Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Choose Your Marriott Annual Choice Benefit

a pool with a lounge chair and a straw umbrella on the edge of a pool

Marriott Bonvoy members are now able to select their Annual Choice Benefit(s) for 2022.

There are two milestones that trigger a benefit – 50 nights and 75 nights. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes any nights earned by being a co-branded credit card holder.  (usually 15, but you can pick up 30 by also having a Business card)

Shortly after reaching your 50th elite night, you should receive an email from Marriott that directs you to this webpage.


50-Night Choice Benefit

Your options are the following:

Gift Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status to anybody

Please DON’T (Silver is worthless).

Save 40% on a bed from your favorite hotel brand

This is a niche option. But if you are in the market for a new bed/mattress and you are particularly fond of the beds found at a specific chain, then a 40% discount can offer great value.

Donate $100 to one of three charity options

If you are the charitable type and don’t care for the other choices, this can be a feel-good choice.

Five Elite Night credits for 2022

Here is where many people become confused. These elite night credits are ONLY good for:

  • Helping you on your way to Titanium (75 nights) or Ambassador (100 nights + $20k in spend) in 2022
  • Adding 5 nights to your lifetime total

Five Suite Night Awards

Suite Night Awards are explained on this Marriott webpage.

Because you cannot confirm the suite upgrade in advance – it only processes 5 days before hotel arrival – these SNAs are useless for “must have a suite” stays. Many Marriott members also find themselves unable to use their full allotment of SNAs. Either the hotel doesn’t have suites in the first place, or the upgrade doesn’t clear.

Nonetheless, Suite Night Awards are the default option for Marriott Bonvoy, as they should be for most Platinum members. After all, you MIGHT get some value out of them in 2023…

75-Night Choice Benefit

When you reach 75 nights, you can choose from any of the above options, along with the following:

Gift Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status to anybody

As with Silver status, Gold status is effectively worthless.

And you are NOT providing any kind of head start to the newly/minted Gold member – they would still need to complete all 50 nights in 2022 or 2023 to be upgraded to Platinum status.

One Free Night Award worth up to 40,000 points

This is likely to be the best option to choose at 75 nights. 40,000 points can be worth roughly $300 – when comparing to the price of buying 40k points during promotions. Choose your hotel wisely and you could be saving even more when compared to the cash rate.

Why You Should Wait

Unless you are desperate for 5 Suite Night Awards – perhaps because you are lucky enough to have already used the ones earned in previous years – there is no rush to make your choice. You have until January 7, 2023 to choose…

I recommend waiting because you might find yourself on 70-74 nights in late December. (or even on January 1st…) If so, you could choose the 5 Elite Night Credits as your 50-night Annual Choice Benefit.

Doing so would immediately take your account over 75 nights for 2022, meaning that you:

  • Earn / renew Titanium status
  • Become eligible for the 75-night Annual Choice Benefit  (either the free night or 5 Suite Night Awards)

In that scenario, choosing 5 Elite Night Credits is certainly preferable to spending $$ on mattress runs or unnecessary hotel stays in late December. But if you’ve jumped the gun and chosen 5 Suite Night Awards too soon (as your 50-night benefit) you won’t be able to change your mind later – just when you might really need 5 Elite Night Credits…


Bottom Line

Although you CAN now choose your Marriott Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefit, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD choose…  Wait and see how your travel year progresses first…