Marriott’s Transition From Suite Upgrades To Night Upgrades Is Live

Marriott’s transition to reset member expectations away from upgrades to suites, and to shorten the time period for upgrades, is now rolling out.

  • Suite Night Awards are now Nightly Upgrade Awards
  • Those clear starting 3 days prior to arrival, rather than the previous 5 days in advance
  • They can now be used at more brands, with the inclusion of Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Aloft, Element and Protea hotels.

Suite at Las Alcobas, Mexico City

Suite Living Room, Sheraton Denver Tech Center

These awards remain choice benefits that members can select after 50 and 75 nights each year, to gain priority for upgrades into a selected room type for a limited number of trips. With the push towards upgrades to more room types, the drive is both to clear more upgrades and to clear them into lower room types, renaming the benefit to align member expectations away from suites even as other chains do a better job of delivering suites to elite guests.

I first broke the details of this change last summer.

Marriott Bonvoy is a huge program. They mint Platinums just by obtaining their premium credit card, and members can earn 40 elite nights out of 50 for platinum (that qualifies for a choice benefit of these upgrades) with two credit cards. And – unlike Hyatt and IHG – Marriott capacity controls their upgrades.

  • Just because a room is available to book, doesn’t mean Marriott makes them available for upgrade through this program.
  • In fact it’s only the rooms that a hotel doesn’t expect to sell, including through buy ups at check-in, that get allocated.
  • As a result customers who want suites with ‘suite night awards’ are frequently disappointed.
  • Hence the attempt to shift expectations for what an upgrade is.

IHG now offers confirmed upgrades into suites out of revenue inventory starting within 14 days of check-in. Hyatt offers this at time of booking. Marriott is moving in the opposite direction, making less-than suite upgrades available out of restricted inventory starting 3 days prior to arrival. That’s a huge disappointment, though on the plus side these advance upgrades can now be claimed at Ritz-Carlton and EDITION properties which were previously excluded.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. IHG booking widows where majority of bookings come in is 3 days . FACT.

    All this bull theories have no value and most of it is false advertising.

  2. I have several ritz reservations. But, I’m not seeing the ability to apply the suite nights awards to them yet. Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

  3. So wrong of Marriott
    They should have let us keep what we had and then issued the new program as they are earned

  4. Simply no words for how much I miss Starwood. Was praying for sale, if needed, to go to Hyatt. This is worst possible income. Worked my ass off to become Starwood Plat forcLife. Now Marriott gives away w credit card! Five nights booked for September at Opera Ambassador in Paris. Paid points plus $1300 up charge to guarantee suite as I no longer trust them. Sad devolution. Rant overM

  5. Update: I called in and was able to apply Suite night awards to 4 Ritz Carlton nights.

    It will be interesting to see if these actually work

  6. I got a new path to being Bonvoyed.

    74th and 75th nights were 12/30 and 12/31 in Sheraton NOLA, checkout 1/3/24. The stay STILL has not posted, so I panicked and used 50-nt Choice award for 5 Elite nights (would have selected the 5-nt upgrade), yet never got an invite for the 75-nt Choice, so it defaulted to the 5-nt upgrade after 1/7. I would have selected the free 40k night instead for 75k.

    So I wasted my 50-nt.award to try to get the 75nt free night – but got neither. The 5 Elite nights are completely wasted assuming Sheraton NOLA stay eventually posts.

    I put near-zero value.on the suite nights, now devalued further. I have successfully used them once, for one night, out of 15 or 20.

  7. Oh how we miss Starwood.
    We saw it coming.
    Twenty years Marriott and Starwood membership is a disappointment. Long waits on
    the phone with poorly trained
    advisors. They prefer the clients
    Work the internet. Too much left
    us disappointed.

  8. I echo the comments reguardimng the disappointment when Starwood became Bonvoy. Starwood was a class act and their points had true value, no blackout dates and you could believe the promises thier program made. One comparison. A beach resort in Hawaii that was 48,000 points for 5 nights, now 288,000 Bon voy points for 5 nights in the same roo..

  9. Marriott is a for profit company. They are going to do what is best for their bottom line. If you don’t like it, stay somewhere else.

  10. @Tom – why assume that this is best for their bottom line? My suspicion is it may be in the short-term, and that they’re sacrificing long term profitability. Sad.

  11. Extremely disappointed with Marriott this past year. Stayed in London for Christmas in 2023. This stay was going to put me right at 75 nights for the year. Was denied stays/night credits because my reservation was booked by a third party. Despite the fact that I upgraded my room to an executive suite and was literally promised by the staff that my stay would be credited to my Bonvoy. No go. “We’ll provide additional training to the staff” Thank you for letting us know” Policy is acceptable. But accommodations can be made for loyalty and an honest mistake on behalf of the staff. Customer should not have to pay the penalty.

  12. What am I missing?? 3rd party reservations don’t count..(free corporate exceptions)

    Why sounds you have thought it would count.
    They are so loud and clear about that.

  13. Gary, the whole Marriott upgrade program is a scam. I have been for years a titanium member with 5 suite upgrades per year and have never once been upgraded.

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