Hotels

How I just joined IHG Ambassador for $75

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IHG is offering a 100% bonus on purchased points – this is the key.

I’ve written several articles in the past regarding the value of the Ambassador program so I won’t go into the details again. Both of my parents are long time IHG loyalists and we mainly cycled points/stays through their accounts for family trips. I hadn’t personally joined because it didn’t make sense to have 3 members. That just changed. Part of my MASSIVE 80k IHG Accelerate promotion was to join Ambassador, and they offered a 5k point incentive to do so. This was in addition fulfilling one of the required 6/7 targets. So how did I join? I didn’t pay the normal cash rate of $200.

I used 32k points instead of paying $200. Everyone can do this. 32k points can be purchased for just $184 until November 9th.

Using this point sale means I effectively paid $184 when you factor in the current 100% bonus on purchased points. Points are currently being sold for $0.00575 per point. The 100% bonus starts at 5000 points, but the best deal is with a bigger purchase.

I Get 10% of my redeemed points back because I carry the IHG credit card from Chase.

Yes, it works for joining Ambassador. That $184 just dropped to $166, or 32,000 drops to 28,800.

Let’s add in the value of the 5k point incentive. This nets out to just 23,800 points out of pocket, or just $136.85. We can drop that to $75…follow along.

32,000 * 0.9 = 28,800

28,800 – 5000 = 23,800

23,800 * $0.00575 = $136.85

I could write the membership down even further by saying that it represents 1/7 of the 75k ( 5k are from joining so need to be backed out) points that I will receive by fulfilling the Accelerate promotion…roughly 10,700 points. This means I’m getting Ambassador for roughly 13,100, or $75.

$136.85 is a cheap weekend night at an Intercontinental. $75 is insane.

A free weekend night is a perk of the Ambassador program.

a group of people sitting on a rug

I’ve already reserved my weekend night at the Intercontinental Shanghai. I’m getting a free night worth $300. Hopefully an upgrade to boot. B – YAH!

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
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We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

10 Comments

  • Robert N. November 14, 2017

    Need to highlight the fine print on the Ambassador “free weekend night” promotion. A second night is free when you purchase the first night AT A HIGHER THAN USUAL RATE. Can’t use points for that first night. I don’t think it’s worth it.

  • BarryL November 5, 2017

    Miles-

    Thanks for the motivation I signed up today for IHG Ambassador myself today. Have some upcoming paid and award stays at Intercontinental. I even had my sweetie sign up too, as she connects IHG points weekly.

    Do you ever get upgraded to club rooms? I hope to redeem my BOGO while in L.A. if the regular rate is reasonable.

    • Miles November 6, 2017

      LA would be a great redemption. It’s not common, but depending the load of the hotel I’ve seen it done. Specifically in Austin Texas.

  • Boraxo November 3, 2017

    Also you should update the deadline as my account says the 100% point bonus runs through November 9

    • Miles November 3, 2017

      B – looks like they’ve extended it! thanks for the heads up. updated

  • Boraxo November 3, 2017

    Great post which has inspired me to do the same, though my computation comes to $95 before accelerate as the point cost is only .005 and the signup bonus is 10k (promo).

    Keep in mind that BOGO night is not worth as much as you paid for first night because the BOGO rates are usually higher than lowest discounted rates. But still a great deal at many IC properties. Also I think you save on taxes, and get Ambassador perks…

  • DaninMCI October 31, 2017

    Oh but it gets better. In the Ambassador welcome packet you’ll get a certificate for 5000 points as well.

    • BarryL November 5, 2017

      I read on Flyertalk these 5k certs have been eliminated. I just signed up, used the 32k.

      • Miles November 6, 2017

        Barry – I haven’t received my welcome kit yet, but will report back when I do.

  • butzi October 31, 2017

    A 300$ room? I redeemed the AMB Certificate at the InterContinental Tel Aviv, booking a 515$ suite – and staying in a 850$ suite.

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