IHG has had a paid guest recognition program to complement Priority Club/IHG Rewards Club/IHG One Rewards called InterContinental Ambassador, which benefits have traditionally only applied to its namesake brand.
What started with benefits for only stays at InterContinental hotels, the Ambassador program for the past couple of years has expanded for stays at Kimpton, Regent, and Six Senses.
You can access IHG’s page for the Ambassador program here.
READ MORE: IHG One Rewards Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Now there is confusion among InterContinental Ambassador members due to notices that IHG has posted on its website when logging in:
Beginning January 1, your Ambassador benefits will no longer be applicable at Regent, and the Complimentary Weekend Night will not be available for use at Regent or Kimpton hotels.
From the Page:
What is InterContinental Ambassador?
InterContinental Ambassador is a loyalty programme that delivers benefits exclusively at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties worldwide.
As an InterContinental Ambassador, will I receive the same benefits at all properties within the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) family of brands?
Ambassador benefits only apply at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. However, your IHG® One Rewards benefits apply to the entire IHG family of brands.
There is confusion because:
1. As an IHG® One Rewards member, you may also purchase InterContinental Ambassador membership. Purchase of InterContinental Ambassador membership entitles you to elevated levels of recognition on all published benefits of the InterContinental Ambassador programme valid at InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts and participating Regent Hotels & Resorts.
14. Royal Ambassador is granted by invitation only at the sole discretion of IHG® One Rewards and IHG® One Rewards reserves the right to limit the number of Royal Ambassador members at any time. Royal Ambassador status is extended to a small percentage of InterContinental Ambassador members, based on their qualified activity at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts, and participating Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.
23. The complimentary weekend night may be redeemed up to 12 months from the date on which the certificate is issued, cannot be extended and is redeemable once only in conjunction with a minimum two-night paid stay when booking the Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night’ rate at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and participating Regent Hotels & Resorts. It is not valid to be used on any other rates.
i. Valid at participating Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Regent Hotels & Resorts for stays until December 31, 2022. Not applicable at Regent Hotels & Resorts within Greater China.
39. InterContinental Ambassador and Royal Ambassador benefits applicable at participating Regent Hotels & Resorts for stays throughout 31 December 2022.The following benefit alternatives or exceptions are applicable when staying at Regent:
42. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spa is progressively integrating into the IHG® One Rewards program and at that time the following benefits will apply for InterContinental Ambassador, Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members at participating Six Senses hotels:
IHG warns on its website that the Ambassador free weekend night certificate cannot be used at Kimpton and Regent brands past December 31, 2022, while emails that they send to Ambassador members contradict this (see the image above).
The spend at InterContinental, Kimpton, Regent, and Six Senses count towards the Royal Ambassador invitation, although Royal Ambassador benefits don’t apply for stays at Kimpton and Regent hotels come 2023.
The change is not that significant because the Diamond and Milestone Benefits that were launched earlier this year apply for stays at ALL IHG-affiliated hotels:
- Diamond members are eligible for breakfast for two at all IHG-affiliated hotels
- You can choose lounge access as a benefit at 40 or 70 nights
- You can select suite upgrade certificates as Milestone Benefits that you can use for stays at all IHG brands
IHG Program Refresh & Milestone Rewards
- IHG Annual Lounge Membership Experience Case: InterContinental Le Grand Paris
- IHG Confirmable Suite Upgrade Experience Case: InterContinental Paris Le Grand
- IHG One Rewards New Elite Tiers & Benefits Now Live
- IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards Now Live
- IHG Launches IHG One Rewards With Breakfast, Suite Upgrades & Lounge Access
- InterContinental Hotels Renaming Club Lounges To Prevent Free Access?
- IHG One Rewards Upgrade Benefit Clarification
- IHG Rewards Refresh: Spire Elite Becomes Diamond & New Silver Tier
- IHG Rewards Email About Program Refresh In April 2022
IHG’s communication about the InterContinental program and its brand participation has been inconsistent.
The benefits are only applicable for stays at InterContinental brand, but they were temporarily extended for stays at the Regent hotels, and a free weekend night voucher was also valid for stays at Kimpton hotels. The Ambassador benefits would continue to apply for stays at Six Senses brands even in 2023 unless there are further changes to the program.
IHG and Ambassador program should clean up this confusion and should:
1. End the Ambassador program altogether
2. Make clear to which brands the benefits apply
There is not much sense for IHG to have IHG One Rewards, InterContinental Ambassador, and Kimpton Inner Circle programs, which lead to all this confusion.