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Travel is still tricky for a lot of us these days — at least for those of us in the U.S. Since I can't plan any grand escapes right now, I'm thinking a lot about simple and cost-conscious escapes from the four walls I've been looking at.
While a lot of travel options are not on the table, options for IHG InterContinental Ambassadors just got a little better. IHG recently announced that its free weekend night certificate can now be redeemed at both InterContinental and Kimpton properties. Here is a closer look:
IHG's Loyalty Programs
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is a collection of 17 hotel and resort brands. Brands range from Six Senses Hotels and Resorts to Holiday Inn Express. IHG has over 5,600 properties in nearly 100 countries worldwide. Its global footprint makes it one of the larger global hotel groups — with a good presence here in the U.S.
The IHG loyalty program is a bit unique in that it bundles several distinct programs. First off, there is the free-to-join IHG Rewards program. Travelers that stay at InterContinental properties may want to pay for the InterContinental Ambassador program. And Kimpton has an invitation-only Inner Circle rewards program distinct for Kimpton hotels.
IHG Rewards Club
The IHG Rewards Club covers 14 of the IHG brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. The IHG Rewards Club is free to join and has three levels of published elite status: Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite.
The criteria for reaching each level has been lowered for 2020, making it easier than ever to earn higher levels of status. Of course, one can always get Platinum Elite status by simply getting the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card.
IHG also offers a paid membership to the InterContinental Ambassador program. For $200 each year — or 40,000 IHG Rewards points — members get the following benefits when staying at InterContinental brand hotels:
One of the key benefits of purchasing the InterContinental Ambassador membership is the complimentary weekend night certificate. It comes with some restrictions, but it effectively covers the cost of the second night of a weekend stay at an InterContinental property.
Kimpton Inner Circle
The Kimpton Inner Circle is an invitation-only rewards program. Memberships are only extended to the most loyal Kimpton customers. Customers that have IHG Rewards Club Spire Elite status and are frequent Kimpton guests are the only ones considered for invitations.
Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night
Typically, the InterContinental Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night must be used on weekend nights — as the name may imply — at InterContinental hotels. Now, IHG has announced the complimentary weekend night will be available at Kimpton properties. Also, this isn't just for weekends anymore! Ambassadors can redeem a Complimentary Weekend Night certificate at Kimpton properties any night of the week. This new policy is valid for stays before December 31, 2021.
Below is an example of what a booking might look like. You can see that the Ambassador Night Certificate works for a two-night stay at both the Kimpton Muse Hotel in New York City:
The InterContinental Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night has always been a really nice perk. The extension of the certificate to cover Kimpton stays any night of the week seems like a great new option for those with Ambassador status.
One caveat is to be sure to shop around for the best redemption value. Some properties have availability on high priced rooms and even suites. It's definitely worth some searching to see where you can get the best value for the certificate. Let us know if you find a great redemption and safe travels!
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