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Is InterContinental’s Ambassador Program Worth It?

Is InterContinental’s Ambassador Program Worth It?
Caroline Lupini

If you are an existing member of the IHG Rewards Program and frequently visit IHG properties while you travel, then it might be time to consider joining the InterContinental Ambassador Program. The InterContinental Ambassador Program is a satellite rewards and recognition program that delivers extra benefits at InterContinental properties all over the world. You can join by visiting the Ambassador Program website or by phone, or you may join directly at any IHG resort or hotel.

The fee to join is 40,000 IHG points or $200 per year, which easily pays for itself very quickly if you can make use of the key program benefits. While the basic IHG Rewards Program allows travelers to accumulate points towards rewards redemptions, the InterContinental Ambassador Program recognizes loyal travelers with exclusive benefits that were expressly designed to provide comfort and luxury to the modern traveler.

When you join, you will have immediate access to a complimentary BOGO weekend night certificate that refunds the second night of a paid stay at the Ambassador Weekend Rate. This means that you will need to book a two-night weekend stay at the Ambassador Weekend Rate (usually equivalent to or a little higher than the Best Flexible Rate) and your second night will be free. Depending on where you redeem this perk, your $200 annual fee could completely pay for itself with this benefit alone. Do note that this perk typically applies to standard rooms but if you would benefit from having a suite or club room, ask the hotel if they will allow you to redeem your complimentary weekend night in one of those rooms instead; many properties can oblige that request.

As an Ambassador Program member, you will also be entitled to guaranteed benefits during paid stays. Those benefits are not necessarily guaranteed during rewards stays, but many properties will allow them anyway so it is always worth it to ask and note your status as an Ambassador Program member.

Every time you book a room, you will be entitled to a guaranteed room upgrade by the time you check-in. This means that you will enjoy accommodations in a room one category higher than the room you purchased. You will also enjoy complimentary fruit and mineral water in your room as well as a 20USD credit towards any of the onsite restaurants.

If you are traveling with a partner, you will enjoy double-occupancy for a single-occupancy rate which is especially pertinent to properties that charge extra for additional guests. You will also receive a welcome gift in your room, a free pay-per-view movie, and late checkout until 4PM.

The onsite benefits are pretty good, but Ambassador Program members additionally enjoy automatic Platinum Elite status in the IHG Rewards Program. Platinum Elite status includes the ability to earn points with your stay as well as bonus points for renting a car with Hertz, guaranteed room availability, complimentary internet, priority check-in, no blackout dates for rewards nights, 30USD in-room spa credit, and two free Amazon Kindle books per quarter. This might be worth it to you if you are looking for a quick way to level up in the IHG Rewards Program.

So, what happens when your Ambassador Program membership expires? It is simple to renew your membership and the renewal fee is $150, but that also comes with another free weekend night certificate. However, you will also have the option to renew for $200 and receive 15,000 IHG Rewards Points as well as a 10% rebate on all of your redemption bookings for the following year. If you are planning to travel a lot throughout the year, then the math could work out in your favor.

I’ve been an InterContinental Ambassador for the last two years, and I’ve always been able to use my BOGO weekend night certificate. Last year I used it in Chicago for a conference that I was in town for and this year I’ve planned a nice girl’s weekend trip to San Diego. I am definitely planning to renew my Ambassador membership for next year.

Taking into consideration all of these great benefits, do you think the InterContinental Ambassador Program is worth it?

[Source: InterContinental]

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. weld3z

    March 6, 2019 at 9:29 am

    No it’s not ..Bonvoy all the way

  2. jaimemayo

    March 6, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I have it and used it last year in several Intercontinentals. But this year I won’t be so much in places that has an Intercontinental so I’m not sure.

  3. SpartyAir

    March 6, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Where in the world did you see that all these benefits you listed are available? I’ve been a member for several years and have not seen many of the benefits you mentioned in any of IHG’s literature.

  4. Fyd

    March 7, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    I’m IHG Platinum and was Ambassador for a year – I don’t think it’s worth the price and I didn’t renew.
    The Ambassador rate is usually a lot higher than the lowest available (prepaid) rate, so it’s more like a 20-30% discount than a free weekend night.
    And I didn’t notice much of a difference in upgrades from Platinum. Get the credit card & free Platinum for less than half the price instead…

  5. SeamusSA

    March 7, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Kindle books for Plats? Since when? How? Not a mention on the IHG Rewards pages….

  6. billcrews

    March 15, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I’ve been n Ambassador for several years. Started out because work travel allowed me to stay at the Kansas City Intercontinental on the Plaza which is a lovely hotel – I usually got club access on my Govt rate 🙂

    I’ve used the Weekend Cert (& the price is more than best rate, but still an amazing value at such hotels as the Sydney InterContinental with super club on top floor, The Strings & ANA Intercontinental’s in Tokyo, the Park Lane Intercontinental London (upgrade to the Bi-level London Suite), LA century city with huge terrace, the SF Mark Hopkins (again Suite with outdoor terrace upgrade & I forgot the certificate but they allowed me to mail it to them and adjusted the bill) 2 years ago we staycationed at the Willard (upgrade to the John Q Adams suite with view of Washington Monument and White House. Last year we staycationed at the new Intercontinental @the Wharf corner water suite. Not certain where we’ll use this year’s Cert. Maybe new LA Intercontinental 🙂

    I’ paid $150 to join and have renewed each year – used to be much less than 40K, but since IHG doesn’t recognize status on award stays, I use my points (mostly from card sing up bonuses) to renew. Works for me!

  7. billcrews

    March 15, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Oh, forgot t mention the InterContinental Times Square. I reserved the Jr Suite which has windows on 3 sides (up & down 8th Ave and east to Times Square). Since this was the highest level to upgrade to, they offered free breakfast and I asked for Room Service Bf, which they agreed to – a +$100 benefit each morning 🙂

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