In earlier posts, I have written about my experiences with the IHG and Hilton loyalty programs as a frequent traveler and about IHG, Hilton
This is a post on hotel loyalty / rewards program Intercontinental Ambassador. Read more on loyalty and/or hotels in the respective categories.
Table of Contents
Intercontinental Ambassador – what is it?
IHG (way more than Marriott or Hilton) has some strange leftovers from mergers, acquisitions and other strange structures within their loyalty portfolio. Notably the Kimpton Karma system, where some amazing acts of hospitality are still in place, but many benefits have merged with the more traditional IHG Rewards program. But also the Intercontinental Ambassador program.
Worldly, refined and discerning, the qualities of the modern traveler, and the essence of theIntercontinental Ambassador website
InterContinental® Ambassador recognition program. With every journey you take, whether business focused or wanderlust inspired, Ambassador enhances your stay with exceptional benefits to ensure an unforgettable experience.
IHG Rewards Club has
Cost and benefits
- Complimentary weekend night certificate that is valid on the second night of a paid weekend stay on the Ambassador Weekend Rate. Weekends may vary by region.
- Upgrade to a superior room at check-in, each time you stay. Superior room is defined as one category higher than purchased.
- A 4 pm late check out, as well as a choice of refreshments on arrival (I usually go for the fruit, which is pretty neat), in-room welcome gift, and mineral water. Additionally, you will receive one complimentary
pay TVfilm per stay.
This, for a cost of $200 USD or 40.000 points for a period of 12 months.
Why I decided on Intercontinental Ambassador
I had planned my trip to Jordan to hike part of the Jordan Trail (which eventually turned out to be Dana to Petra) and planned to spend the night in the Intercontinental in Amman and the Intercontinental Aqaba (
So being certain of room upgrades (especially on my Jordan holidays), the quick check-ins and a free night was enough for me to at least try it for a year.
Becoming a member
- You should be able to apply for Intercontinental Ambassador via the website, but that didn’t work with me on multiple browsers.
- I then sent a message to the regular IHG customer service who referred me to email@example.com to apply.
- I then contacted firstname.lastname@example.org but they referred me to their phone number.
I then called the Ambassador service line. Customer service wouldn’t let me choose the start date of my Intercontinental Ambassador, which is kind of annoying, as I had 3 weeks of extra (unused) membership time.
Let’s say we weren’t off to a good start.
Things that don’t work for me.
- See above – becoming a member was quite the challenge.
- There is a special ambassador desk for check-in at the Intercontinental hotels, but often the desk is hidden out of sight and/or not staffed.
- Sometimes my level is referred to as ‘Spire Elite’, sometimes as ‘Spire Ambassador’ (spire elite + intercontinental ambassador), which is rather confusing.
- It is not always easy to check the free weekend night price on the IHG website, there is – however- a special link for that (kudos LoyaltyLobby for that).
Things that do work work for me.
- Free fruit in your room is always #winning.
- I got some really nice room upgrades, especially in the
Intercontinentalsin Amman and Aqaba (the resort), less so in Vienna. It is, however, difficult to estimate how different the upgrade would be from the ‘normal’ upgrade I would get as an IHG Spire Elite.
In conclusion: Intercontinental Ambassador – is it worth it?
Intercontinental Ambassador only makes sense if you stay in Intercontinental hotels on a frequent basis. The free weekend night makes the return on investment pretty much even – the room upgrades and the free fruit are the additional benefits. So probably: yes.
What do you think: Intercontinental Ambassador – is it worth it?