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. 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 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?