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Marriott Ambassador Elite status has the most demanding earning requirements of any major U.S. hotel loyalty program. But, if you can earn 100 elite nights and spend $23,000 at Marriott properties in a calendar year, you'll get access to one of Marriott's most-exclusive perks: Marriott Ambassador Service.
Here's an overview of Marriott Ambassador Service — and why it might be worth being loyal to Marriott to earn it.
How to earn Marriott Ambassador Service
Marriott Ambassador Service is one of two key perks of holding Ambassador Elite status. To earn Ambassador Elite status, a Bonvoy member needs to meet two requirements during the same calendar year:
Stay at least 100 qualifying nights.
Spend at least $23,000 in qualifying spending.
Note that the spending requirement increased to $23,000 in 2023 from $20,000 in 2022 and $14,000 in 2021. That's a significant increase in just a couple of years.
This increase seems to be intended as a way to keep Ambassador Elite status more exclusive as Marriott plans to improve the program in mid-2023 with the return of personalized ambassadors.
» Learn more: Why I love Marriott Bonvoy
Benefits of Marriott Ambassador Service
Marriott Ambassador Service is a personalized customer service offering for those who have reached Marriott Ambassador Elite status — the highest published level in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Although earning Marriott Ambassador Elite status isn't easy, it can be worth it to make your stay more personalized. Here's how Marriott Ambassador Service can make a difference.
Customer service needs
Skip the hold music and automated answering machine. Ambassador Service is meant to make travel easier for the most-valued Bonvoy members. You get the exclusive Marriott Ambassador customer service phone number, connecting you with a Marriott Ambassador to take care of your needs.
For instance, if you're trying to use your Suite Night Awards to upgrade your stay, the ambassador can call the hotel on your behalf and try to secure the room. Also, as a perk exclusive to Ambassador Elites, Ambassador Service is the only way that eligible members can make a Your24 request.
If you want to personalize your experience with a special request or a particular amenity, your ambassador can work on your behalf to make it happen. For example, if you're celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone special, your ambassador can work with the concierge to find a local florist. Allergic to a particular food? Your ambassador can contact the hotel to request that the allergen is kept out of your room.
Ambassador Elite members receive a welcome gift when they check in for a qualifying stay. So, having someone who knows your tastes can ensure that you’ll get something you want.
The most important role of an ambassador, though, is problem resolution. Many of us are all too familiar with the frustration of having something go wrong, like missing points or a problem with your stay. Finding an agent who can actually resolve your frustrations can be the most difficult step toward getting them fixed.
Ambassador Elite members get access to an agent who should be knowledgeable and empowered enough to get you a resolution. Your ambassador can handle all the internal Marriott issues on your behalf and get back to you when they have an answer.
It’s much less of a hassle than waiting on hold for a half hour, only to get transferred to a different person when you finally get through.
The return of personalized Marriott Ambassador Service
Marriott significantly cut back Ambassador Service during the pandemic. In March 2020, Marriott laid off many ambassadors and eliminated personalized Ambassador Service. Instead of providing each Ambassador Elite with a dedicated ambassador, Marriott's top-tier members received service from a team of ambassadors.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Ambassador Service was further cut with another round of ambassador layoffs in October 2020.
Many Ambassador Elite members have complained that this degraded the value of Marriott's top-tier elite status. And it seems that Marriott may have gotten the message.
Starting in mid-2023, Marriott is bringing back personalized Ambassador Service. On a yet-to-be-determined date, Marriott will assign a personalized ambassador to each Ambassador Elite member.
This ambassador will be tasked with learning the travel needs and preferences of their Ambassador Elite members and work in conjunction with the rest of the Ambassador Service team to help with any issues or to facilitate any special requests.
» Learn more: How much are travel points and miles worth this year?
What are the other benefits of Ambassador Elite status?
Marriott Ambassador Service is just one benefit of holding Ambassador Elite status. Some of the best benefits of this top tier include the following:
Your24: Marriott Ambassador Elite members get to choose their 24-hour check-in and checkout time. That can be particularly helpful should you have a late flight or want to time your trip to maximize amenity usage — like enjoying a shower in your room after spending your check-out day at the pool.
Suite upgrades: Marriott Ambassador Elites are first in line for upgrades, including all the way up to Standard Suites.
Bonus points on stays: You’ll earn 75% more points than general members on every eligible hotel purchase.
Room guarantee: Marriott promises to have a room available to you as long as you book by 3 p.m. up to 48 hours before arrival.
Lounge access: If your hotel has an open lounge and you aren't staying at an excluded brand, you’ll get full access to it.
Guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout: At most brands, Ambassador Elite members automatically get 4 p.m. guaranteed checkout — even without having to make a Your24 request. This perk is subject to availability at resorts, convention hotels and Design Hotels.
» Learn more: Why Marriott late checkout can be game-changing
If you're considering earning Marriott Ambassador Elite status
Spending $23,000 and earning 100 Elite Night Credits in a year at Marriott to reach Ambassador Elite status is no easy feat. However, reaching the highest status in the Marriott Bonvoy program comes with a lot of perks. From Ambassador Service to choosing your own check-in and checkout times, Marriott offers its Ambassador Elite members top-tier benefits.
And Marriott Ambassador Elite is about to get even better with the return of a personalized Ambassador. Soon Ambassador Elites can begin working with a dedicated Ambassador who will make sure that their travel needs are met. That's not too shabby to have someone at the company who knows your preferences and whose job it is to advocate for you.
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