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One of the perks of Marriott Bonvoy elite status is complimentary room upgrades on the day of arrival. However, sometimes there's a special occasion where you want to give yourself a better chance of scoring an upgrade. Enter Marriott Suite Night Awards.
Suite Night Awards are upgrade certificates that give Marriott elites the opportunity to score a confirmable room upgrade in the days before arrival. To get these valuable upgrade certificates, you'll need to spend a lot of nights at Marriott hotels and choose Suite Night Awards as your elite benefit for the year.
To see if it's worth choosing them as your Annual Choice Benefit, let's dive into what Marriott Suite Night Awards are and how to use them.
What are Marriott Suite Night Awards
Marriott Suite Night Awards are upgrade certificates that Marriott Bonvoy elite members can use to request an upgrade in advance of check-in. Depending on the property, you can use a Suite Night Award to upgrade your stay to a premium room or a standard suite. Suite Night Awards can be applied to eligible paid stays, Free Night Award stays and Cash & Point stays.
» Learn more: How to join Marriott Bonvoy (and why it’s worth it)
How to earn Marriott Suite Night Awards
Marriott Suite Night Awards are one of the Annual Choice Benefits available to elite members who earn Platinum or Titanium status. Those are high levels of status that require 50 or 75 Elite Night Credits in a year to qualify.
The Annual Choice Benefit options differ between the two levels. But, in both cases, members can choose to receive five Suite Night Awards.
A Marriott Bonvoy member can earn up to 10 Suite Night Awards each year in which they earn 75 or more Elite Night Credits. However, make sure to review the full list of Annual Choice Benefit options, as another benefit may be a better fit for your travels.
» Learn more: How Marriott Annual Choice Benefits work
Once you reach the threshold for an Annual Choice Benefit, Marriott should email you a link to choose your benefit. You need to choose an option by January 7 of the year after you earn the benefit. If you don't choose by the deadline, Marriott will give you five Suite Night Awards by default.
Suite Night Awards expire on Dec. 31 of the year after they're earned. So, if you earn 50 Elite Night Credits in 2022 and select Suite Night Awards as your Annual Choice Benefit, those certificates will be valid through December 31, 2023.
Getting bonus Marriott Elite Night Credits
For casual travelers, 50 nights in a Marriott may sound like a daunting goal. However, you can shortcut that goal by holding certain Marriott co-branded credit cards. Marriott personal credit cards earn 15 bonus Elite Night Credits, deposited annually in January, as a cardholder benefit. And you can earn 15 additional ENCs each January by holding the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. Terms apply.
That means if you're a cardholder of both a personal and a business Marriott co-branded credit card, you'll get a 30 Elite Night Credit boost. That puts 50 elite nights within reach — which is enough for Platinum Elite status and one set of Choice Benefits.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Marriott elite status
How to use Marriott Suite Night Awards
Unfortunately, Marriott Suite Night Awards are subject to plenty of restrictions — from brand exclusions to limitations on how you can apply the certificates.
Bonvoy members can't apply Suite Night Awards to stays at the following Marriott brands:
Marriott Executive Apartments.
Marriott Grand Residence Club properties.
Marriott Vacation Club.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences.
If that isn't enough limitation, properties in other brands may be able to opt out of participating in Suite Night Awards. Marriott doesn't publish a list of these exclusions. Instead, it directs members to "contact a Customer Engagement Center for individual Participating Property Suite Night Award participation."
Even at eligible properties, Suite Night Awards can only be applied to reservations when there are premium rooms or standard suites available. If your stay isn't eligible for a Suite Night Award, you'll get a message in the reservation system saying so.
To request a Suite Night Award upgrade, you need to have enough Suite Night Awards in your account to cover all nights of the stay. So, make sure to factor this in at booking if you're planning to apply a Suite Night Award to a stay.
The final restriction: Suite Night Awards can't be gifted or otherwise transferred. You'll need to use your Suite Night Awards for your stays. If you book multiple rooms under your name, you can apply an upgrade to one other room in addition to your primary room.
How to request a Marriott Suite Night Awards
To start a Marriott Suite Night Award request, log in to your Marriott account and browse to your "My Trips" page. Expand the details for the stay and then click the "View/Modify" link.
Scroll down to the room details. Under the room rate, you'll hopefully see a Suite Night Awards section. Click "Start Upgrade Request" to begin the request process.
On the next page, you'll see all of the available room types that you can request using a Suite Night Award. You're more likely to get approval for your Suite Night Award request if you select more room types.
However, you might consider it a waste to use your Suite Night Award to secure a mere corner room or city view. If you have time before your upgrades expire, you might want to be picky about the room types you include in your request.
Once you've selected your room requests, click the "Submit Upgrade Request" button at the bottom of the page. On the reservation page, you should find a note saying, "We’re working on your upgrade. Your Suite Night Award request is pending." And you should receive an email confirming the request has been received.
Marriott will start checking with the hotel for availability starting five days before your arrival date. If the upgrade isn't confirmed, Marriott will continue to check for availability daily until 2 p.m. on the day before arrival. If your request isn't confirmed by then, your request will be canceled and Marriott will return the Suite Night Awards to your account.
How to cancel a Marriott Suite Night Award request
If you want to change your preferences or withdraw your Suite Night Award request, go into your Marriott reservation list, click "View/Modify" on the reservation, and scroll down to the Suite Night Award section. Click the "Modify/Cancel Request" button.
There you can choose different room types for your request. Or, you can click the "Cancel Request" button to withdraw your request altogether. When you do so, the Suite Night Awards will be returned to your account.
If you withdraw your request, Marriott will email you to confirm that your request was canceled and your Suite Night Awards were returned to your account.
If you're considering Marriott Suite Night Awards
Marriott Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members have a big decision: what to choose as their Marriott Annual Choice Benefit. At the 50-night level, Suite Night Awards are generally going to be the best choice. However, it's a tougher decision at the 75-night level.
Consider your travel plans and review the Suite Night Award restrictions to decide if Suite Night Awards are the best choice for you. If you opt for Suite Night Awards, make sure to submit your requests at least five days in advance of your stay. Then cross your fingers that upgrade space opens before your stay.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
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