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IHG’s top tier brand Intercontinental ( not counting Regent ) operates their own wholly independent loyalty program, Ambassador. Unlike most loyalty programs, Ambassador is a pay to join program, traditionally costing $200 for the first year, and then $150 for each subsequent year. ( There are some options to use points as well)
Some of the benefits included in the program ( they’ve been highly valuable to me and my family ) are a free weekend night certificate, upgrade pre-arrival, late check-out, welcome gifts, etc. The past couple of years IHG has offered their Ambassador members outstandingly attractive renewal options. This year, they’re back at it, and I’ll walk you through my thinking on why we chose to renew, and how it will ultimately create value for us.
- Renew for $150
- Pay $200 and then get 15k IHG points + 10% back on points up to 100k
- Renew for 40k points
We went with $200 + 15k IHG points + 10% rebate
If we value 15k IHG points at 1/2 a cent a piece then they’re essentially giving us $75 in value. That knocks the out of pocket cost down to $125. Seeing as tho we get a free weekend night, and almost any Intercontinental in the world is more than $125 a night, we’re already net positive on the renewal. This doesn’t take into account upgrades, free movies, etc.
Second, we’re getting the 10% rebate. This is a huge win for my family. Using the same 1/2 cent valuation on IHG points, as long as we use 250k points a year, we’re going to receive 25k+ in refunds which equals $125+ in value.
That number may seem like a lot, but next year we’re planning a trip to Israel and will more than likely stay at the Intercontinental David. In addition, my folks are planning a trip to England whereby they’ll more than likely try out some of the new Kimpton properties in the UK. In total, they’ll easily redeem 250k IHG points.