Marriott Ambassador Elite Changes Coming In 2023

Marriott Ambassador Elite Changes Coming In 2023

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Marriott Bonvoy has today announced changes to its top-tier Ambassador Elite status. On the plus side, the benefits will be improving. However, the requirement to earn it will be increasing as well.

Marriott Ambassador will require $23K of spending in 2023

Let’s start with the bad news — as of January 1, 2023, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite status will require earning 100 elite nights plus racking up $23,000 worth of eligible spending.

Ambassador Elite is Marriott’s only status tier to have a spending requirement, and up until now the status required $20,000 of spending, so that’s a 15% increase in the requirement.

As before, elite nights earned with Marriott’s co-branded credit cards continue to count toward Ambassador Elite status. However, for most the challenge is reaching the spending requirement, and not the elite night recquirement.

Just to be crystal clear, the requirement for 2022 remains unchanged, so you can still earn Ambassador Elite status in 2022 with 100 elite nights plus $20,000 of eligible spending. You’d then maintain your status through February 2024.

The Dubai EDITION

Marriott Ambassador personalized service returning

Now on to the good news. Historically the biggest benefit of Marriott Ambassador Elite status was receiving personalized service — you had a dedicated point of contact who could help you with reservations. Marriott suspended this service during the pandemic, eliminating the single biggest benefit of this status.

Fortunately this will be making a comeback — as of mid-2023, Ambassador Elite members will once again be assigned personal ambassadors to help make travel planning easier. These will be assigned based on the language and time zone that best matches a member’s preferences.

As Marriott describes it, personal ambassadors will work directly with members to assist with planning travel involving the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. Members will also be able to voluntarily share additional information about what is important to them, to further enhance the personalized service they receive.

Personal ambassadors can perform a variety of tasks, including booking or changing hotel stays and services, such as dining and spa reservations. They can also help facilitate other specific requests, like tickets for tours and activities, dining options, and ground transportation.

A good ambassador may occasionally also proactively reach out to hotels to make your stay special, even when you don’t have any specific requests.

There are some thoughtful ambassadors out there

My take on these Marriott Ambassador changes

Personally I don’t necessarily mind Marriott Bonvoy increasing the spending requirement by 15%. That’s not totally unreasonable, and is more or less in line with inflation. In many markets we’ve seen hotel costs go up by way more than 15%.

While Marriott restoring personalized service for Ambassador Elite members is a step in the right direction, I still find the value proposition of Ambassador Elite to simply not be there. The incremental perks over Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status include the personalized service, plus Your24, allowing you to check-in and check-out at your preferred time, at the hotel’s discretion (which is of limited value, since it’s not guaranteed).

The way I view it:

So not only having to earn 100 elite nights, but also having to spend $23,000, is a big ask from Marriott. The only incremental perks are personalized service (which could be super useful, or could be useless, depending on the person you get), plus Your24, which is of limited value. World of Hyatt Globalist members with 60 elite nights through Milestone Rewards get a personalized concierge as well, and that has no spending requirement.

As before, I don’t think it’s worth going out of your way to earn Ambassador Elite. If you happen to earn it through your stays anyway, great. If you don’t, it’s no big loss.

St. Regis Venice

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy is making changes to the Ambassador Elite program as of 2023. The spending requirement for earning the status will increase from $20,000 to $23,000. Then as of mid-2023, Marriott will finally be bringing back customized service for Ambassador Elite members, in the form of personal ambassadors.

It’s nice to see this personalized service resume, though I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze here, so to speak.

What do you make of these Marriott Ambassador Elite changes?

Conversations (29)
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  1. Andrew Diamond

    $23k? A week in basically any hotel in Tokyo will cover that spend requirement. :P I'm looking at next week and frigging Aloft is $700/night.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      And yes I know my math is off (well, not for Edition or Ritz) but it seems many hotels in popular destinations are now off the charts. I think that's why they've moved the goalposts.

  2. Really hit 100 nights in a Marriott Guest

    I'm Ambassador. Think 85ish nights YTD of actual bum in bed and will be around 100 by year end. Rarely get an upgrade, probably as people who don't stay in Marriott use credit cards (Or maybe Marriott doesn't make franchisees do - rarely get a "thanks for Ambassador")

  3. EmbarrassedAmbassador Guest

    Have been Ambassador for a while now - about 4-5 years. It's underwhelming at best.

