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REGISTER NOW: 3,000 bonus IHG points per InterContinental stay (and more if you join Ambassador)

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IHG Rewards Club has launched an attractive promotion for anyone who stays at an InterContinental hotel this Autumn.

There is also an interesting bribe for joining the InterContinental Ambassador reward scheme, which might tip you over into joining.

In summary:

you need to register here

you will receive 3,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points on up to five InterContinental cash stays between 26th September and 30th November

if you sign up for InterContinental Ambassador ($200), you will receive 10,000 additional bonus IHG points

new InterContinental Ambassador members will also receive an additional 3,000 bonus points – so 6,000 bonus points in total – on up to five InterContinental cash stays between 26th September and 30th November

The total number of bonus points available is:

15,000 points (3,000 x 5) for all IHG Rewards Club members

an additional 10,000 points for joining Ambassador and then a further 15,000 points for completing five InterContinental stays

…. which means a maximum bonus of 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points

I value an IHG Rewards Club point at 0.4p, so everyone is getting at least £12 of points per stay.  If you joined Ambassador and completed five stays before 30th November, the 40,000 bonus points would be worth £160.

Note that if you an EXISTING Ambassador member, you will only receive 3,000 bonus points per InterContinental stay.  The higher bonus of 6,000 points is only for new Ambassador members who join via the link on the promotional page.

InterContinental 3000 bonus points per stay

And for total clarity …..

This promotion doubles up with the current Accelerate promotion.

You will also receive bonus points via Accelerate on top of the bonus points from this offer.  Click here for my article on the latest Accelerate promotion, and click here to register and see your personal targets.

InterContinental 3000 bonus points per stay

Is it worth joining Ambassador?

It is a no-brainer to register for this promotion, and pick up an extra 3,000 bonus points on up to five InterContinental stays during the promotional period.

Whether you should join the Ambassador programme as well, to earn the additional 10,000 bonus points and the additional 3,000 bonus points per stay, is a trickier question.

InterContinental, the luxury hotel brand inside IHG Rewards Club (which also covers Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and others) 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

InterContinental hotels do 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 – Ambassadorwhich costs $200 or 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points to join

Despite the $200 fee ($150 or $200 to renew depending on benefits), I consider Ambassador a good deal and was a member for a number of years.  I let it lapse last year but this was purely due to a change in our travel patterns, as I found myself with over 1 million Marriott Bonvoy points to spend post the Marriott / SPG merger.

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 Ambassador Weekend Rate, usually equal to Best Flexible Rate. The rules say that only standard rooms can be booked. However, many hotels let you book club rooms or suites which is especially useful for families.

(As the Ambassador Weekend Rate is more expensive than a non-refundable Advance Purchase rate, your free night is not totally free if you would otherwise have booked a cheaper pre-paid rate.  It is totally free if you would otherwise have booked at Best Flexible Rate.)

A GUARANTEED one-level room upgrade on every InterContinental stay – this is usually processed before you arrive and is visible online

$20 food and beverage credit per stay

4pm check-out – this is a GUARANTEED benefit and comes in very handy on a weekend break or on a trip with an evening flight back home

Free fruit in your room

Double occupancy for single occupancy rate – useful in Germany, one of the few countries where they still charge a ‘second person’ supplement

Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards Club

If a hotel does not deliver either a) your guaranteed upgrade or b) your guaranteed 4pm check-out, you will receive a food and beverage or spa credit of $50, or 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points, per stay.  Note ‘per stay’ and not ‘per night’.

InterContinental 3000 bonus points per stay

Does 10,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points make a difference?

In my view, the carrot of an extra 10,000 bonus points – plus an extra 3,000 points per InterContinental stay before 30th November – should not make any fundamental difference to you.  The bonus is not worth a huge amount – I would value 10,000 IHG points at £40, whilst Ambassador membership is $200 (£160).

Note that the IHG Rewards Club bonus points do not count towards elite status.

I would say that:

if you know that you will use the ‘buy one get one free’ voucher at an InterContinental hotel over the next 12 months, you should definitely join Ambassador – you will save money

if you have a few InterContinental stays coming up which would benefit from a guaranteed one-level upgrade and, perhaps more importantly, a guaranteed 4pm check-out, you should join – especially as you’ll be getting an additional 3,000 bonus points if those stays are between 26th September and 30th November

if you have regular InterContinental stays, the cumulative value of the $20 food and beverage credits will soon cover your membership fee anyway

Another way of looking at this offer – irrespective of how many InterContinental stays you do – is that you are ‘buying’ Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards Club for £120 ($200 Ambassador fee minus £40 value of the 10,000 bonus points).  However, you can get Platinum Elite status as a benefit of the £99 per year IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard – and the card comes with 20,000 bonus IHG points for signing up.

At the end of the day, you could earn back the cost of membership in just one weekend stay via the BOGO voucher.  It may even be worth it even if you had just one long stay booked and wanted to guarantee your upgrade and late check-out.  I wouldn’t be swayed either way by the extra 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points from this offer, however.

You can learn more about InterContinental Ambassador here if it sounds interesting.

InterContinental 3000 bonus points per stay

Don’t forget to register!

The key thing to remember is that everyone qualifies for the 3,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points per InterContinental stay, even if you do not join Ambassador.

You should register today – click here – just in case you find yourself in an InterContinental in the next 10 weeks.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Czechoslovakia says:

    One of my accelerate targets is to renew Ambassador, looking like a nice promo altogether.

  2. JoeBegone says:

    I can’t register without inputting a promo code. Any idea what it is?

  3. I have same problem. I can’t seem to register without a promo code.

  4. Alessandro Behling says:

    After giving the Ambassador scheme much thought, I decided to give it a go, and once (pretty much the standard with IHG in general) I must say, won’t be renewing it. Earlier in the year we went to Mauritius and I can unhappily confirm there was no upgrade on arrival, in fact the only way I got upgraded was after having a fight with the hotel management and pointing them out on their scam AKA Ambassador scheme. You are right in saying they write “guaranteed” on some things you should get, but there is no guarantee you will get it, unless you fight for them, also, their T&Cs are full of IF this, IF that, for example: you get breakfast if you are in some random chinesse city. I’m utterly disgusted with IHG as a brand, they do close to nothing to make it worth spending one night in thrir properties, and unfortunately, for me, I spent too many nights in them to build up my status to Spire Elite, a status that is not recognised by Intercontinental, so, what’s the point? they can give me as many points they can in accelerate and all that, but when it comes to actually using them, what do you get for it? nothing is guaranteed, you have to be a member of another level of something, in this case Ambassador to try and get anything, and yet, it’s one stressful situation after the other (in my case) – IHG doesn’t understand the meaning of loyalty, it seems that they use it to monetize on “benefits” that would otherwise be yours after investing so much time and money building up your level. I’m going to dispose the hard earned points I have an will make no efforts in collect any more, there are better schemes out there, in my experience I received benefits of much better value from the old Club Carlson (renamed Radisson Rewards) and Hilton, where if you are a Diamond member you get free breakfast no matter what property you are in, happy hour and executive lounge access.

    • Same can be said of some properties in other chains. I had some terrible experiences with loyalty recognition at both Hilton and Marriott. It pays to do a research about the property before you book. When I went to Mauritius a few years ago, I avoided Intercontinental as I read it is a bad run down property. Instead I went to the nearby Westin where they couldn’t be more generous and offered more benefits than my status allowed. So really, it all comes down to the properties and how well they’re managed.

    • Double Dee says:

      Agree, visited Ljubljana and the staff are all friendly until there is any problem and then completely dismissive even the general manager, zero service recovery. I’ve had better complaint resolution at Holiday Inn Express across the UK and their management response whilst there was next time we will make your stay better, well I’m here now so….

    • Hi Alessandro,
      Yoi do make some very valid points about both Ambassador & Spire Elite status, and I personally find that the benefit(s) need to be worked on, but can be useful when it suits your particular needs, but, if not it’s pointless.

      Personally I wouldn’t bother with it, if it wasn’t for the Free Weekend Certificate. We have, for many years now, annually, booked a high end suite at an Intercontinental property in Europe for a weekend, using the Free Weekend Certificate. The annual saving for 2 nights, at the cost of one night (fully flexible rate) is usually around at least 500 euros, so is definitely worth the cost for us

      The last stay, because it was a high end suite, they were unable to upgrade us (as we knew anyway, according to the Intercontinental T&C for that property). However, they still gave us 25K discretionary IHG points instead as regular customers. 🙂

  5. Have IHG confirmed, via press release or similar, that this offer is available to all IHG rewards club members? Wording on the landing page implies that it may be targeted, which is supported by the need to enter a ‘Promotion Code’. If confirmed by IHG as being available to all, then the promotion code needs to be added to the article text please.

