Devaluation finally hits me

 
Old Aug 25, 07, 12:28 pm
  #1  
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Devaluation finally hits me

So far this year I've either avoided or learned to live with the devaluation. A cat 3 to 4 is 3K or cat 4 to 5 off peak is 2K more points, I can live with that.

Now I want to rebook at a hotel that I stayed at the exact time last year. Last year I paid 10K points, this year they want 16K.... at 60% increase! I know some things like 50% off and Cash & points for Cat 5 are there to help mitigate the increase, but neither are available for the night I need. Adding to the frustration, the day I'd check out, off-peak starts so the room would be 12K.

I've earned about the same amount of promotion points as last year, so that's not helping to offset the increases either.

Ouch!

Has everyone else just bit the bullet or downgraded their stays?

(add in all the free beta testing & bug reports many of us have given about spg.com and I'm really feeling used!)
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Old Aug 25, 07, 1:36 pm
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Pre-devaluation: use points anytime. After devaluation, I've set on weekend stays or c&p availability now. Wasn't aware of this before your post, but my stay pattern bears this out.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 2:03 pm
  #3  
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Mine has changed. We are planning a stay in Europe. Points are outrageous. In Rome, we are staying at the Roma Sheraton, outside the main city for 7k instead of inside the city at 16-25k. Also, doing one night of points & cash. Would do all of them that way if it were available.
In Paris, we are paying at another chain, rather than burn the 16k points.

Also, this year, I will only reach gold, after 4 or 5 years of plat, as most of my stays are with another chain. It seems like I can gain useful points faster with other chains now. That was not the case before.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 3:26 pm
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I would be interested in seeing what the corresponding rate increases (BAR's)for these propertys would be.
I am finding cheap rates harder and harder to come by-and when there is a special it is often is a prepaid or other unnatractive conditions attached.
Rates in the EU have skyrocketed-so I can see the justification somewhat.
I just save all my points for travel or 5th night free packages-but I am lucky to have the luxury to be able to do that.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
Mine has changed. We are planning a stay in Europe. Points are outrageous. In Rome, we are staying at the Roma Sheraton, outside the main city for 7k instead of inside the city at 16-25k. Also, doing one night of points & cash. Would do all of them that way if it were available.
In Paris, we are paying at another chain, rather than burn the 16k points.

Also, this year, I will only reach gold, after 4 or 5 years of plat, as most of my stays are with another chain. It seems like I can gain useful points faster with other chains now. That was not the case before.
Funny you should mention Europe, since my view is that European Starwoods are some of the best value for point redemptions you can buy these days. With the current strength of the Euro, offsetting a $625 Euro rate with a 25k starpoint redemption is a good deal IMHO.

I have found that Starwood has been running nearly continuous promotions for the past 16 months, so I haven't really noticed the category changes except for at a few properties that are no longer practical (Westin Sunset Key, for example, at 60 to 70k per night). When/if the promotions slow down and I am no longer earning 2-3k per night, then I might feel the pain a little more.

SG
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Old Aug 25, 07, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Snow Goose View Post
...my view is that European Starwoods are some of the best value for point redemptions... a $625 Euro rate with a 25k starpoint redemption is a good deal IMHO.

Starwood has been running nearly continuous promotions for the past 16 months... When/if the promotions slow down and I am no longer earning 2-3k per night, then I might feel the pain a little more.
SG
My sentiments exactly: if you can redeem US-earned points at European hotels, you get very good value - outstanding value if you can cherry-pick the hotels to find gems like the Villa Cipriani or Goldener Hirsch for 10-12K. Add in the fact that the European hotels are far more likely to throw in a meaningful upgrade, and you could be in a room that costs $2K a night - great fun, and great value for 25K or less.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 2:14 am
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Just when I was considering the SPG amex card for its good value, lol.... is this across the board?
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Old Aug 26, 07, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by DKNYSprt95 View Post
Just when I was considering the SPG amex card for its good value, lol.... is this across the board?
Pretty much yes. Changed early this year. A search will bring up the relevant threads.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 7:16 am
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I guess I just assumed that most of us use our points for leisure and that it made us (certainly me) more flexible in terms of when and where we go. Yes, it's harder and yes, it takes more creativity, but value is still there - and Starwood knows it.

As others have stated, it's still not too hard to get great value in Europe.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 11:31 am
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I don't see much of a value in London- I need 16,000 points for the cheepest
award room and will have to use more points to upgrade to a room that
hold three people. The starwood desk told me the standard rooms don't
allow three people so cash and points are not an option. I can use the
50% cupon and get a room for three people for about $325-$350.
depending on the hotel, with those numbers even with the 5th night free
on points I am not sure it makes sense to use so many points. I get a
better value transfering them to AA and booking business class or First
class long hall flights. I am having the same use of points problem in
barcelona - seriously considering priceline.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by wintermom View Post
I don't see much of a value in London- I need 16,000 points for the cheepest
award room and will have to use more points to upgrade to a room that
hold three people. The starwood desk told me the standard rooms don't
allow three people so cash and points are not an option. I can use the
50% cupon and get a room for three people for about $325-$350.
depending on the hotel, with those numbers even with the 5th night free
on points I am not sure it makes sense to use so many points. . . .. I am having the same use of points problem in barcelona - seriously considering priceline.
For London these days Priceline seems to be the best bet imo unless you have many many points to burn. You will still need 2 bid for two rooms though since they're rather "strict" on the number of occupancy in each room. I know that several folks have received 4* properties for $180 on Priceline. Check the bidding for travel forum on FT - there are more details there.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 1:45 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by wintermom View Post
I don't see much of a value in London- I need 16,000 points for the cheepest....I am having the same use of points problem in
barcelona - seriously considering priceline.
Barcelona is what made me start this thread. from 10K last year to 16K without any options for C&P or 50% off rack is making me consider priceline.

Last edited by itsaboutthejourney; Aug 26, 07 at 1:45 pm Reason: typo/clarification
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Old Aug 26, 07, 3:05 pm
  #13  
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The fact remains, the rate of SPG inflation is higher than anywhere in the world. I have not seen 100 - 300% increases in prices over the past 5 years yet that is common for SPG point uses.

Luckily for me, I try to keep my points under 100k now and use them about as fast as I earn them.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 7:12 pm
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C&p

Originally Posted by nroscoe View Post
Barcelona is what made me start this thread. from 10K last year to 16K without any options for C&P or 50% off rack is making me consider priceline.
hi ,

please call the spg desk directly as online C&P is still not available in 50% of all cases i search for.

usually the hotels have C&P , but the HP does not show it.;

dp
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Old Aug 26, 07, 8:14 pm
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Before the devaluation, I used points to give my parents a week long Italy vacation earlier this year. I recently did the same thing for my brother for his honeymoon and the post devaluation point cost was very noticeable. Frankly, it takes some of the fun out of collect Starwood points.
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