It’s been a while since the IT merger of Starwood and Marriott accounts in the new Marriott Rewards program. There have certainly been some issues around the transition, most of which has been due to the lack of communication between Marriott and its members.
One perfect example of this is the Choice Benefits provided to members that stay at least 50 nights in a year.
Those members that have at least 50 nights in a year are given a choice of the following benefits:
- Five Suite Night Awards™
- The gift of Silver Elite status for a friend or family member
- Five Elite Night Credits
- $100 (USD) donation to UNICEF
- 40% off your favourite hotel bed
Those that hit 75 nights are given an additional choice of the above benefits but are also given the additional options of a Free Night certificate for any hotel (up to 40,000 points) or gifting Gold Status to a friend.
The free night certificate is good for a Category 5 hotel during Peak Season or a Category 6 hotel during Low Season. This only matters if you are reading this after January 1, 2019. If you are wanting to use the certificate during 2018, it would be good for up to a Category 5 hotel as seasonality only takes effect as of January 1, 2019.
Great Benefits but How Do I Get Them?
Like many others, I was waiting for the merger of accounts to be complete to finally access my benefits but nothing ever appeared in my account. Wait as I might, I was never given a choice of my benefits. I realized that I actually had to take action to get my benefits (which is ridiculous) and if I waited for Marriott to direct me how to do it, I might be waiting forever.
After much searching through forums and message boards, I finally found the URL that was needed in order to choose my benefits:
Simply log in and follow the instructions and you’ll be given the option to choose your benefits (assuming you have the required nights in the year (50 or 75 nights).
For me, the choice is clear for what you should be choosing at 50 nights and that’s the 5 Suite Night Awards. The other benefits are nonsensical to me. Silver status doesn’t really do anything for anybody, 5 Elite Night Credits don’t make sense because you’ve already made status at 50 nights, the donation to UNICEF is noble but an unlikely choice for most, and 40% off a bed seems like it would only appeal to a very select group of people.
The 75-night choice benefit is similar though you are given a couple more options. I would either go with an additional 5 Suite Night Awards or the Free Night Certificate.
For some reason, Marriott has made it exceedingly difficult for their loyal customers to be rewarded for their business. It’s an unfortunate situation that hopefully gets rectified with this post. Once you know where to look, choosing your benefit is incredibly easy.