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Last chance to pick your 2022 Marriott Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefit – which is best?

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On top of your usual elite status tiers, Marriott Bonvoy offers two additional benefits for people who hit 50 and 75 elite nights in a calendar year.

You should be able to select your preferred benefit online within a few days of hitting the threshold. If you don’t make a choice by end of the first week of the following year, you are given 5 x Suite Night Awards by default.

The cut off for choosing your 2022 Annual Choice Benefit is 7th January – so you need to act now if you haven’t already done so and don’t want the 5 x Suite Night Awards.

What is the best Marriott Annual Gift Choice benefit?

How do I hit 50 elite nights?

Frankly, it isn’t possible for me to do 50 elite nights at any single hotel chain in a year. I have managed to trigger Annual Choice Benefits for the last three years, however.

I get 15 elite night credits each year from having the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card – this is a benefit all cardholders receive each year:

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

If you apply for the card now, you should receive your 15 elite nights within two weeks. Going forward, they appear in the first few days of January. You can apply here.

I am typing this on 4th January and my 15 nights for 2023 have already arrived:

Last chance to pick your 2022 Marriott Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefit

For clarity, these 15 nights DO count towards lifetime status.

This means that I only need to do 35 nights per year, including reward nights, to maintain Platinum status. In reality the actual figure has been lower in recent years due to ‘double night credit’ promotions and covid mitigation policies.

What are the Marriott Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefits?

You can qualify for two Annual Choice Benefits per calendar year:

  • one is triggered for hitting 50 nights
  • one is triggered for hitting 75 nights

The options are slightly different for each. To make your strategising more complex, one of the options at 50 nights is ‘5 elite nights’ which you might take if you want to make it easier to get to 75 nights.

Marriott does not provide a lot of information about these benefits online. The best page you can find is this one.

What is the best Marriott Annual Gift Choice benefit?

What are the Annual Choice Benefits at 50 nights?

Here are your options:

Five elite night credits

This is an interesting option. If you think you might have a chance of hitting 75 elite nights for Titanium Elite status, taking five elite nights may be worth it to get you on the way.

(The smart option is to wait until December to pick your 50 night benefit, if you are considering the five elite night credits. You will then be certain whether the extra five nights would make the difference between hitting Titanium Elite or not – if not, choose another award.)

The five elite nights also count towards lifetime status. This HfP article explains how Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status works.

However, there is little point in selecting this option now if you haven’t already made your 2022 choice unless you ended 2022 on between 70 and 74 nights. You CANNOT ‘trick’ Bonvoy by waiting until January and then choosing five elite night credits, hoping they will drop into your new membership year. They are always backdated to the membership year in which you earned the Annual Choice Benefit.

5 x Suite Night Awards

This is what I choose. Each award is good for a one-night upgrade into a premium room. Whilst they are called ‘Suite Night Awards’, they will generally book into higher category standard rooms or lower level standard suites. You can get lucky and do a lot better, however.

Marriott being Marriott, there is small print galore.

Upgrades are not confirmed until at least five days before arrival so you can’t lock them in when booking. Once you have booked a room, you can use the ‘manage my booking’ process to see which room types are offered for SNA certificates. You can select which categories would be acceptable to you.

Here is an example of what I was offered at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport for a stay in early 2022. You can see which options I am willing to accept. The upgrade cleared into the top suite.

You need to upgrade your entire stay – you can’t use 5 awards to upgrade part of a 7-night holiday.

Hotels are not obliged to accept your SNA upgrade request just because they have a suitable suite or premium room available.

They expire on 31st December in the following year.

The following brands do NOT allow Suite Night Awards to be used: The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Protea, Aloft, Element, Design Hotels and the long-stay brands.

I wrote this article last month looking at how successful I was at using Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards in 2022.

Give Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status to a friend

I don’t recommend this. Partly because Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status has few benefits (see the Marriott website here) and partly because you can get Silver Elite for free by taking out the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card.

(The Bonvoy Amex comes with 15 elite night credits, and that is enough to automatically trigger Silver Elite.)

$100 charity donation

The charity offered tends to change each year, but you can see some of those supported by Marriott here.

Whilst this is a good cause, you will get more value from the Suite Night Awards. Taking a cold hard look at this, you could make a equivalent charitable donation from your own pocket – and reclaim Gift Aid – and effectively buy the Suite Night Awards for £15 each …..

40% off a mattress from any Marriott International brand

You’re either looking for a new mattress or you’re not …..

What is the best Marriott Annual Gift Choice benefit?

What are the Annual Choice Benefits at 75 nights?

If you hit 75 nights, you get another pick at an Annual Choice Benefit.

