How to avoid my big Marriott Choice Benefit mistake
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
My latest slip-up came just this week, as I was rushing through some end-of-year tasks. I had earned 70 night credits with Marriott this year, including 55 hotel nights plus 15 elite night credits, courtesy of my Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. As a result, I was eligible to select one of the following Choice Benefits:
- Five Suite Night Awards
- Gift of Silver Elite status for a friend/family member
- 40% off your favorite mattress
- Five elite night credits
- A $100 charity donation
Almost instinctively, I decided to select five Suite Night Awards, since I had good luck making the most of them in 2019, managing to use eight of the 10 I earned upon reaching Titanium status based on my 2018 stays.
And then I immediately realized that I was just five nights shy of qualifying for Titanium, which would have earned me another Choice Benefit — I clearly should have picked five elite night credits, instead, giving me another chance to snag five Suite Night Awards or potentially picking a free night certificate instead.
Unfortunately, any Choice Benefit selections are final — the five Suite Night Awards appeared in my account almost right away, and I was stuck.
This mistake really could have cost me — Titanium status is considerably more valuable than Platinum, including suite upgrades at Ritz-Carlton hotels, 48-hour guaranteed availability, and, while I don’t need it as a Premier 1K, United Silver status. Note that the five nights also would’ve counted toward Marriott lifetime elite status, and while that Choice Benefit represents less than 1% of the 600 nights needed for Lifetime Platinum status, every little bit can help.
Fortunately, I managed to walk away unscathed — I’m grandfathered into Titanium status for life, so I have Marriott’s 75-night status, regardless. Without that lifetime perk, though, I really would have been kicking myself for that oversight, so it seemed as good a time as any to remind you to make your choice wisely — and don’t overlook an opportunity to stack your perks, as I could have very easily done in this case.
Featured image of Marriott Mena House, Cairo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.