A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question regarding InterContinental Royal Ambassador benefits between December 31 when the status expires and when it is renewed sometime in January.
You can access InterContinental Ambassador program here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
just want to share with you the RA IHG ignorance of the Ambassador Services
As my RA status is expiring 31 Dec 2017 (as all the others now too) I wanted to find out when the RA invitations will be send for 2018.
– The feedback I got was that they will be send every January – whatever that means..mid/end…who knows?
Due to the delay in sending the invitations I wanted to understand how reservations for early January 2018 will be treated. In my case I do have two reservations (31Jan to 5 Jan IC Dubai Festival City and 5 to 11 Jan IC Chennai) – I contacted them multiple times as the responses did not answer my questions (see some of my emails below).
The last answer basically stated that the RA will fall back to the Ambassador status/benefits only and RA benefits are not applicable till the new RA invitations are sent out.
As IHG seems not to be able to send the RA invitations before the status is expiring it really sounds strange- is this is how are is IHG treating the most loyal IC guests?
How was IHG dealing with such situations in the past? Do you have had this kind of questions in the past? Is there any contact to address this at a more senior level at IC?
May be it is time to move to SPG….
PS: I still cant believe that IHG has not established a RA contact and we still have to deal with the Ambassador service center
Reader forwarded me message chain with emails with Ambassador service center. Here’s the last one:
Hope you’re well.
My name is Anna and I’m pleased to assist a valued Royal Ambassador Spire Elite member like you with your account inquiry.
First, I’d like to apologize for the delay in response as we are currently experiencing high email volume than normal.
I’m sorry if we’ve caused you any inconvenience regarding your query. Unfortunately, we have no information whether a member will be qualified again to become Royal Ambassadors until the invitation has been received. If qualified, email invitations are normally sent out by mid-January. In this regard, your status will become Ambassador as your Royal Ambassador will expire by December 31, 2017 and as such, the benefits will not be applicable to your January stays.
Should you need further assistance, you can reply to us and we’ll be glad to help.
The email was to reply to the reader’s email:
the responses to my emails are fast unfortunately they are not answering my questions at all
Let me try once more again.
My RA status is expiring 31 Dec 2017 (same as for all 2017 Ras).
I wanted to understand when the RA invitations for 2018 are being send out to see if I will be invited to join RA or not – I was told the invites will be send around mid January.
As I have currently two IC reservation early January 2018 (31 Dec to 5 Jan and 5 Jan to 11 Jan) I wanted to understand how those bookings will be treated in regards to my loyalty status? I don’t want to be in the situation when staying at the ICs that I am not receiving the RA benefits due to the fact that the invitations have not been send out yet.
You might understand that I do not want to travel with this uncertainty – hence when I am not getting a right answer to my question I am thinking of cancelling my reservations and stay with another hotel chain were I also having the highest tier of their loyalty program and will receive e.g. club access.
I would assume that you are able to answer this question as I am definitely not the only RA traveling at that time and the treatment in-between the RA invitations emails being send out. Is this kind of situation not regulated by IHG?
I am slowly starting lose confidence in people running the IHG Rewards Club and Ambassador program. It is like amateur hour between the US, UK and Manila when it comes to both programs and communications (or miscommunication) to members.
How difficult it is to renew the Royal Ambassador members at the turn of the year or do it like every other program does it and have the status expire at the end of February/March? Then you have plenty of time to get the renewals done and packages mailed to members.
I believe that the communication from the Ambassador (dis)service center is likely incorrect. My hunch is that the status downgrades won’t take place before the upgrades/renewals take place.
Unfortunately, Ambassador/Royal Ambassador program is not properly and professionally run.