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How does it sound to score a guaranteed room upgrade, guaranteed 4 PM late check-out, fresh water and fruit on arrival, a welcome gift, an annual second weekend night free when the first night is paid, and IHG elite status? All of this and more can be yours with Intercontinental Ambassador status. This status doesn’t require a certain number of nights spent with the hotel program, but rather it is available with ‘just’ a $200 payment.
Recently I received an email encouraging me to buy a year of Intercontinental Ambassador status for $200, though I’ve also read offers to purchase Intercontinental Ambassador status for 40,000 IHG points. For those not familiar, Intercontinental is a top hotel brand within the IHG family that also includes Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and now even Kimpton. Intercontinental sort of recognizes IHG elite status levels, but they really have their own elite program comprised of Ambassadors (who pay for the status) and Royal Ambassadors (a subset of Ambassadors who frequently stay at Intercontinental properties and are invited to that level).
On first glance, Intercontinental Ambassador status is not worth $200, but on further review, it can be in some situations.
The fee for new members for 12 months of Ambassador membership is $200, but after 12 months, members can usually renew their Ambassador status for less (around $150) and get other perks thrown in such as bonus points, 10% of redeemed points back, and more. The annual BOGO weekend night certificate alone can make the $200 fee worth it if you going to spend at least that amount per night anyway staying at an Intercontinental property on the weekend.
The IHG elite status you receive by getting Ambassador status doesn’t hurt, but it sadly isn’t worth very much at all as there aren’t many guaranteed benefits. My offers says that I would get IHG Platinum status, but a reader pointed out that the usual offer is Gold status, so pay attention to the fine print. If IHG status did matter to you, you could get IHG Platinum just by having the $49 per year IHG credit card that also gives you an IHG award night to use anywhere each year.
Having some water, fruit, and a welcome gift on your Intercontinental stays certainly would be worth something, though likely no more than about $10 per visit for me personally. Guaranteed 4 PM late checkout can have some real value, especially if you have little kids who need early afternoon naps. However, if you are at all considering Intercontinental Ambassador status I think it comes down to whether or not you will make use of the BOGO weekend award night, and how frequently you stay at Intercontinental properties.
I’ve never had Intercontinental Ambassador status as I don’t think it is currently worth it for me since I don’t have a paid Intercontinental stay in my plans, but I would love to hear from some of you who have it currently or who have had it in the past. Did you feel like you got your money’s worth from the Ambassador status? Were there any ‘unadvertised’ perks of that status?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.