Select Your 2020 Marriott Choice Benefits

Filed Under: Marriott

One of the positive aspects of the Starwood Preferred Guest program that Marriott Bonvoy adopted is Choice Benefits. Now that some Bonvoy members have a lot of elite nights in spite of lack of travel this year, I wanted to recap how this benefit works.

What are Marriott Choice Benefits?

In addition to the standard published program benefits that apply with every stay, elite members are able to select additional perks for passing certain milestones.

Elite members — in this case Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador members — can select Choice Benefits when they pass 50 and 75 elite qualifying nights in a calendar year.

Even the up to 30 elite nights earned through select co-branded Marriott credit cards, as well as the 50% bonus elite nights offered to members this year, count towards this total. For example, as a Titanium member I’m at 77 elite nights this year, despite having only stayed at Marriott properties for nine actual nights.

Marriott’s 50 night Platinum Choice Benefits

With Marriott Choice Benefits, those who pass 50 elite qualifying nights in a year can choose from the following rewards:

  • 5 Suite Night Awards
  • 5 Elite Night Credits
  • The ability to gift Silver Elite status
  • 40% off a hotel bed
  • A $100 WE donation

Marriott’s 75 night Titanium Choice Benefits

Then those who pass 75 elite qualifying nights in a year can choose from the following rewards:

  • 5 Suite Night Awards
  • 5 Elite Night Credits
  • A free night award (valid at a hotel costing up to 40,000 points)
  • The ability to gift Gold Elite status
  • 40% off a hotel bed
  • A $100 WE donation

How to select your Marriott Choice Benefits

Marriott Bonvoy typically emails members to prompt them to select Choice Benefits, though if you don’t want to wait for that email, you can follow this link. Once you’re logged in you’ll be shown your options.

Note that:

  • Once you select your rewards you can’t change them
  • You need to make your selection by January 8, 2021
  • It can sometimes make sense to wait to make your selection if you don’t have an immediate use for it, since you might change your mind on what makes more sense in several months

Selecting my Marriott Choice Benefits

For a bit of background on my situation:

  • I had Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador status in 2019
  • I was downgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Titanium in 2020 (Marriott was doing “soft landings,” as I would have otherwise just fallen down to my lifetime Platinum status)
  • I’m at 77 elite nights because I received 30 through Marriott’s co-branded credit cards, and 38 from the 50% bonus elite nights that were credited this year

How am I approaching my selection of Choice Benefits, since I can select them for both 50 and 75 nights?

First and foremost, I’m not making any decisions now. I don’t have any immediate use for any of these perks, and since I have until January to select, I’ll wait. After all, what’s most valuable to me now might not be most valuable to me in a few months.

Generally the way I think of these choices:

  • There’s no value in adding five elite nights to my total for 2020, since I already requalified for Titanium status
  • I don’t need 40% off a hotel bed, but if I did, that could be potentially valuable
  • Gifting Silver Elite isn’t worth much, as the status doesn’t offer many benefits
  • While a donation is a nice thing to do, realistically I value some of the other options at more than $100, so that wouldn’t be a good way to maximize value
  • Historically I’ve selected the five suite night awards as my benefit, and that’s likely what I’ll choose again this year

For the additional options at 75 nights:

  • Being able to gift Gold Elite still isn’t a great option, since the perks of the status aren’t that great, and there are other ways to earn it
  • Selecting a free night worth up to 40,000 points could be a solid option, especially if you don’t otherwise get value out of the suite night awards

Bottom line

Choice Benefits is one of the nice perks offered to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and Titanium members. Fortunately Marriott is making these easier to earn in 2020 than we may have initially expected, based on the 50% bonus elite nights that have been deposited into members’ accounts.

What Marriott Choice Benefits are you selecting (or did you select) for 2020, assuming you’re eligible?

Comments
  1. Good summary and may make sense to wait. But SNAs really are the clear choice at 50 nights (unless you really want a bed), and the free night v. SNAs is the decision point at 75.

  2. Lucky, how short were you of LTT? Can’t remember if you ever said…thought you would have been there w/years of SPG loyalty.

  3. 5 Elite Nights could be useful to get you to 75 level and select Free night. Hypothetically, if someone ends with only 70 qualifying nights at the end of the year, then you can “trade” one of your 50-night benefits for 75 night benefit. I am LTT with 65 nights so far (just 1 CC). I think I will wait and see. It all depends on promos and amount of business travel. Without any promos from Bonvoy, staying with Hyatt this summer is much more attractive.

  4. How did Bonvoy suddenly leads the pack in giving out to customers? from past few yrs of lying patterns you have to think some is up their sleeves. i think they are trying to flood the spaces with tons of Plat & Titan. Fiven the travel scene, this is not going to be the same amount of crowds/costs as years before. Then they can finally bring down/water down Plat benefits that was largely from SPG days, and go back to 75 nights required for any real benefits like the old Marriott, recall LTT is not achievable? The force majeure is the perfect opportunity they have been waiting for.

  5. If one was downgraded from Ambassador to Titanium can you select a benefit from both the 50nt and 75nt categories?

  6. Thanks for writing about this topic Ben. It appears I have 68 EQNs despite having zero stays this year. I still have my 10 Suite Night Awards from last year (extended expiration until 12/31/21). I only have one trip with a hotel stay planned and that is in December. I’ll wait until January to make my final decision, although SNAs are my normal selection.

  7. If you are selecting the Titanium free night certificate, wait until after January 1 to make your selection. That will extend the cert expiration date by one year, to the end of 2022.

  8. My 50 nights for being Ambassador just pushed me over 75 now. Since I’m in the market for a new bed in the next few months, I’ll be doing the 40% off and getting a bed with my 50 night choice, and then doing the free night for my 75 nights. Last year I had 3 SNAs go unused, but I would have chosen that for my 50 night benefit if I wasn’t looking to get a new mattress.

  9. What are the Marriott brands bed rankings? @Lucky would be a fun list to rank the bed types across loyalty programs

  10. The problem with the SNA’s is that Marriott controls the inventory tightly and not the property. I have had times where Marriott refused to release the inventory with plenty of space available. The hotel, where I am known from past stays did the upgrade upon arrival and apologized that they could not intervene sooner. Final result: I got the suite and kept the SWA’s, two of which expired unused. Shout out to the Wentworth in NH!

  11. I MIGHT choose the free night when I cross to Titanium.
    Right now I am NOT have any luck with my Suite Night awards -_-.

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