Reader Question: Switching Award Night From Points To Certificate Case InterContinental Amstel

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A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email about an award night issue that he is having with the InterContinental Amstel hotel in Amsterdam that is part of IHG Rewards Club.

Reader Question: Switching Award Night From Points To Certificate Case InterContinental Amstel

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You can access InterContinental Amstel’s website here.

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

Here’s the email from the reader:

I’ve got a situation that I’m hoping you can help me based on your experiences with IHG Rewards Club. You see, my dad has an award night booked using points at the IC Amstel Amsterdam, but after making the reservation he realized that he still has one free night voucher he received from last year’s Accelerate. He then tried to make another booking at IC Amstel to replace the one he booked using points, but there are no more award nights available for that date.

I contacted ihgrewardsclub@ihg.com and ihgservice@ihg.com, asking them if they can change the Amsterdam reservation from their side, since the old and new reservation are both award nights, and are made by the same member. They said that they can’t help since award nights availability are first come first served, and suggest my dad to -try- to cancel the one made with points, wait for it to return to the award night pool, and then make another booking with the voucher. Of course, there’s a chance that the room won’t go back to the award night pool and he’ll then lose the room altogether… Oh, I’ve also contacted the hotel, and they said that changes for award nights must be done by IHG.

Nuts.

So what do you recommend me do? Do you see any way to solve this problem?

Any person/department I can talk to to help me with this?

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

The problem here is that the InterContinental Amstel is very small hotel (less than 100 rooms) and IHG hotels are only are required to make a minimum of 5% of their room inventory available for rewards. This means that there may only be 4 rooms per night available as awards.

reader-question-intercontinental-amstel-availability

Note that the hotel can go above and beyond the requirements and make more rooms available as awards if they want to, and they are actually incentivized by IHG to do this. Considering the paid rates even the higher redemption reimbursement by IHG is probably inadequate unless they are at least 95% full and get the ADR of the night (ADR = Average Daily Rate).

The reader is correct that if they cancel the points night it is not guaranteed that there would be award availability for the night in question.

Here’s what the reader could do:

1. Contact IHG Rewards Club Customer Relations during the US business hours (this number is not answered in the Philippines but in Salt Lake City) and explain the situation. They always could cancel the certificate and issue the number of points required at the Amstel to the account.

2. Check the award availability of the InterContinental Amstel daily. There are often last minute cancellation when peoples itineraries firm up. I have often find award availability at sought after properties the night before when they haven’t had any for weeks.

Conclusion

There really should be a way for the customer service to issue simple thing such as this but, however much I like InterContinental hotels and my Royal Ambassador benefits, they are not always easy to deal with.

I believe that the Customer Relations is the right place to fix the issue. Another option would be to use Linkedin for searching some higher up and email them. The email syntax that IHG uses is firstname.lastname@ihg.com.

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