Suite Night Awards are getting a new name, the number of hotels at which they can be redeemed is increasing, and the time period during which you can make a request is being reduced.
Upcoming Changes to Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards
As a reminder, Suite Night Awards can be earned as an Annual Choice Benefit for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and higher members at 50 and 75 nights. Suite Night Awards can also be earned as a Brilliant Earned Choice Award, which comes upon spending $60,000 (USD) on a US-issued Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card in a calendar year.
Once earned, members can request room upgrades, including suites, during a cash or award booking at eligible hotels with Suite Night Awards.
Beginning in 2024, Marriott Bonvoy’s Suite Night Awards will be known as Nightly Upgrade Awards. This name more accurately reflects the benefit, as they apply on a per-night basis, and you don’t necessarily get a suite each time.
Aside from a new name, there are some more material changes to how Nightly Upgrade Awards work, compared to how the current iteration of Suite Night Awards function.
For one, the range of hotels at which Nightly Upgrade Awards may be applied is expanding to include The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Aloft, Element, and Protea Hotels. Historically, Suite Night Awards haven’t been eligible for use at these properties.
Marriott Bonvoy is also increasing access to room inventory for upgrades by 20%. Available room types will include premium rooms and suites with features such as oceanfront views, balconies, and extra space.
Currently, Suite Night Awards may be requesting up to five days prior to arrival. However, Nightly Upgrade Awards may only be requested within three days of arrival.
Aside from the above, there are no further material changes announced. You’ll still be able to use Nightly Upgrade Awards on cash and award bookings, and you’ll still be able to earn them in the same manner as Suite Night Awards.
Each Nightly Upgrade Award will be good for a single-night upgrade request at a property; however, whether or not it’s confirmed will be up to the individual hotel.
Aside from “early 2024”, there’s no specific date by which these changes will be implemented.
More Properties, Less Time, No Guarantees
The upcoming changes to Suite Night Awards represent both positive and negative aspects.
Nightly Upgrade Rewards is a much more accurate description of the benefit, so at least it’ll be more clear that you’re requesting an upgrade per night, and that you won’t necessarily wind up in a suite.
The most positive development is that Nightly Upgrade Awards will be redeemable at The Ritz-Carlton and EDITION properties, which are two of the higher-end brands in the Marriott portfolio.
Generally speaking, the best use of Suite Night Awards is for upgrades at top-tier properties, since it can enhance what’s already an aspirational experience. Aloft, Element, and Protea Hotels don’t necessarily offer the best that Marriott has to offer, and it’d be wise to save your Nightly Upgrade Awards for higher-end stays.
On the other hand, you’ll only be able to submit a request within three days of arrival, at which point some of the premium rooms may have been assigned to other guests or booked up. Therefore, the list of room types that you can select for your Nightly Upgrade Award may be shorter than if you submitted it within five days of arrival.
It’s unclear how beneficial the 20% increase to room inventory available for Nightly Upgrade Awards will be. At worst, there will just be more slightly-nicer-than-base-level rooms available for Nightly Upgrade Awards, and at best, we’ll see a higher number of suites available for request.
If Marriott Bonvoy was looking to strengthen the value proposition of Nightly Upgrade Awards, then we’d ideally be able to confirm an upgrade in advance, rather than just requesting one and having to wait until the last minute.
Indeed, that’s one of the strongest features of World of Hyatt’s Suite Upgrade Awards, since a single Suite Upgrade Award is good for up to seven nights, and the upgrade is confirmed at the time of booking.
Rather, Marriott Bonvoy’s Suite Night Awards/Nightly Upgrade Awards require one certificate per night, and the upgrade isn’t guaranteed.
As is always the case, your best bet with Marriott stays may be to submit a request, and then do your best “suite-talking” to get a better room.
The range of hotels at which they can be redeemed is increasing to include five new brands, including The Ritz-Carlton and EDITION, there will be a 20% increase to room inventory for upgrade requests, and the timeframe during which you can make a request is decreasing from five days to three days prior to arrival.
These changes come into effect as of early 2024, although there’s currently no specific date attached to the updates.