebook.
For whatever it's worth, View From the Wing says you won't have to cancel and rebook, you'll just be able to get a refund. https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...und-in-august/

I'm not sure that I'm a fan of the OP's strategy to make 13-23 of these reservations, but to each his or her own, I guess.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 4:44 pm
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From the lurker:

Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
In answer to
Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
this question. Some good news today for those who have award bookings after August where the hotel will be going down in category. While if a redemption stay is booked prior to when the new categories go into effect, a member would not automatically receive a points refund should the hotel require fewer points, members will be able to contact us for assistance in moving the reservation to new category pricing without losing the reservation. This was not the case in SPG where a new availability check was required, so I'm pleased that the current Marriott Rewards policy will continue in that regard.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC

[email protected]
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Old Aug 10, 18, 7:04 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by lincoln841 View Post
Hi All,

Am I crazy, or is everyone doing this already?

I'm using my SPG points to book Category 8 hotels right now for 5 days. I've booked the St Regis Bora Bora, Princeville Maui, and Prince de Galles Paris. Plan on doing another 10-20 reservations in the next week.

After 8/18/2018 but well before 12/31/2018, I plan on asking them to refund the point difference, so instead of paying 150,000 points per night at the St. Regis Bora Bora, I pay 20,000 points per night. As the date of the reservation gets closer, I might still cancel. However, by doing it now:

1. I can do it easily and without having to deal with the craziness of what will happen post 8/18; and
2. I can lock in the dates, because I'm sure a bunch of people will be reserving post 8/18.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
I am assuming you have over 1m starpoints in your account in order to make this work?
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Old Aug 10, 18, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I am assuming you have over 1m starpoints in your account in order to make this work?
Ambassadors can make award reservations without deducting the points from balance at the moment of booking.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by porkie View Post
Ambassadors can make award reservations without deducting the points from balance at the moment of booking.
Thanks, that is useful to know. I wish my ambassador had been proactive about this - I asked for booking for certain dates and she told me we'll wait in August until I have points in my account!
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by porkie View Post
Ambassadors can make award reservations without deducting the points from balance at the moment of booking.
Source as to this benefit? I have never heard of it anywhere in this forum, nor it has been offered to me.

(That seemed to be a Marriott benefit for a long time)
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Source as to this benefit? I have never heard of it anywhere in this forum, nor it has been offered to me.

(That seemed to be a Marriott benefit for a long time)
I agree that this could be done with Marriott, and it was available for everybody. Never heard of SPG100 Ambassadors being able to book points redemptions without taking points out. If true, I will request my reservations at cat 8 hotels now rather than wait for August 18.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Source as to this benefit? I have never heard of it anywhere in this forum, nor it has been offered to me.

(That seemed to be a Marriott benefit for a long time)
My ambassador Not really a published benefit, though if you ask they can do it for you. IIRC plat line agents are also able to make reservation without points, though then you need to get the required points within 7 days or the reservation will be cancelled, ambassadors are able to override it.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by porkie View Post
My ambassador Not really a published benefit, though if you ask they can do it for you. IIRC plat line agents are also able to make reservation without points, though then you need to get the required points within 7 days or the reservation will be cancelled, ambassadors are able to override it.
OK that makes sense - a nice benefit but also very different from MR allowing you to book months & months ahead and then not fund the rez til a week out.

MR's policy is probably one of the biggest positive enhancements most SPGers aren't even aware of.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:22 am
  #14  
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A note of caution on this. Hopefully all the reservations are cancellable without any penalties. It is very possible that while the total points costs for these hotels will be less, it may well not be just a base "20K" per night either or "60K" per night with MR points. If all the rooms at a hotel are suite or any other upgraded room type, then there will most likely be some type of "upgrade" points charge as well. For example, a base hotel room at a Marriott resort might only be 40K/night, but to get an ocean front, suite room, you might also have a 25K+ per night upgrade charge as well.

So yes, all those Cat. 8's in the merged program are temporarily only Cat. 7s, and I suspect they will be had for less points per night (maybe even a lot less points in some cases). But there may still be a chunk of more points added on to that base 60K/night award room charge. Just want to temper those expectations a little.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by porkie View Post
Ambassadors can make award reservations without deducting the points from balance at the moment of booking.
i sure hope ambassadors will take a closer look if someone has "10-20" of such reservations without points to back it up...
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