Guide: How To Earn and Use Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards

by | Jul 21, 2023

Having a spacious suite instead of a standard hotel room can be the difference between an average stay and an exceptional experience. That’s why suite upgrades are included as a benefit for top-tier elite members in every major hotel loyalty program, including Marriott Bonvoy.

Marriott Bonvoy is no exception. In addition to complimentary upgrades at check-in, Marriott offers Suite Night Awards, allowing members to confirm suites for up to 10 nights a year prior to their stay. However, the process of earning and using these awards can be complex, and the benefits may vary depending on various factors.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to earn, use, and maximize Marriott’s Suite Night Awards (SNAs).

What are Marriott Suite Night Awards?

Marriott Suite Night Awards are one of the Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefits that elite Marriott Bonvoy members can choose. They allow you to request an upgrade to a suite or another premium room at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels ahead of your stay.

Each Suite Night Award, known simply as an SNA to Marriott loyalists, is valid for one night. This means that if you have five Suite Night Awards, you can request upgrades for five nights.

Unlike Hyatt’s Suite Upgrade Awards, Marriott’s awards are not guaranteed and are subject to availability. The hotel will confirm whether your upgrade request can be fulfilled, typically within two days before your check-in date. If the hotel does not confirm your upgrade request, the Suite Night Awards gets credited back to your account.

Earning Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards (SNAs)

Suite Night Awards are upgrade certificates that Marriott Bonvoy elite members can use to request an upgrade in advance of check-in.

These awards are one of the Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefits that Marriott Platinum elites and Marriott Titanium elites can choose from when they earn 50 or 75 elite qualifying nights in a year to qualify.

Members can choose to receive five SNAs each time they have the chance to choose an Annual Choice Benefit. In other words, each Marriott Bonvoy member can earn up to 10 Suite Night Awards a year by earning 75 or more elite qualifying nights.

To get the most from your Suite Night Awards, use them on stays where you'll spend most time in the suite
To get the most from your Suite Night Awards, use them on stays where you’ll spend the most time in the suite

Getting Marriott Elite Nights With Credit Cards

While staying 50 nights a year at Marriotts may sound daunting, it’s fairly easy to achieve 50 elite qualifying nights using credit cards

Using credit cards, you can earn up to 40 Marriott Bonvoy elite qualifying nights per year.

The following cards offer 15 elite nights per year towards status as an ongoing perk:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

Meanwhile, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card provides 25 elite nights per year as an ongoing perk.

Note that there is a cap on the number of elite nights you can earn per year using personal and business cards. Regardless of how many cards you hold, you can only stack bonus nights from one business credit card and one personal card.

In other words, even if you hold two personal credit cards you’d only earn the bonus elite nights from one card. If you hold a personal card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, you’d be able to stack the benefits from both.

If your goal is to maximize the number of Bonvoy elite nights from credit cards, then holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card will earn you a total of 40 elite nights per year on an ongoing basis.

That’s just 10 nights away from earning your first chance to choose your first set of Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefits.

Using Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards (SNAs)

Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards (SNAs) can be applied to eligible paid stays, Free Night Award stays, and Cash & Points stays. However, they are subject to restrictions — from brand exclusions to limitations on how you can apply the certificates.

Bonvoy members can’t apply Suite Night Awards to stays at certain Marriott brands:

  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • The Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club
  • EDITION
  • Protea Hotels
  • Aloft
  • Element
  • Design Hotels
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • ExecuStay
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club
  • Vistana

Furthermore, any all-suite property will not be eligible for Marriott Suite Night Awards (SNA).

Additional properties in other Marriott 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. You can’t use a Suite Night Award for only part of your booking, so be sure to factor this in at booking if you’re planning to apply a Suite Night Award to a stay.

Requesting an Upgrade With a Suite Night Award (SNA)

To start a Marriott Suite Night Award request, log in to your Marriott account and browse to your “My Trips” page. Click or tap to 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 see a Suite Night Awards section if the option is available. Click or tap “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.

Hotels are more likely to approve your Suite Night Award request if you select multiple room types but you’re unlikely to get your top choice. You might consider it a waste to use your Suite Night Award to secure a mere corner room or city view (especially if you hold Ambassador status or are likely to get that upgrade at check-in).

If you have time before your upgrades are due to expire, you might want to be picky about the room types you include in your request so you can achieve maximum value from them.

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.” You should also 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.

To summarize, here are the steps to submitting an upgrade request using Marriott Suite Night Awards:

  1. Log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account and make a reservation at a participating hotel.
  2. After booking, go to the reservation details page and click on “Use Suite Night Awards.”
  3. Select the number of Suite Night Awards you want to apply to your reservation.
  4. Choose your preferred room types in order of preference.
  5. Submit your request.

