Selecting Annual Choice Benefit

Old Nov 4, 21, 9:49 am
  #1501  
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Originally Posted by Horace
If you're now Lifetime Gold and getting close to Lifetime Platinum, then the 5 elite-qualifying nights could work well for you. They'll move you 5 nights closer.
Just note that Lifetime Platinum also requires earning Platinum for at least 10 years (or Marriott Gold in the pre-Bonvoy years), and it sounds like the OP doesn't hit 50 nights very often, so this may not be of much use to them if they're going to have the nights for LTP but be far away from the required years.
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Old Nov 16, 21, 10:19 am
  #1502  
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Just noticed an additional option has appeared :

$100 Donation to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund.

"We’ll make a US$100 donation to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund at Howard University on your behalf.
Your contribution will help Howard University build the next generation of hospitality industry leaders. The fund, established by Marriott International, supports the programmatic and career development elements of the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership, housed within the Howard University School of Business"
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Old Nov 16, 21, 7:00 pm
  #1503  
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Originally Posted by Horace
Members qualify for the 50-night Annual Choice Benefit by crossing the 50-night threshold, not simply by being a "50-night member" (Platinum Elite).

You can make one choice any time between now and 11:59 p.m. January 7, 2022. If you don't make a your choice during this period, you'll automatically get 5 SNAs. You don't get to "select again" at the start of 2022 just because you'll still be a Platinum Elite member.

Regardless of when you make your selection, the 5 elite-qualifying nights would be added to your 2021 count, or the 5 SNAs would expire at the end of 2022.

The 5 SNAs can work very well if you stay in hotels with suites, especially full-service and luxury properties in Asia and Europe. The 5 SNAs can be worthless if you primarily stay in brands that don't participate (such as Marriott Vacation Club) or cookie-cutter hotels without real upgrade opportunities (such as most Springhill Suites properties).

If you're now Lifetime Gold and getting close to Lifetime Platinum, then the 5 elite-qualifying nights could work well for you. They'll move you 5 nights closer.

The 5 elite-qualifying nights are especially good for members who would otherwise end the year at 70 nights. It allows them to reach Titanium Elite and to qualify for the 75-night Annual Choice Benefit (including the choice of a 40K free night award).
I may end up in this situation. I guess the only benefit is to be able to select the 40K FN but not an additional benefit as you have already gotten one at the 50 nights level (for the elite-qualifying nights). That is, you cannot have a SNA and a FN.

It is a dilemma for me to decide whether to keep the BonVoy Brilliant card which AF has become more than the benefit(s).
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Old Nov 17, 21, 5:27 am
  #1504  
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Originally Posted by Happy

It is a dilemma for me to decide whether to keep the BonVoy Brilliant card which AF has become more than the benefit(s).
Off topic for this thread, but don’t you ever use the offers on your card? Even though I live in Canada (so not much travel in the last 2 yrs) I still managed to get $125 back on offers which more than covers my $95 annual fee. Chase is a different story and I canceled that card.
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Old Nov 17, 21, 6:49 am
  #1505  
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Originally Posted by margarita girl
Off topic for this thread, but dont you ever use the offers on your card? Even though I live in Canada (so not much travel in the last 2 yrs) I still managed to get $125 back on offers which more than covers my $95 annual fee. Chase is a different story and I canceled that card.
I am talking about the Brilliant card which is $450 AF, with $300 Marriott credit if you can use it. Not the $125 BonVoy business card or the legacy SPG personal card that no longer available for long long time. I have the old SPG business card and at $125 AF, never got a retention offer on that while periodically seeing posters getting $50 but I never got any. Still I will keep this card but not the Brilliant personal card. I intend to wait thru the 90 days "in prison" period and get Chase version personal card which AF is $95 or $99, forgot. While the Chase FN is 35K versus Brilliant's 50K, I dont find it particularly useful because our travel pattern do not always match with the big cities. In fact many places we go, do not have any chain name when Booking.com is my best friend. Also IHG has far far more practical basic properties at very reasonable point level. Recently returning from Paris. I stayed the night before flying at a CDG HIX, across a construction site from a Moxy. HIX is 16K IHG pts while Moxy is 25K. They are both the no frill brand, with HIX even closer to the CDGVAL station than Moxy. HIX also has a cheaper cash rate.

