A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about IHG Rewards Club InterContinental Royal Ambassador to Ambassador downgrade that he had received despite spending considerable amount of time and money at ICs in 2018.
You can access IHG page for InterContinental program changes here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Just received the news from Intercontinental Ambassador program. You see attached my 2018 stays of which 41 at Intercontinental hotels, all bookings at club rooms. I am a loyal guest since 2001 and been Royal Ambassador for many years, as i was 2018 as well.
Now they feel sorry to say they can not invite me and just give me the ambassador level. Their program was always hidden, especially the royal ambassador level, and no one knew the criteria of the invitation. Their new changes of course give less privileges but the most annoying part is that no one knows about their invitation criteria. Sometimes is the total staying, sometimes the money you spend or both. For sure their ways make loyal guests to their program upset and unhappy and they click their eyes to their competition.
Can someone at least say whats the real and obvious requalifications for their program ? It is the only one on this planet, including hotels and airlines, that you have no idea how those guys deal with their loyal guests. If you can get an answer i will appreciate your reply. I believe many people will have the same question For sure their ways and behavior will cost them, including myself, loyal customers.
I requested clarification from the reader how much was the IC spend in 2018:
Thank you for your email. I will check but since all my bookings for 2018 were for club intercontinental rooms average is for sure 250 usd/night. If you need more specific number i can check and give you the information.
There is a list of spend at which Royal Ambassador members have been renewed on FlyerTalk (access here) that shows that the you must have used more than $10K before taxes/fees (elite qualifying spend).
There does appear to be some anomalies where some members have not been renewed at certain spend level while others have. It is almost like IC is doing some sort of A – B test to see how downgrades will affect guest behavior.
Here’s the downgrade email that IHG has been sending:
And this how it shows in your account statement:
Members who have been downgraded from Royal Ambassador status and have IC spend north of $10K should contact Ambassador Service Center and ask for manual review of their accounts.
Often if your stay was adjusted for one reason or another (ADJUSTED STAY) the spend for the stay is not counted correctly towards the renewal.
In 2018, I spent around 70 nights at more than 20 InterContinental hotels and spent in excess of $12K. If IHG won’t renew the Royal Ambassador status, I will simply move the stays that would have otherwise gone to InterContinentals to Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott/SPG, Accor and other chains that provide the status benefits (suite upgrades and lounges).