I’ve harped a lot about why status matters.  Whether it be an airline or a hotel, earning status comes with a lot of benefits but it’s really incumbent on you, the customer, to know your entitlements and benefits.

One of my favorite, albeit nerdy, pastimes, is to read all the terms and conditions associated with a status that I am chasing or have earned.  This allows me to know my rights and it can certainly pay off.

Marriott Platinum

I have earned Marriott Platinum Status until the end of 2018 and I’m hoping to requalify again in 2018 to push that to the end of 2019.  Because this is a hard-won status and something I use all the time, I have grown to know the ins and outs of the programs.

One of the lesser known benefits included at the Platinum Level is a Welcome Amenity.  Typically this is either a coupon for a free drink or $10 off food at the hotel’s restaurant or you can choose 500 Marriott Points.

Neither of these gifts really gets me all that excited but notice that link within the guarantee?  Always click those links 🙂

If you do, you are told of the GUARANTEED Platinum Arrival Gift and the compensation if you do not get offered the arrival gift.

Now you may see this and think … well, I always get credited the 500 Marriott Points.  I’m sure that’s the case, however, if you are not given the CHOICE between the food and beverage credit or the Marriott Points, you are entitled to the compensation.

That’s right.  If you are not given the choice of which gift you would like, Marriott will pay you $100 USD.

PointsNerd’s Experience

As we start our Luxury Round-the-World trip, our first hotel stay was at our home airport, YYC.  We stayed at the Marriott In-Terminal Airport Hotel, which I LOVE by the way, and upon checking in, the front desk agent did not provide me the choice of my Welcome Amenity.

I requested to speak to a manager and advised him of the situation.  I did so discretely because I didn’t want to imply that the agent didn’t do a good job. She did.  In fact, her service was excellent … she just forgot to give me the choice of my welcome gift.

After speaking to the manager, he asked for some time to research the policy because he wasn’t 100% familiar with it either.  I, of course, accepted that it would take a bit of time so I took my daughter to the pool for some fun swim time.  The manager tracked me down at the pool and profusely apologized that I wasn’t given the choice of my welcome gift and confirmed that I was eligible for the $100 USD.  He advised me that whenever I was ready, I could come to the front desk and claim my money, which I did about 30 minutes later.


While the exchange rate from USD –> CAD seems to be a bit off, I wasn’t going to complain.  The manager let me know that this was a great “learning experience” for his front desk staff and thanked me for bringing it to his attention.


Always read your terms and conditions and familiarize yourself with what benefits you are entitled to.  It could turn out to be quite a boon.  I for one love starting a vacation in the black!

Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


  1. A great learning experience for his front desk staff? More like a learning experience for management. He clearly didn’t understand the policy which is likely why the front desk staff didn’t offer you the choice.

    It’s a shame, because it sounds like she was a great front desk agent otherwise. Hopefully she didn’t get chewed out too bad. I highly doubt the manager apologized to her for not providing proper training though…

    Enjoy your trip!

    • Hi Tyler,

      Thank you for the comment.

      While this is certainly a possibility, based on my interactions the staff and management, I really feel that they do their best when it comes to the guest experience. That includes providing the proper training to staff.

      In my dealings with the Front Desk Manager, I got a sense that he was a good guy so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

      Incidentally, I’m currently in LA and was also not offered my amenity choice and have been provided further compensation. The person checking me in was the Assistant Manager of the property and knew about the policy when I asked for my compensation but even knowing the policy, he failed to offer the amenity. My conclusion is even well trained personnel have an off day. It’s up to you to remind them of your entitlements. Cheers


  2. This happened to me a week ago at the same property. The front desk didn’t offer me a welcome amenity when I checked-in. I’m very much aware of the platinum benefit guarantee, but didn’t push for compensation. Instead, I made sure I got extra points upon check out the following morning. Although, I do think that staff are not properly trained to recognize all elite benefits.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here