    Marginal value over Platinum, let alone Titanium, is close to undiscernible. Between the various hotels that only offer late check out at their discretion (i.e., they don't offer it), room upgrades often defaulting to less than a suite.

    The only consistent thing about Ambassador is a free "breakfast" - which put in quotes b/c at some properties that...

    Have been Ambassador for a while now - about 4-5 years. It's underwhelming at best.

    Marginal value over Platinum, let alone Titanium, is close to undiscernible. Between the various hotels that only offer late check out at their discretion (i.e., they don't offer it), room upgrades often defaulting to less than a suite.

    The only consistent thing about Ambassador is a free "breakfast" - which put in quotes b/c at some properties that relegates you to a piece of toast and coffee (b/c your benefit only covers the "continental")

  4. Ash Guest

    It just happens I spend that much at Marriott hotels due to business travel, I avoid resorts and any location with extra fees and parking fees for personal travel. Until those two things get fixed I don't think this status worth considering or to be loyal to the brand for.
    I'm a globalist at Hyatt and I use them almost always for my personal travel.

  5. Fausto Guest

    I have been an Ambassador member for a while now, and I find it totally useless. You never get Your24, and the personalized service (even before Covid) is a total joke. I get better results by calling the hotels myself. Will keep my Lifetime Titanium Elite status and use more Hyatt and Hilton.

  6. Kingofgames Guest

    I made ambassador status in less then a year so I'm good

  7. Melissa Guest

    I am in complete agreement. The only perk I received at Ambassador level was a complentary fruit plate, once. The customer service representatives are terrible, they add ZERO value, all you get is a headache after speaking with them.

  8. Marty Guest

    I currently have ambassador status and it’s just not worth the Spend requirement at $20k. At $23k I’m looking at other programs. Out of all the stays over the past year, I have never received “your 24”. Every time I’ve requested it, its never available. It’s a benefit they advertise, but you can never actually use.

  9. Initials. P B Guest

    Don’t buy their BS! Pre pandemic I was Ambassdaoe Elite for 3 years. Frankly, the service was no better than being Platinum (by the way , I’m lifetime, but, who cares, it’s been so devalued!), honestly, don’t rush to be Platinum), I’ve been Titanium Elite for the past 3 years. it’s really not worth it. On top of that, here is what is insane, for many years including this past September, my company (me) spent...

    Don’t buy their BS! Pre pandemic I was Ambassdaoe Elite for 3 years. Frankly, the service was no better than being Platinum (by the way , I’m lifetime, but, who cares, it’s been so devalued!), honestly, don’t rush to be Platinum), I’ve been Titanium Elite for the past 3 years. it’s really not worth it. On top of that, here is what is insane, for many years including this past September, my company (me) spent easily US$500K on Marriott hotels, at a minimum….on some occasions, it’s over Us$250K on one hotel alone. Under my Marriott number…

    I’ve never, ever, ever, got a hand written card!11. It’s all BS…

    Here is what is crazy, I just stayed in Milan, with 25 clients at the World Economic Forum. We stayed at the Dorchester (Principe de Savoi) SP? It’s was my first time, I got a hand written note and a desert tray sent to me by the hotel manager on the last night. It was impressive.

    After 15+ years of being loyal to Starwood, now Marriott. Not even a card!! To be fair, the odd fruit basket… lol. I think that’s maybe standard when booking a suite.

    Lastly, sorry, I’m venting, I’ve stayed at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver at least 40 times in the last decade, say, 150 nights+/- No one knows who I am, except for a wonderful door man, who, sadly, (I think) is no longer works there. ;( Every time, I check in, it’s like I’m new to Marriott, it’s a joke. My bad, I’m back there in 2 weeks… don’t ask…. Oh, to put in perspective, I’ve got about 1,100 nights under the program and that doesnt include all the corporate nights I’ve stayed.

    Your24 doesn’t work, Rarely when I land in Europe is my roomready. Here is what is nuts… I’m paying for a suite!

    Don’t get fooled… seriously, it’s not worth it. Move onto another program…

    To validate who I am. Marriott look at my initials, I would be happy to talk with an executive two weeks from now at the Bayshore. You can look up my reservation and figure out who I am, it shouldn’t be difficult.

