Marriott Choice Benefits revealed

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We’ve known for a while now that the new combined Marriott and SPG program (to take effect August 18th) was going to adopt SPG-style Choice Benefit awards for members who achieve elite status through nights.  Specifically, we knew that at 50 nights there would be an option to get 5 Suite Night Awards; and at 75 nights there would be an option to get 5 more.  But that’s all we knew.  Now, thanks to a Marriott source, we have details about the other choices…

50 Nights

Once a member earns 50 qualifying nights within a calendar year, they will be eligible to select one of the following Choice Benefits:

  • 5 Elite Night Credits
  • 5 Suite Night Awards
  • Gift Silver Elite Status
  • $100 Gift to UNICEF
  • 40% off “the Marriott/SPG/RCR bed”

75 Nights

Once a member earns 75 qualifying nights within a calendar year, they will be eligible to select one of the following Choice Benefits:

  • 5 Elite Night Credits
  • 5 Suite Night Awards
  • Gift Gold Elite Status
  • $100 Gift to UNICEF
  • 40% off “the Marriott/SPG/RCR bed”
  • 1 Free Night Award

What are these things?

  • 5 Elite Night Credits: This will give you 5 more qualifying nights towards the next level of status.  For example, when you reach 50 nights, you could get this benefit and you’ll then have 55 nights which would bring you to 20 nights away from the next level of status (75 nights).
  • 5 Suite Night Awards: A Suite Night Award is a one-night confirmable upgrade to a standard suite or select premium room, depending on the hotel’s availability of those rooms.  The number of Suite Night Awards used must match the entire length of stay; it cannot be used for part of a stay.  Once Suite Night Awards are requested to be applied to a stay, Marriott will begin checking upgrade availability 5 days in advance of your stay, up until 2pm on the day of your arrival. If your Suite Night Award request doesn’t clear, you’ll get the awards back to be used later.
  • Gift Silver or Gold Status: I don’t recommend this.  Gifting status doesn’t get the member closer to the next level of status, and only Platinum or higher is really worth much.
  • $100 Gift to UNICEF: Self explanatory.  I don’t think you can claim the donation on your taxes.
  • 40% off “the Marriott/SPG/RCR bed”: I’m looking forward to seeing how Marriott officially describes this one. Looking back at previous SPG choice benefits, there was an option to get 40% off a hotel bed (such as a Westin Heavenly Bed).  Anyway, if you’re in the market for a bed then maybe this is worth looking at?  Probably not.
  • 1 Free Night Award: Use this to book any hotel that costs up to 40,000 points per night.  This means that you can book up to category 6 off-peak, or up to category 5 at standard rates or peak rates.

In my opinion, the Choice Benefits worth considering are:

  • 5 Suite Night Awards
  • 5 Elite Night Credits
  • 1 Free Night Award (this option is only available at 75 nights)
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[…] few more details on the new Marriott program are […]

[…] few more details on the new Marriott program are […]

[…] here is another one: Marriott Choice Benefits Revealed. If you […]

Ann

No one has answered my question, perhaps you can. I have a Marriott category 7 hotel certificate. Got my airlline miles, but haven’t used the certificate yet. I haven’t seen the Westin Playa Conchal on anyone’s list of changes and wonder if you know what category it will become in the new system. Would like to try it. Book now? Hold? What to do? Anyone know? Thanks.

Peter Crooks

Would I get these benefits if I do not have the nights for the year but am Platinum Premier for life?

Ben Regelshore

Any word on restrictions on suite rewards? Will they work at Ritz properties?

[…] choose between 5 suite night awards and a gift, but we didn’t know what that gift would be. Frequent Miler is reporting that the choices will be as […]

Superworm

In my experience with being platinum, I have been pretty successful in getting an upgrade at Marriott properties. I dont believe the SNA will really get you anything because if they have suites upgrades available, you usually get them awarded free for being gold/platinum anyway. I guess the only possibility is if more elite members are booked than there are available suites, the SNA member would get first dibs.

[…] choose between 5 suite night awards and a gift, but we didn’t know what that gift would be. Frequent Miler is reporting that the choices will be as […]

Trebol

So now I have 64 nights with Marriott and 14 with SPG. They’ll combine those in August and I’ll have enough for Plat 75. Do I get (5) or (10) SNAs?

Patrick

Greg, what if you were a platinum based on activity in 2017…do you get to choose your choice benefit for this year?

ktc

SPG 50 nights used to get 1 Free Night so that’s a goner.
5 Elite/Suite Nights is not realistic.

Ed c

Do we know if the elite nights count towards lifetime?

LP.

So if I’m currently Platinum (as a result of a Marriott Platinum challenge in 2017), I’m assuming I’ll be matched to Platinum Premier in August, but I don’t yet have 50 nights this year. Would I still get 5 or 10 SNA’s in August?

Julia

IIRC Nick said that Platinum earned via a Platinum challenge doesn’t attract the SNAs because we won’t have fulfilled the 50 night criteria.

mike

So, Greg, what would you say to this. I’m currently at 45 nights marriott and 5 nights spg (marriott combination of stays and annual cc 15 nights) and spg (from spg card). So, when system combines on Aug 18th, I’ll have 50 nights, now new plt. Correct? Second, I’ve got 10 paid stays for the rest of the year, that will put me at 60. So, if I pick the 5 nights, it will put me at 65 and then only need 10 more paid nights to get to plt prem, correct? Then in 2019, I’ll get two more “gifts”, correct?

mike

Thanks! It was a bit confusing, appreicate your help

kerrigjl

Do we know how the SNA’s will be applied in the new system?

kerrigjl

As a Marriott person, I am not familiar with them. Are they going to be valid on award bookings as well as paid? I can apply them anywhere that has suites? Any restrictions?

Ed C

Unknown but it won’t be much use to me if it follows SPG rules. A hotel will only confirm a suite 5 to 1 days before arrival. Not too useful for situations when I want to plan a family vaca. Also if it follows SPG rules, it will work on award bookings.

https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/legal/spg_snaterms_popup.html?view=faq

AndrewOnTheRoad

I kind of hope the UNICEF donation is the automatic default if someone doesn’t ever respond to select their choice. That could be kind of a cool way to structure it.

Vote with your wallet

The UN is one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet. Better to walk away than continue to support what they do.

John k

The UN and UNICEF are two totally different organization