There have been major changes instituted to the Royal Ambassador and Ambassador programs this year and seems that we have so far missed one.
Members have been able to renew their Ambassador status for years by choosing one of the options that have changed few times. It appears that IHG may have now discontinued all other renewals except for cash and no “sweeteners” are being offered.
You can access IHG’s page for Ambassador program here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Some days ago when I wanted to renew my Ambassador membership I found that there is only one option available, which costs 200USD which is the same price as the initial purchase of the Ambassador membership, it seems there is no more rebate or different options for Amb renewal.
In previous years there were always 3 renewal options available:
1.) renewal for 150 USD (incl. 5K Points)
2.) renewal for 40K Points
3.) renewal for 200 USD (incl. 15K Points and 10% Points discount on Award Stays)
I found 3.) the most lucrative option for myself, so it is a bit sad that this one is no longer offered and also the “basic” option 1.) has increased in price (without any Bonus points mentioned anymore) without any notification from IHG.
I have requested clarification from IHG regarding these renewal options or lack thereof but haven’t received response by the time this article was published.
Here’s screenshot that another reader sent us:
There were two renewal options for this reader.
We also received statement from IHG spokesperson
We have not removed the $200 Renewal option with bonus points and 10% rebate. What has been removed is the cash-only option of $150, which accounted for a small number of memberships. Our consumer insights demonstrated that members most valued the bonus points and redemption rebate. The renewal page was updated to communicate that change and note that the $150 renewal option would only be available until 31 January 2019.
The renewal options are:
1. Renew for USD200 and receive 15,000 IHG® Rewards Club bonus points, plus a 10% rebate on Reward Nights
2. Renew using 40,000 points
These renewal options with bonus points, purely using points or bonus points combined with award discount were (hopefully they are still around) good way to get members to sign up for an additional year(s).
Not sure if IHG’s goal here is to lower the number of Ambassador members? Cannot come up with any other reason why they wouldn’t continue offer discounts for renewing members like they have done for years.
Certainly interesting to see how this will play out.
UPDATE: So, only one of the options was removed ($150 renewal). You can still continue renewing either paying $200 and getting 15,000 bonus points + 10% award rebate OR using 40,000 points. Glad that we were able to clarify this.