Ins and Outs of the InterContinental Ambassador Program Ins and Outs of the InterContinental Ambassador Program

Ins and Outs of the InterContinental Ambassador Program

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has a unique loyalty program structure. First, there is the free-to-join IHG One Rewards program. Overhauled in March of 2022, IHG's loyalty program allows members to earn five different elite status tiers through stays or spending on IHG's co-branded credit cards.

There's a lot of value in the IHG One Rewards program, but how much do you know about the InterContinental Ambassador Program? This stand-alone loyalty program provides exclusive benefits and personalized services to guests staying at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties, one of IHG's luxury hotel brands. Let's take a closer look!

The InterContinental Ambassador Program

Membership in the InterContinental Ambassador program can only be purchased using points or cash. You can't earn your way into this program. A 12-month membership costs $200 or 40,000 points. AwardWallet users redeem IHG points for 0.69¢ apiece, on average, meaning paying in points costs about $75 more than paying in cash.

Related: Redeem IHG Rewards Points and Free Nights for Maximum Value

Ambassador membership starts the day of purchase and lasts 12 months. Membership does not follow a calendar year. Make sure to have a stay planned at a participating property before you enroll in order to get the most from your membership.

sunset behind the InterContinental San Diego
InterContinental San Diego. Credit: IHG

Benefits — IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status

An immediate benefit to purchasing membership in the Ambassador program is automatic Platinum Elite status in the IHG One Rewards program. This status comes with some great benefits like bonus points, discounts, late checkout, room upgrades, and welcome amenities to name a few.

Benefits — Ambassador Exclusive

In addition to the Platinum Elite benefits, InterContinental Ambassador program members also receive these valuable, exclusive benefits:

  • Guaranteed one-category room upgrade
  • Guaranteed extended 4 p.m. checkout
  • Complimentary weekend night*
  • Restaurants & bars credit of up to $20 for every stay*
  • Complimentary mineral water
  • Complimentary premium internet access
  • Dedicated check-in area
  • Single room rate for double occupancy
  • Mainland China Only: Complimentary breakfast for the member each night of stay

*See terms and conditions for use

A note on the complimentary weekend night benefit: You can only have one open reservation using a certificate at a time. It doesn't matter how many complimentary weekend night certificates you have in your IHG One Rewards account. Complete terms can be found here.

Benefits — Six Senses properties

Six Senses is owned by IHG, and properties are slowly joining the One Rewards program. As Six Senses properties join, it's possible to get some Ambassador benefits for these stays. These benefits include:

  • Complimentary breakfast for two in the main restaurant each day
  • A complimentary 50-minute massage for two OR a local experience (once per stay)
  • One category room upgrade (subject to availability)
  • Extended 4 p.m. checkout (subject to availability)
  • Early check-in (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary internet access
  • Wellness Platter welcome amenity on day of arrival

It's worth noting that most benefits at Six Senses properties come with a “subject to availability” note. Before booking a stay, I would contact the property directly to confirm details.

the Six Senses Douro Valley and its surrounding gardens
Six Senses Douro Valley. Credit: IHG

Renewing IHG Ambassador Membership

IHG One Rewards members with InterContinental Ambassador membership can renew (an oddly specific) 92 days before their Ambassador membership expires. Just make sure to pay the $200/40,000 point fee before your annual Ambassador membership expires and you should be all set. You can purchase the membership through IHG directly, so check out the website or call the central reservations office.

InterContinental Royal Ambassador

Ambassador Membership offers a whole lot of benefits to members. However, for the brand's “most valued guests,” there is an even more elite loyalty tier. Royal Ambassador status is offered by invitation only, and the selection criteria isn't publicly available. I think it's fair to say that you have to do a lot of business with IHG to get this invitation. If you do find yourself with an invitation to Royal Ambassador status, here are some of the benefits you can expect:

  • Guaranteed two-category room upgrade at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Diamond Elite status in IHG One Rewards, including the corresponding IHG One Rewards benefits
  • Complimentary Club InterContinental lounge access for the member and one guest (if there is no lounge, breakfast for the member and one guest)
  • Free Night at an IHG Hotel
  • Early check-in at 10 a.m. and late checkout at 4 p.m.
  • $50 minibar credit
  • In-room welcome amenity of fruit or snacks on arrival
  • Waived Amenity or Destination fees
  • Kimpton Inner Circle membership invitation
  • Dedicated check-in area
  • 24-hour room guarantee
  • Single room rate for double occupancy

While Royal Ambassador status is a bit of a mystery, it's definitely worth reading up on all the details surrounding benefits, terms, and conditions on the IHG website if you ever receive an invitation to join.

Is InterContinental Ambassador Status Worth It?

IHG's InterContinental Ambassador program is not the most straightforward we've seen. But with some unique benefits at high-end properties, it could be well worth the $200 price tag for anyone planning stays at InterContinental or Six Senses properties. The free weekend night alone could be worth more than the cost of membership each year.

Have you taken advantage of InterContinental Ambassador membership? Tell us what you think!

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  • I accidentally clicked 3 stars! If possible, please delete that “review” and upgrade it to 5 stars. Thank you for this wonderfully detailed article.

    • No worries! Your comment means a lot more to us than the mistaken vote. We use these ratings to flag when a post may need some help – since not all readers want to take the time to comment.