Starwood Preferred Guest Releases Official Hotel Category Changes for 2013
The official category changes for hotel properties were officially released by the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program today, and effective as of March 5, 2013 — as by my count — 48 hotel properties have decreased by a category; while 218 hotel properties have increased by a minimum of one category.
You have the opportunity to redeem your Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program points at the current rates before March 5, 2013 for any future stay — especially if the hotel property at which you plan to stay is expected to increase by one category.
Notice that I did not use the word devaluation in the title of this article as I did for the changes announced by the Hilton HHonors and Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty programs, the latter of which borders on unethically deceptive, in my opinion. This is because of the following reasons:
- Considering that there are a total of 1,416 Starwood Hotels and Resorts properties worldwide, only approximately 15.4 percent of those properties will be negatively affected by the changes — which is reasonable, in my opinion
- The majority of the increase in categories for hotel properties are the mid-range categories, such as from Category 2 to Category 3 and from Category 3 to Category 4…
- …whereas almost twice as many higher category properties actually decreased by a category compared to those which increased by a category…
- …and only two hotel properties increase by two categories instead of one category
- The changes in categories for affected hotel properties was announced in advance and clearly communicated with no deceptive tactics, hidden negative surprises or condescending marketing “spin” with the intent to overly justify the changes — just a straightforward communication of changes
Sure, some FlyerTalk members are not happy about the changes — but no one is vociferously advocating the renouncement of membership in the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program like many FlyerTalk members have with the Hilton HHonors, Wyndham Rewards, Marriott Rewards and Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty programs after their official announcements were released containing devaluations which are considered to be unnecessarily harsh.
The hotel property award category changes announced by the Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program were similarly mild.
It is sad, however, that the harsh devaluations from other frequent guest loyalty programs have prompted FlyerTalk members to not only breath a sigh of relief when the official category changes for hotel properties were officially announced by Starwood Preferred Guest, but to even cheer and thank Starwood Preferred Guest for not decimating its frequent guest loyalty program. I use the word sad because it seems that FlyerTalk members share a feeling of resignation regarding the “slaughter” of frequent guest loyalty program points overall.