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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