Why I Paid For My IHG Ambassador In Points Instead Of Cash, Using Their 10K Welcome Bonus Points Offer

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I havent been an IHG Ambassador status customer for a long time and didn’t reach beyond IHG Gold for years until I recently got the IHG Rewards Club credit card and was upgraded to Platinum again.

Short after I was one of the recipients of their targeted ‘10,000 Points For Joining Ambassador and decided to go for it.

When the email came in (John already wrote about this offer here) I decided to wait until pretty much the last week of the offers validity to sign up to keep the status for as long as possible but it turned out that was totally irrelevant because it’s always valid until of the following month and then for one year.

In any case, IHG was offering 10,000 bonus points in addition to the 5,000 bonus points code that is included in the package.

You can access IHG’s page for Ambassador program here.

When you join the Ambassador program which is an add on to the regular IHG Rewards Club exclusively for Intercontinental Hotels the fee if US$200 for the initial enrollment and US$150 for the annual program extension. You are however able to pay 32,000 IHG Rewards points instead of the $200 and I decided to do just that.

It’s a question that also comes up from our readers on occasion and I want to quickly outline why I chose to pay by points instead of just using the cash payment.

For me, I always compare what amount of points I’d use at a decent hotel compared to what the average rate at such hotels is that I’m willing to pay. In the case of IHG that is difficult and easy at the same time because most nice hotels cost 35,000 IHG Points and more (sometimes substantially more up to 60,000 points a night for good IC city properties such as in Hong Kong).

You can see the enrollment option this way: 32,000 points save you US$200 which in turn you could use for a paid rate at any hotel (and earn points for that stay). Not counting promotions let’s say we’re talking about 30,000 points here.

Not counting the option of using the 30,000 IHG points for point breaks (I haven’t seen anything overwhelmingly interesting on point breaks for at least a year or so) a 30k award would get you a mid range IHG hotel maybe in the region of $80-$100 a night. The closest thing to excellent value is my favorite Intercontinental Seoul Parnas for 35,000 points and rates that hover around $200 a night.

I don’t like to hoard plenty of points over a long period of time and always like to burn them off quickly. Peoples approach to this might vary but I always prefer cash in my pocket right now vs having a large point balance sitting around over time, subjecting it to devaluation of the program.

So I paid the 32k points to save the cash in this case:

Also keep in mind the ‘rebate’ as in the 10,000 points under the ongoing (targeted) promotion and the 5,000 points promotion code that should be inside the package. Bottom line I’m paying 17,000 points for this Ambassador which also comes with the Buy One, Get One Weekend Certificate.

Sure I could have just added these 15k to my balance had I paid cash but I simply wasn’t motivated to accumulate even more IHG points at this point as it’s not my primary chain (I prefer Hyatt and SPG). Still under the current conditions of having Platinum through the IHG Credit Card and Ambassador at such a low rate I’m willing to keep it active for my handful of IC stays per year.

Note that this is 10K Ambassasor Promotion is a targeted offer. You will likely receive one if you happen to stay at InterContinental hotel as IHG Rewards Club elite member. Check your email inbox if you have received any communication in that regard, the promo is still ongoing until September 30th.

Conclusion

If one has more than couple of nights at InterContinental hotels, it makes sense to sign up for the Ambassador program. The guaranteed 4PM check out and at the minimum one category upgrade easily pay for the price.

The renewal price is lower and come with variable options of which one is point rebate option.

Here are the short terms and conditions of this offer:

A one-time bonus of 10,000 points will then be awarded to you approximately 6-8 weeks after you successfully join the InterContinental Ambassador programme. Offer is valid for 30 days from receipt of invitation and only for person named in this e-mail invite. Members who receive a forwarded copy of the e-mail will not be eligible to receive the bonus points. This offer is non-transferable. Subject to standard programme terms and conditions

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