Marriott Bonvoy Sending Out Status Downgrade Emails

Filed Under: Marriott

With the end of the year just over a month away, I know a lot of people are trying to finalize their elite status strategy for 2019. Does it make sense to do a last minute mileage or mattress run to earn status, or what?

Marriott Bonvoy Status Downgrade Emails

Marriott Bonvoy is sending out emails to some members who seem unlikely to requalify for their current elite tier next year. For example, I currently have Marriott’s top tier Ambassador status, which requires 100 elite nights and $20,000 of spending per year.

Yesterday I received an email from Marriott with the subject line of “Ben, You’re Not On Track to Renew Ambassador Elite Status.” Here’s what the email said:

TITANIUM ELITE STATUS AHEAD

It looks as if Marriott Bonvoy™ Ambassador Elite status is likely out of reach for 2020 — but as a token of appreciation for your loyalty, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status is yours for 2020.

Your ambassador is still here to help you make the most of your 2019 travel. Reach out to your personal ambassador directly or email [email protected] if we can help.

Also, remember to maximize our latest global promotion, Unlock More, to earn even more for your stays. In the meantime, explore Titanium Elite benefits and start planning your next trip now.

I haven’t even qualified for Titanium status yet (which requires 75 elite nights), though it seems like they’re only downgrading Ambassador members by one level. I’m not sure if this downgrade policy will apply at all levels, but that is noteworthy:

  • Historically Marriott Rewards only downgraded you one status tier if you didn’t requalify, regardless of activity
  • While Starwood Preferred Guest also offered soft landings, that was only from Platinum to Gold, as 75 and 100 night tiers weren’t formalized in the program in the same way

My Current Marriott Status Situation

Currently I’m about two thirds of the way to requalifying for Ambassador, both with spending and elite nights.

To be honest, I’m both happy and sad about not requalifying for Ambassador status.

I’m sad because I absolutely love my Ambassador, Mike, who is awesome. Not only is he incredibly competent, but he’s a nice guy. I hear sometimes from other readers who have Ambassadors who aren’t great, so I know I really lucked out in this regard.

At the same time, it simply isn’t worth it for me to requalify. Not only is the 100 elite nights a stretch for me, but the revenue requirement creates a system whereby I avoid redeeming points, since obviously redeeming points wouldn’t help you towards that spending requirement.

The further reality is that I’m not even sure I get that much incremental value out of Marriott Ambassador status nowadays, and that largely comes down to my stay patterns.

For example, I find that I pretty consistently get great upgrades on one night stays, but the value of that isn’t all that huge.

I got a great upgrade at the JW Marriott Bucharest

However, for the stays that matter most there often simply aren’t upgrades available, since it’s often in peak season when hotels are sold out.

Understandably I didn’t get a great upgrade at Santa Marina Mykonos in August

Bottom Line

Technically I could still requalify for Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador, as there are 44 nights left in the year, and I “only” need 33 nights. However, realistically there’s no way I’m going to stay that many nights at Marriotts.

It’s nice that they’re at least offering a soft landing. I was going to go out of my way to get to 75 elite nights to earn Titanium, though it sounds like I don’t even need to do that anymore. I might still do it if I’m close, though, because you don’t get to choose the 75 night reward if you don’t earn the sufficient elite nights.

My feeling about losing Ambassador status is still bittersweet — I’ll miss my Ambassador, though I’m happy to be a little bit more off the Marriott Bonvoy status “hamster wheel.” Titanium status should be plenty, and then I always have lifetime Platinum status with Marriott anyway.

Did you receive one of these status downgrade emails? If so, for what tier, and were you given a “soft landing?”

Comments
  1. Hyatt Globalist is the one worth attaining. Concierge service is incredible. Upgrades are frequent (I can’t recall when I have not been upgraded to a suite). Recognition is amazing at properties. Free valet Parking on redemption stays. And no resort fees.

    Nothing comes close to comparing.

  2. Nothing yet. I only have 18 nights (which were 15 from a credit card I cancelled in January and 3 from paid nights), and so I won’t re-qualify as Titanium.

    Which is just as well. Every dollar goes towards my Hyatt LT status now…

  3. I never liked Bonvoy ever since the end of SPG. Now I’ve switched to Hilton, it’s far better. Free breakfast even for gold (very valuable in Southeast Asia, where you’ll mostly ended up overfill yourself)

  4. Received the email yesterday. I don’t know why it bothers me, that the email tells me not to worry because of the soft landing to Titanium, ignoring my lifetime Titanium status… So, they’re really not giving me a soft landing (so I don’t need to be grateful for their benevolence!)

  5. Can pass that Mike guy onto to me? I have already requalified, will end the year closer to 200 than to 100, and mine I believe hasn’t ever seen a hotel from the inside….

  6. What you wrote above about SPG isn’t correct, unless it had changed fairly recently (pre-merger). SPG T&Cs definitely used to clearly specify that they gave “soft landings”, at least from Platinum to Gold. I guess there was nothing from Plat-100 to Plat-75 or Plat-75 to Plat-50, but those weren’t totally separate tiers, so I can see how they took a different approach there.

  7. Been Bonvoyed enough to start working Hyatt whenever possible. Yeah, I’m a little fish, but always enjoyed the SPG lower levels. Bonvoy, not so much….

  8. I also received the email. I’m also LT Titanium, so it’s not a downgrade gift.

    I’m in my 3rd Ambassador this year; awful support due to ignorance and poor support.

    Hotels “upgrade” me to rooms with lounge access or higher view, but I already get longe and higher floor room is same size/type. Had one complimentary suite upgrade this year.
    Most SNAs requested denied.

    As Ambassador, some hotels provide welcome gift in room; range from wine and chocolates to even a bowl of cereal, to more often, nothing.

    I would return to Hyatt, but they don’t have a footprint in three countries I go to annually. Also, even with past years at top elite, no Status challenge or match.

    I’ve been Bonvoyed off the hamster wheel.

  9. Why not travel to places during shoulder rather than peak season? Less crowds, lower prices, and a much better chance of being upgraded at your hotel.

  10. “but the revenue requirement creates a system whereby I avoid redeeming points, since obviously redeeming points wouldn’t help you towards that spending requirement.”

    And this right here is what kills these benefits with Marriott. I fail to see the value to Marriott in having BOTH a nights requirement AND a revenue requirement for an Ambassador.

    If they wanted to avoid 100-night road warriors staying in TownePlace Suites getting Ambassadors to help with with points bookings to Tampa, then just having a spend requirement alone should solve that. Penalizing their guests for using points stays is just an insult.

    If they want to reward loyal guests for spending 1/3 of their year in Marriott properties, then I don’t see how a relatively arbitrary spend requirement furthers a desire to drive loyalty or – for that matter – increased revenue. (It’s not like most road warriors can arbitrarily choose a Westin instead of a Towneplace with most corporate travel policies).

    And if they want high-value guests to stay with them – then a stay requirement seems to put the cart before the horse. Are they seriously thinking that Ms. Investment Banker in NY is going to be happy to spend their next $5k and 70 nights nights at Marriotts after spending $15000 on $500/nt Ritzes and Le Meridien’s?
    Are they going to be highly motivated to stick with Marriott to get an Ambassador of mixed effectiveness?
    Or are they going to go with the best Amex Fine Hotels can get for them and spend their cash elsewhere? Maybe they’d keep that cash with Marriott if the status requirements made any semblance of sense to who they’re trying to target.

    Instead of 100 nights AND $20k, hows about 125 nights OR $20k?

  11. Ben. You gotta use or gift some of those 2m+ Miles before they are devalued 🙂

    Did you not also made lifetime platinum or titanium?

  12. I haven’t received a downgrade letter yet. That may be because I’ve qualified for Titanium Elite on stays (not to mention Lifetime Titanium Elite status). Getting to 75 nights this year for Ben should be easy. Next year, I will miss my ambassador’s assistance with various hotel issues such as check-in times and points issues. The biggest loss is not the ambassador but Your24.

  13. I didn’t receive anything and am not expecting to. I’ve been Gold with Marriott since the merger (Starwood loyalist), but this year I’ll end up short of requalifing. But there is no benefit to gold anymore – no free breakfast, and lately I can’t even get a late check-out, let alone a room upgrade. So silver/gold/no status are the exact same for me.

    Perhaps they know that I’m a named plaintiff against them in the data breach lawsuit, which is why I’ve been treated with disdain my last few visits.

    I already transferred all my points out of Marriott to airlines earlier this year. Right now I have enough points for a one night, category two, non peak award. Will be formally joining up with a competitor soon as I have a lot of travel planned for 2020.

  14. I have 136 nights this year so far and will also lose ambassador status, have not received the downgrade email yet. Hard to take this downgrade with the amount of nights spent on Marriott properties, so time to move to Hyatt. Seems Marriott’s new award system will benefit Hyatt as they are gaining many new members!

  15. I’m not going to re-qualify this year. I stayed 101 nights this year but only $12K. Most of my stays are in Asia so it’s hard to spend $20K a year. Beside I’m not even sure the Ambassador even worth it. Got 2 reps and both never responded to my emails or inquiries. Called the line and REP would stated they didn’t have the power to do this, do that.