  10. chuck Guest

    they had to do something as the current program is a dumpster fire -

    agreed on the comment re the competence of the concierge - the concierge that i had for 3 years was great -she knew my habits and was a great help -i know of other members who think that their concierge is great and other that think otherwise- i think that everyone agrees that this current system is a waste of time

    ...

    they had to do something as the current program is a dumpster fire -

    agreed on the comment re the competence of the concierge - the concierge that i had for 3 years was great -she knew my habits and was a great help -i know of other members who think that their concierge is great and other that think otherwise- i think that everyone agrees that this current system is a waste of time

    instead of a single dedicated concierge, maybe they should consider the "pod" concept where the member has a small group of agents that share information about their group and can cover for one another.

    re the upgrades and other ambassador benefits, it is very hotel dependent - some hotels really honor the status, others (most of them give you the "thank you;....." speech and thats it . currently the agent has limited influence to change things - this probably should change too

    stay tuned

  11. Gary Davies Guest

    Agree with the comment that benefit depends on who you get for a concierge. I was Ambassador for 2 years and had a totally useless one that did NOTHING for me the entire time. Even had issues getting responses to inquiries.

  12. Leora A. Guest

    Since becoming a titanium member I've had 0 upgrades and I feel that there are less perks now than there were before. I'm on my 4th attempt to get my room folios credited to my account so that I can reach ambassador status and they seem to be doing everything possible not to honor my legitimate charges. I am honestly totally discouraged by them.

  13. Brian-EWA New Member

    Has anyone checked on Bill Rubin over this news? He OK? LOL

  14. David Guest

    Being titanium elite (for lifetime) has very few perks. The 4:00 check out is not automatic anymore (never was but it was always a given but not anymore). I have had two upgrades in the last two years. Not sure what else I get from being titanium but bonus points and the points are of much less value now.

    1. Jill Guest

      UA Silver status
      That’s why I am Marriott Titanium Elite

  15. Stuart Guest

    Great, now your personal concierge can tell you there are never any upgrades.

    1. hunter Kahl Guest

      This is hilarious!!!! So true. I feel like I have to play a game at check in ! Btw….. always call ahead and talk to front desk and ask if there are upgrades ….. if they say yes get their name and then when you check in and ask for one just say” Rebecca told me there were” works or just take out the app and book the suite in front of them and that...

      This is hilarious!!!! So true. I feel like I have to play a game at check in ! Btw….. always call ahead and talk to front desk and ask if there are upgrades ….. if they say yes get their name and then when you check in and ask for one just say” Rebecca told me there were” works or just take out the app and book the suite in front of them and that will usually work. But tbh they will always say unfortanely there aren’t any upgrades. You have to fight them to get one. I seriously think the managers tell the front desk to not offer them……

  16. Lee Guest

    When Marriott had personal Ambassadors, one's experience depended on which personal Ambassador one was assigned. My personal Ambassador was worthless. She never responded to my communications. Well, let me take that back. She did respond between one and three months later . . . after I handled my request via another means. With Ambassador teams, it was often "you'll have to contact the property directly on that." Go fish.

  17. Kacee Guest

    $22,999 more than it's worth.

    1. Deb Guest

      I've never received Ambassador status but I have titanium elite status as I was "grandmothered" in years ago. If I had to do it all over again I would not stay at Marriott. I probably would stay with Hilton because in my opinion, the price of the room and the amenities and the upgrades you receive, are superior to Marriott. I find that my friends who have Hilton get upgraded far more than I ever...

      I've never received Ambassador status but I have titanium elite status as I was "grandmothered" in years ago. If I had to do it all over again I would not stay at Marriott. I probably would stay with Hilton because in my opinion, the price of the room and the amenities and the upgrades you receive, are superior to Marriott. I find that my friends who have Hilton get upgraded far more than I ever have as a Marriott member.

      It seemed to me, and I may be wrong, but achieving status at Hilton was easier than achieving status at Marriott. Definitely not worth $23K for a "guaranteed" check-in/out (as mentioned not always available, so why pay extra?) and personalized service. With all the tools that are available on the internet, I would think that making my own vacation plans would be far better than reiterating what I want to someone on the phone and that alone is not worth $23K.