  6. Alessandro Behling says:

    I have one more story to tell you about the Ambassador scheme, on this occasion, the Intercontinental Park Lane in London, I wrote a piece on how discusting the experience was here, if you want to read it: http://tiny.cc/60jrcz

    What makes it even more disturbing is the fact that the reply I had from their “Quality Manager” who in my view should be running a chicken’s enclosure suggests that it’s my job as a guest to tell them the state of the room and that I shouldn’t be expecting a clear room, what am I thinking, willing to stay in clean room? if the room goes for £400+ a night, nah, the rate doesn’t cover any of that.

    • Mary Berry says:

      “have one more story to tell you about the Ambassador scheme…”. Please don’t 😫

  7. I have an ambassador certificate expiring in January. Unfortunately our next travel is next month to Vancouver and there is no intercontinental there. Any chance IHG will agree an extension?

    If not any recommendations of where to go for weekend break in Europe (not Amsterdam as hubby is Dutch and family there).

  8. Rob,

    When you first annouced the accelerate bonus you said some people only had one target of 1000 points but this was an IT issue and would correct itself. Do you think this is still the case, as im still only seeing one target, wondering if its worth getting in touch with IHG (if it is a mistake)?

    Thanks,

    • People on FT who got in touch were told it was correct, I believe.

    • Lady London says:

      I still have hopes they will do what they did last season and launch a separately targeted Acc II at beginning of Octobre.

      IHG would be wise to do so as seems they’re particularly ****ed %&& Spire members this time.

      • But isn’t it just the reality of loyalty schemes. We have you so we’ll offer you nothing. People we think may shift to us we’ll entice. Whilst no one (publicly) understands BA upgrades, the general consensus is the higher status the less likely to be upgraded. Loyalty is best rotated so that the companies you leave behind then try and offer you more to come back. Even the likes of Sainsbury’s started to make much better offers to me once I’d moved elsewhere.

      • Some of us are unable to register for the normal Accelerate scheme and are instead lumped into a different scheme, which is currently running from July to October. This has been the case for me for the last couple of quarters. There was a glitch which meant that some people were able to sign up for one of the earlier schemes and then some of these people (myself included) where able to register for one that started a couple of months later.

        Having said that, I think I’ll ignore the next offer completely. Firstly, it means I have a chance of getting back to the same starting date as everyone else. Secondly, all the Accelerate offers I ever received were absolute garbage (apart from the very first one when I joined) and I won’t be missing anything.

    • Same here – only the 1000 point bonus. Most of my stays will be going to Hilton this quarter.

  9. I tried on several occasions to find why IHG awarded 1000 points only for Q4. However, they won’t say (unless Rob has a high level contact who knows). I think that you’re wasting your time getting in touch with IHG. Better to credit stays to Hilton etc.

    • I thought someone might say that. Just my luck, I have 8 advance bookings across their whole brand coming up that I can’t change. If it was any of the other accelerate promos I would have made a killing. Argh!

      • Mary Berry says:

        You’re likely not paying for any of those eight stays, assuming you’re travelling on business. So forget ‘you’re making a killing, and get over yourself.

        • It’s in the nature of a point collector to maximize their return in any situation 🙂

          • Mary Berry says:

            “Their” return would suggest ‘they’ are paying for the room. Largely, they’re not. So as before, get over it.

          • Lady London says:

            Ummm Mary, while you’re there when are you going to produce a decent scone recipe that doesn’t have eggs in it. The best scones don’t have any. I believe eggs make scones go tough and flat so when you’re ready please provide a decent scone recipe without eggs.

        • Why would you assume that? All my business bookings are fully refundable as per business policy. These are all personal bookings, my money, hence I am losing a lot by going to IHG with no promos

  10. On the benefits list, I think the fruit in your room benefit is now only for stays in China.

  11. Qamar Ahmed says:

    The benefits listed are slightly inaccurate – $20 daily food and beverage credit. This isn’t a daily credit but once per stay.

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