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Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread]

Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread]

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Ambassador Service general email address: [email protected]

Ambassador Service general phone line (USA): (866) 924-9885

Europe: +353-21-4861 222
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Old May 15, 18, 11:09 am
  #106  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
+1

Please consider keeping threads for event organizers clearly marked. This way you can get focused input from other event organizers and share ideas. For example, we have another ambassador thread where its hard to understand how ambassadors benefit most of us regular travelers because we keep hearing stories about how event organizers are treated. We get it ... and don't begrudge it, but issues regarding how event spend is tracked for Ambassador status is really what you are asking.

Others still have questions about how spend will be tracked for regular guests. For example, I've learned from the SPG board that there are complaints they don't get points for other hotel spend such as restaurant/bar/spend. I'm assuming my bar bill at the Marriott here in Mexico will count as spend.
Point taken. I'll create a new thread regarding event planner points/nights/spend and try to move some of this discussion over there.

That said, I believe my questions regarding spend credit for rooms 4-9 belong in this thread, as they are not part of an event contract. That is one of my questions, and an important one, as I only book 2-3 events per year.
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Old May 15, 18, 11:18 am
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by lexdevil View Post
Not just for lifetime qualification. Also for annual qualification.
Points are not a part of annual qualification in the existing Marriott Rewards Program or the new one. In the new program, spend qualification is for the ambassador level only.

The Rewarding Events language for points earning to which you refer is from the pre-merged program where none of the Marriott status tiers published had any spend requirement whatsoever. It also just says that spend on meetings and related services is eligible for points, not that it is "eligible spend" for the $20,000 USD mentioned on members.marriott.com. That has not been defined in any way yet.

There is no precedent on a minimum earn/spend being required for yearly qualification in MR, either in points earned or dollars spent. There is simply no way to tell what will be considered eligible spend until Marriott releases the terms and conditions of the new program explicitly defining what it is. It might include meetings, it might not.

Here's an example: United. Some people have their employers buy Bulk/Discount Business/First. United has a PQD (Premier Qualifying Dollar) requirement per elite level, the base cost of the ticket excluding taxes/mandatory fees. Bulk or discount tickets earned reduced or bonus award miles based on the elite tier, the fare class, and the distance flown (instead of most tickets, where it was based on dollars spent 2015 onwards), anywhere from 50-150% depending on fare class. However, Bulk/consolidator tickets earn zero premier qualifying dollars to hit the $3K/$6K/$9K/$12K PQD levels of the different elite tiers.

The end result is someone could acquire/fly hundreds of thousands of miles a year, go on 100 or more flights in international business/first a year, and for some, because all of those flights were on bulk tickets - earn zero Premier Qualifying dollars and not even qualify for the lowest elite status because they didn't hit $3,000 in eligible spend. Again - these bulk tickets still earned miles! Even though they didn't count towards the spend requirement. This FT member spent $25,000+ on bulk tickets a year and had zero PQD because of this. And before 2015, with the introduction of the spend requirements, they would be the highest elite tier with published qualification criteria (United 1K)

I believe it's possible that meeting spend may count towards the ambassador spend requirement. Trying to state that meetings earn points and therefore it's automatically "eligible spend" for Ambassador status is just an assumption at this point. Until what eligible spend means is clarified by Marriott, it's just a guess.

Last edited by phltraveler; May 15, 18 at 11:24 am
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Old May 15, 18, 11:32 am
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
Points are not a part of annual qualification in the existing Marriott Rewards Program or the new one. In the new program, spend qualification is for the ambassador level only.
You are correct. I was being dumb and lumping in the 10 nights part of the Rewarding Events program.
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Old May 15, 18, 11:46 am
  #109  
 
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Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
The Rewarding Events language for points earning to which you refer is from the pre-merged program where none of the Marriott status tiers published had any spend requirement whatsoever. It also just says that spend on meetings and related services is eligible for points, not that it is "eligible spend" for the $20,000 USD mentioned on members.marriott.com. That has not been defined in any way yet.
Of course. I simply offered it to demonstrate that event planners currently get some (though different) credit for spend that they did not personally pay for. In fact, I can get my 3 points per dollar spent on rooms in my block while folks who book into my block also get their usual MR points for what they spend on their room and incidentals. And if I book any rooms in my block I also get regular points on that spend IN ADDITION TO my event planner points. Clearly Marriott values this spend, as they have found a way to reward it.

Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
There is no precedent on a minimum earn/spend being required for yearly qualification in MR, either in points earned or dollars spent. There is simply no way to tell what will be considered eligible spend until Marriott releases the terms and conditions of the new program explicitly defining what it is. It might include meetings, it might not.

I believe it's possible that meeting spend may count towards the ambassador spend requirement. Trying to state that meetings earn points and therefore it's automatically "eligible spend" for Ambassador status is just an assumption at this point. Until what eligible spend means is clarified by Marriott, it's just a guess.
True. I'm trying to get an idea of what to expect in advance. I think it will be easier to get Marriott to deal with these issues proactively than to get them to change the policy once it is implemented.

I also did get some indication of what might be coming when the Ambassador told me I currently have $8K in spend when I know that I have spent $23K. She told me that it looks like, at the moment, the spend tracking only includes three rooms. My guess is that this means that they are doing what some guessed and just using base points as a proxy for spend.

Knowing this now is useful because it gives me (and others) a chance to reach out to Marriott and ask about the spend they are not including. Perhaps asking these questions now will lead to a better result when the final policy is announced (as happened with the SPG folks who lobbied for access to the LTPP status).
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Old May 15, 18, 12:06 pm
  #110  
 
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Will spend on group bookings and events count toward Ambassador status?

Folks asked that I separate off this issue from my thread on what spend will count and how it will be tracked. Here are a few quotes from the other thread to get the ball rolling.

Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
+1
Please consider keeping threads for event organizers clearly marked. This way you can get focused input from other event organizers and share ideas. For example, we have another ambassador thread where its hard to understand how ambassadors benefit most of us regular travelers because we keep hearing stories about how event organizers are treated. We get it ... and don't begrudge it, but issues regarding how event spend is tracked for Ambassador status is really what you are asking.

Others still have questions about how spend will be tracked for regular guests. For example, I've learned from the SPG board that there are complaints they don't get points for other hotel spend such as restaurant/bar/spend. I'm assuming my bar bill at the Marriott here in Mexico will count as spend.
Originally Posted by Wickersley View Post

It would appear that your issue is “how will they reward event organisers” which is a completely different topic & should have a thread in its own right.
Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
In my opinion, it should be based on eligible charges for a single room per night. Meeting planners, travel agents, etc. who book many rooms have other programs to reward them for steering this business Marriott's way. Ambassadors should be there to help individual travelers with their special requests and needs; group reservations departments already exist to take care of those needs for big groups.
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IMO the problem with counting event spend is that this would make it too easy for anyone booking a wedding reception (ONE of them) or some other event of reasonable size (such as most corporate functions) to get an Ambassador for the following year.
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Old May 15, 18, 12:18 pm
  #111  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IMO the problem with counting event spend is that this would make it too easy for anyone booking a wedding reception (ONE of them) or some other event of reasonable size (such as most corporate functions) to get an Ambassador for the following year.
I don't think giving someone who books a wedding an Ambassador for a year is a great risk. They'll still need to earn 100 nights, so they are pretty committed MR guests. They should be encouraged to bring their spend to/book their wedding with Marriott.

It's also only a single year. If they ever want to get Ambassador status again, they'll need to keep booking expensive events or do something else to up their spend. This is exactly what I assume Marriott wants to encourage.
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Old May 15, 18, 1:11 pm
  #112  
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One wedding might be enough if the person gets (partial) night credit for rooms in the block (whether or not the person pays for these rooms).

The point is that if event spending counts for Ambassador status, it often would require only one event.

Meanwhile, over on the SPG forum, the consensus seems to be that, based on current guesses about how spend is counted in the new program, many of those currently having SPG Ambassadors would not satisfy the $20,000 requirement. Of course, those on FT might not be a representative sample of SPG elites with Ambassadors.
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Old May 15, 18, 2:03 pm
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
One wedding might be enough if the person gets (partial) night credit for rooms in the block (whether or not the person pays for these rooms).
At least up until now event planners have only received 10 nights credit per event. So it's going to take one wedding plus 90 additional nights. Now 15 of those may come from the credit card, but there is still another 75 nights to accrue before receiving Ambassador status. If they have the old Chase card and put their $20K plus a touch more on it, that gets them 7 additional nights (at 1 night per $3K in spend on the card). I am assuming that they are smart and use this card for nothing but Marriott spend. Even that leaves them needing to come of with another 68 qualifying nights before they get an Ambassador.

