A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador tier and if it is possible to reach it without a $20,000 spend.
You can access Marriott’s page for the Ambassador program here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Question from the reader:
On Marriot Bonvoy it says on the website that you need 100 nights and spend $20K US to get Ambassador status, I’m just wondering if anyone has received the Ambassador status by having 100+ nights without spending the $20K?
First, we have to go back in time 10+ years to the late 2000s/early 2010s.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) launched the Ambassador tier that was extended to a very small number of program members that they deemed important. It was not an official tier, as there were no qualification criteria. One of my friends was part of the program from the launch.
Starwood Ambassadors were actively in touch with hotels to ensure that the guest’s journey would be as flawless as possible. Each Ambassador had less than 100 members to oversee.
The program was extended to all SPG members who reached 100 eligible nights within a calendar year in 2012, and then the program started to go downhill. The number of Ambassador members greatly expanded, while resources behind the program were not.
Marriott Rewards didn’t have anything comparable to the Ambassador tier. However, it did survive the Marriott Rewards & Starwood Preferred Guest program merger but introduced a new minimum spend requirement of $20,000.
There have been several service downgrades, however.
Ambassador members no longer have single contact points but need to send emails to a generic email address that will then be dealt with.
Agents dealing with Ambassador guests are not allowed to call hotels on their behalf but instead need to open tickets that may or may not be dealt with at the property level.
(The 75% bonus points are also applicable for Titanium members and are not an exclusive Ambassador benefit.)
Back to the reader’s question. No. During the pandemic, there was a brief period when the spending requirement was lowered to $14,000.
Then there is always the question of how much extra the Ambassador status would be worth if you already have the nights. (This one frequently comes up.)
I would not spend significant money to reach the Ambassador tier over a Titanium one.
The Ambassador, and to certain level Titanium, benefits are worthwhile at Marriott’s full service and luxury brands of the likes W, St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, and EDITION.
I would not spend a penny extra to reach the status if your stays are mostly at select service hotels.
I could consider spending a few hundred for a staycation at a lovely hotel if I were short of the spending requirement of the Ambassador tier.
Many Marriott Bonvoy members stay at select service, international (some very inexpensive), or use mainly points that will never reach the $20,000 spent (remember that this is without taxes/fees – actual spend probably $25K+).
Are you within striking distance of the Ambassador night or spend requirements, and do you plan to make an effort to reach them?