The options are the same as those above, with two differences:

You can now gift Gold Elite status to a friend instead of Silver Elite

This is a more valuable offer than giving away Silver Elite. However, the benefits of Gold Elite, which are explained here, are still slim – no free breakfast, no lounge access.

You can take a free night voucher valid at a hotel costing up to 40,000 points

This isn’t a bad deal, given that 40,000 points should get you a hotel selling for around £200.

Starting at some point soon (it was meant to be this month) you will be able to top up your voucher with an additional 15,000 points. This will allow you to book a hotel costing up to 55,000 points which opens higher quality properties.

The voucher lasts until 31st December in the following year (or the same year if you wait until the first week of January to pick your award).

To some extent, the option you choose at 75 nights may depend on what you took at 50 nights. If you took the 5 extra elite nights as your ’50’ award – to ensure you hit 75 nights – you might want the Suite Night Awards at 75. If you took the Suite Night Awards at 50, you might think that five is enough and that the free night voucher has more value at 75.

There is little value in taking five additional status night credits at 75 nights unless you are chasing lifetime status. Ambassador Elite status, the level triggered at 100 nights, also requires $20,000 of annual Marriott spend which you are unlikely to have achieved if many of your nights came from the credit card or the covid extra nights bonus.

Conclusion

If you have yet to select your Annual Choice Benefit for hitting 50 or 75 Marriott Bonvoy nights in 2022, you have just two days left.

That said …. if you don’t choose, Marriott will give you the five Suite Night Awards by default, and for most people these are the best option.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (13)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jose Marques says:

    Does having both cards Amex Platinum and Amex Bonvoy gives you 40 award nights? 15 from Bonvoy and 25 from Platinum if so one can trigger a higher tier just for staying 10 extra nights

    • Rob says:

      No

    • AlanC says:

      25 nights from Amex Platinum?

      • Rob says:

        Plat gives Gold, it doesn’t give 25 nights to trigger Gold. There is a difference.

        This is why the Bonvoy Amex status benefit of nights instead of status is far better than Amex Plat. With Amex Plat, for example, if you want Hilton Diamond you CAN’T just do the nights difference between Gold and Diamond. You still need the full 60 nights, which is silly.

  • kwho says:

    Rob, I selected 2 x 5 night Suite night awards on the 3rd January and both say it expires on the 31 December 2023 (therefore the current year!). A fluke or is really, they should expire in 2024?

    • meta says:

      Not a fluke, they are your 2022 choice benefit and are valid until the end of the following year. You should really select your SNAs as soon as you hit 50 nights (or 75) as you can use them straight away. This gives you more time.

    • Pangolin says:

      There’s no advantage of waiting until January with the SNA but for the FNC you should always wait as it will carry over for an extra year.

  • Will says:

    SNA’s are a great benefit from Marriott.

    What they absolutely need to sort out is confirmed upgrades being denied on arrival.

    I can live with the 5 days out, not guaranteed to clear rules.

    What I can’t stomach is a confirmed room being denied, happened to me over NYE, specifically chose to upgrade to a suite so kids could sleep in separate room, had another refundable option at a different hotel that I dropped when SNA’s cleared.

  • Oliver says:

    I took the 5 Elite Nights at 50, and then took the Free Night Award (40,000 points, £200 ish value) at 75. It was a hard choice between that and the Suite Nights, but from asking around a lot of friends said using the Suite Upgrade Awards was challenging to use at times and patchy availability in general. A 40,000 point free night is a real saving and far easier to use. (Mine is booked for the Moxy Miami south beach. Cash rate was $325 for the one night!)

    • Rob says:

      I had no problems with the SNAs as per my article, but of course $325 is a hard cash saving and not to be sniffed at.

      I get a feeling that I will do better than most, because if I really want a suite (holiday, kids coming, special event) then I am happy and able to pay for it, and would do this rather than risk a SNA clearing. I am more likely to use them on secondary stays – eg I have applied to use one in Berlin in Feb for the ITB travel show. In reality I’m not about much and the standard rooms are OK regardless, and I doubt many others will redeem at the same time (although ITB tends to fill hotels so it may not clear).

  • Simon says:

    The top up of 15k for the 40k voucher is available, I used it last month.

    I was quite impressed with the Marriott IT. I wanted to book 2 nights in Krakow using points and assumed as I was using the voucher for one night I’d have to make seperate bookings but I was fine using the voucher for a 2 night booking.

  • Pangolin says:

    I used to take the SNAs at 50 nights but kept finding that they expired before I was able to use them at the times/places I wanted.

    Now I just take the 5 EQNs as I’m chasing Lifetime Platinum.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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