Last week Marriott and Starwoord released their Reward Category changes for 2017. As part of their integration, they released details of the changes at roughly the same time. While they did the same last year, the changes took effect on different dates. This year they have aligned their changes to take effect on the same day – March 7, 2017.
In Australia, there is a single change. The Four Points By Sheraton in Perth moves down one category from Category 4 to Category 3.
SPG Category Changes
SPG has published the 2017 Category changes on its website. In total, there are over 300 properties that will be changing categories this year. The changes are actually slanted towards a lower category. There are 120 properties moving up a category, with 205 moving down.
As mentioned, the Four Points in Perth is the only property changing in Australia. Across South East Asia there is substantially more movement. Japan has taken a big hit with a number or properties stepping up a category. On the other hand, Malaysia see mostly drops in categories.
Marriott Rewards Category Changes
The changes to the Marriott Rewards categories are not as pleasant as SPG. More hotels have gone up a category than down. Of the properties changing categories, 60% are on the way up, while 40% are heading down.
While there are over 1,000 hotels changing categories within Marriott Rewards, the changes overwhelmingly affect properties in the United States. While there are no changes in the Australian hotels, there are a few changes around Asia Pacific.
Perhaps the best advice on the matter comes from the programs themselves. As SPG and Marriott write on the respective pages.
Our annual category changes will take effect on March 7, 2017. Take a moment to review these changes now to maximize your Starpoints®. If your favorite hotel or resort is moving up to a higher category, you can still book now at the current redemption rate before the 2017 category changes go into effect. Please note that the hotels and resorts listed below are only the hotels and resorts with category changes and are subject to change.
You can review the preliminary list now and plan how to maximize your Marriott Rewards® points. Then decide if you’d like to redeem your points prior to or after the changes take place on March 7, 2017.
On that note, check out the properties you have an eye on to see if they are changing categories.