I reminded you this week that you have until tomorrow, Jan 7th, at 11:59pm ET to choose your Choice Benefit award with Marriott.

If you earned 75 elite nights, one of your choices is a 40,000 point certificate.

Last year, I chose this award and got a certificate with an expiration date of 12/31/23. This appeared to be a mistake as Marriott makes it clear that whether you choose your 40k award in December or January, it will expire Dec 31st of the year following the program year in which it was earned. (This is counter to Hyatt’s 60 night Suite Night Upgrades which DO officially matter which year you choose them – if you earn it with enough time to stretch that out into January it will have an extra year expiration).

Anyway, I had made that selection last year with minutes to spare and I didn”t know if it was a glitch so I didn’t write about it.

This year, however, I *really* struggled between choosing 5 Suite Night Awards or the 40k cert and left it for today (hey, you still have just over a day to choose!). While I have some great European stays next year where SNAs historically work well, I’m quite bitter that all 5 of my SNAs from 2022 expired completely worthless and Marriott’s policy is to give you a stick in the eye and not extend them despite well known difficulties in actually using the darn things,

Oh right – the point of this post…. I chose the 40,000 point certificate (which remember can now be topped off with up to 15,000 points and immediately used it for a 52,000 point award at Tambo Del Inka in Peru where the cash rate was over $500 a night giving me 1cpp in value. But I also noticed this:

So now, despite what the terms say, this is two years in a row you are getting two full years to use the cert if chosen in January.

I’m not saying this will be the case next year, but I feel confident it will be the case if you choose it by 11:59pm ET tomorrow (Saturday the 7th).

That may sway your decisions…. let me know if it does!

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Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at the South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


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