  16. With the way stays were calculated, my lifetime should be closer to Platinum vs Silver, but I digress. After 2 years as Titanium Elite, in two days I make it to Ambassador with both stays and $$. Last year, I had well over 100 nights, but 5K short of 20K. I had 70 nights at a nice Marriott, great Concierge in both the lounge and new M Club. There’s always a ….but, and here it comes. In an effort to better service, they brought in staff from other markets to “train” front desk staff and others. These people made things worse, because they were unfamiliar with the market and staff chemistry. It’s the General manager that should have been shown the door. Upgrades to suites became impossible, even when knowing the hotel was at 30% and suites were empty. You’d think that they would treat the group of people who stay at this property frequently slightly better. There’s a new Hyatt just 1000ft away.

    As for being assigned a personal Ambassador, I’m planning on a long overdue visit to family in Greece, and then several weeks on a beach. Summer is the only time to swim, and upgrades may be an issue. Being Bonvoyed won’t sit well, and as they acquire more properties, when will it dawn on them that their Marriotting renovations are going to drive away guests? That $1600 a night Ritz-Carlton suite suddenly looks like the $126 Marriott King Corner (upgraded) room?

    After this year, will I remain with Marriott? The competition is getting better. Let the games begin!

  17. I retired with a Lifetime Titanium Elite status, staying a approximately 500 nights a year for over 23 yrs. So obviously I don’t travel as much as I did when working. Are you telling me my “lifetime” status could or will be taken away?

  18. My ambassador is worthless. She hasn’t reached out to me all year. It’s a perk that’s not worth anything…better off using spillover nights to qualify with a different brand.

  19. I became Platinum last year and was hired at the same time. Marriott didn’t tell me during the job interview that I would lose my status if I took the job! I asked about how they handle Platinum elite guests who are also employees and I go an answer ‘ I don’t know’. I called about reservations and was told I could keep my status and get points if I paid full price instead of employee rate. This was also confirmed when I checked in at front desks. Now Marriott wants to forfeit my bonus points ever since I became employed which was also the same time I became platinum. I think this is very unfair to me. Anything I can do about it?

  20. I became platinum elite last year right before I was hired by Marriott. I told them during my job interview I loved the brand and was an elite member. They hired me without telling me that would be a problem. I asked about being platinum and employee during orientation and they didn’t know how it was handled. I called to make reservations and was told I could get points as a platinum member as long as I didn’t use the employee rate ; so I paid full rate instead of employee rate so I could maintain elite status ; I received an email saying they were going to forfeit points I earned since I was employed. This seems very unfair and inappropriate to me being that I told them before I got hired that I was platinum status. I feel that it’s unjust that they didn’t tell me I would lose this status if I took the job and they misled me into paying full price thinking I would benefit from points and maintaining elite status for my stays. Anyone else think I am being wronged?

  21. Disagree with many of the comments. Having a high level status with Marriott/Ritz/SPG is more worthwhile compared to other brands for a couple of reasons. Depending on the brand, does depend on if you receive a room upgrade or not, but the lounge access is quite useful to me. If you are platinum status or above for some of the other major hotel chains, such is not provided making it a downgrade. Breakfast is not as important as the lounge access which usually includes breakfast and much more. Another thing to consider is convenience. In many destinations around the world, Marriott brands are more conveniently located compared to other hotel brands.

  22. Bonvoy is a dumpster fire. Upgrades are rare even for a LTT. I was finally able to use an SNA a couple weeks ago for the first time this year. 3 still in my account, but won’t be using them. I started focusing on Hyatt and Hilton earlier in the year and doing the Platinum run IHG is offering now. Marriott has gone from my first choice globally for 20 years to the last option only.

  23. First off ambassador level is hit or miss. The only thing of value is the my24 which is also limited to availability by the hotels. I used this only once after 20 plus attempts before. I just want lounge access and that’s technically the only benefit that is worth anything

  24. I got one about my Ambassador status. They graciously “gave” me Titanium even though I already am lifetime Titanium and they didn’t acknowledge that. This just makes me more irritated about my SPG invitation only status they sunset just before the integration.

  25. How to get personal (email) contact to hotels with Titanium only?
    Being Ambassador for 3 years and now going to Titanium (getting the 75 myself, but also got the email) – one of my biggest questions is:
    How can I reach out to hotels via email w/o any bigger effort? On the old SPG website you always had several email addresses wheras on the marriott.com there are none. My ambassador either reached out to hotels for me or provided me with email addresses.
    Is there a similar way for Titanium, like writing to a “Titanium team mailbox” and getting support (instead of the personal ambassador) or a systematic way of the email address (like Accor has with Property IDs as email addresses)?
    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *