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5 ways Marriott can improve Ambassador Elite status

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest information.

For guests who spend $23,000 and 100 nights annually with Marriott Bonvoy, you would expect nothing but the best from Ambassador Elite status. Contrary to what you might expect, Ambassador Elite doesn’t deliver significant value above Titanium Elite, the tier just below Ambassador Elite.

There are only two benefits of Ambassador Elite status that Titanium Elite status doesn’t provide: Your24 and the dedicated Ambassador Service team.

I’ve been an Ambassador Elite member since 2019. Like many of my fellow Ambassador Elite members, I’m not impressed by the additional benefits the tier provides above Titanium Elite status despite the additional attention from the Ambassador team.

If requested and confirmed in advance, Your24 allows you to occupy the room for 24 hours. For example, if you check in to a hotel at 8 p.m., you’d have the room until 8 p.m. the next day. I’ve never used this benefit, though, and some Ambassador Elite members have reported receiving unappealing rooms when using Your24. In fairness, it’s inconvenient for hotels to have guests occupy a room until after working hours. However, who wants a small room next to an elevator or ice machine?

In this story, I’ll walk you through the benefits I’d like to see from Ambassador Elite status that would differentiate it from Titanium Elite status — and encourage me to maintain my Ambassador Elite status.

20 points per dollar

Moana Surfrider Meals
Breakfast at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

This one is straightforward. You earn bonus points based on your Marriott Bonvoy elite status when staying at Marriott hotels. Here’s the breakdown at most Marriott Bonvoy brands:

  • General member: 10 points per dollar
  • Silver Elite member: 11 points per dollar
  • Gold Elite member: 12 1/2 points per dollar
  • Platinum Elite member: 15 points per dollar
  • Titanium Elite member: 17 1/2 points per dollar
  • Ambassador Elite member: 17 1/2 points per dollar

As you can see, every tier jump increases the number of points per dollar you earn on stays. Why is there no increase in point accruals from Titanium Elite status to Ambassador Elite status? It stumps me.

Without hesitation, Ambassador Elite members should be earning 20 points per dollar.

Keep in mind that at Homes & Villas, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element, Protea and City Express properties, these earning figures are reduced by 50%. Meanwhile, at Marriott Executive Apartments, they’re reduced by 75%.

Related: The 26 best Marriott hotels in the world

Ambassador annual Choice Benefits

Loft King Room at the London Edition
A Loft King Room at the London Edition. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

When you qualify for Platinum Elite status at 50 nights, you can select one of the following Choice Benefits:

  • Five elite night credits
  • Five Suite Night Awards (changing to Nightly Upgrade Awards in early 2024)
  • $1,000 off a mattress
  • $100 charity donation
  • Gift of Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status for a family member, friend or colleague

When you qualify for Titanium Elite status at 75 nights, you can select one of the following Choice Benefits:

  • Five elite night credits
  • Five Suite Night Awards (changing to Nightly Upgrade Awards in early 2024)
  • Free night award worth up to 40,000 points
  • $1,000 off a mattress
  • $100 charity donation
  • Gift of Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for a family member, friend or colleague

It baffles me that Marriott offers Choice Benefits each year when you reach its third- and second-highest tiers, but it doesn’t offer a third Choice Benefits selection when you reach its highest tier.

Here are some of the choice benefits I’d like to see when members reach Ambassador Elite status:

A generous third set of Choice Benefits for Ambassador Elite members would increase the program’s value and help justify the high qualification thresholds.

Related: Your complete guide to picking Marriott Choice Benefits

United Premier Gold status match

United Express E175 at RDM

Titanium and Ambassador members are offered a status match to the Premier Silver tier in United Airlines’ MileagePlus program. TPG values United’s Premier Silver status at $475, and it’s a nice perk of upper-tier Marriott status.

Shouldn’t Ambassador Elite status go above and beyond what Titanium Elite status offers?

That’s why I’d like to see Ambassador Elite members receive a status match to Premier Gold, the next United MileagePlus elite status tier above Premier Silver.

Premier Gold offers several benefits that Premier Silver doesn’t provide. Some of the most notable benefits of Premier Gold status include access to Economy Plus seating on any United flight at the time of booking (for yourself and one companion), two free checked bags, Group 1 boarding and waitlisted Complimentary Premier Upgrades on eligible short and medium-haul flights.

Premier Gold members also receive Star Alliance Gold, giving you access to almost all Star Alliance lounges worldwide (except when flying domestically within the United States).

Related: Complete guide to airline status matches and challenges

Club access at Ritz-Carlton properties

The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua in Hawaii. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

At almost all Ritz-Carlton properties, there’s an ultra-exclusive club level. Ritz-Carlton clubs offer a full breakfast, complimentary drinks (alcohol is included), afternoon snacks and evening hors d’oeuvres (think salads, two hot entrees and a side — enough for dinner).

While club access is granted to Marriott Platinum Elite and higher members at most Marriott brands, the Ritz-Carlton club level is exempt from this benefit. The only way to access Ritz-Carlton clubs is to pay outright for club access, book a rate that includes club access, have invite-only Cobalt Elite status or use a club-level upgrade certificate from the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card (no longer accepting new applications).

Seldom, but occasionally, I’ll be offered club access as an Ambassador Elite member when checking in at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. Out of dozens of stays at Ritz-Carlton hotels, this has only happened twice to me: once at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans and once at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul. On both occasions, the clubs were nearly empty and completely overstaffed, with uneaten food going to waste.

I’d like to see Ritz-Carlton club access extended to Ambassador Elite members, particularly given that many Ritz-Carlton clubs are almost always empty.

Again, this would differentiate Ambassador Elite status from Titanium Elite status, making it worth more.

Related: Stay at these amazing Ritz-Carltons across the world

2 welcome gift selections at check-in

St. Regis Bora Bora
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort in French Polynesia. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

If you hold Gold Elite status or higher, you receive a welcome gift when checking in to a Marriott hotel. While the welcome gift depends on your status and the brand you’re staying at, it’s common to be offered daily continental breakfast or 1,000 points.

During a recent stay at the JW Marriott Mauritius Resort, where breakfast was already included, the welcome gift options were 1,000 points, a $10 food and beverage credit or a bottle of Mauritian rum.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Ambassador Elite members could select two welcome gifts? Continued business and loyalty should be generously rewarded.

Related: How I’m spending over 5 million Marriott Bonvoy points

Bottom line

Titanium Elite status requires 75 elite nights per year, while Ambassador Elite status requires 100 elite nights per year and $23,000 of qualifying spending.

So what’s the incentive to stay 25 additional nights and spend $23,000 annually with Marriott? As of now, not much.

From additional point-earning opportunities to enhanced benefits, these are the five ways I’d like Marriott to improve its Ambassador Elite program.