Royal Ambassador is the highest status in IHG Rewards Club’s loyalty program, but is for InterContinental hotels ONLY.
The paid loyalty program is called Ambassador and comes with benefits such as a free weekend night voucher, guaranteed 4PM check out and minimum of a one category upgrade. All Ambassador members are also members of IHG Rewards Club where they collect and redeem points.
You can access IHG’s Ambassador program website here.
Royal Ambassador status used to be invitation only, although IHG Rewards had widely circulated qualification criteria for years:
– Minimum 20 InterContinental nights, at least 3 InterContinentals hotels and minimum of 50 total nights at all IHG properties
and they also made it public last year, updated it this year and then withdraw it entirely from the program terms and conditions.
If you send an email to Ambassador Service Center about possible Royal Ambassador qualification requirements, you probably get a reply saying that the current requirements are:
– 75 total nights
– Minimum of 30 InterContinental nights
– At least three different InterContinental hotels
– Only paid nights count
The response that I received in writing from IHG spokesperson on July 30, 2015:
Currently the criteria remains unchanged at 60 IHG nights, including 20 nights at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and stays at a minimum of three different InterContinental Hotels.
My InterContinental Royal Ambassador status was just renewed a week ago and for first time for years without me having to contact the Ambassador Service Center requesting a manual review (sometimes the automated process misses nights).
I decided to do a manual count by myself. The problem is that if you access your account online the history goes back only 180 nights. You can, however, get much longer stay history (sometimes several years back) by access the IHG’s mobile website here (you can access it on laptop too).
I had total of 77 paid nights, 10 awards nights and one BRG night between September 2014 and August 2015.
– 10 paid nights and 6 different hotels
– 12 paid nights at 9 different hotels
Holiday Inn Express
– 8 paid nights at 7 different hotels
– 42 paid nights, 10 award nights and one BRG night at 23 different InterContinental hotels
Although I really like the Royal Ambassador status, my personal view is that the requirement of 75 paid nights is too high compared to Hilton, Hyatt and SPG requirements.
It is also unclear exactly what the requirements currently are. I requested clarification from the IHG spokesperson again last week after a reader emailed me but I haven’t heard anything back.
I am not sure how the rest of the 2015 and 2016 will play out and what my personal stay count will be at the same time in 2016.