Does It Make Sense To Pay $200 For Joining InterContinental Ambassador Program?

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InterContinental Hotels Group’s flagship brand, as the name suggests, is InterContinental Hotels and Resorts. The entire groups loyalty program is called Priority Club. You earn Priority Club points or airline miles for your InterContinental stays. Possible Priority Club status Gold or Platinum, however, doesn’t apply to Intercontinental as they have their own Ambassador program.

InterContinental Ambassador DisplayWhenever you stay at an InterContinental hotel they have these “Become an Ambassador Today” displays normally close to the work desk. The main selling points are:

Guaranteed room upgrade

4pm late check out

Free weekend night

Fresh fruit and mineral water

Single Rate for Double Occupancy

5,000 PRIORITY CLUB® BONUS POINTS

InterContinental Ambassador program is probably the only major that requires you to pay $200 fee for joining. Is it worth it? Let’s have a look at the benefits.

Guaranteed room upgrade

This sounds nice but is very dependent of the property you are visiting. You are basically promised a one category upgrade from the room/suite type you booked. If you book a base room, the upgrade is not always “visible” as hotels sometimes have number of room categories that are hardly any different.

InterContinenal Ambassador Program4PM late check out

This is beneficial because it is NOT based on availability. If you need 4PM check out it is yours. It applies to all InterContinental locations including resorts unlike Hyatt’s and Starwood’s 4PM late check out guarantee that explicitly excludes them.

Free weekend night (certificate)

Sounds great? It certainly does but… You need to book a special “Ambassador Free Weekend Night Rate” for two nights and then the second night is complimentary. This rate is basically the Best Flexible Rate for the nights in question. It can still save some money but not always. It pays to check what the regular discounted rates are. The free weekend night applies if you arrive either Friday or Saturday and stay for two nights, or if you arrive Thursday or Friday and stay for two nights in the countries mainly in the Middle East. There will be a certificate in your Ambassador package that you need to give to the hotel when you check in for your two night weekend stay.

Fresh fruit and mineral water

Who wouldn’t like some fruits and water? Sometimes these fruit baskets are quite nice.

InterContinental Ambassador Program benefitsSingle Rate for Double Occupancy

This can save quite a bit of money in places where hotels have different rates for single or double occupancy. My advice would be just to book for one person even when you have two staying. This way there is no need to do adjustments at the hotel.

Complimentary Pay TV film per stay

You can choose a film of your liking and it will be complimentary. Some hotels have very good selection of movies and some have none. Depends entirely of the property and what kind of TV system they have in place.

5,000 PRIORITY CLUB® BONUS POINTS

In order to earn points, that you can later exchange for free nights, you must join the Priority Club Rewards program. You will receive a welcome letter inside your Ambassador package that contains a rather long code that you can use to deposit the points to your or anybody else’s Priority Club account.

Verdict

The room upgrade benefit is the most vague. As I pointed out, sometimes there is hardly a difference between i.e. Deluxe Room and an Executive Room. When booking higher category room or suites the one category upgrade becomes more beneficial. The other benefit that I really like is the guaranteed 4PM check out. This especially helps when one has later flights. It is nice to know that it is NOT based on availability as often is the case with late check out benefits at number of programs.

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