I have other AMEX cards incl a no AF Blue Business Plus card that get far more useful offers than the BonVoy cards (both the biz and the personal) for unknown reason.

Case in point - we booked a Dec B2B Caribbean cruise - 8 days South followed by 6 days West - with the AMEX $500 / $1500 offer and $350/$1000 on Royal Caribbean. That is a total of $850 statement credits coming back within 6 days of the booking. Virtually ALL my other AMEX cards saw the cruise line offers which are very generous this year. BonVoy cards see NONE. When you check Travel category, BonVoy cards have a pitiful 3 while other cards have 9 to 11...
We will book a Princess TATL 16 days cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton sailing in Mar 2022, with a $1500/$400 AMEX offer. BonVoy cards do not see the offer.

Even the usual Marriott $ off offers I have seen little this year. I used to buy gift cards at a local Ren. Due to the Pandemic I still have over $800 unused Marriott gift cards at hand and have no desire to add more. So even if I have those offers it would mostly moot point until I can clear 50% or more of the stack.

The BBP cards have given us many statement credits / membership reward offers that we can use thru the year. BonVoy cards have none of that. BBP is a no fee card, earns 2x on anything so it is almost a no brainer to become our go to cards.

The only useful offer I got on the BonVoy is the $15 monthly credit on wireless services since Feb, on the BonVoy business card.
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Old Nov 23, 21, 11:17 am
  #1506  
 
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Titanium 40K Certificate Annual Choice Benefit

Would you use your Platinum 5 Elite Night Credits to go Titanium and choose the Titanium 5 SNA's benefit? OR would you do a mattress run to get the Titanium 40K Certificate and save your Platinum SNA's benefit?

Currently Platinum and striving for Titanium, I'm debating of doing a cheap mattress run instead of using the 5 Elite Night Credits, that 40K certificate looks tempting. What would you do?
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Old Nov 23, 21, 11:20 am
  #1507  
 
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Save yourself the money from the mattress run and take the 5 EQNs. In this case, you would be basically buying the SNAs (since you would end up with Titanium regardless). SNAs are not worth very much. I would not even pay $10 for one.
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Old Nov 23, 21, 11:25 am
  #1508  
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Originally Posted by sfflyer415
Would you use your Platinum 5 Elite Night Credits to go Titanium and choose the Titanium 5 SNA's benefit? OR would you do a mattress run to get the Titanium 40K Certificate and save your Platinum SNA's benefit?

Currently Platinum and striving for Titanium, I'm debating of doing a cheap mattress run instead of using the 5 Elite Night Credits, that 40K certificate looks tempting. What would you do?
If you've selected SNAs in the past and were able to use them, the cheap mattress run works to get to Titanium and get both the SNAs and the 40K cert.

If you're not a fan of SNAs, pull the trigger on ENCs and then select the 40K cert.

David
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Old Nov 23, 21, 11:45 am
  #1509  
 
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Originally Posted by WasKnown
SNAs are not worth very much. I would not even pay $10 for one.
The value of SNAs depends on how and where you stay in hotels.

In 2019, I put in SNA requests for a total of nine nights at three hotels in Spain for a vacation with my wife. In each case, the SNA cleared five days before arrival. We had a much more space than we would have had in the room category I booked. It's possible I would have been upgraded anyway based on my status, but I doubt it. Our suite at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, Luxury Collection in Seville was particularly wonderful.

On the other hand, SNAs are of much less value if traveling solo. While a suite is nice, it's not as if having a separate living room and bedroom is particularly useful. And, of course, SNAs are not guaranteed. I was lucky to have 100% success rate in 2019.
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Last edited by Horace; Nov 24, 21 at 8:37 am
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Old Nov 23, 21, 12:29 pm
  #1510  
 
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Originally Posted by Horace
The value of SNAs depends on how and where you stay in hotels.

In 2019, I put in SNA requests for a total on nine nights at three hotels in Spain for a vacation with my wife. In each case, the SNA cleared five days before arrival. We had a much more space than we would have had in the room category I booked. It's possible I would have been upgraded anyway based on my status, but I doubt it. Our suite at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, Luxury Collection in Seville was particularly wonderful.

On the other hand, SNAs are of much less value if traveling solo. While a suite is nice, it's not as if having a separate living room and bedroom is particularly useful. And, of course, SNAs are not guaranteed. I was lucky to have 100% success rate in 2019.
I think it depends on what you value. If having a suite is important to me, I will just book it cash. Gambling on maybe getting it 5 nights before my stay is not worth much more than gambling on getting it at check-in to me. Furthermore, its not obvious to me that SNAs get me upgrades I wouldnt otherwise get as I already almost always get suite upgrades at Bonvoy properties when there is availability. They seem particularly bad in the US where many of the more interesting properties do not even offer suites as options to upgrade into.

I also think its annoying that SNAs cannot be used at Ritz Carlton and EDITION properties as that compromises of a huge portion of Marriotts nicer portfolio
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Old Nov 24, 21, 8:00 am
  #1511  
 
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I like SNAs

I have had great success with them - in the best cases getting suites selling for $2,000+ at St Regis in Bal Harbour and New York. In both cases they were confirmed days in advance. I cant say what I would have received without using them, but in both cases I received suites above the ones that were offered with SNAs. I have had lesser successes as well, having used them going back to their origin with SPG.

They are obviously hit or miss, and I have never used all 10 of them in a year, but if used effectively they can be a great value. Of course, it depends on personal preference and how one travels.
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Old Nov 24, 21, 8:24 am
  #1512  
 
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Originally Posted by quinella66
Of course, it depends on personal preference and how one travels.
This (bolding mine). I'm in a similar situation; 70 nights YTD and deciding whether to take the 50 night 5 SNAs benefit or 5 EQNs to get the 75 night 40k FNA benefit. I've mapped out my 2022 travel and came to the conclusion that it is unlikely that we will be doing a family vacation at Marr next year (looks like Hyatt will get those), and I don't value the SNAs for myself. Net, the 5 EQN to get the 40k FNA should work better for my 2022 plans.
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Old Nov 24, 21, 2:16 pm
  #1513  
 
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Originally Posted by quinella66
I have had great success with them - in the best cases getting suites selling for $2,000+ at St Regis in Bal Harbour and New York. In both cases they were confirmed days in advance. I cant say what I would have received without using them, but in both cases I received suites above the ones that were offered with SNAs. I have had lesser successes as well, having used them going back to their origin with SPG.

They are obviously hit or miss, and I have never used all 10 of them in a year, but if used effectively they can be a great value. Of course, it depends on personal preference and how one travels.
That sounds great. Unfortunately, neither the STR Bal Harbour nor the STR NY have suites in their SNA pool anymore. This is why many people are frustrated with them.
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Old Nov 24, 21, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by WasKnown
That sounds great. Unfortunately, neither the STR Bal Harbour nor the STR NY have suites in their SNA pool anymore. This is why many people are frustrated with them.
Oh damn really? Thats sucks about the STR NY, that was actually one of the hotels I was hoping to use an SNA at.
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Old Nov 24, 21, 2:49 pm
  #1515  
 
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Originally Posted by sfflyer415
Oh damn really? Thats sucks about the STR NY, that was actually one of the hotels I was hoping to use an SNA at.
Yes. If I they worked the way you described, I would like them too. However, they just do not. The only STR NY upgrade option is the Grand Luxe room which is just a slightly larger base room. The hotel is pretty good about upgrading Ambassadors but its not always a given (especially on points stays).
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