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Marriott Bonvoy is one of the world's largest and most well-known hotel loyalty programs. As such, Bonvoy offers five tiers of elite status — from Silver Elite earned at just ten elite nights to the top-tier Marriott Ambassador Elite status.
But what does Marriott's top-tier elite status earn you, and is it worth pursuing? Let's take a look at the perks, earning requirements and shortcuts to earning Marriott Ambassador Elite status.
What is Marriott Ambassador Elite?
Marriott Ambassador Elite is the highest published elite status level in the Marriott Bonvoy program. As such, Marriott Ambassador Elites get a full suite of perks at Marriott hotels — from suite upgrades to lounge access and even the ability to choose their own checkout time.
This elite status can be challenging to earn. To get the perks of Marriott top-tier elite status, you'll need to earn 100 Elite Night Credits and spend $23,000 in eligible spending starting in 2023.
Perks of Marriott Ambassador Elite
Marriott Ambassador Elite comes with a slew of benefits. The long list of Marriott Ambassador Elites benefits includes:
Ambassador Service — dedicated Ambassadors available to assist anytime, anywhere.
Your24 — allowing you to choose your 24-hour check-in and checkout time
75% bonus points on stays.
Welcome Gift Choice — including points, breakfast offering or amenity, depending on the brand.
Annual Choice Benefit at 50 Elite Night Credits and another at 75 Elite Night Credits.
48-hour Guarantee — which guarantees you a room at any Marriott hotel if booked by 3 p.m., 48 hours before arrival (subject to limitations).
Lounge Access — including complimentary breakfast at hotel brands with lounges.
4 p.m. guaranteed late checkout (subject to availability at resort and convention hotels).
Ultimate Reservation Guarantee — which compensates you with set amounts if your reservation isn't honored for whatever reason.
Enhanced room upgrade.
Complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver status.
» Learn more: How the United-Marriott elite status match works
In addition to a higher priority for upgrades, Marriott Ambassador Elite offers two unique perks that are not provided to lower-level elites. And they are two impressive benefits: Ambassador Service and Your24.
Marriott Ambassador Elite members can get service from a dedicated support team of ambassadors. This team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist with reservation bookings or changes, Bonvoy account issues, or facilitate requests from hotel properties.
Note that Marriott is bringing back personal ambassadors for Ambassador Elites in mid-2023 — something that was offered to Ambassador Elites before the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, each Marriott Ambassador Elite will be assigned a dedicated ambassador to help during typical working hours. The Ambassador Service team will continue to be available after hours.
Your24 is a perk that lets Marriott Ambassador Elites request a specific check-in time. If confirmed, the checkout time is set for the same time on the departure day. For example, say that you'll arrive early at a hotel. An Ambassador Elite can request a noon check-in. If approved, the hotel will set noon as the checkout time on their departure date.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Marriott Bonvoy elite status
Requirements to earn Marriott Ambassador Elite
All other Marriott Bonvoy elite status levels have just one requirement: Elite Night Credits. However, Marriott's top-tier status level works a bit differently.
To earn Marriott Ambassador Elite, Bonvoy members must both earn 100 Elite Night Credits plus meet a spending requirement. Starting in 2023, that spending requirement is increasing to $23,000 in eligible spending.
What qualifies as Marriott Annual Qualifying Spend for Ambassador Elite?
Only "Qualifying Charges" earned on stays completed during the year count toward Marriott Ambassador Elite Annual Qualifying Spend.
Figuring qualifying charges for a Marriott stay can be a very complicated calculation. But you'll generally earn qualifying spending on the following expenses at Marriott hotels and resorts:
Spending during stays — including room rate, food and beverage charges to your room, in-room movies and more.
Qualifying spending at Marriott hotel restaurants, even when you aren't staying there.
All-inclusive package charges plus charges for premium food and beverage, spa services, golf bookings and more at qualifying resorts.
Bonvoy members don't earn qualifying spending for banquets, meetings or other functions; gratuities or service charges; room rate taxes or resort fees; or award nights — even on the cash portion of a Cash & Points stay.
Also, note that you can't boost your Annual Qualifying Spend by booking prepaid stays for the next year. Only spending made for stays completed during the year will count toward the spending requirement.
Shortcuts to Marriott Ambassador Elite
Interested in earning Marriott Ambassador Elite but afraid you can't spend 100 nights in a Marriott during a single year? The good news is there are a few shortcuts to reaching this Elite Night Credit requirement.
Via Marriott credit cards
Most Marriott co-branded cards offer primary cardholders 15 Elite Night Credits. The one exception is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, which now offers 25 Elite Night Credits per year. Terms apply.
Unfortunately, you can't sign up for every Marriott credit card and stack the Elite Night Credit earnings to meet the Marriott Ambassador requirements. However, you can stack the Elite Night Credits from one consumer Bonvoy credit card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. Terms apply.
For most card pairings, you'll earn a total of 30 Elite Night Credits from this two-card pairing. That gets you almost one-third of the way toward Marriott Ambassador Elite status. Or, pair the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card with the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card to get 40 Elite Night Credits solely through credit cards. Terms apply.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
Via Marriott Annual Choice Benefits
The other way to shortcut the Elite Night Credits to Ambassador Elite status is through Marriott Annual Choice Benefits. Upon reaching 50 Elite Night Credits and again at 75 Elite Night Credits, Bonvoy members can choose from a selection of Annual Choice Benefits.
At each level, an eligible member can use the choice to earn five Elite Night Credits. That means you can utilize both selections to earn a total of 10 extra Elite Night Credits.
Keep in mind that there's no way to shortcut the annual spending requirement for Marriott Ambassador Elite status. So, you shouldn't select Elite Night Credits as your Marriott Annual Choice Benefits choice unless you're sure you can meet the annual spending requirements in addition to reaching 100 Elite Night Credits.
» Learn more: How Marriott Annual Choice Benefit works
Marriott Ambassador Elite, recapped
As Marriott's top-tier elite status, Ambassador Elite status offers Marriott's most-loyal members a wide range of benefits — from suite upgrades and guaranteed late checkout to bonus points on stays. Even better, starting in mid-2023, Ambassador Elite members will be assigned a personalized ambassador to provide even more personalized service.
However, this elite status doesn't come easy. Members will need to earn a whopping 100 Elite Night Credits plus spend $23,000 in qualifying spending to qualify for Marriott Ambassador Elite starting in 2023.
Bonvoy members can shortcut their way to this Elite Night Credit requirement, but no tricks can reduce the sizable annual qualifying spending requirement. That makes Marriott Ambassador status unobtainable for many and exclusive for those that can meet the requirements.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card