InterContinental Royal Ambassadors Renewals & Upgrades 2017 (Post Your Success & Failures!)


IHG Rewards Club has kept many Ambassador and Royal Ambassador members anxious due to not upgrading Ambassador members to Royal Ambassador status (those that should have qualified based on their activity) and not extending previous members past the end of December 2016.

InterContinental Royal Ambassador Renewal Main

This was all done due to program “relaunch” as it was described on the PDF released last summer. IHG Rewards Club has now processed the Royal Ambassador renewals and upgrades to qualified members based on their 2016 activity.

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

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

Royal Ambassador member whose status expires sometime in 2017 can enjoy the benefits until that date. If the status was not extended until the end of 2017, it means that the member didn’t meet the qualification requirements. IHG Rewards Club is now processing Royal Ambassador upgrades and extensions only once a year.

InterContinental Royal Ambassador Renewal

It is unclear if any of the status requirements were changed. I wish that readers whose status got extended as well as those who didn’t could post their 2016 activity on the comment section below.

Here are my 2016 numbers:

– 74 nights at 27 different InterContinental hotels of which one night was an award

– 4 nights at Holiday Inn Express

– 2 nights at Holiday Inn Resort

– 5 nights at Indigo

– 11 nights at Holiday Inn

– 15 nights at Crowne Plaza

That is 111 nights with IHG of which one was an award. Estimated spend somewhere around $13K – $15K.


Not sure what happens to those Ambassador members whose status expires during the year that would otherwise qualify based on their activity to Royal Ambassador status during the year end sweep? I guess that IHG just passes them?

It is unclear if IHG now only counts InterContinental nights towards the Royal Ambassador status or if other IHG nights are counted in as well.

Although Royal Ambassador status only applies to stays at InterContinental hotels, not counting other nights would incentivize members to stay at other chains in cities where InterContinental brand doesn’t have presence.

I hope that readers who did and didn’t get renewed/extended and those that became Royal Ambassador members would take the time and post their activity. I am trying to figure out if IHG has changed the qualification criteria or not. They have not gone for spend based program (could be a factor) because my InterContinental stays didn’t generate high enough revenue

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  • Gary

    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. 13 reward nights. Spend roughly was $21k. Club access granted during ’16 without exception at Singapore, KL, Grand Stanford HK, and Sydney. Suites are sporadic. In ’15, was in Tokyo and NYC Times Square quite a bit and no club access- (actually NYC IC’s have no club). Have been an RA since the beginning except for one year during an illness and no travel.

    • Gary

      BTW, the digital card on the app says expires 12/30/17… not the 31st… funny stuff.

    • I have stayed at the GS in HK numerous times and always received club access there. Probably due to my number of stays.

      KUL used to be very difficult to get a club access (once the club employee told that she couldn’t key in the club access but can use the employee elevator to get to the club level and access wouldn’t be an issue).

      Singapore gave club access on one-time basis when it was not required. Sydney was difficult but honestly much preferred the corner suites there instead of the now two cat upg with club.

      • Gary

        Funny regarding KL!

    • LXHON

      Thanks for your “discovery”!! I decided to check the electronic card based on your comment and Lo and behold I saw RA!!! Cool!!

  • Danny

    55 holiday inn + 48 intercon + 20 various nonqulifying including rewards nights =123 total. Dollars on all IHG $14k est. RA expiring 2/27 per card. Didnt hear from IHG. Rollover nights in the account also not been updated.

    • Danny

      Plus 9 different intercon locations

      • They didn’t renew you? Any idea of the IC spend?

        • Danny

          IC spend about $7+k. Could it be my account has not been reviewed yet?

          • IHG now only does the Royal Ambassador renewals and upgrades only once a year and I believe in one batch.

            Your numbers look otherwise fine but likely the spend at the InterContinental hotels was not high enough. Seems that there could be minimum spend of $10K.

          • Danny

            I think you are right. A friend of mine upgraded to RA for 22 IC nights. Low total IHG nights but high in IC spend.

            My IC spend not high enough. Although my total IHG spend is around 14k

  • hclee01

    My RA status is supposed to expire on 30 Apr 2017.

    However, RA status has been
    renewed and through IHG Apps, my RA card is now showing an expiry date
    of 30 Dec 2017.

    From Apr 16 till end Dec 16 (8 months), this is a listing of my stay records:

    – Total # of paid nights with IHG: 54

    – Total # of paid nights in IC: 38

    – Total # of different IC stayed: 6

    – Total amount of spending in IHG hotels: USD12,320

    If taking into consideration the whole year stay record from Jan to Dec 16, the total records are as follows:

    – Total # of paid nights with IHG: 67

    – Total # of paid nights in IC: 50

    – Total # of different IC stayed: 6

    – Total amount of spending in IHG hotels: USD14,880

  • Dirk

    96 paid nights at IHG, thereof 73 at IC, total EQP 178000

  • DWAguilar

    My Royal Ambassador status has been granted and extended until the end of December 2017 as well. Here is the criteria that I met.

