Marriott has announced upcoming changes to Ambassador Elite status for 2023. The changes include increasing the spending requirement, as well as bringing back the personalized Ambassador service, which was suspended during the pandemic.
There aren’t any changes to other tiers, including Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite, so you’ll only be impacted if you’re in pursuit of Marriott’s top-tier status.
Marriott Increases Ambassador Elite Spending Requirement
Marriott Ambassador Elite is the highest tier of Marriott Bonvoy elite status, which is reached by earning 100 elite qualifying nights and reaching an annual minimum spending requirement. Historically, the spending threshold has been $20,000 (USD).
However, beginning on January 1, 2023, Marriott will raise the spending requirement for Marriott Ambassador Elite status to $23,000 (USD), an increase of 15%. The elite qualifying nights threshold will remain the same at 100 nights.
For the remainder of the 2022 qualification year, the requirements will remain the same. If you earn Ambassador Elite status this year by earning at least 100 elite qualifying nights and spending at least $20,000 (USD), you’ll hold the status until February 29, 2024.
Earning elite nights is usually not the most difficult part in attaining Ambassador Elite status, given that up to 40 elite nights can be earned just by holding a few US credit cards.
Therefore, the lofty spending requirement is usually what stands in the way of earning Ambassador Elite status, and that will even more so be the case with the 15% increase in 2023.
The Return of Personalized Ambassador Service
Earning Marriott’s top-tier status used to come with being assigned a personal Ambassador, who acts as a dedicated point of contact for all your Marriott hotel needs. Similar to a Concierge for Hyatt Globalists, a Marriott Ambassador can make reservations, amend hotel stays, pass along information about a special occasion, and arrange for dining and spa reservations.
Essentially, Marriott Ambassadors can handle any and all requests related to your booking, and can even arrange activities and manage tickets for tours booked with the hotel. A great Ambassador might proactively reach out to hotels and communicate your needs in advance, as they’re familiar with your habits and personal preferences after assisting with a few hotel stays.
During the pandemic, personalized Ambassador service was suspended, and instead, Ambassador Elite members were provided with a general Ambassador contact.
The good news is that as of mid-2023, personal Ambassadors will be back in action. They’ll be assigned based on the language and time zone indicated on your profile, and will once again act as a single point of contact to handle all of your Marriott hotel needs.
Is Ambassador Elite Status Worth It?
Aside from the personalized service, the other standout feature of Marriott Ambassador Elite status is Your24, which allows you to check in and check out at a preferred time for a 24-hour period. For example, if you arrive at 11pm, you could check out at 11pm the next day, if your request is approved.
However, the Your24 benefit is up to the hotel’s discretion, and isn’t guaranteed. Furthermore, it must be requested in advance of your arrival, which your Ambassador can assist with.
Ambassador Elite status includes all the benefits of Titanium Elite status, which includes complimentary breakfast, lounge access, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, and suite upgrades, including at Ritz-Carlton properties.
Marriott Ambassador (and Titanium) Elite status also comes with United MileagePlus Silver status, which lets you to select EconomyPlus+ seats for free upon check-in, as well as space-available upgrades to business class on United flights.
It’s difficult to justify spending $23,000 (USD) and earning 100 elite qualifying nights just to receive the personalized Ambassador service and Your24 benefits.
Indeed, both Platinum and Titanium status already come with the majority of meaningful inclusions for Ambassador Elites, including breakfast, lounge access, guaranteed 4pm check-out, and suite upgrades (excluding Ritz-Carlton properties).
Furthermore, the American Express US Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card grants you Platinum Elite status just for holding the card. With an annual fee of $650 (USD), it’s a much cheaper way to enjoy many of the same perks as Ambassador Elites.
Similarly, you can earn enough elite nights for Platinum and Titanium Elite status through a combination award redemptions and credit card benefits, without having to meet an annual spending requirement each year.
Despite this, if you’re close to earning the top-tier status this year, it could be worthwhile to secure Ambassador Elite status in 2022 anyway. You’ll qualify at a lower threshold and hold status until February 2024, and you’ll also enjoy personalized Ambassador service upon its return in mid-2023.
Marriott is making changes to Ambassador Elite status for 2023, by increasing the spend requirement from $20,000 (USD) to $23,000 (USD) per calendar year, as well as bringing back personalized Ambassador service as of mid-2023.
For most Marriott loyalists who were never planning to pursue Ambassador service anyway, this makes little difference as to how they approach hotel stays. However, the changes are worth noting if you have significant amount of spending planned with Marriott in 2022 and 2023, and could potentially make a run for Ambassador Elite status.