InterContinental Ambassador Program – Worth Paying $200 To Join? (Your Take?)

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IHG Rewards Club has separate recognition program called Ambassador that only applies for stays at InterContinental properties and one needs to pay to join.

InterContinental Ambassador Program

Ambassador members are also members of IHG Rewards Club and collect and redeem IHG Rewards Club points for their InterContinental stays.

You can access InterContinental’s page for their Ambassador program here.

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

Here are the benefits that are advertised:

1. Guaranteed Room Upgrade

Ambassador members are guaranteed one category room upgrade but this no longer means that one would get club access if they book one category below the club as previously was the case. There is also growing list of suites that are outside of the Ambassador/Royal Ambassador upgrades.

2. Guaranteed 4PM Check Out

Ambassador members have guaranteed 4PM check out. This is not based on the availability and there are no resort exclusions.

3. Free Weekend Night Certificate

Member get free weekend night certificate with the membership kit that is valid for 12 months. The certificate can be used for Friday to Sunday nights or Thursday to Saturday in the Middle East. You must book specific Ambassador Certificate Rate that is basically the Best Flexible Rate but is not necessarily always available.

You have to keep in mind that it sometimes can take month or two to get the Ambassador package. You can make the Free weekend night booking using the guidance and the link that I have on my recent article (access here).

It often doesn’t make sense to book base level rooms using the free weekend night certificate when higher level ones are also available such as suites.

4. Fresh Fruit & Mineral Water

Members can now actually choose between sweet or savory snack or fruit amenity. Members will also get mineral water replenished daily.

Here are another benefits:

5. Free Movie

Ambassador members are still eligible for free Pay TV movie once per stay at hotels where this is still available

6. 5,000 IHG Rewards Club Points

Membership material comes with a code that one can deposit to his/her account or to give someone else. The code is worth 5,000 points.

7. IHG Rewards Club Gold Status

Ambassador membership comes with IHG Rewards Club elite status (Gold) that can easy the pain at staying at some of other IHG brands.

Members can renew the Ambassador membership for $150 or there could be options for using points as well.

You have to bear in mind that officially most of the Ambassador benefits are not applicable for award stays. Many if not most InterContinental properties do extend them nevertheless.

Worth the $200?

I would say that if one has more than handful of stays at InterContinental hotels it makes sense to join the Ambassador program. Late check out charge at one of the more expensive InterContinental hotels could be $200 or more alone.

Conclusion

If one has a LOT stays at the InterContinental hotels and has a chance to become Royal Ambassador member, they should first sign up for the Ambassador (you cannot become RA otherwise).

The “Free” Weekend Night-voucher is worthwhile especially at properties that don’t have discounted rates and for those that tend to book higher category rooms and suites that are often available using this certificate too, although officially excluded.

Each InterContinental property has monthly goal for Ambassador sign ups. If you are going to stay at an InterContinental, there could be space for “negotiation” for signing up at the property level and getting an upgrade on the sport.

What is your take on the Ambassador program? Worth paying the fee using cash or IHG Reward Club Points?

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  • Wany May

    I redeemed points for it and I think it is worth it. It costs 24,000 points. But I get 10% back from chase IHG card, 5,000 bonus points mentioned in the article and another 5,000 points as it is one of the requirement in my accelerate promotion. The actual cost is 11,600 IHG points to me to get to use weekend bogo certificate.

    • Mahomed Jogiat

      I thought you needed 32000 points to join . Please confirm and also do you know the points required for renewal .

      • Wany May

        Sorry, that was my cost to renew.

  • Gary

    As a Royal Ambassador, I’ve been comped for each renewal year since the initial join fee of $150 (circa 2001 when it was then called Six Continents Club or some such). Definitely worth it. Only downside is their gosh awful Manila-based customer “service”.

    • I am going to write about the RA program next week. Not too happy with the “official” two cat UPG policy.

  • Definitely worth it even if you only buy it for the weekend cert – used it over NYE at a few properties so that’s excellent value!

  • Hans

    I attained membership by completing a certain number of stays/nights many years ago (don’t exactly remember how many) and have renewed every year since then using the $200 plus 10% rebate on reward stays option. In my opinion the latter is what makes Ambassador membership truly worthwhile, as in my case the value of the 15,000 points you are getting plus the 10% rebate has always been much higher than $200. The other perks, including the free weekend certificate, even add more value.

    • There are quite a few renewal options that I haven’t really covered because they keep renewing my RA!

  • I was invited to Ambassador once and tried it for a year, but wasn’t impressed. I was Platinum before and already got room upgrades and sometimes welcome amenities. And often, those were “fake” upgrades, ie same room on a higher floor. The free weekend night was difficult to redeem and the rate was higher than the best available, making it more like a 20-30% discount than 50% on a two-night stay! I used the free movie once.
    They just offered me to come back with a 10,000 points bonus, so it’d be out $150 for the free night – not sure I’ll bite on that…

    • You are right on the discount. You were able to truly book the lowest rate in the past (even corp ones) and then apply the cert but this was changed years ago.

  • ihg newbie

    will these benefits apply during reward stays?

    • ihg newbie

      never mind the question. i should have read all the way through. i did buy the membership just now. now that i am giving up on hyatt, this may come in handy. i also had the 10000 bonus points offer to entice the purchase.

  • Sergey Fedorov

    By the way, I see nowhere in T&C that benefits aren’t guaranteed on third-party and OTA booking (only in French Polynesia they explicitly aren’t): https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/content/gb/en/ambassador/terms-conditions
    So it means they are guaranteed, even if I book via Expedia or whatever?

    • I guess that you could argue that because this is a PAID membership and those two properties here in Bora Bora (where I happen to be right now) are the only two excluded when NOT booked on official channels that all other hotels should be honor the benefits even when not booked directly.