How to choose your Marriott Choice Benefit 2020?

Marriott’s elite tiers have a variety of benefits. For Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members, members don’t just get free breakfast and upgrades to suites, but they also get an Annual Choice Benefit. The Marriott Choice Benefit 2020 is offered to members who reach 50 and 75 eligible nights in 2019 and is a holdout from the earlier Starwood Preferred Guest programme.

Marriott awards the first of these Choice Benefits when you qualify for Platinum by reaching 50 qualified nights in a year (not via a Status Challenge), and then awards one on reaching Titanium by 75 qualified nights. For instance, I was offered the Platinum Elite Annual Benefit as well as the Titanium Choice Benefit in 2019.

Just this morning, my final 5 nights from 2020 posted, which were from my stay at the JW Marriott Mussoorie. I stayed a total of 9 nights this year before the final stay, including at Fairfield Inn Jodhpur, AC Hotel Seattle, Sheraton Doha and Four Points by Sheraton Dehradun. Clubbed with the 38 eligible nights Marriott credited to my account as 1/2 of last years’ credit, and I crossed over the 50 nights eligible stay. This is regardless of the fact that my status with Marriott was already extended till February 2022 recently.

Marriott Choice Benefit 2020 for Platinum Elite Members

Let us quickly go over the Marriott Choice Benefit 2020 for those who earn 50 qualified nights:

  • Five Suite Night Awards
  • Gift Silver Elite status
  • 40% off your favourite mattress
  • Five Elite Night Credits
  • A USD 100 charity donation to We

Marriott Choice Benefit 2020 for Titanium Elite Members

Let us quickly go over the Marriott Choice Benefits 2020 for those who earn 75 qualified nights. These include a couple of changes and additions from the prior benefits listed above at 50 nights:

  • Five Suite Night Awards
  • Gift Gold Elite status
  • 40% off your favourite mattress
  • Five Elite Night Credits
  • A USD 100 charity donation
  • Free Night Award up to 40,000 points

Picking Marriott Choice Benefit 2020 for Platinum Members

Let’s go over the Choice Benefits for Platinum members.

  • Five Suite Night Awards: Marriott Suite Night Awards allow members to get a 1-night upgrade for each SNA they apply on a reservation. The catch is, members, need to have enough SNAs for an entire stay. For instance, if there is a 6-night stay, you need 6 SNAs in your account. Five days before the stay, Marriott looks for Suite upgrades and automatically clears them if available. Mostly useful for luxury stays at top-end hotels, as you would figure.
  • Gift Silver Elite status: Silver Elite Status is pretty limited use in the Marriott Bonvoy programme, as it gets you a 10% bonus on revenue stays and nothing more.
  • 40% off your favourite mattress: Marriott will send you a promotional code that can be redeemed for 40% off of the full retail value of any bed available at Westinstore.com, Whotelsthestore.com, Stregisboutique.com, Luxurycollectionstore.com, or Sheratonstore.com. These are some fantastic products.
  • Five Elite Night Credits: On selection of this benefit, Marriott would credit five elite nights to the total of the year in which the benefit was earned. For instance, if you earned the Platinum Benefits in 2020, you get five elite nights added to your 2020 total. 
  • A $100 charity donation to We 

Some of these benefits are a sitter for a NO. For instance, the Marriott Silver status does not get anyone anything much beyond a 10% bonus and a late checkout. 40% off a mattress is primarily focused on the US-based patrons of Marriott. The USD 100 donation is good to have for those who have everything, but there are better ways to donate and that to your preferred charity.

That brings us to just two useful Choice Benefits: the five Suite Night Awards and the five elite night credits. The elite night credits come handy if you are within touching distance of the next status. My earned elite nights for 2020 were 52 eligible nights (paid as well as redeemed), so adding another 5 would get me nothing extra. Remember, the elite night benefit works retroactively, so you don’t get it for the next year but the year that has gone by.

The other benefit in contention is the Suite Nights Awards. Marriott Bonvoy needs 1 SNA for every night, as I wrote earlier. In India or most of Asia, benefits given to elites (Platinum and above) are much better than the West. In many cases, one may already receive an upgrade to an open suite if available. Also, I’ve heard hit and miss reports from other members about the Suite Night Awards being cleared. However, if you have an upcoming vacation where you think you could use a Suite perhaps better to choose the SNAs. This is the perk I picked up this year.

Remember, if you don’t choose by January 8, 2021, SNA is the benefit that will be automatically credited to your account.  The link to select your benefit is here.

Picking Marriott Choice Benefits 2020 for Titanium Members

The benefits for Titanium members are slightly different from those for Platinum members. These five benefits remain, with the ability to gift Gold status instead of Silver status. The other benefit is a free night worth up to 40,000 points.

Another five elite night credits might be of use for Titanium members in case they have already spent $20,000 in annual spends at Marriott and are 1-5 nights short for Marriott Ambassador status. If you go for another five Suite Night Awards, you get a total of 10 SNAs for the year. If you have plans to go to some of the top-end Marriott hotels, you should be able to get some good use out of the SNAs.

Gold benefit gifting is not a great option, given you already receive the Gold status in Marriott with the American Express Platinum Charge Card, and the benefits are modest, in the sense you only get room upgrades and not suite upgrades.

Marriott’s 40,000 points free night for Titanium elites is useful as well. The 40K certificates will allow for standard and peak award redemptions at Category 5 properties, and off-peak redemptions at Category 6 hotels such as ITC Grand Goa and the St. Regis Saadiyat Resort in Abu Dhabi. This is the benefit I picked in 2019 as my Titanium annual benefit.

Again, remember, if you don’t choose by January 8, 2021, SNA is the benefit that will be automatically credited to your account.

Bottomline

Marriott’s Choice benefits are great to reward elite members who are spending a lot of time away from home in Marriott hotels each year. The reliable options around here boil down to the Suite Night Awards and the Elite nights. If you are Titanium, you could also look into a free night up to 40K points.

What would you choose or have chosen as a Marriott Platinum/Titanium/Ambassador elite? 


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Comments

  1. Hi Ajay,

    I chose the SNA (Platinum level), felt that would have been the most appropriate for me.

    I wanted to ask, I have a Free Night Award carried over from 2019 (Titanium Level award) and it says that the certificate expires 1st Aug 2021. Can I use the certificate to book a stay after 1st Aug 2021, or does the stay have to fall before the certificate expiration date.

    Thanks.

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