Marriott Suite Night Award changes are going live — including new brands and more inventory

Higher-tier Marriott Bonvoy elite members have long enjoyed the benefits of Suite Night Awards (SNAs) as part of the program’s annual choice benefits. These SNAs allowed Platinum members to choose five upgrades when they reached 50 elite qualifying nights in a calendar year, and Titanium members could receive an additional five at 75 nights. However, changes to the SNAs were announced last year and are now starting to roll out in a phased system.

One of the most significant changes is the rebranding of SNAs to Nightly Upgrade Awards (NUAs). Marriott made this change to better reflect the nature of the benefit, as each award covers one night in a premium room, not necessarily a suite. The number of nights each award covers remains the same, with Platinum and Titanium elite members still able to choose NUAs for five nights at a time. The name change aims to provide more clarity for members.

Other hotel loyalty programs offer similar benefits. World of Hyatt offers Suite Upgrade Awards as milestone rewards for high-tier elites, while IHG One Rewards provides confirmable suite upgrades for members through its milestone rewards program. Hilton Honors, on the other hand, does not include a published mechanism for confirming a complimentary upgrade before a stay.

In addition to the rebranding, Marriott is also expanding the brands where NUAs can be used. Members will now be able to use NUAs at The Ritz-Carlton, Edition Hotels, Aloft, Element, and Protea Hotels. This expansion includes high-end properties under the Ritz-Carlton and Edition brands, offering more opportunities for members to redeem their NUAs. This is particularly exciting for those looking to stay at Ritz-Carlton properties, as many entry-level suites offer additional space and amenities.

Marriott is also increasing the pool of rooms eligible for upgrades by adding nearly 20% more premium rooms and suites across all participating brands. This includes rooms with features like oceanfront views, balconies, and extra space. This expansion aims to make more rooms available for members, addressing one of the frustrations often experienced when properties restrict the room types available for upgrades.

However, there is one downside to the changes. Marriott is adjusting the confirmation window for NUAs from five days before the scheduled arrival to three days. While this may pose some challenges, as availability of upgraded rooms tends to become more limited as the check-in date approaches, it remains to be seen how much this adjustment will impact members’ ability to redeem upgrade awards.

Overall, the changes to SNAs, now known as NUAs, offer exciting opportunities for Marriott Bonvoy elite members. With the addition of new brands and an expanded pool of eligible rooms, members have more options for upgrading their stays. While the shorter confirmation window may present some challenges, it is a small trade-off for the enhanced benefits now available. As the changes roll out, members can look forward to enjoying more premium experiences during their Marriott stays.

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