Something I have heard over and over is to not hoard your points and today is a perfect example of why earning and burning is the way to go. Starwood’s cash and points has long been one of the best values in the points world with possibilities of 5 cents or better per StarPoint if your are shrewd in your redemptions. I have written about some of my great redemption values in the past such as 8 cents per point in Santiago. Well, this great value is changing to a less great value with the points and cash requirements going up across the board. The cash and points are going up an average of 20% in both the cash and points amounts. Here is the current chart good until March 5.
They do now offer the ability to get upgraded rooms (higher floor, better view etc) and suites for more points and cash which might be good if you don’t have status which would entitle you to a free upgrade. This could be valuable because you can guarantee a suite on a certain trip instead of waiting until check in to see if you get upgraded.
The moral of the story is that inflation in awards is guaranteed over time, so don’t hoard your points, use them! You have until March 5 to make reservations under the old award schedule so if you know you have SPG stays planned, go ahead and make the reservations now. There usually is a window for cancellation right up until the reservation date so as long as you have enough points in your account it is better to reserve now and cancel if your plans change in the future.