InterContinental Royal Ambassador Club Access & Two Category Upgrade Expanding February 1 & March 1, 2017

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Yesterday, I wrote about the changes that IHG Rewards Club has made to the Royal Ambassador benefits pages on their website (access here).

InterContinental Royal Ambassador Club Access & Two Category Upgrade Expanding February 1 & March 1, 2017

I had some questions to IHG regarding this changes and still waiting their response to one follow up. I can now confirm, however, that there will be changes to the Royal Ambassador upgrade benefits and club lounge access on February 1 and March 1, 2017

You can access IHG’s web page for Royal Ambassador program here.

READ MORE: IHG Rewards Club Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

IHG extended Club lounge access and two category room upgrade to Royal Ambassador members in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China), Middle East and Africa back in September (read more here).

February 1, 2017, this will become the standard benefit for Royal Ambassador members in Europe and the Americas and on March 1, 2017, also Greater China properties will become participating

Here’s the response that I received from IHG spokesperson:

The benefits in other regions will align with those outlined for the Asia, Middle East and Africa region in the T&Cs. The two category upgrade and club access will be valid from February 1st in Europe and the Americas regions and from March 1st in Greater China.

Conclusion

I am still waiting for a reply to one follow up question regarding the Royal Ambassador status, their extensions and initial qualification. Hope to hear something back later today.

The Club lounge access is soon confirmed benefit at all InterContinental hotels, although most (at least based on my personal experience) have already extended this to Royal Ambassador members sans few.

The two category upgrade can work in your favor and sometimes it wont. Right now most of the InterContinental hotels upgrade Royal Ambassador members to suites regardless of the room type originally booked.

Hotels often have numerous room categories and if they only upgrade two categories this will mean that the upgrade is often less than previously. There was nothing on the T&Cs before that InterContinental hotels would need to upgrade Royal Ambassador members beyond suite. Those that prefer higher level ones can now book two levels below. Remember that there are some suites that are excluded from the upgrade benefits (read more here).

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  • Jamo

    The club access is very welcome for RA and one of the reasons that I gave up on RA and IHG as I was getting club with Hilton Diamond and other schemes. I think it is more than ‘sans a few’ which didn’t offer it.

    I’m not sure I’d make a run at RA again though without the suite upgrades. As you very correctly say, some hotels have many room rates and I feel many ICs create extra room types (higher floor, deluxe room, executive room, executive corner, etc etc) to mitigate against upgrade requirements for Ambassador/RA requirements. When this started to happen the good will and sentiment towards the brand started to diminish.

    My other concern is that if I’m correct they removed the published requirements and went back to invitation only. If you have a finite budget for travel and decide to show loyalty by sticking with one hotel network, may spend a fortune and not be recognized, that would not be very nice at all.

    • BTW I just went through the ICs that I stayed last year (27) here’s the club access tally:

      Yes: Grand Stanford HK, Jakarta, Bali, Johannesburg, Hanoi, Lisbon, Santiago, Osaka Melbourne, Bangkok, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Istanbul, Wellington, Prague, Vienna, Adelaide, London O2 & Kuala Lumpur

      No: Sydney (when it was not yet required in APAC), Malta & Park Lane London

      Mendoza, Estoril, Mumbai and Porto don’t have club lounges.

  • Romain

    Very welcome news. Now they just need to make benefits apply on rewards nights and RA will be close to perfect.

    FWIW, my RA just expired and wasn’t renewed. According to an e-mail I received from IHG, I had 93 nights, including 35 at 8 different ICs. So, it looks like the 60/20/3 is clearly not enough anymore (either that or there’s an error in the tally I received). The email emphasised the “top 1% / by invitation only” a lot.

  • Gary

    FWIW, just “discovered” my RA renewal for ’17 today (as mentioned in another post, only found out about it by loading the app member card)…no communications at all from IHG yet. My numbers for ’16: 156 nights in total, 53 were rollover, and roughly 90% were in 5 Intercons with the balance in HIE’s. It would be interesting to see others’ numbers if any wished to share that did or did not get RA renewed. Cheers.