As A Token Of Appreciation, Marriott Is Giving Me Status I Already Have

As 2019 comes to a close, Marriott has started sending e-mails out to members who won’t re-qualify for the same status level.  I’ve been an Ambassador level member for a number of years dating back in the SPG program. When Marriott rolled out the new Bonvoy loyalty program, they instituted a spending requirement for Ambassador status.  Going forward, members would be required to spend $20,000 per year to maintain Ambassador status.

At the time, I noted that meant spending over $200 per night for a traveler staying 100 nights per year at Marriott properties.  This assumed that most members would redeem points for at least some of their 100 nights, which would factor in a base cost of $0 for those nights.  I was also pretty certain I wouldn’t reach that threshold. That turns out to be correct and Marriott has advised me as such.

Marriott Notifying Members Of Drop In Status

I received the following e-mail from Marriott yesterday:

As Marriott notes, they’re extending Titanium Elite status to me for 2020.  Except, I already have it:

Probably should have had a slightly different script for lifetime members…..

Through a bit of fits and starts, Marriott ultimately ended up at a very fair interpretation of elite status for members of the combined programs.  As a product of my loyalty to SPG, I am already a lifetime Titanium Elite member.

The Final Two Pennies

I’ll be talking more about my plans for hotel loyalty as we close out the year, but this ending is about where I expected it.  It’s likely I could have racked up $20,000 in Marriott spending throughout the year, but that would have meant moving considerable business from Hyatt.  That’s not something I’m willing to do.

I’m glad to see Marriott extending soft landings to folks dropping in status.  I hope they’re doing this for people who are at lower tiers than Ambassador.  It’s been a rough year for Marriott elite members, regardless of surveys that say everything is great.  Along with implementation of peak and off-peak pricing, Marriott implemented other changes this year that will continue to hurt members’ ability to use their points to get lots of value.  With a number of unannounced changes that hurt business travelers (such as loss of benefits on travel agency bookings) it makes sense to give them a lower level of status rather than drop them to nothing.  Still, I think Marriott will have some issues retaining high-spend business travelers in the coming years.  It’s a large program, though.  They may not miss them at the margins.

Did Marriott offer you a soft landing?

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5 Comments

  1. I am Ambassador for 2019 and will come up way short for 2020 because I couldnt stand the crappy service by the hotels. I am lifetime Titanium so it will be interesting to see what they will offer me….Probably Hyatts 800 number!

  2. I’d love to know the impact of these changes. I used to stay 120-140/nights per year at Marriott and this year I cut that in half. Staying at Hyatt or booking through consolidator portals for convenience. There’s a point where free breakfast doesn’t matter when you’re already on an expense account. Unfortunate that there is such little value proposition for the points.

  3. I just made lifetime Platinum with 116 nights so far this year. I will not be staying any more paid nights with Marriott and will only stay if I’m using some of my 2 million points or there is no Hyatt or Hilton near by. My loyalty stopped when I made my 600th night with them, so the 608 nights I have on the books for lifetime is enough until they fix their dumpster fire. Thats all to say I’m Titanium with them this next year and expect to drop to Platinum and stay there going forward!

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