UPDATE: You can now select your 2021 Marriott Annual Choice Benefit (link below).

Believe it or not, I have been Marriott Platinum Elite for quite some time now throughout my years of traveling. However, I never had the opportunity to receive the Annual Choice Benefit after 50 qualifying night stays. The reason for that is because my Platinum status has always been earned through shortcuts or promotions that the nights are not qualifying nights for the Annual Choice Benefit. 
This time, due to Marriott's generous 50% elite night credits promotion amidst the coronavirus, I received 25 elite nights plus automatic 30 elite nights earned from both Marriott personal and business credit cards. That put me to 55 elite night credits. While these 55 night credits are considered shortcut methods as well, Marriott made it clear that they do count these nights towards the qualifying nights for the Annual Choice Benefit. 

How to Select Marriott Annual Choice Benefit

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    What is Marriott Annual Choice Benefit?

    The Annual Choice Benefit is part of the benefits that Marriott offers to high elite status Marriott Bonvoy members such as Platinum and Titanium Elite. In order to qualify for the Annual Choice Benefit:
    • Platinum: Marriott Bonvoy members with 50 qualifying nights in one calendar year can choose an Annual Choice Benefit. 
    • Titanium: Marriott Bonvoy members who earn 75 qualifying nights in one calendar year can choose a second Annual Choice Benefit.

    What are the Marriott Annual Choices?

    Currently, once your Marriott's account is eligible for the annual benefit, you have the following choices to select:

    Stay at least 50 Qualifying Nights: 
    • 5 Suite Night Awards
    • The gift of Silver Elite status for a friend, family member or colleague
    • 5 Elite Night Credits
    • US$100 Charity Donation to WE
    • 40% off your favorite hotel bed

    Stay at least 75 Qualifying Nights, earn a second Annual Choice Benefit. You can choose from the option above plus the following:
    • Gift Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status to a family member, friend or colleague.
    • One Free Night Award worth up to 40,000 points.

    Deadline to Make Marriott Annual Choice Benefit 2021

    You must select an Annual Choice Benefit by January 7, 2022. If you do not make a selection by then, Marriott will automatically deposit 5 Suite Night Awards into your account as your Annual Choice Benefit for that year. 

    It is also very important to note that once you confirm your selection, it is final and cannot be changed. You still have time before January 7, 2022 for the Annual Choice Benefit 2021 this year, so there's no need to rush at this point if you do not have an immediate use. 

    How To Select Your Marriott Annual Choice Benefit

    If your Marriott Bonvoy's account qualifies for the Annual Choice Benefit, Marriott will let you know via email and prompt you to select your Annual Choice Benefit with a link inside the email. However, if for some reasons you do not receive the email or want to check whether your account is eligible for the Annual Choice Benefit right away to make a selection, you can do the following:
    • Go to Marriott Annual Choice Benefit website
    • Click the SIGN IN button to sign into your Marriott's account. 
    • If your Marriott's account is eligible for the Annual Choice Benefit, you should see the following page and you simply click on LEARN MORE under each choice to make your selection. 
      • Note that, once a selection is made, it is final. You have up to January 7, 2022 to make a selection for the 2021 Annual Choice Benefit

    How Each Choice Benefit Works & My Two Cents

    Gifting Elite Status 

    Platinum members can gift Silver Elite Status. This benefit is worthless to me to gift it to my friend or a family member because Marriott Silver Elite status does not mean much in terms of benefits. 

    Titanium members can gift Gold Elite Status. Again, the Gold Elite in Marriott Bonvoy program does not offer many benefits to make this selection worthwhile. 

    Crediting 5 Elite Nights

    The 5 Elite Night Credits are counted for the year in which the Annual Choice Benefit was earned. For example, you earn the Annual Choice Benefit in 2021 and you select 5 elite night credits as the Annual Choice Benefit. Those 5 elite night credits will be credited to your 2021

    This choice is useful only if you absolutely need additional 5 elite night credits to reach a particular status, for example Titanium. But personally, I feel that Marriott Platinum Elite status already is good enough for me and thus I would prefer looking into selecting another choice benefit instead. Furthermore, there are more ways to earn elite night credits as well. 

    Donating US$100 Charity to WE

    All Marriott Bonvoy member donations go to the project benefiting the community of Kabolwo, through the ME to WE Foundation, and are not tax deductible. Marriott Bonvoy covers all administrative expenses of this program. 

    Donating money to the charity is definitely a nice thing to do. I personally want to maximize the Annual Choice Benefit because I value it much more than just $100 US dollars. In the end, this selection really depends on your personal decision. 

    Receiving 40% off your favorite hotel bed

    If you have your favorite Marriott hotel's bed, you can receive 40% off which is a pretty good discount. Once you select the Annual Choice Benefit, the 40% off promotional code is displayed on the confirmation page. You can also view the promotional code at Marriott Annual Choice Benefit website and go to the benefit history page. 

    Earning 5 Suite Night Awards

    Once you confirm your selection of 5 Suite Night Awards as the Annual Choice Benefit, those suite night awards will be deposited into your Marriott's account. Suite Night Awards expire December 31, 2022 for the Annual Choice Benefit 2021

    I'll most likely pick this choice as my 2021 Annual Choice Benefit because these Suite Night Awards can be valuable. However, I want to continue monitoring the travel situation amidst the COVID-19 and thus I won't make any selections just yet. It is also worth noting too that if an Annual Choice Benefit is not selected by January 7, 2022, Marriott will automatically deposit these 5 Suite Night Awards into your Marriott's account. 

    Earning One Free Night Award worth up to 40,000 points

    Once you stay at least 75 qualifying nights (Titanium Elite), you receive a second Annual Choice Benefit plus this free night benefit. The Free Night Award will be deposited into your Marriott's account and it can be used for award night stay that's worth up to 40,000 Marriott points per night. 

    This Free Night Award benefit can offer a great value in return because 40k points can be used for award night stay at a Category 6 Marriott property during the off-peak time. See this page for some best uses of Free Night Awards.