  18. Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

    Hit ambassador in 2021 on a fluke year that a couple high dollar stays helped me reach the numbers. Wasn’t expecting a big difference, and mostly there wasn’t, except I did perceive a slightly improved upgrade percentage at hotels that weren’t full. In 2022 many of visits were at full hotels; and hence upgrade percentage didn’t matter. Still I steered one of my trips this year toward Marriott (it was business and we had to...

    Hit ambassador in 2021 on a fluke year that a couple high dollar stays helped me reach the numbers. Wasn’t expecting a big difference, and mostly there wasn’t, except I did perceive a slightly improved upgrade percentage at hotels that weren’t full. In 2022 many of visits were at full hotels; and hence upgrade percentage didn’t matter. Still I steered one of my trips this year toward Marriott (it was business and we had to stay somewhere) and we hit it again. I’ve found the ambassador team not super useful, with one notable exception, but I’m interested to see what happens in 2023.

  19. Eve Guest

    The incremental increase in spending requirements and gaining other tiers might be okay for American members but for rest of the world who doesn’t have access to Marriott credit cards, it is a huge stab in the back

    1. eponymous coward Guest

      So Marriott has almost 5700 properties in the US out of nearly 8000 worldwide.

      If you’re expecting an American chain that likes making money to prioritize the members who make a small minority of their member base over what they think is going to make them more money… that’s cute.

    2. Deb Guest

      I've never received Ambassador status but I have titanium elite status as I was "grandmothered" in years ago. If I had to do it all over again I would not stay at Marriott. I probably would stay with Hilton because in my opinion, the price of the room and the amenities and the upgrades you receive, are superior to Marriott. I find that my friends who have Hilton get upgraded far more than I ever...

      I've never received Ambassador status but I have titanium elite status as I was "grandmothered" in years ago. If I had to do it all over again I would not stay at Marriott. I probably would stay with Hilton because in my opinion, the price of the room and the amenities and the upgrades you receive, are superior to Marriott. I find that my friends who have Hilton get upgraded far more than I ever have as a Marriott member.

      It seemed to me, and I may be wrong, but achieving status at Hilton was easier than achieving status at Marriott. Definitely not worth $23K for a "guaranteed" check-in/out (as mentioned not always available, so why pay extra?) and personalized service. With all the tools that are available on the internet, I would think that making my own vacation plans would be far better than reiterating what I want to someone on the phone and that alone is not worth $23K.

  20. Bgriff Guest

    It is worth noting that Your24 is a bit more valuable than you make it sound ... the hotel doesn't have to accept, but I believe if they do, you then have a guaranteed check-in and check-out time. I've often used it by booking multiple properties and seeing who accepts and then cancelling from there, for example. I wouldn't go out of my way to earn Ambassador for it, but it's not like standard early check in subject to availability as your wording makes it sound.

    1. chuck Guest

      i found that "your 24" is totally useless.

  21. Khatl Diamond

    If the ambassador service is anything like it was post-SPG / pre-COVID when there was no individual ambassador and everything went to a group email account, then it's simply more of the same and not worth it. And Hyatt's concierge service for Globalist continues to win the day.

    1. Khatl Diamond

      * there was effectively no individual ambassador, despite the fact that you were assigned one because of how requests were dealt with

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

EmbarrassedAmbassador Guest

Have been Ambassador for a while now - about 4-5 years. It's underwhelming at best. Marginal value over Platinum, let alone Titanium, is close to undiscernible. Between the various hotels that only offer late check out at their discretion (i.e., they don't offer it), room upgrades often defaulting to less than a suite. The only consistent thing about Ambassador is a free "breakfast" - which put in quotes b/c at some properties that relegates you to a piece of toast and coffee (b/c your benefit only covers the "continental")

1
Stuart Guest

Great, now your personal concierge can tell you there are never any upgrades.

1
hunter Kahl Guest

This is hilarious!!!! So true. I feel like I have to play a game at check in ! Btw….. always call ahead and talk to front desk and ask if there are upgrades ….. if they say yes get their name and then when you check in and ask for one just say” Rebecca told me there were” works or just take out the app and book the suite in front of them and that will usually work. But tbh they will always say unfortanely there aren’t any upgrades. You have to fight them to get one. I seriously think the managers tell the front desk to not offer them……

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