Marriott Letting ‘Real’ 2022 Ambassador Members Gift Platinum Status

With Marriott extending everyone’s elite status for next year, there are plenty of members getting a status gift – recognizing that once-loyal guests haven’t had their business travel start back up, and especially those whose travels normally taken them abroad including to Asia.

On the other hand there are members who have spent countless nights with their head in beds in 2021. They’ve given Marriott their stays and it turns out they didn’t need to do this in order to keep their elite tier for 2022.

While Platinum (50 night) and Titanium (75 night) members aren’t really going to be ahead of their peers if they actually earned status ‘the real way’ (though Marriott’s algorithm for applying Suite Night Awards may take account of this), Ambassador members who requalified with 100 elite nights and $14,000 or more in spend will receive a benefit that those who are having their status extended will not.

Ambassador Elites who qualified ‘the real way’ (100+ elite nights plus at least $14,000 in spend) will be able to gift a Platinum Elite status in 2022.

Marriott shares,

Heading into 2022, we are taking this opportunity to renew our commitment to the Ambassador program to improve and elevate the experience for our most loyal members. We hope you feel the impact of our pledge and look forward to continuing to host…Ambassador Elite member[s] in the year ahead.

Ambassador elite status in 2022 will again require $20,000 spend and 100 elite nights. The announced $14,000 spend level was a one-off for 2021. However we’ll see what kind of promotions Marriott offers for elite nights in the coming year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. What a sad benefit… it’s laughable to offer that! I re-earned Ambassador this year and can’t think of a more useless gift or benefit! Definitely done with Hotels and switching to 100% Airbnb!

  2. What’s the point of a gift platinum status unless you’re married or have a partner? Most domestic hotels don’t have lounges open and breakfast remains inconsistent at best and nonexistent at worst.

  3. What an insult ! In this environment , that is best they can offer ‘Real’ Ambassadors ? Actually , it would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

  4. I am days away from the trip that hits the 14k…. 125 nights.. my bonus for staying loyal Platinum status for my partner who travels with me. Hum…. Let’s try that bonus again..

  5. I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener I mean Real Ambassador
    I’m only a lowly pitiful Lifetime Titanium 🙂
    Nothing better than some faux elites!

  6. If a person already has a Marriott BonVoy Boundless credit card with points on it, I wonder how many points does it take to get one free night at their hotel. Does anyone know?

  7. Good morning as I have already hit the goals for Marriott this year for Ambassador Elite I liked to say that the bonus program has been very weak this year and as I talk with people in Hilton they show me that they are always receiving some kind of bonus every month or a chance to receive something if you hit certain amount of stays. Marriott needs to consider working on there bonus programs moving forward.

  8. This year I had a real chance to get the Ambassador level (with ca. 80 nights + some good spending too) but I have decided to switch to Hyatt (50 nights so far) and I am very pleased with the switch overall and bonuses after each 10 nights starting with 30. No regrets for not reaching Ambassador.

  9. With the continual elite status extensions, members can receive devalued benefits and be denied room upgrades for even longer. This is great!!! But seriously folks . . . in fact, realization of benefits are ultimately controlled by the individual properties. The individual properties do not care diddly squat about one’s loyalty to Marriott or Hilton or Hyatt. They care about whether you are a repeat paying guest at their specific properties. If you’re not a repeat paying guest, don’t expect anything. With all hotel loyalty programs, it’s just a game of points . . . unless your target redemption property is “managing” award inventory . . . in which case, it’s not even a game of points. Is there an alternative? Yes. If you are a repeat guest for enough nights, you can negotiate a lower rate with the sales office . . . which might well be of greater value than loyalty program benefits and points.

  10. To Joe who says “Marriott is the best,” I strongly disagree with you. I am a multi-year Ambassador. My annual hotel spend is in the six-digits and the first digit is not a one. Via spend IN ONE YEAR, I could earn Hilton Diamond for Life or Hyatt Globalist for Life (but for any time requirement). My profile is the one every hotel network wants. But, in my experience, loyalty has not a two-way street and hotel tier status is meaningless. It’s a racket.

    Time after time, in spite of MULTIPLE rooms in a (permissible) higher category being available for my entire stay at the time of check-in, individual properties resist granting upgrades. In one case, I had a hotel manager expressly say to me, “I’m simply not going to give you an upgrade for seven days.” But, I could PAY for an upgrade. And, upgrades are listed as a benefit because . . . ? In another case, I had a confirmed paid suite. The property downgraded me to a non-suite and was going to charge me the room rate for the suite. (Gary is familiar with this one.) No more for me.

    As my dear departed mother would say, “They can go be with themselves.”

    I am fortunate enough to have settled on a stable of properties at which I am a regular and in a position to negotiate rates with their sales offices.

  11. While I could be frustrated with Marriott moving the Goalposts and only givings a token gesture of allowing to gift Platinum, to those who actually stayed and paid this year’s original Ambassador requirements, I do fully understand their reason why.

    I have been Ambassador for years. So far in 2021, I have earned 121 nights and have paid almost $12,000 in Elite Qualifying Dollars with Marriott. I am in a middle of a 7 day Marriott stay that will put me over $15,000 and 128 nights YTD 2021. I have several more firm Marriott reservations that will add 14 more nights and add over $6,000 more Qualifying Dollars … totaling 142 nights and over $21,000 for 2021. Granted, 80 of those nights were gifted by Marriott for being Ambassador and two Marriott Credit Cards … so I will only truly stay 62 actual nights in Marriott hotels this year.

    I have also stayed 45 nights this year so far at Hilton (I am Diamond) and will stay about 31 nights with Hyatt (Globalist).

    All of my stays at Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt are dramatically down this year and last year due to Covid-19 related travel reductions.

    In my humble opinion, it is very understandable to have moving goalposts during these still very challenging and evolving times for the hotel and airline industry.

    Gary, as always, thanks for the great article!

  12. Reno Joe – how could you be renting standard rooms, looking for an upgrade, with your personal annual spend being north of 200k/yr? That would require staying over half a year at properties where you could pay in excess of $1000 a night. Unless you are essentially living out of hotels full time in the Maldives, I don’t see how the math works out…

  13. Negotiating a local rate with a sales office is beneficial if your company stays in a particular local area but negates the need for a loyalty program with Marriott.

    If a particular hotel is undermining the Marriott program then they should be removed.

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