Remember, the use of Suite Night Awards is subject to room availability and isn’t confirmed until two days before check-in. If your upgrade request can’t be fulfilled, your Suite Night Awards will be returned to your account.

Canceling a Suite Night Award (SNA) 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.

If you cancel your upgrade request, the Suite Night Awards will be returned to your account.

Maximizing the Value of Suite Night Awards (SNAs)

To get the most out of your Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards, consider using the following tactics:

  • Use them at luxury properties: Suite Night Awards can be used at most Marriott Bonvoy properties, including luxury brands like St. Regis and JW Marriott. Using your awards at these high-end hotels might provide the biggest value and significantly enhance your stay.
  • Use them during longer stays: Since each Suite Night Award is good for one night, using them during longer stays can provide more value. For example, using five awards for a five-night stay might feel more valuable than using five of them on five short one-night stays.
  • Book during off-peak times: Your chances of getting an upgrade are higher during off-peak times when hotels are less busy. Consider using your awards during these times to increase your chances of success.
St Regis Firenze - Suite Night Award
Using Suite Night Awards at luxury hotels like the St Regis Florence can provide better value

Bottom Line

Marriott’s Suite Night Awards offer a unique opportunity for Marriott Bonvoy elites to enhance their stay with a suite upgrade. However, the process of earning and using these awards requires a good understanding of the program’s rules and restrictions. By understanding these rules, you can maximize the value of your Suite Night Awards and enjoy a more luxurious stay at Marriott properties.

Remember, the value of Suite Night Awards and how nice of a suite you can get will vary greatly depending on the property, the availability of upgrades, and your personal travel preferences. It’s important to carefully consider your options and make the choice that best fits your travel needs and preferences. With careful planning and a bit of luck, Suite Night Awards can significantly improve your Marriott stays.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards

What are Marriott Suite Night Awards worth?

The value of Marriott Suite Night Awards can vary widely depending on how they are used. They are most valuable when used at high-end hotels where suite upgrades can be quite expensive. However, because the availability of upgrades is not guaranteed, the potential value of these awards can be somewhat uncertain.

What does it mean to choose “Five Suite Night Awards” as a Marriott Bonvoy Annual Choice Benefit?

When a Marriott Bonvoy member reaches 50 and 75 qualifying nights in a calendar year, they can choose five Suite Night Awards as one of their choice benefits. This means that a member can earn up to 10 Suite Night Awards per year if they reach 75 nights and choose this benefit at both thresholds.

How do Marriott Suite Night Awards work?

To use Marriott Suite Night Awards, members should first make a reservation at a participating hotel. After the reservation is made, the member can apply their Suite Night Awards to the reservation through the Marriott website or app. Marriott will begin checking availability for upgrades five days before the start of the stay. If an upgrade is available, the Suite Night Award will be applied and the member will be notified. If an upgrade is not available, the Suite Night Award will be returned to the member’s account.

Can I use Marriott Suite Night Awards with points?

Yes, Marriott Suite Night Awards can be used with points bookings. Members can make a reservation using points and then apply their Suite Night Awards to the reservation.

Do Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards expire?

Yes, Suite Night Awards expire on December 31 of the year following the year in which they were earned. For example, if a member earns Suite Night Awards in 2023, they will expire on December 31, 2024.

What happens if my Marriott Suite Night Awards are not used?

If a Suite Night Award is not used, it will be returned to the member’s account. However, it’s important to note that these awards do expire, so members should aim to use them before the end of the expiration year.

Can Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards be transferred?

No, Marriott Suite Night Awards cannot be transferred. They are issued to the member’s account and can only be used by the member.

What are the best hotels to use Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards?

The best hotels to use Marriott Suite Night Awards are typically high-end hotels where suite upgrades can be quite expensive. This includes brands like St. Regis and JW Marriott.

However, the availability of upgrades and what suites you can get will vary by hotel and date, so it’s always a good idea to check what you’re likely to be able to access when deciding whether to request to use your awards.

Can you use Marriott Suite Night Awards at Ritz Carlton?

No, Ritz-Carlton properties do not participate in the Suite Night Award program.

What are the rules for using Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards?

The main rules for using Marriott Suite Night Awards are that they must be applied to a reservation at a participating hotel and that they are subject to availability. Marriott will begin checking availability for upgrades five days before the start of the stay. If an upgrade is available, the Suite Night Award will be applied and the member will be notified. If an upgrade is not available, the Suite Night Award will be returned to the member’s account. You can read the full terms from Marriott here.

What rates are eligible for Marriott Suite Night Awards?

Suite Night Awards (SNAs) can be used for essentially any booking that would be eligible for earning an elite qualifying night with Marriott. That includes virtually any booking made directly with Marriott (including Marriott STARS bookings), points bookings, and stays booked with free night certificates.

Giovanni Headshot - Suite Night Award
Giovanni Hashimoto

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.
All posts by Giovanni Hashimoto

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