As I said, I don't think this is a big risk for Marriott.
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Old May 15, 18, 2:21 pm
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by Wickersley View Post
My assumption is that they would track "base points" earned from stays & do the math from there.

ie 100 nights & 200,000 base points earned & you're "in"

That would suck HORRIBLY for those of us who spend 200 nights a year at RI (5pts per dollar)
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Old May 15, 18, 2:27 pm
  #115  
 
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Originally Posted by Hipplewm View Post
That would suck HORRIBLY for those of us who spend 200 nights a year at RI (5pts per dollar)
I've got to assume they would adjust how they convert base points to $ in the case of RI and TPS.
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Old May 15, 18, 3:03 pm
  #116  
 
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Originally Posted by lexdevil View Post
Is it fair that I get credit for spending other people's money?
Hrmph. FT's very existence is due to the overwhelming numbers of its members earning (and carrying on about) status earned via OPM (which makes all this bickering about "what [I'm] losing" fairly irritating to me).
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Old May 15, 18, 3:04 pm
  #117  
 
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I thought RI and TPS are going to 10 points per dollar ...

I agree it would be helpful to understand what counts. For example, i am at a Marriott property in Mexico this week. It's slow and they are offering lots of discounts that make prices on the property more attractive to local restaurants than normally. I always assumed those expenses would count since they always earned points but there seems to be concern on the SPG side that they won't count because they apparently didn't earn points at SPG resorts.

As a practical matter, I assume the 20,000 for non-events will be the same as points earning. Seems like it would be hard to segregate out the speeding in a tracking system. So, I suspect my bar bill will go into the count, and I also suspect that the two rooms I paid for last week will also count.

Don't have a clue on the other thread topic -- and thanks for splitting!
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Old May 15, 18, 3:17 pm
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
As a practical matter, I assume the 20,000 for non-events will be the same as points earning. Seems like it would be hard to segregate out the speeding in a tracking system. So, I suspect my bar bill will go into the count, and I also suspect that the two rooms I paid for last week will also count.
I agree. Especially as lots of the changes appear to be about aligning and simplifying policies across brands. The purpose of a spend requirement is to encourage spending. Given that, I assume that all of the types of spending they want to encourage will count.

I just wish I knew whether I will get credit for spend on rooms 4-9 (as there is no group contract in these cases).
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Old May 15, 18, 6:48 pm
  #119  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I thought RI and TPS are going to 10 points per dollar ...

I agree it would be helpful to understand what counts. For example, i am at a Marriott property in Mexico this week. It's slow and they are offering lots of discounts that make prices on the property more attractive to local restaurants than normally. I always assumed those expenses would count since they always earned points but there seems to be concern on the SPG side that they won't count because they apparently didn't earn points at SPG resorts.

As a practical matter, I assume the 20,000 for non-events will be the same as points earning. Seems like it would be hard to segregate out the speeding in a tracking system. So, I suspect my bar bill will go into the count, and I also suspect that the two rooms I paid for last week will also count.

Don't have a clue on the other thread topic -- and thanks for splitting!
NO to 10 points per dollar for RI and TPS. In fact, element hotels are being added to the list of places where one only earns points at half of the standard rate.
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Old May 15, 18, 7:54 pm
  #120  
 
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First, thank you lexdevil for separating this topic so we can discuss it specifically.

I stand by my opinion that Ambassador service is intended to help individual travelers. If one is booking a group of rooms at a single property, presumably there is an event planner or group concierge who is dedicated to ensuring their event comes off successfully. As such, if I was king for a day and chose to use that time deciding how Marriott should recognize spending toward the $20k requirement, I would only credit a single night per member and their spending on that single room. If there's another hotel chain (Hilton, Hyatt, etc.) that is more generous, I'd be interested to hear about it.
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