    2016 Jan to December
    Points Accrual: 320,000 Points
    Nights: 65
    Spend: $40,000
    Brands: Majority InterCont, 5 Stays Crown Plaza and maybe a onsie or twosie here and there.

    I typically stay in specialty rooms like Presidential Suites, VP Suites and any other suites that they have when PS and VP Suites are not available.

    • What are the Royal Ambassador benefits that you enjoy most if you book these high end suites in the first place? Many ICs now exclude their highest suite levels from RA upgrades.

      • DWAguilar

        I don’t pay full fare John! 😉

        • Sso have relied to the previously unofficial two cat upgrades?

          • DWAguilar

            Im not sure I understand the question.

  • Manthos Kallios

    39 IC (incl. 3 reward nights) @ 4 hotels + 32 Holiday Inn.
    Total spend $19k
    350,000 IHG points.

    • DWAguilar

      I’m curious to know how you got more points than I did considering you 1/2 the spend. Ideas?

      • Royal Ambassador members earn 20 points per USD spend and Platinum members 15. Then there are all the promotions for bonus points.

        I would say that factoring in all the promotions one should earn 30 to 40 points per USD.

      • Manthos Kallios

        I think there were a few “challenge” programs that I took part in (extra points for booking through the app, staying at >1 brand etc.) that had cumulative rewards. Plus I made Spire Elite very quickly so got those extra points.

  • Henrik Johansson

    I renewed at 74 total, 65-ish at IC and probably 10-ish different. Spend approx $17.000.

    • judy

      Mine was similar 75 nts 45 ic 15k spend renewed

      • Any idea how much of that $15K spend was at the InterContinentals?

        • judy

          Guessing 11.5 k

  • Steve Prover

    A few months ago I was told that I would not be awarded Royal Ambassador status for another year. I was told that I did not meet the revenue requirements for the next year. However today I have been extended through December 2017 while my membership was supposed to terminate May 31. This past year I have 75 stays all at Intercontinental Hotels and I spent about 25,000 I am astonished that this does not qualify me to continue as an RA. I am totally confused as how to qualify for continued RA status at the end of 2017

    • TimOBrien8

      @ Steve

      surprised you were told months ago that you didn’t meet revenue requirements, because there has been no acknowledgement revenue is a factor, they’ve changed website verbiage from “top 1%” to “a small %” and from “nights” to “activity” but Makati don’t speak of revenue at all, nor anyone at IHG.

      • The PDF that was mistakenly put out on the open web did talk about going entirely on revenue but this was not implemented (at least not yet).

    • You did qualify based on your 2016 activity to Royal Ambassador status until the end of this year. As long as the RA requirements stay the same, I don’t think that you have any issues requalifying January next year either. Considering your IC revenue, that should be enough even if they go awarding the status based on spend.

    • Mohamed Basma

      Surprising how they told you that when your membetship is due to expire 31/05 , usually they calculate by the end of your expiration date or a month before never 5 months in advance.

      • Now the Royal Ambassador upgrades and renewals are only processed once a year in January. If someone still has RA expiring sometime during this year (unless at the end of December), it means that they have not met the RA qualification criteria.

      • DWAguilar

        Heeeeey Mohamed!!!!

        • Mohamed Basma

          Hey David how you been????anytime soon to London O2 😊

          • DWAguilar

            All good here in SF. Will be in Porto Intercontinental end of March, Madrid Intercontinental end of June so far booked. No London as of yet. Welcome back to the RA Club!!! 😉 I know how you were when I saw you last… What about you?

          • Mohamed Basma

            Good memory,just been back from IC Pattaya and been IC Tahiti,i dont know why i cant see your community posts anymore???

          • DWAguilar

            If you mean on the Top Tier Hotel Status site or American Airlines site, I have distanced myself from both. This is my personal feeling, The AA site from my view became very negative with far few compliments. And the Hotel one seemed like we were all bragging about our rooms. I think the last post I made was I had offered anyone who wanted them was my Hyatt Suite Upgrades. I don’t use Hyatt or any other chain. I have also found that by using other chains is a distraction to my loyalty to one chain therefore potentially affecting my chances of regaining RA status. Same goes for AA. I did the Delta challenge, and their status match was a Status UNmatch. It was not equal to Executive Platinum, so I just haven’t done anything with either of the two.

          • DWAguilar

            I think Intercontinental Hotels Group should host a Royal Ambassadors event for all of us. What do you think??

  • Niklas Ziegler

    Was granted RA for the first time!

    AMB renewal was due in October.

