Last Call: Select your Marriott Choice Benefit 2021 by January 7, 2022

Marriott’s elite tiers have a variety of benefits. For Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members, members don’t just get complimentary breakfast and upgrades to suites, but they also get Annual Choice Benefits. The Marriott Choice Benefit 2021 is offered to members who reach 50 and 75 elite nights in 2021 and is a holdout from the earlier Starwood Preferred Guest programme.

Marriott awards the first of these Choice Benefits when you reach 50 elite nights in a year and then awards one on getting 75 elite nights. For instance, I was offered the Platinum Elite Choice Benefit and the Titanium Elite Choice Benefit in 2021 after posting a total of 86 elite nights throughout the year 2021. I was delaying the choice to January 1, 2022, because who knew what last-minute travel plans had in store at the end of December 2021.

For 2021, Marriott Bonvoy has deposited elite nights equal to 50% of 2020 status into accounts, which gave me a headstart of 38 elite nights being a Titanium Elite with Marriott Bonvoy for many years. Additionally, I had a tonne of stays through the year:

  • Renaissance Powai: 2 nights +  2 bonus elite nights
  • St. Regis Mumbai: 3 nights + 3 bonus elite nights
  • ITC Grand Central Mumbai: 2 nights, 4 nights
  • Courtyard Mumbai Airport: 4 nights, 8 nights, 2 nights
  • ITC Grand Goa: 2 nights
  • Residence Inn Toulouse Blagnac: 3 nights
  • Renaissance La Defense: 2 nights
  • Moxy Paris CDG Airport: 1 Night
  • Fairfield by Marriott, Lucknow: 3 Nights
  • Sheraton Mall of the Emirates: 5 Nights

There are a couple of nights somewhere I am missing, but these were all the Marriott properties I stayed at through 2021, and I ended the year with 86 elite nights in the bag.

Marriott Choice Benefit 2021 for members earning 50 Elite Nights

Let us quickly go over the Marriott Choice Benefits for those who earn 50-qualified nights in 2021:

  • Add 5 Elite Night Credits to your 2021 total
  • 40% off on a bed.
  • Gift Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
  • Donate USD 100 to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund/UNICEF/World Wildlife Fund
  • Get five Suite Night Awards.

Marriott Choice Benefit 2021 for those who earn 75 Elite Nights

Let us quickly go over the Marriott Choice Benefits for those who earn 75 qualified nights in 2021. These include a couple of additions from the prior benefits listed above at 50 nights:

  • Add 5 Elite Night Credits to your 2021 total
  • 40% off on a bed
  • Gift Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Donate USD 100 to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund/UNICEF/World Wildlife Fund
  • Get five Suite Night Awards
  • Free Night Award up to 40,000 points

Picking Marriott Choice Benefit for Members who earned 50 Elite Nights

Let’s go over the Marriott Choice Benefits for those earning 50 Elite Nights in 2021.

  • Five Suite Night Awards: Marriott Suite Night Awards allow members to get a 1-night upgrade (to a Suite or a Premium Room) for each SNA they apply on a reservation. The catch is that 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. Primarily 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 of points earned 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 the total 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 selecting 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 2021, you get five elite nights added to your 2021 total (not your 2022 total) 
  • A USD 100 charity donation to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund/UNICEF/World Wildlife Fund

Some of these benefits are a sitter for a NO. For instance, the Marriott Silver status does not get anyone anything 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 suitable for those who have everything, but there are better ways to donate to your preferred charity.

That brings us to just two applicable Choice Benefits: the five Suite Night Awards and the five elite night credits. The elite night credits come in handy if you are within touching distance of the following status. My earned elite nights for 2021 were 86 eligible nights (paid as well as redeemed), so adding another five 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 Asia, benefits given to elites (Platinum and above) are much better than in 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 for my 50-night award. I already have a bunch of unused SNAs from 2020 as well, which will now expire by June 2022.

Remember, if you don’t choose by January 7, 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 for Members who earned 75 Elite Nights

The benefits for 75 Elite night earning members are slightly different from those for 50-Night-earning elite members. The earlier listed 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 useful for Titanium members if they have already spent $14,000 in annual spending 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. In my view, the only significant benefit from Gold status is a 2 pm late check out.

Marriott’s 40,000 points free night for Titanium elites is useful as well. The 40K certificates will allow 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 Abu Dhabi. This is the benefit I picked in 2021 as my Titanium annual benefit.

As a result, now I have two of these certificates, with one expiring somewhere in June 2022 and another at the end of the year.

Again, remember, if you don’t choose by January 7, 2022, SNA is the benefit that will be automatically credited to your account.

Bottomline

Marriott’s Annual Choice Benefits are great to reward elite members who spend 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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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

    • With the dynamic pricing change coming, the value proposition will be really bad. I would rather redeem for Airlines miles or Taj voucher (from gold collections).

      For the same reason, it will be tough for them to launch any Marriott credit cards in India in the future as well.

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