Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?

In early 2019 the Marriott Bonvoy program was launched, following the merger between Marriott and Starwood. The Bonvoy program changed the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Most well-liked Visitor applications, to type a unified loyalty program for the world’s largest resort group.

One constructive side of the Starwood Most well-liked Visitor program that Marriott maintained is the Ambassador program, which is a high tier standing that provides extra perks. Nevertheless, qualifying for it’s considerably tougher than qualifying for different Marriott Bonvoy standing, given the spending requirement.

Readers usually ask if I believe this standing is worth it, so I wished to share my ideas on this put up. For context, I’m at present a Titanium member, however I used to be an Ambassador member for a number of years prior to now.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador necessities

Within the Marriott Bonvoy program, listed here are the necessities over the course of a calendar 12 months for Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador standing:

  • Platinum requires 50 elite qualifying nights
  • Titanium requires 75 elite qualifying evening
  • Ambassador requires 100 elite qualifying nights plus $20,000 of qualifying spending; nevertheless, for 2021 the spending requirement has been lowered to $14,000

It’s value noting that “qualifying” spending relies on the purchases in your folios which might be eligible for factors accrual. This doesn’t embody taxes or service fees, and usually doesn’t embody spa remedies, excursions booked by means of the resort, and so forth. Fairly it simply consists of room charge, choose incidentals, and most eating and beverage purchases, although I discover it actually varies by resort.

Finest with no annual price

Get silver elite standing for being a cardholder

Marriott Bonvoy Daring® Credit score Card

Finest enroll bonus

Get 1 free evening award yearly after account anniversary

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit score Card

Finest for Marriott perks

Get gold standing for being a cardholder and a $300 Marriott assertion credit score yearly

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?Marriott Bonvoy Sensible™ American Categorical® Card

Finest for enterprise vacationers

Earn as much as 2 free evening awards yearly

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?Marriott Bonvoy Enterprise™ American Categorical® Card

The true price of Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador standing

As you possibly can see above, there’s a $20,000 spending requirement to earn Ambassador standing (it’s $14,000 in 2021). Unfold throughout 100 elite qualifying nights, that’s like paying a median of $200 per evening ($140 per evening in 2021), earlier than any taxes and charges. That’s not low, however not outrageous both.

The catch is that:

  • Marriott co-brand bank cards provide as much as 30 elite nights per 12 months in the direction of standing yearly, so should you unfold the $20,000 income requirement throughout 70 nights, that’s a median of ~$286 per evening (in the meantime should you unfold the $14,000 income requirement for 2021 throughout 70 nights, that’s a median of $200 per evening)
  • This assumes you by no means redeem factors, and quite a lot of us redeem quite a lot of factors, making it even more durable to earn Ambassador standing

Personally I lastly misplaced Ambassador standing in 2019, as a result of I redeemed quite a lot of factors that 12 months. It’s virtually such as you’re on a spending hamster wheel to take care of Ambassador standing, since redeeming your hard-earned factors doesn’t make it easier to a lot in the direction of the standing.

What are the advantages of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium standing?

Past the standard Platinum advantages (suite upgrades topic to availability, 4PM check-out, and so forth.), what are the incremental advantages of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium standing?

  • Titanium members get a 75% factors bonus, whereas Platinum members get a 50% factors bonus
  • Titanium members get house out there suite upgrades at Ritz-Carltons, whereas Platinum members don’t
  • Titanium members get United MileagePlus Silver standing by means of the RewardsPlus partnership
Titanium members might obtain Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades

What are the advantages of Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador standing?

Above and past the Platinum and Titanium advantages, what are the incremental perks of Ambassador standing?

  • Entry to an “Ambassador,” who is meant to be your single level of contact for something you possibly can want from Marriott
  • Your24, which provides you a versatile 24 hour keep at a resort, the place you possibly can check-in at any time, and get the room for twenty-four hours (for instance, this will turn out to be useful within the Center East, the place flights usually arrive and depart in the course of the evening, so it’s superior to have the ability to check-in at midnight, and check-out at midnight the next day)

My expertise with Marriott Ambassador standing

The above are the revealed variations between Marriott Bonvoy’s high elite tiers, however what do you have to truly count on from the standing? Beneath are my ideas on this system, in no explicit order.

Ambassador standing is extremely dependent in your Ambassador

Like most issues in life, your expertise will differ vastly based mostly on who you’re coping with. After I had Ambassador standing, I had the identical Ambassador, Mike, for years. His service was at all times spectacular — merely put, he exemplified what this system must be, and for my part he must be working the Ambassador program.

He simply “will get it.” He at all times responded to my emails shockingly shortly, after I had a nuanced query he at all times bought me a solution, and after I did have points, he bought them resolved shortly.