    Total nights: 60ish
    IC Nights: 42
    Different IC’s: > 10
    Spend: ~ 28k USD

    • I believe that the spend might have been key factor here, although you may have qualified on the nights as well. It has been unclear recently how many total nights you need exactly to qualify.

  • Lukah

    37 IC, 95 others. 10% of all were award nights. Card shows expiry 4/30, could it be I didn’t get extended?
    IC spend was indeed not too high, maybe 5-6k$

    • Wasn’t extended. The IHG now does the Royal Ambassador Renewals once per year in January. Those that were qualified and had RA expiring sometime this year (mine was about to expire in the fall of 2017) were extended until the end of this year.

      • Danny

        How to determine if the account already been reviewed?

        • Download the app and see what card expiry date there. Also, the Royal Ambassador Renewal line will be on your online account points history (see above).

          • Danny

            I got the app. Says 28 Feb 2017. I dont know if reviewed or not. There is no line on the activity yet to say renewed RA or just Amb.

          • What was your total spend? You stated that your IC spend around $5K to $6K.

  • Mohamed Basma

    Royal expired 31/12/16 and extended to 30/12/17
    Total paid nights 74
    Total IC 25 in 15 different.
    How do you guys know total spending ???

  • Kasupke

    My RA status was supposed to expire on 31 March 2017 (as stated on card in app and on physical card). However yesterday IHG downgraded my account to Spire Amb and taking awy the remaining 3 month. Stats: 76/51/6 and had 111K EQP (most spend in ICs, over 10K USD). No renewal (not even Amb) posted at all.

    • Your Royal Ambassador status should be valid until March 31, 2017, even if your status wouldn’t have been renewed until the end of 2017. Contact Ambassador service center.

      • Kasupke

        That was my impression too, however, I just got an e-mail response from Ambassador Service on the matter. They are stating “Please be advised that Royal Ambassador status is reviewed every year. We have now moved to a membership calendar year, with invitations issued in January.” and go on about “you receive comped AMB for 1 year” (which my account also does not reflect). Any idea how to proceed?

        • Here’s the response that I received from the IHG spokesperson regarding those that have their RA expire sometime in 2017 and were not extended until the end of 2017:

          “Qualifying members will receive a 12-month Royal Ambassador membership, which will run from January – December 2017. Current Royal Ambassadors who do not qualify for 2017 status will maintain their current Royal status until their expiration date, regardless as to when that falls during the calendar year. Following expiration, they will receive a complimentary 12-month Ambassador membership.”

          • Kasupke

            Hi John, here is what I have received from the Ambassador service:

            “Please be informed that members being downgraded received an email
            communications starting in early January. Royal Ambassador status is
            systematically extended to a small number of InterContinental Ambassador
            guests, based on the number of InterContinental properties they have
            visited and qualifying nights they have completed during the past year.

            Royal Ambassador is by invitation only and status is reviewed every
            year. As it is invitation-only, I am unable to give you specifics on how
            Royal status is achieved, however I can share that invitations will be
            issued every January based on activity at InterContinental Hotels &
            Resorts in the previous year.”

            Any idea how to deal with this? I mean I would have been OK not to qualify (but it must have been very close taking the posts here into account), but just downgrading without notice (needless to say I have ongoing reservations) – and lying about the supposed e-mail – is not okay in my eyes. Would be very pleased for some advise.

  • Thorsten

    Received upgrade to RA from Spire AMB
    Ambassador expiry 30 Dec 2017, Elite status expiry 31 Dec 2019
    78 Group nights / 77 IC nights / 4 ICs at the end of 2016 (Jan-Dec)
    2 nights were award nights (1 IC + 1 CrownePlaza), leaving 76/76/4 paid
    Of these paid nights, 3 were credited with adjusted stays, meaning
    that if the 75 IC nights criterion is still on, there has been a manual
    count (or a new IT system, which I wouldn’t expect) or new criterion or new combined criteria with spend
    In terms of spend, I was at ~176k Elite Qualifying Points meaning
    ~$17.5k spend before tax
    Total earnings 2016: ~485k (28pt/$)

    • There is no longer requirement of having 75 nights as some with significantly lower number has been granted the RA. It is some combination of IC nights and spend.


    Was granted RA as a surprise to me for the first time. No notification at all. Just happened to check my electronic card and saw the card valid until December 30, 2017. Re qualified for spire AMB early October.
    Received an email today just communicating the following:
    56 nights, all IC (perhaps 6 or so on-revenue, but not sure.
    3 different IC: Tel Aviv, São Paulo and London Park Lane
    Points as per their count: 245k, so I guess $24.5k spend?
    Always receive double or quadruple upgrades.
    Nice surprise for 2017!

    • The email that some have received contains the qualifying points but not sure if that includes ones from bonus points packages and credit card spend where applicable.

      IHG has included the spend as one criteria to awards the Royal Ambassador status. Your ADR is somewhere around $400 per night.