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Save 8% when buying or renewing InterContinental Ambassador membership

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A couple of day ago, I wrote about the 100% bonus available until September 22nd when you buy IHG Rewards Club points.

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.

InterContinental Ambassador

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 One Rewards update – December 2023:

Get bonus points: Our article on IHG’s current bonus promotion is here. You will receive 2,000 bonus points for every two cash nights you stay until 31st December. Nights do not need to be consecutive. Click here to register.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

IHG is offering a 100% bonus (some members may be offered less) when you buy points by 30th December 2023. Click here to buy.

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.

Comments (19)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • RogerWilco says:

    I made the same calculations, but there is a caveat – to bag this $12/16 savings, you must lay out $690 to buy the full 60+60k package and still face the risk of future devaluation of the remaining points. But yes, if you’d otherwise think of renewing/buying Amb AND are on the take for the points purchase anyway, it’s a bit of a saving. “Every little helps” 🙂

  • Felix Flyer says:

    I renewed this year at the $200 rate option that also gives you 15000 points and a 10% rebate on points used on reward stays which I thought was good value.
    Slightly OT, but does anyone know the upgrade policy at the Intercontinental Athens particularly to access the Club level rooms? I have platinum ambassador status.

    • Rob says:

      If you specifically want a club upgrade, safest bet is always to email hotel and ask what room category to book to guarantee you upgrade to club. You then have it in writing.

  • Gavin says:

    When you sign up to InterContinental Ambassador, does your membership start on that day? or do you have to wait until the membership pack arrives?

    If I’m not visiting an InterContinental hotel for 6 months, do I need to sign up a month or two in advance or just a week? No point in paying for 6 months I will not use.

    The only risk will be all my stays will be reward stays, has anyone had difficulty getting the benefits on reward stays?

    • Phil says:

      Online status is recognised in a couple of days, the pack with your free night certification takes about 4-6 weeks.

      • Gavin says:


      • Gavin says:

        If I become an Ambassador member, but book a IC hotel with reward points from my wife’s IHG account. Can I still use my Ambassador membership for a possible room upgrade?

    • Rob says:

      Had no problems I can remember … Boston, New York, Amsterdam, Paris over last 18 months all upgraded me and did 4pm check out.

  • Gordon Ritchie says:

    For renewal now they are offering 3 options the 2 as you describe ($150 or 24,000 points) or for $200 fee, 10,000 points instead of 5,000 points voucher.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, did not mention the $200 option as it confuses things. I do this one as the 10 per cent rebate on redemptions is a good deal.

  • Irons1980 says:

    Mine cost to renew in the end – with the 5,000 bonus points offer plus 10,000 point voucher I received, just 17,000 points!

  • James says:

    I am considering joining Ambassador for a stay I need to book for NYC next year and was wondering if someone could provide more info on the free weekend night certificate. Can this be used on the first booking and is the rate used just the cheapest on the IHG website?

    If this is the case then it seems in most cases the ‘paid’ night using the certificate would be at least double the cost of buying the points needed under the current 100% bonus promotion. As 2 nights would therefore cost the same does this mean this voucher has very little value or am I missing something?

    • Jason says:

      Your points don’t expire but your voucher will. It depends how many stays you will use.
      It is cheaper to use points availability, currently. You also get an upgrade( if you pay but possibly for reward nights as well) and a few other benefits.

    • Rob says:

      Voucher is only valid on Best Flex. Has value if you want something bigger than a base room as many properties include all room categories. We used one in Dusseldorf for a suite last year to get all 4 of us in.

      • BLT says:

        Hi Raffles.

        I’m looking at booking the IC Toronto and using ambassador benefits for an upgrade. Is there a way you can guarantee a club room upgrade. On the room types available, a suite is the most expensive option, the option below is a 2 queen Club room. If I booked the club room would I be guaranteed the suite. it’s hard to believe this works as the suite is double the cost of the club room!

        • Rob says:

          May well work, best thing to do is email the hotel first and ask them. You then have it in writing. The upgrade often, not always, processed soon after booking so you may see it online.

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