Marriott Bonvoy still offers their elite members a choice of various welcome amenities in form of a food&beverage amenity, local gift or a credit of 1000 points for Platinum/Titanium members.
Usually I choose the points because the value of F&B amenities is rather lackluster but sometimes I come across hotels where it makes sense to have a second look and maybe go for the food amenity instead.
In 95% of all my stays I just select the points simply because the provide the best value compared to the options listed on the little card the hotel provides you at check-in.
Speaking “value” when considering 1000 Marriott points is sort of relative. I’d consider 1000 Marriott points to be worth roughly $8 maximum and even that is a stretch.
Ex SPG Platinum members can remember that back in the day the welcome amenity was 500 points which translated into 1500 Marriott points. So right off the bat Marriott cut down the value of the Amenity points which made it even easier to select something of higher value such as breakfast in case it’s not included in the rate or the local F&B amenity.
I stayed at the Renaissance Phuket the other day and was first inclined to select the points but then chose the F&B option which included:
- Two fresh Coconuts
- One plate of Mango Sticky Rice
- (Alternatively a cheese plate)
The hotel also brought a DIY set for fresh mojitos together with the amenity that wasn’t part of the initial selection, maybe a welcome gift for elites or villa guests in general.
I was impressed with the level of elite welcome amenities here and it was suitable as well considering we were a bit hungry and the mango sticky rice together with the young coconut was a welcome snack.
Ordering this at one of the hotels or in room dining would have cost at least $25 so 3x more than the value I consider for 1000 Bonvoy points.
Sometimes it’s worthwhile to pick an option from the hotels amenity list for elite members that’s not just the small amount of points. Generally my experience is that it’s more worthwhile to do so when visiting upscale hotels and resorts rather than random business hotels where the amenity often consists of a fw cans of soda or a bottle of beer that I can get at the club as well.
Some chains such as Hyatt have done away with the welcome amenity altogether which is a big shame. They did implement milestone awards though as a replacement.