Renew Intercontinental Ambassador for 19,000 points or $80

Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
Restaurant Aerial

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Renew Intercontinental Ambassador for 19,000 points or $80

While Intercontinental is part of IHG, and you can use IHG points to book Intercontinental hotels, and you earn IHG points while staying at Intercontinental, IHG won’t give you any guaranteed benefits while staying at an Intercontinental. To receive extra bennies, you need to join the Intercontinental Ambassador program. The first year it costs $200 and gives some great benefits right off the bat: guaranteed upgrade, free weekend night, late check out ( these are all with restrictions, but my experience has been they are almost always honored). After that first year, you can elect to pay $150 to renew, or you can use points. I manage several accounts for friends and family, and came across a general trend: You can renew Intercontinental Ambassador for 19,000 points or $80.

Here’s an overview of Intercontinental Ambassador

The video is from the Intercontinental London Park Lane. I reviewed this as part of my trip report in September: NFL in London, Scotland, and Dublin 

And here’s some benefits per the website:

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-11-54-43-am

Here was the offer to renew Ambassador for 19,000 points or $80 net.

As you can see I was given a tiered offer:

  • $150 and get 10,000 bonus points
  • $200 and get 15,000 bonus points plus 10% back on reward nights ( which if you have an IHG credit card you already get 10%, this would be an additional 10% or 20% off! H/T to reader Neil for mentioning this)
  • Use 24k points but get 5000 bonus points

You can always buy IHG points for $0.007 by booking a cash and points reservation so let’s just assume that value. The first offer gives you $70 back in points so nets out at $80. The second is $200 and gives $105 back netting $95. The third nets out at 19,000 which is worth $133. Clearly the first option is the lowest “price.” However, value is relative, and this particular Ambassador has A LOT of points and it was worth using points vs spending the cash. I have another Ambassador that is going to do the $200 option because they are going redeem a lot of points next year. That 20% discount is going to be amazeballs. It’s great they allow a few different ways of renewing so people can choose what’s best for them.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-11-34-23-am screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-11-34-44-am

I think the Intercontinental Ambassador program is DEFINITELY worth the price IF you stay, or are planning to stay with them much.

Both of my parents have separate accounts and we have made them both Ambassadors. This wouldn’t be necessary, but we often use different accounts to book reservations, and value the benefits a lot. If you use the weekend night voucher, the cost of the program is immediately absorbed and they have received great upgrades around the world.

Here’s some of the Intercontinentals I’ve had the pleasure of staying at, some with Ambassador privileges, some not.

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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8 Comments

  • Neil December 21, 2016

    I’ve done the Ambassador thing for at least four or five years. A few notes:

    1) If you frequently redeem points, do the $200 option. The 10% Ambassador rebate is in addition to the 10% from the credit card. Also, IME, the Ambassador 10% posting is almost always wrong – they almost always throw in an extra 5,000 or 10,000 points that I can’t explain. Even without that “bonus” the points rebate is a great feature.

    2) I haven’t used the weekend certificate in a few years, but it used to give you the 2nd night free (not just the average of two nights). If you have a three night weekend stay be sure to look at the night by night rates to maximize the value of your certificate.

    3) The weekend night certificate is based on the standard rate (used to be able to use the AAA rate or other promo rates, but now you’ll be paying the standard rack rate on the first night if you use the certificate).

    4) The Intercontinentals I’ve stayed at have been great about 4pm checkouts. YMMV.

    • Miles December 21, 2016

      Neil – All great points Neil – thank you!

      • Is that extra 10% for all IHG reward nights or only at Intercontinentals?

        • Neil August 3, 2017

          I’m pretty sure it is on all ihg properties. I’m up for renewal now and the terms say “get a 10% rebate on reward nights” and don’t specify IC only. Almost 100% sure I earned on April Crowne plaza stay. Terms do say “up to 100,000 points” on total rebates over the year period. Not sure of that is enforced but in any case well with the small upcharge.

        • Miles August 3, 2017

          Hey Stefan – I’m actually inquiring about this because it was my understanding it included everything under the IHG umbrella, but I’ve discovered that any reservation made prior to renewal hasn’t been refunded even tho the stay was within the 12 month period they advertised. I’ll get to the bottom of it and get back to you. Thanks for reading, love RTC

        • Miles August 4, 2017

          A rep today said that the 10% Ambassador refund only counts with Intercontinental hotels. I can’t find anything in the language that stipulates it, but that’s the feedback I’m getting from Customer Service.

  • Bill n DC December 21, 2016

    I’ve been renewing using points to renew for years. Best deal since IHG doesn’t recognize status when using points. I’ve used the weekend cert twice at HongKong IC, twice at London Park lane, & once at IC Times Square. At TS I’d reserved top room – 3 sides of Windows – so upgrade was free room service breakfast. Not sure where to use this year’s. Maybe Kansas City IC – great place at Country Club Plaza for August total eclipse of the sun ☀️

    • Miles December 21, 2016

      Thanks Bill! Looks like you’ve been making great use!

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