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InterContinental Ambassador – worth it?

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  • Keely

    Received an email to join IHG ambassador following a points booking for an IHG booking . Just wanted to get opinions on the free weekend night element please? How easy /hard is it to use this ? Is the availability very restricted ? Thanks

    aseftel

    Availability for the weekend 241 is pretty unrestricted in my experience, including beyond standard rooms. You can check availability (and even book, I believe) before you sign up for Ambassador: https://www.headforpoints.com/hfp/ambassador-weekend-voucher-booking-page/

    Supergers49

    I’ve never had any issues trying to book the Ambassador Free Night (well except in 2020 and H1 2021 for obvious reasons) and my general Ambassador experiences have invariably been excellent (and when not excellent they’ve still been positive).

    If you plan to book the Ambassador Free Night voucher and append IHG Redemption nights to it, my tip would be to book a higher class of room using the Ambassador Free Night Voucher (e.g. a room that permits lounge access) and then book the Redemption night(s) after it… invariable you end up staying in the same room and retaining the priviledges that come with it.

    My other tip, is when not using the Free Night voucher or a redemption, try to book ICs via Amex F&HR or Emyr’s booking service. In my experience, the benefits will usually stack with the Amabassador benefits.

    ChrisC

    Very easy to use the BOGOF and helped by the fact that until the end of this year by being able to use it at Regents and Kimptons (and on any day of the week) as well.

    I use this link to search for availability / prices – no need to log into your account.

    https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/content/gb/en/ambassador/free-weekend-certificate/book

    Remember on the face of it the AMB rate is a little higher than the best flexible rate but you don’t pay for the second night.

    And unless you are IHG platinum aready you’ll be given plat status as well whcih will help at stays at non Intercontental IHG hotels

    Blair Waldorf Salad

    Remember it’s not BOGOF weekend night. It’s 2nd night free. There’s some fun in finding situations where a Saturday night is much pricier than Friday, but only paying for Friday. I love the AMB free weekend night; so easy to get outsize value. Sadly I deployed mine at Easter this year so have to wait a long time for the next one.

    Keely

    Thanks all , very informative. Wouldn’t get ambassador just for the other benefits , but considering whether it’s worth it. I’ll play around with the links. Thanks again

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    Free weekend nights are now capped per hotel, so there is no guarantee that you can book – although you can test via the link above if its bookable.

    The upside, as mentioned, is that all room categories are available at many hotels.

    Personally I’d go for it IF you are 100% certain to use the voucher OR you have a long IC stay coming up and want the guaranteed upgrade and 4pm checkout.

    Keely

    Thanks Rob! Im mulling it over but useful to know that there is a cap .

    yorkieflyer

    Free weekend nights are now capped per hotel, so there is no guarantee that you can book – although you can test via the link above if its bookable.

    The upside, as mentioned, is that all room categories are available at many hotels.

    Personally I’d go for it IF you are 100% certain to use the voucher OR you have a long IC stay coming up and want the guaranteed upgrade and 4pm checkout.

    Upgrade likely on a points stay though?

    DJ

    You get upgrades on both cash and points stays. At least it was the experience for me for any IHG hotels I have stayed.

    Supergers49

    There’s some fun in finding situations where a Saturday night is much pricier than Friday, but only paying for Friday.

    I feel like I have not got full value from my voucher if I don’t do this!

    Phil H

    There’s some fun in finding situations where a Saturday night is much pricier than Friday, but only paying for Friday.

    I feel like I have not got full value from my voucher if I don’t do this!

    Pay for Sunday night and get Monday night free. That’s what we are doing at the Kimpton Clocktower in Manchester next weekend.

    Sprout

    I have 2 rooms booked for a few nights on points at an intercontinental. If I sign up for ambassador would both rooms be upgraded or just one?

    ChrisC

    Different rules for Kimpton and Regents where the BOGOF can be used any nights of the week. Plus as I already mentioned use with them ends at the end of the year.

    At ICs its Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun only

    yorkieflyer

    It often used to be worth signing up when checking in and negotiating an upgrade as they apparently get commission

    Scottpat78

    We’re at the Intercontinental LA for 2 nights. Both nights on points and I enrolled in Ambassador a couple of months back for 40k points as a first time enrol. I was Diamond elite already.

    This morning I received an email saying I was upgraded to a Club room prior to check in. When we got here, was informed that no access to Club Lounge unless I was Royal Ambassador or paid $50PPPN for access. I declined.

    Not sure if that’s standard or not – I think I read similar at other IC previously but was hoping upgrade to Club room meant Club Lounge access.

    RobH not Rob

    Believe upgrade to a club room doesn’t guarantee club access, it at hotel’s discretion, although we did get it at IC O2 London this weekend and had a stunning stay.

    Find Ambassador well worth it after joining last month.

    One question does renewing (as opposed to joining) Ambassador extended diamond status for another year anyone?

    Supergers49

    One question does renewing (as opposed to joining) Ambassador extended diamond status for another year anyone?

    It did for me, and I believe there is a thread somewhere in the forums where others have confirmed the same.

    yorkieflyer

    So I’ve been emailed the offer to join ambassador and told I’ll have a free upgrade on our upcoming stay if I join. So ploughed through the T&C s and as a gold I’d be platinum and
    Upgrade not guaranteed for our reward stay and no compo if not given
    I get 1 free breakfast for member only?

    ChrisC

    Believe upgrade to a club room doesn’t guarantee club access, it at hotel’s discretion, although we did get it at IC O2 London this weekend and had a stunning stay.

    Find Ambassador well worth it after joining last month.

    One question does renewing (as opposed to joining) Ambassador extended diamond status for another year anyone?

    Two recent experiences. I’m Diamond Ambassador

    CP at T4 Heathrow– upgraded to club room (only found out when entering the room). Tried the key card on the club and not working. Politly asked at reception about access and they said ‘no access to platinums’-I responded that I’m diamond – they weren’t even looking at my booking / account/ because they only offered my points not breakfast.

    Then they said no free aceess because I hadn’t stayed there before but I could have it for 30 quid a night. Then told by manager that it was full anyway. Pointing out the absurdity of being offerd cash access when the club was full was met with ‘um’.

    If they had simply said ‘no club access if we upgrade the room’ it would have been fine but to come up with nonsense reasons really grated.

    IC San Francisco – Don’t think there are club floor rooms per se (in anycase the club is on the 6th floor) but you can book any room and include club access in the rate.

    When checking in was told I had been given access to the club (likely because this was my 3rd visit and 2nd this year) so I didn’t push for the diamond free breakfast becauee I got more out of the club in terms of brerakfast and the early evening snacks and drinks service than I would have gotten from the restaurent breakfast alone.

    Your experience may vary.

    Pangolin

    To me Ambassador is definitely worth it.

    1) BOGOF – the issue about the AMB rates being significantly higher than BAR seems to have gone away since the pandemic

    2) 4pm guaranteed checkout

    3) $20 F&B credit (depends on currency)

    4) You can use AMB renewal to preserve top tier status apparently, which gives it significantly extra value if you’re Diamond

    5) 15K renewal bonus

    It’s just a pity they’ve dropped the 10% discount on points redemptions

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