He’s a celebrity, although I’d be aware that not everybody has had the identical expertise with their Ambassador. I get emails regularly from readers who’re underwhelmed by this system. One man emailed me and mentioned he had heard from his Ambassador as soon as prior to now 4 months, and she or he hadn’t responded to any of his emails since.

So the variance in high quality is large.

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?
The particular Ambassador you get could make a giant distinction

Ambassador members might get higher upgrades

This isn’t a broadcast profit a method or one other, although many accommodations prioritize upgrades for Ambassador members over Titanium or Platinum members.

Whereas all Platinum members and above are eligible for suite upgrades, it appears fairly logical that if accommodations are going to pre-block suites for friends, they’d achieve this by standing or different issues (reserving by means of Marriott STARS, repeat visitor, and so forth.).

Definitely not all accommodations try this, however on steadiness I’d count on to get extra good upgrades as an Ambassador member than a Platinum member, for instance. I’d count on this to mirror the developments we see in areas in relation to visitor recognition. In different phrases, in Asia I’d count on Ambassador upgrades to be prioritized extra, whereas in the USA many accommodations can’t be bothered.

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?
I do nicely with suite upgrades, particularly exterior the US

Your24 isn’t fairly nearly as good because it sounds

Your24 seems like a cool idea, although I’d be aware there’s an enormous catch. It’s fully on the resort’s discretion whether or not or to not affirm it, and accommodations solely achieve this two days earlier than arrival.

So it’s not simply topic to availability, however even when a resort has room, they don’t must grant Your24. For instance, this has labored nice in a resort in Abu Dhabi that perhaps had 10% occupancy, however I’d virtually count on this to by no means work at a resort in Europe, should you’re attempting to check-in early after a transatlantic flight (at the very least below regular circumstances).

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?
I used Your24 on the EDITION Abu Dhabi

So I’d say this sounds higher than it truly is.

What a very good Ambassador might do

Okay, let’s be extra concrete. Like I mentioned, the Ambassador that I had for years was superior, so what did he do for me?

For one, he shocked me out of nowhere and despatched me cute notes that made me smile every now and then.

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?
Mike generally leaves notes that make me smile

He additionally usually organized a particular welcome amenity. It didn’t occur each keep, however your Ambassador will usually ask what you want by way of meals and drinks, after which perhaps each few stays you might discover a custom-made welcome amenity ready for you (once more, all of it comes right down to the Ambassador you get, and the way a lot they care).

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?
I obtain welcome facilities very often

Past that:

  • If a keep didn’t put up appropriately, Mike at all times helped get it mounted immediately
  • He additionally usually proactively checked with me earlier than stays to see if there’s something he may do for me
  • Whereas it’s uncommon that I requested for something particular, if I did, he’d usually be capable to make it occur (inside purpose, in fact)

Mainly, my Ambassador made me really feel like I’m coping with a extremely superior human, slightly than a big, faceless firm.

I ought to point out that throughout the pandemic some folks have reported much less private service from Ambassador employees. I do know that many Ambassadors have been laid off, so there’s not fairly as a lot customization throughout the board as prior to now.

Is Marriott Ambassador standing value it?

Clearly there’s no one-size-fits-all reply. It is dependent upon:

  • What number of particular requests you might have
  • How good your Ambassador is
  • How a lot you’d stick with Marriott in any other case, and/or how a lot journey you must change round to make it occur

I used to be fortunate in that I had a incredible Ambassador. I do know another individuals who have nice Ambassadors, and I do know individuals who have dangerous Ambassadors. With a nasty Ambassador I’d say the standing is value little or no.

I’d say a very good Ambassador makes this a incredible program, although. Marriott is such a giant model that the expertise simply feels so impersonal, so to have an superior single level of contact actually is effective.

In fact that solely applies inside purpose. Is it value doubling your projected spending for the 12 months to qualify? Most likely not. On the similar time, I actually loved my stays with Marriott extra after I had Ambassador standing, each by way of the upgrades, and by way of the final customer support when there have been points.

Is Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite Value It?
I want I had an Ambassador for my Aegon Mykonos keep

I’m additionally lifetime Platinum member with Marriott, and the reality is that the majority of my stays are in cities the place I’d in all probability do nicely with upgrades at the same time as a Platinum. For instance, I’m typically discovering myself staying at Marriott properties in Skopje and Minsk, slightly than Marriott properties in New York and London.

Backside line

Ambassador is Marriott Bonvoy’s high tier standing, which requires 100 elite nights and $20,000 per 12 months in eligible spending ($14,000 for 2021). The standing gives extra personalised service, versatile check-in and check-out, and infrequently higher upgrades.

I loved my time as an Ambassador member, however I simply don’t discover it worthwhile to remain additional nights at Marriott to earn it. I discover that I’m handled higher as a World of Hyatt Globalist member, in order that’s the place most of my nights go.

In the event you’re a Marriott Ambassador member, what has your expertise been like?

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