SPG 2015 Changes Are in Effect Tomorrow — A Deeper Look into Good Changes: the Americas

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If you haven’t read my previous posts, please find them here, if only to understand my philosophy about redeeming points for SPG hotels (I know, say what???) Here is the first two parts:

SPG 2015 Changes Are in Effect in Two Days — A Deeper Look into Good Changes: EUROPE

SPG 2015 Changes Are in Effect in Two Days — A Deeper Look into Good Changes: Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Just a reminder!

The ideal length of stay at SPG hotels is as follows:

  • 5 nights at Category 3 and higher hotels (fifth night free applies)
  • A weekend at Category 1 and 2 hotels (fifth night free doesn’t apply)

Category/Points

1 3,000 (weekends 2,000)
2 4,000 (weekends 3,000)
3 7,000
4 10,000
5 12,000-16,000
6 20,000-25,000
7 30,000-35,000

Since staying two days at a hotel is not really a vacation, let’s bring all these redemptions to the common 5-night stay denominator. See, I’m not interested in anything beyond the first three lines.

  • Category One: 13,000 points (if you utilize weekends)
  • Category Two: 18,000 points (if you utilize weekends)
  • Category Three: 28,000 points

So without further ado…

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

15 SPG properties in Canada are moving down, while two are moving up. That’s my kind of ratio.

Out of those that are moving down, 12 will land or remain in the first three categories.

  • Aloft Montréal Airport NORTH AMERICA CANADA QUEBEC MONTRÉAL ALOFT 3 -> 2
  • Element Vaughan Southwest NORTH AMERICA CANADA ONTARIO VAUGHAN ELEMENT 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Lévis Convention Centre NORTH AMERICA CANADA QUEBEC LEVIS FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2

This hotel is 5-minutes away from the ferry ride to Old Quebec.

Four Points by Sheraton Lévis Convention Centre

SPG 2015 Changes — Four Points by Sheraton Lévis Convention
Centre

  • Four Points by Sheraton London NORTH AMERICA CANADA ONTARIO LONDON FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Mississauga Meadowvale NORTH AMERICA CANADA ONTARIO MISSISSAUGA FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Québec Resort NORTH AMERICA CANADA QUEBEC QUÉBEC CITY FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2

This is a 3-diamond AAA resort, about 15-minute drive/ride to Old Quebec and you can get up to 4X value if you utilize a weekend stay at 3,000 points per night Don’t forget that you should add taxes to your paid reservations or ignore them (in most cases) for your award stay!

  • Four Points by Sheraton Saskatoon NORTH AMERICA CANADA SASKATCHEWAN SASKATOON FOUR POINTS 4 -> 3
  • Four Points by Sheraton Victoria Gateway NORTH AMERICA CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA VICTORIA FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2
  • Le Méridien Versailles NORTH AMERICA CANADA QUEBEC MONTREAL LE MERIDIEN 4 -> 3
Le Méridien Versailles

SPG 2015 Changes — Le Méridien Versailles Quebec City

  • Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel NORTH AMERICA CANADA QUEBEC MONTREAL SHERATON 3 -> 2
  • Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel NORTH AMERICA CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA RICHMOND SHERATON 3 -> 2
  • Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel NORTH AMERICA CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA SURREY SHERATON 3 -> 2

The United States

23 US hotels are moving down in a category while 92 are moving up. For the domestic traveler that definitely means devaluation. Out of those 23 that are moving down, only 13 landed or remained in the first three categories, and 6 of them are airport hotels. I haven’t found any screaming bargains in this list, although I’m sure there are some for a business traveler.

  • Aloft BWI Baltimore Washington International Airport NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES MARYLAND LINTHICUM ALOFT 3 -> 2
  • Aloft Tampa Downtown NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES FLORIDA TAMPA ALOFT 4 -> 3
  • Element Hanover – Lebanon NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES NEW HAMPSHIRE LEBANON ELEMENT 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Bakersfield NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES CALIFORNIA BAKERSFIELD FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES MICHIGAN ROMULUS FOUR POINTS 2 -> 1
  • Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel – BWI NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES MARYLAND LINTHICUM HEIGHTS SHERATON 4 -> 3
  • Sheraton Hartford South Hotel NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES CONNECTICUT ROCKY HILL SHERATON 4 -> 3
  • Sheraton Herndon Dulles Airport Hotel NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES VIRGINIA HERNDON SHERATON 3 -> 2
  • Sheraton Lisle Hotel NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES ILLINOIS LISLE SHERATON 3 -> 2
  • Sheraton Mahwah Hotel NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES NEW JERSEY MAHWAH SHERATON 4 -> 3
  • EGORY Sheraton St. Paul Woodbury Hotel NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES MINNESOTA WOODBURY SHERATON 4 -> 3
  • The Westin Baltimore Washington Airport – BWI NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES MARYLAND LINTHICUM HEIGHTS WESTIN 4 -> 3
  • The Westin Los Angeles Airport NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES WESTIN 4 -> 3

Mexico

There is one hotel that went down in Mexico and one went up.

  • Sheraton Buganvilias Resort and Convention Center LATIN AMERICA MEXICO JALISCO PUERTO VALLARTA SHERATON 4 -> 3

While this is a nice resort, it’s priced around $120, so I wouldn’t waste 7,000 points to stay there.

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

SPG “bundles” every country from Mexico to the south into Latin America, which is, of course, geographically incorrect. Regardless, SPG has reduced categories for a number of properties in these regions, although they increased the one I really love–Sheraton, Lima from Category 2 to Category 3. Still, there are some good deals resulting from the last SPG changes.

There are 12 hotels in “Latin America” that went down (including the Mexican above) while only 6 went up. Out of those that went down, 6 landed or remained in the first two categories.

  • Sheraton Cordoba Hotel LATIN AMERICA ARGENTINA CORDOBA SHERATON 3 -> 2

Check out this gem. 4X-6X value.

Sheraton Cordoba Hotel

SPG 2015 Changes — Sheraton Cordoba Hotel

  • Sheraton Tucuman Hotel LATIN AMERICA ARGENTINA TUCUMAN TUCUMAN SHERATON 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles LATIN AMERICA CHILE LOS ANGELES FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2
  • Aloft Bogota Airport LATIN AMERICA COLOMBIA BOGOTA ALOFT 3 -> 2
  • Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica LATIN AMERICA COSTA RICA SAN JOSÉ SAN JOSÉ ALOFT 2 -> 1
Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica

SPG 2015 Changes — Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica

  • Aloft Panama LATIN AMERICA PANAMA PANAMA CITY ALOFT 3 -> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton Montevideo LATIN AMERICA URUGUAY MONTEVIDEO FOUR POINTS 3 -> 2

Conclusion

All in all, SPG has come up with very fair and mostly positive changes. However, if you are considering booking a hotel that is moving up, book it today. You can always cancel later without a penalty and get your points back. Better safe than sorry.

FULL LIST OF SPG CATEGORY CHANGES 

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