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Location, location, location!
After experiencing both Qantas’ first and business class, I was VERY excited to hit the ground and explore the city. We arrived at the Intercontinental Sydney via Uber and the location is absolutely incredible. Short walk to the Harbour, across the street from the Botanical Gardens, Big Red Bus Stop, shopping, and fine dines – and I was very excited about our stay.
The Intercontinental has an extraordinary facade – the former Treasure Building. I love hotels with a heritage and history.
- When: April 2018
- Where: Sydney, Australia
- Status: Platinum Ambassador
- Rate: 1 Weekend Certificate, 1 night with 60k points
- Upgrade: City standard to Superior
- Paid Club Upgrade 200 AUD ( $140ish)
Booking tip –
If you’re visiting Sydney from far, far way like I was – this is a great hotel to rest, recover, and base your operations before heading onward to explore Australia. If you’re a Chase IHG Rewards Premier cardholder – it’d be a great place to utilize a 4th night free benefit.
Better yet…if you’re like me and received a targeted Ambassador 10% renewal offer and stayed for 4 nights, the average cost in points is just 40.5k ( 162k for 4 nights ).
As I’d mentioned in the deets, we’d reserved two nights fee free: the first with one IHG credit card anniversary night, the second with points. I’d hoped we would get a Harbour/Opera view upgrade, we didn’t, but while checking in at the Ambassador/Elite desk we ended up paying a pretty hefty fee to get club access.
You can read this post about whether Club Access is worth it, but for only 2 nights and the insanely gorgeous views that come with club – I’m glad we did it.
One thing to note is that Opera house view rooms will consistently price 150 AUD more than standard rooms. With such an incredible view – paying the extra 50 AUD to get club level is the real consideration.
We got an upgrade from King standard to superior. Not sure it made much a difference. It was a very nice, standard Intercontinental room with a city view. We basically dropped our bags in the room and went straight to club to check it out + see the view, get a coffee and wage war on our jetlag. Other than sleeping, the time we spent in the hotel we spent in the club.
Agraria bath products, single vanity, and bath/shower.
Club Level: Absolutely incredible views.
The Intercontinental Sydney’s club level is all about the seeing the incredible Sydney Harbour bridge, Opera House, and short line. Floor to ceiling windows and a large warp-a-round balcony with outdoor seating is truly spectacular. The weather was mild while we were there and I loved being out on the balcony with the wind whipping around and taking in the view.
The club is also fully staffed and the dress code is enforced. Drinks are brought to your table, they check in on you quite frequently ( more so than in other lounges ) and the food is good. Breakfast is great – a complete meal option, but I’d say the lounge is best suited in the evening for a brief snack, a drink, and an insane sunset experience. The restaurant scene in Sydney is great.
Gym and Pool
Both are very small. I used the gym one morning and not the next, but if you hit it at a peak time period it’s line up and wait. Pool would be great if you have kids. Not really large enough for laps, but something fun to do. Both were so crowded that I didn’t take any pictures.
The lobby would be an excellent setting for Afternoon Tea with hints of the old Treasury facade peeking through.
The Intercontinental Sydney is a great place to use a legacy ( IHG Rewards Select Anniversary night good at any IHG property ) or to take advantage of using points when rates are sky high during peak season. The location is outstanding – close proximity to the Harbour without being right on it, walking distance to the Opera House, and an amazing botanical garden across the street that has a cute place to grab lunch.
I’d happily stay at the hotel and for points/miles fanatics usually hyping the Park Hyatt Sydney – I found this hotel to be great for a fraction the price. ( It’s also quite easy to pick IHG points at 1/2 cent a pice – and a great way to redeem is at peak times stacked with the IHG Premier credit card.)
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
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.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
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.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
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.