Marriott Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefit Options 2020 – What To Choose & When

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Marriott Bonvoy the other year introduced Annual Choice Benefit-options for members that reach 50 and 75 nights in a calendar year. SPG offered these for years, while Marriott Rewards members didn’t have anything comparable.

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Annual Choice Benefit

Marriott Bonvoy sometimes forgets to email eligible members to select the award, but you can do it using the link below. If a member doesn’t make a choice, Marriott will choose the Suite Night Awards as a default option (not necessarily the best).

You can access Marriott’s page for choosing Choice-benefit here.

READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Many members had bonus Elite Night Credits (ENC) added to their accounts over the weekend (read more here and here) that makes them eligible for 50 or 75 Annual Choice Benefit-options.

You must make the 2020 Annual Elite Benefits Choice by 11:59 PM ET on January 8, 2021, for both 50 and 75 nights levels.

50 nights Choice Benefit-options:

  • Add five Elite Night Credits to your 2020 total.
  • Save 40% on a bed from your favorite hotel brand.
  • Gift Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status to a family member, friend or colleague.
  • US$100 Charity Donation to WE.
  • Get five Suite Night Awards™ to redeem for upgrades to suites and premium rooms.

Five Elite Nights Credits-option is useful if it helps you to reach 75 (or 100) nights. Otherwise, there is very little value (they do count towards the lifetime). Note that even if you choose in 2021, the elite nights are added to your 2020 tally.

Silver status doesn’t come with any meaningful benefits, and 40% off your favorite bed is not useful for most.

Suite Night Awards (SNA) can be worthwhile if you stay at full-service hotels and if you can get them confirmed for meaningful upgrades (that you would not have otherwise received).

Donation to WE (the previous partner was UNICEF) is the only option that costs some cash to Marriott.

75 nights Choice Benefit-options:

  • Add five Elite Night Credits to your 2020 total.
  • Save 40% on a bed from your favorite hotel brand.
  • US$100 Charity Donation to WE.
  • Get five Suite Night Awards™ to redeem for upgrades to suites and premium rooms.
  • One Free Night Award worth up to 40,000 points.
  • Gift Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status to a family member, friend or colleague.

Five Elite Nights Credits are only worthwhile if you wouldn’t otherwise reach 100 nights, AND your eligible spend is 20,000 USD or higher. You would then granted an Ambassador status. The nights count towards the status earned in 2020, even if you choose in 2021.

Bedding discount and Gold status are not useful for most. The donation to WE would be a nice gesture.

Five Suite Nights Awards is again an option with the same caveats as previously. My preferred choice at the 75 nights level is the free night award capped at 40,000 points.

When to make a choice?

You should not make the 50-night choice before you know the total number of nights you will consume in 2020. If you end up with 70 to 74 nights, the best 50-night choice is 5 Elite Night Credits because:

  1. You get Titanium-status
  2. You get another Choice Benefit-option

Conclusion

People often are misguided and believe that the Elite Night Credits apply for the membership year when the choice is made, which is incorrect. It applies for the year when they were earned. The credits that are earned in 2020 will only count towards the status in 2020, even if the actual choice is made in 2021.

The free night award must be used by the end of the following year when it was earned. Again, earned not when the choice was made.

The elite night options-are only useful if they allow you to reach 75 or 100 nights level, and the latter one also requires a minimum of $20,000 eligible spend.

Suite Night Awards can be useful for some, but I have found them to be mostly useless and would instead choose something else. They are valid until the end of next year when they were earned (not when selected). All SNAs earned in 2020 are valid until December 31, 2021.

The free night award at the 75 nights level is my preferred choice. The options at the 50 nights level are not great. Previously, SPG members were able to choose a free night award at this level too, but Marriott discontinued that option.

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