Starwood and Marriott Reward Category Changes for 2017

Please note that I receive compensation for many links on this blog. American Express and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy to learn more.

Starwood and Marriott announced their annual property reward category changes today, which will go into effect March 7, 2017.

As the Marriott banner says, review the changes, and maximize your points. As in, make award reservations now for any properties that will be going up a category and requiring more points for redemption.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.59.42 PM

Here are links to the properties that are changing categories –

Starwood Preferred Guest Reward Category Changes 2017

Marriott Rewards Category Changes 2017

60% of Marriott properties are moving up in category, while 40% are moving down. View from the Wing reports that 63% of Starwood properties are moving down, and only 37% are moving up.

Most hotel programs adjust the redemption categories each year that their properties are in, and I’m pleased that both Starwood and Marriott give their members advance notice about the changes.

Some of the category moves are disappointing. Japan is one of my very favorite countries to visit, and it seems that a bunch of the properties there are going up both on the Starwood and Marriott side.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.43.36 PM

Starwood category changes for Japan –

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.39.21 PMScreen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.39.30 PM

Marriott category changes for Japan –

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.42.02 PM

Some of the category changes surprise me, such as the movement of the Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe going from a Marriott Category 4 to a Category 5. I stayed at the property a couple times and experienced a few issues. I suppose the increased snow levels in the Sierras are bringing guests/redemptions in by the droves now though.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.49.06 PM

Some of the category changes are good, such as seeing properties in Greece, Turkey, Bhutan, and Colombia drop as well as many of those in Africa.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 1.05.08 PM

I noted that the Ritz-Carlton in Bali is moving from a Marriott Category 3 to a Category 2 which feels about right to me. I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Bali property when it first opened, and while it didn’t quite live up to expectations I did love the Club Lounge as well as the swimming pool, and of course Bali as a whole!

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.52.02 PM

I’ve got a few upcoming redemption reservations where the properties will be going down in category after my stays are completed, so there is nothing to be done about those. For people wanting to book a new reservation though, it would be smart to see if your chosen properties are moving up a category in which case you should consider booking before March 7 when the new categories go into effect.

What do you think about the category changes, are there any properties in particular that are increasing/decreasing and excite/disappoint you?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed or endorsed by any bank, card issuer, or other company including (but not limited to) American Express unless otherwise stated. Comments made in response to posts are not provided or commissioned, and they have not been reviewed or endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to make sure that questions are answered.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

  1. Levy Flight

    The so,e of the hotels in EU did need rebalancing. This is good news.

    • Melinda

      levy Flight I’m pleased to see a bunch of the properties go down in the EU too.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *