The InterContinental Ambassador program is a US$200 (or 32,000 IHG points) hotel status membership which I’m happy to pay for. InterContinental Ambassador is a unique program which is instantly activated upon payment and does not require any stays. The Ambassador program pays for itself thanks to a set of guaranteed perks which are ready to use as soon as you sign up.
What Are the Intercontinental Ambassador Benefits?
- Complimentary Weekend Night: This benefit immediately offsets the cost of the membership. You need to book 1 night at the more expensive Ambassador Weekend Rate and get the second one “free”. It’s not exactly free because typically the flexible stays are more expensive than the cheapest prepaid rate.
- Guaranteed Upgrade: This perk can quickly help you offset the cost of your stay also. Personally, I use it to book a room rate just below the suites which means I have a guaranteed suites upgrade upon checking in. When booking a stay on points you’re technically not entitled to an upgrade, but from reports, InterContinental usually honors the upgrade regardless.
- 4PM Guaranteed Late Checkout: This benefit is self-explanatory, totally worth the Ambassador program cost for when you have an afternoon flight. Best of all, just like the other advantages; it’s guaranteed. Unlike some other hotel loyalty programs…
- Complimentary Welcome Gifts: This includes “a choice of refreshments on arrival”, in-room welcome gift and fresh mineral water. Nothing crazy but appreciated nonetheless.
- Complimentary pay TV film & a daily newspaper delivered.
- 5000 Bonus IHG points: The welcome pack includes a code which gives you 5,000 IHG points – a nice touch.
As part of the InterContinental Ambassador program, you will also receive a welcome pack which includes your complimentary weekend night certificate (you will need to present this upon check-in), a membership card and a shiny golden luggage tag.
IHG Gold Status
When enrolling into the Ambassador program, you automatically gain IHG Gold Status. Personally, I find this a bit worthless as it doesn’t give any tangible benefits other than a 10% boost in points earned on stays.
Even though InterContinental is part of IHG, IHG status is generally not recognised at InterContinental hotels since it has its own program (Ambassador) which can only be achieved by paying. A secretive “Royal Ambassador” program is also available by invitation which happens after 60+ paid stays as an Ambassador across a minimum of 3 different InterContinental properties (based on member reports). This exclusive status gives you all the normal perks + free minibar and upgrades to the best suites, although none of this is guaranteed.
Why Is Now A Good Time To Join IC Ambassador?
Thanks to the current strength of the Australian dollar, the cost works out to roughly AU $254 at the time of writing. I think that’s a reasonable price for the benefits this program offers. If you agree, you can sign up for IC Ambassador status right here.
Renewing IC Ambassador Status
The second year of Ambassador status comes with a variety of renewal offers and are a great incentive to keep paying for the status benefit:
- $150 and get 10,000 bonus points
- $200 and get 15,000 bonus points plus 10% back on reward nights
- Use 24k points to pay but get 5000 bonus points
I’m only in my first year as an InterContinental Ambassador but would opt for the $200 + 15k + 10% points back option since it appears to give the best value. Keep in mind that when you renew, you will get a new weekend night certificate as well!
If you plan to spend a minimum of 2 nights at an Intercontinental hotel, this status is an absolute must. Even when your stays are just for a single night twice, it can make sense just for the room upgrade and late check out guaranteed.
What do you think? Will you be joining the InterContinental Ambassador program?