Now Count for Lifetime Status: Marriott Choice Benefits Elite Night Credits

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Marriott Bonvoy members that reach Platinum (50 nights) and Titanium (75 nights) status levels earn Choice Benefits.

Marriott Bonvoy Choice Benefits

Platinum Choice Benefit Options:

  • Five Elite Night Credits
  • 40% off your favorite hotel bed
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status for a friend or family member
  • US$100 donation to UNICEF
  • Five Suite Night Awards (SNAs)

Titanium Choice Benefit Options:

  • All of the Platinum options, plus
  • Free Night Award certificate valid up to 40,000 points/night
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for a friend or family member

Choice Benefits must be selected by January 15 of the year following when the status is earned. Those who have earned status in 2019 must select by January 15, 2020. Those who do not select a Choice Benefit default to Suite Night Awards (SNAs).

What Choice Benefit(s) to Select?

Frequent Miler has a thorough valuation of Marriott Choice Benefits.

Marriott Silver is hardly worth anything. The bed discount and donation are niche uses.

For Titanium, the free night certificate is useful for many, while gifting Gold status is worth little more than Silver.

Travelers have focused on Suite Night Awards (SNAs) with varying expectations and experiences.

I reached Platinum last year and selected SNAs.

I first, successfully, applied them to a 5-night stay at the Four Points by Sheraton New York Downtown (cash rates consistently low, and for good reasons). When the only suite was unacceptable due to large metallic banging from the elevator room above, we were able to move to a more quiet room and get the SNAs back (with difficulty, turns out the hotel can’t really return them to an account so Marriott customer service needs to get involved).

I then, also successfully, applied SNAs to my Travelcon stay at Westin Copley Place in Boston.

My take broad take on SNAs is that they mirror other types of upgrades in the kinds of hotels that play games and don’t – expect leisure/resort destinations to be the worst.

See here for 2019 updates to SNAs.

That leaves the Elite Night Credits.

Elite Night Credits in 2018

In 2018 the Elite Night credits effectively had one use: if you were at 70 nights and wouldn’t otherwise get to 75 nights, you could use this to bump up to Titanium.

You could also use them to go from 95 to 100 nights for Ambassador, provided you met the $20,000 spend requirement.

Even if you waited until January 2019 to select Elite Night Credits, they were retroactively applied to 2018, as per the terms.

The terms were specific that Elite Night Credits did not count toward Lifetime Status.

Here are the full 2018 terms:

Five Elite Night Credits

A Platinum Elite Member who has achieved fifty (50) eligible Elite Night Credits annually is eligible to receive one (1) additional benefit from the list of available benefits listed below.

  1. Upon an eligible Platinum Elite or Platinum Premier Elite Member selecting the Five Elite Night Credits as his/her Annual Choice Benefit, the Member will have his/her Member account credited with five (5) bonus Elite Nights which count toward earning Elite status only. These bonus Elite Nights do not count toward Lifetime status. Elite Nights and Elite Membership status are subject to the Program Rules in section 4.2.b.
  2. The five (5) Elite Night Credits will be reflected in the Member account within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the confirmation of the Annual Choice Benefit selection.
  3. Elite Nights that are awarded to an eligible Platinum Elite or Platinum Premier Elite Member as the Member’s Annual Choice Benefit will be awarded in the Eligible Status Year for which the Elite Nights were earned, regardless of when the Member selects the Five Elite Night Credits as his/her Annual Choice Benefit. For the avoidance of doubt, the Eligible Calendar Year in which the Annual Choice Benefit is earned is the Eligible Calendar Year for which the Elite Nights will be credited toward earning Elite membership status.

Elite Night Credits in 2019

In August 2018, a fortuitous combination of my Marriott and SPG accounts got me thinking about Lifetime Platinum status. I went from caring little about Marriott elite status to laying out a plan to attain Lifetime Platinum in a few years. A meeting a year for 10 nights, a credit card for 15 nights, and so on.

I reached Titanium status this year and happened to look at the Choice Benefit 2019 terms. To my surprise, Elite Night Credits have been quietly updated to count for Lifetime Status:

Five Elite Night Credits

  1. Upon an eligible Platinum Elite Member selecting the Five Elite Night Credits as his/her Annual Choice Benefit, the Platinum Member will have his/her Member Account credited with five (5) bonus Elite Nights which count toward earning Elite status and Lifetime Elite status. Elite Nights and Elite membership status are subject to the Program Rules in section 4.2.b.
  2. The five (5) Elite Night Credits will be reflected in the member account within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the confirmation of the Annual Choice Benefit selection.
  3. Elite Nights that are awarded to an eligible Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite member as the member’s Annual Choice Benefit will be awarded in the Eligible Status Year for which the Elite Nights were earned, regardless of when the member selects the five Elite Night Credits as his or her Annual Choice Benefit. For the avoidance of doubt, the Eligible Calendar Year in which the Annual Choice Benefit is earned is the Eligible Calendar Year for which the Elite Nights will be credited toward earning Elite membership status.

My Choice Benefit Selections for 2019

I am on the fence about my selections now.

For Platinum, I am leaning toward the 5 Elite Night Credits over the Suite Night Awards. We do not have a specific Suite Night Award stay in 2020 to target.

For Titanium, I am leaning toward the free night certificate.

Readers, will Elite Night Credits counting toward Lifetime Status sway your 2019 decision?

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[…] Marriott Bonvoy hat die Terms and Conditions angepasst. Die Elite Night Credits zählen nun auch zu Lifetime. (Danke: Rapidtravelchai.com) […]

Rjb
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Rjb

Since many Marriott properties simply refuse to upgrade Platinums, Marriott status is virtually worthless. Stay at Hilton , you’ll get breakfast. They don’t promise more and deliver less. Marriott does.