A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email last week about guaranteed benefits change for Ambassador and Royal Ambassador members effective 2020 that has not been communicated to program members.
You can access IHG here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Hotel informed me, that RA Upgrades are not included in Rewards bookings anymore.
Here’s the response that the reader had received from IHG:
Although your Royal Ambassador benefits won’t be applied to Reward Night booking, your Spire Elite benefit would still be honored. If you check IHG’s Benefits ttps://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/content/us/en/enjoy-rewards under Spire Elite you would see that:
Complimentary Room Upgrades – 1
1. Subject to availability.
Also, as advised, the changes started last January 2020, uploaded benefit are not yet posted on the Ambassador’s Terms & Conditions, though we’ve already reported it to the relevant team for quick action.
I understand that this is not the response you were hoping for and apologize for any disappointment caused.
I am very sorry for the confusion and inconvenience this has caused you. I would like to clarify that Room Upgrades are subject to availability under Rewards Night. Good News is that all other benefits including Complimentary Club Lounge Access will still apply under this specific rate.
Here’s statement from the IHG spokesperson:
The agent is correct. Rewards Nights are considered terms of IHG Rewards Club, and not Ambassador, and therefore subject to availability as per the terms of IHG Rewards Club. The new 2020 Terms and Conditions will be released soon for Ambassador and Royal Ambassador.
The majority of Ambassador and Royal Ambassador benefits were not officially available on awards bookings for years. However, most InterContinental hotels extended them (to at least their frequent guests) and likely still do even when it comes to upgrades.
The note of Ambassador and Royal Ambassador benefits exclusions was removed from the T&Cs that made us all believe that they now would be valid. They, however, are not.
Upgrades are usually based on availability with loyalty programs. Still, you have to keep in mind that IHG Rewards Club members must pay (in cash or points) to be part of InterContinental Ambassador with defined benefits.
Let’s hope that there are no other unfavorable yet to be communicated program “enhancements” instituted in 2020.