If you buy 50,000 – 60,000 points, which doubles to 100,000 – 120,000 points, the price drops to just $5.75 per 1,000.
This allows you to stay at ANY InterContinental hotel for no more than £177 per night, including all taxes, because that is the cost of buying 50,000 points.
This deal offers a loophole for anyone thinking of buying IHG Ambassador status. It will also save you money when renewing.
Ambassador will ONLY benefit you when staying at InterContinental branded hotels. InterContinental is a little odd when it comes to loyalty schemes:
As part of the Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza group, it participates in IHG Rewards Club and you earn the usual 10 points per $ for your spending.
InterContinental does not officially recognise your IHG Rewards Club status. In reality, they often do, but it is not guaranteed.
InterContinental also has its own loyalty scheme – Ambassador – which costs $200 per year to join.
Despite the $200 per year fee (reduced to $150 when renewing), I consider Ambassador a good deal and have been a member for a number of years.
The key thing about Ambassador is that, once you are a member, the benefits are GUARANTEED on paid stays. They are NOT guaranteed on reward stays, but most properties do let you have them. These benefits are:
A certificate for a free weekend night when you join and each year when you renew. In one swoop, you can save your entire membership fee with this benefit. To use the voucher, you need to book a 2-night weekend stay and pay the Best Available Rate for the other night. The letter of the rules says that only standard rooms can be booked. However, many hotels let you book club rooms or suites.
GUARANTEED one-level room upgrade – this is usually processed before you arrive and is visible online
A voucher for 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points when you join and each year on renewal
4pm check-out – this is a guaranteed benefit and one which was very helpful in Paris last week
A free pay-TV movie per stay, every stay
Free fruit and mineral water in your room
A welcome gift – varies from chocolates or wine to weird local souvenirs!
Double occupancy for single occupancy rate – useful in Germany, one of the few countries where they still charge a ‘second person’ supplement
Obviously InterContinental Ambassador is not for everyone. You can earn back the cost of membership in just one weekend stay, though. It may even be worth it even if you had just one long stay booked and wanted to guarantee your upgrade. Ambassador members also receive Gold status in IHG Rewards Club (although that doesn’t get you far).
How you can save
There is an alternative to paying $200 for Ambassador status. You can use 32,000 IHG Rewards Club points instead.
This is usually a poor deal. However, under the current promotion, you can buy 32,000 points for just $184. (This assumes you buy 100,000 points and pro-rata the cost. Buying just 32,000 points will not save you any money.)
That is a saving of 8% – not huge but better than nothing!
Similarly, you can renew your IHG Ambassador status for 24,000 points. The usual cost is $150 to renew but buying the points – as part of a purchase of 100,000 or more – will cost $138. Another 8% saved!
You can learn more about InterContinental Ambassador, and sign up, here if it sounds interesting.
IHG Rewards Club update – January 2021:
Get bonus points: IHG is not currently running a global points promotion as of 1st January 2021.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards Club points, you can buy them here. You will get a 75% bonus if you buy 10,000+ IHG Rewards Club points by 25th February.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.