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Marriott to increase Ambassador Elite spending, bring back personal ambassadors in 2023

Nov. 16, 2022
3 min read
Marriott Maui
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Two changes are coming to Marriott Bonvoy's top-tier Ambassador Elite status next year.

First, the good news: Marriott will bring back personal ambassadors to assist Ambassador Elite members in their Marriott Bonvoy travel. This was previously a flagship benefit of Ambassador Elite status, but it was removed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bad news? While the 100-elite-night requirement will remain unchanged, the annual spending requirement will be increasing from $20,000 to $23,000.

In a statement, a Marriott spokesperson said, "To ensure the program is delivering the highest level of service to its most loyal members when it is most important, Marriott Bonvoy is announcing an enhancement for Ambassador Elite members to help make travel planning easier and trips more fulfilling within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio."

Here's a closer look at the changes.

Personal ambassadors

The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Big Island of Hawaii. RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

While Ambassador Elite status used to come with a personal ambassador, Marriott furloughed its ambassador agents in August 2020. As an Ambassador Elite member, my emails to my ambassador bounced back. Marriott's ambassador agents were among the company's best — tasked with ensuring that their most cherished clients were well taken care of.

In addition to looking after my reservations and often having a welcome amenity waiting in the room, my ambassador often sent local hand-picked restaurant recommendations and sights when I was on the road, and they were always superb.

In mid-2023, Ambassador Elite members will be assigned personal ambassadors again. Marriott is also launching a self-service preference tool that allows Ambassador Elite members to share personal information like interests, hobbies and food and beverage preferences. According to Marriott, the self-service preference tool is intended to provide personalized service.

When I logged in to my Ambassador Elite account and navigated to my profile, I found that this feature is already live on the website.

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Related: 6 ways Marriott can improve Ambassador Elite status

Increased annual spending

The JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam. KATHRYN ROMEYN/THE POINTS GUY

This year, Marriott Bonvoy members have to earn 100 elite qualifying nights and spend $20,000 on qualifying purchases to qualify for Ambassador Elite. Qualifying purchases generally include base room revenue from an eligible room and incidentals (other hotel transactions that earn points, like on-site dining).

For 2023, the annual spending requirement is increasing by 15% from $20,000 to $23,000. The 100-elite-night requirement remains unchanged. This follows the trend of airlines like Delta and United increasing their elite status spending requirements for next year.

Related: What is Marriott Bonvoy elite status worth?

Bottom line

In the coming days, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members will receive emails about these changes to the Ambassador Elite program, according to Marriott.

While we're glad to see Marriott bring back its personal ambassadors for Ambassador Elite members, by increasing the spending requirement for Ambassador Elite, Marriott is matching the reality of increased room rates since the pandemic.

In 2023, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite members will have to spend 15% more for their status but will once again enjoy personalized service from a Marriott agent.

Featured image by KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees