Maximizing the value of Intercontinental Ambassador?

Old Nov 25, 19, 6:59 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 7,384
Maximizing the value of Intercontinental Ambassador?

So I signed up for IC Ambassador for my stay at the IC Hangzhou last month. Iím new to the program, but I think thereís a certificate for a free night when combined with a paid night? I donít really have anymore plans to spend that much more nights at IHG properties in 2020. Iím hoping to get value that match or exceed the price of membership. Next month, Iíll be in Bangkok. In early 2020, Iíll be spending about a week each in Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia. What do you guys recommend I should do?
lsquare is offline  
Old Nov 25, 19, 12:47 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Programs: Marriott Titanium, IHG Platinum Ambassador, AA Nothing
Posts: 15
Hi Isquare - I did the same thing you are doing. My one August 3 night stay at the Prague IC certainly was worth the $200 spent on Ambassador membership. I booked a King Bed Deluxe Room and was upgraded to Junior Suite. Over 3 nights, it would of been a roughly $400 difference if I was not Ambassador. I do recommend you contact a manager at the IC Hangzhou prior to your arrival to ensure your benefits. Let her or him know you are new to Ambassador and I am sure you will be taken care of well.

As far as the free night, I have yet to take advantage of mine. You must book the IC rate for the other weekend night. That IC rate varies to the property, so I am waiting it out before I use my free night.
Enjoy Platinum Elite status with other IHG properties and sign up for the promotions. They tend to give out non-elite points like candy. That being said, I tend to use Marriott a lot more (titanium status).

Good luck!
NativePhD is offline  
Old Nov 25, 19, 1:07 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 18,393
I bought a membership, the 20k points (10k + 10k cyber sale bonus) are going towards a stay in Bangkok at a HIX, the weekend night is going to a Saturday night at The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo (Saturday tends to be an expensive night for stays in Japan, so that works out well). All told I got more than the value of the membership from just those two things... and given that IHG elite membership isn't all that, I'm fine with that.
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old Nov 26, 19, 12:48 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Programs: AAPlt 1MM, HHDmd, MBvPLT/LTG, PCAmb
Posts: 1,283
I first signed up for Ambassador in late 2001 because I had a stay at a property in Rio -- the initial free weekend night paid for the cost of the membership. Never expected I would still have it active nearly 20 years later, but each year I have found an opportunity to use my membership worth keeping the membership. Often that is the free weekend night - even now with a slightly higher rate on the paid night since you have to book an Ambassador rate (a change a few years ago). But actually the past two years I have not even used my free night -- but it has still been worth it for the room upgrades as work has me staying at the IC Strings in Tokyo several times per year.

As NativePhD pointed out definitely reach out to the hotel when you are considering making a reservation. Most have a clear upgrade path defined from the room you book to where they will put an Ambassador, so usually they can tell you exactly the room upgrade you will get -- and then you can judge the value based on the rate you will pay. As an example earlier this year I was looking for 9 nights in Hong Kong for this holiday season (before the protests started) and was trying to find my best price for a suite (with separated bedroom) with a harbor view and including breakfast (and a hotel that would let us have 2 small children in the room with us). The IC Grand Stanford ended up being the best deal I could find in the city because of the upgrade they confirmed at time of booking - even though I was paying for a Club Intercontinental room to get breakfast vs. getting that for free at Hilton or Marriott. Ended up changing things because of the protests but I would have assigned at least $100/night value to that compared to the other options that would have worked for me at the time I was reserving.

Also always check the prevailing rates vs. what you can buy the points for and then redeem at ICs. There are threads on here discussing - but often the max points for an IC hotel night can be a good deal in large cities like NYC or Tokyo, especially when you then consider the Ambassador benefits for the stay.
lsquare likes this.
dbuckho is offline  
Old Nov 26, 19, 1:17 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 7,384
Originally Posted by dbuckho View Post
I first signed up for Ambassador in late 2001 because I had a stay at a property in Rio -- the initial free weekend night paid for the cost of the membership. Never expected I would still have it active nearly 20 years later, but each year I have found an opportunity to use my membership worth keeping the membership. Often that is the free weekend night - even now with a slightly higher rate on the paid night since you have to book an Ambassador rate (a change a few years ago). But actually the past two years I have not even used my free night -- but it has still been worth it for the room upgrades as work has me staying at the IC Strings in Tokyo several times per year.

As NativePhD pointed out definitely reach out to the hotel when you are considering making a reservation. Most have a clear upgrade path defined from the room you book to where they will put an Ambassador, so usually they can tell you exactly the room upgrade you will get -- and then you can judge the value based on the rate you will pay. As an example earlier this year I was looking for 9 nights in Hong Kong for this holiday season (before the protests started) and was trying to find my best price for a suite (with separated bedroom) with a harbor view and including breakfast (and a hotel that would let us have 2 small children in the room with us). The IC Grand Stanford ended up being the best deal I could find in the city because of the upgrade they confirmed at time of booking - even though I was paying for a Club Intercontinental room to get breakfast vs. getting that for free at Hilton or Marriott. Ended up changing things because of the protests but I would have assigned at least $100/night value to that compared to the other options that would have worked for me at the time I was reserving.

Also always check the prevailing rates vs. what you can buy the points for and then redeem at ICs. There are threads on here discussing - but often the max points for an IC hotel night can be a good deal in large cities like NYC or Tokyo, especially when you then consider the Ambassador benefits for the stay.
I'm a little confused. So I can use the free night with a point redemption?
lsquare is offline  
Old Nov 26, 19, 1:44 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 18,393
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I'm a little confused. So I can use the free night with a point redemption?
No, you cannot. Itís used in conjunction with a paid stay for the first night. The second night will be free.
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old Nov 26, 19, 5:12 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seat 1A when possible
Programs: SK EBg/baEC G/MR P/A3 *G/CC G/HH D/IHG Spire
Posts: 4,637
I used to value the ambassador service team the modt as they handled thibgs quite fast but this month they seems to have changed... Waiting for two responses for over 2/3 weeks now
Sisyphus1carus likes this.
kauppias is offline  
Old Nov 26, 19, 1:23 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 7,384
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
No, you cannot. Itís used in conjunction with a paid stay for the first night. The second night will be free.
You think I'll feet better value in Sydney than Hong Kong or even Bangkok?
lsquare is offline  
Old Nov 27, 19, 6:19 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chennai
Programs: Jetprivilege, Aeroplan, Marriott LTG, IHG Spire
Posts: 177
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
I bought a membership, the 20k points (10k + 10k cyber sale bonus) are going towards a stay in Bangkok at a HIX,....
Is this a generic offer or specific to the members.
NoviceFT is offline  
Old Nov 27, 19, 4:33 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 18,393
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
You think I'll feet better value in Sydney than Hong Kong or even Bangkok?
Bangkok is one of the cheapest markets in the world for luxury hotels, so I don't see how using an IC free night there could possibly be as good as in Sydney or Hong Kong.

I'm not familiar with Sydney or with the ICs in Hong Kong (other than having a drink in the one in TST, but didn't stay- nice view though) so I won't speak to them. I burned my IHG points for the HIX on Suk Soi 11 because it's well positioned on a nice soi for nightlife on a weekend (the weekend before NYE). It's not amazing value (though prices are spiked because it's peak tourism season) but it's good enough (and I think IHG devalues so fast I don't like hoarding points for very long).

Originally Posted by NoviceFT View Post
Is this a generic offer or specific to the members.
I got the offer when I bought a membership a few weeks ago, an initial amount of 10k, then subsequent 10k.
NoviceFT likes this.
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old Nov 27, 19, 7:59 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 7,384
I probably need a bit more time to figure this out. Can I simply book 3 nights at a IC and then call/contact them later to remove a paid night and use my certificate?

I think I read the certificate should be online? I don't think I see it in my account.
lsquare is offline  
Old Nov 27, 19, 8:28 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 7,384
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
No, you cannot. Itís used in conjunction with a paid stay for the first night. The second night will be free.
I can't seem to be able to select two nights (Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun) and use the certificate. However, if I pick three nights, Friday to Sunday, then the certificate will work. Am I missing something here?

Also the certificate doesn't seem to work with the cheapest rate? There is only one rate that is eligible for use with the certificate.
lsquare is offline  
Old Nov 27, 19, 9:47 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 18,393
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I can't seem to be able to select two nights (Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun) and use the certificate. However, if I pick three nights, Friday to Sunday, then the certificate will work. Am I missing something here?

Also the certificate doesn't seem to work with the cheapest rate? There is only one rate that is eligible for use with the certificate.
I didn’t book at your hotel, but at mine. It worked exactly as I said. Maybe ask in the specific thread for Ambassadors, and someone who hasn’t been one for all of two weeks (like me) will help explain? Yes, you have to book at the Ambassador weekend certificate rate. It still saved me money, like I said.

Changes to Ambassador from 1st March 2019 (now confirmed)
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old Nov 28, 19, 12:54 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 7,384
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
I didnít book at your hotel, but at mine. It worked exactly as I said. Maybe ask in the specific thread for Ambassadors, and someone who hasnít been one for all of two weeks (like me) will help explain? Yes, you have to book at the Ambassador weekend certificate rate. It still saved me money, like I said.

Changes to Ambassador from 1st March 2019 (now confirmed)
I just booked three nights (Friday to Sunday) in Sydney, Australia and it seems like that's the minimum to use the certificate.
lsquare is offline  
Old Nov 28, 19, 2:04 am
  #15  
:D!
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sheen, London
Programs: BA Spire, Hilton *G, A3 Diamond, IHG Silver
Posts: 4,962
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Also the certificate doesn't seem to work with the cheapest rate? There is only one rate that is eligible for use with the certificate.
Correct, the AMB CERTIFICATE rate is the only rate that can be used.

Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Can I simply book 3 nights at a IC and then call/contact them later to remove a paid night and use my certificate?
No.

Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I can't seem to be able to select two nights (Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun) and use the certificate. However, if I pick three nights, Friday to Sunday, then the certificate will work. Am I missing something here?
If you check in on Friday and check out on Sunday, that is two nights.

I checked the IC Sydney in March 2020 and the AMB certificate rate is available for all 4 possible Friday and Saturday night stays (i.e. search Friday to Sunday) that month.
lsquare likes this.
:D! is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: