You can buy Ambassador Status, a sub-tier of the IHG Rewards Club for the InterContinental hotels.
When staying at an InterContinental as an Ambassador, you are guaranteed a complimentary room upgrade, an in-room gift, extended check-out to 4pm. This is in addition to the priority check in at reception.
It costs $200 a year (or 32,000 IHG Points) and anyone can buy it – I highly recommend it. When you sign up the first time you get a Welcome Pack which contains a code for 5,000 points, a 2for1 Weekend voucher and a luggage tag.
The weekend voucher gives you two nights at a weekend for the price of one. The price you pay is more that the cheapest advance rate, but offers great value overall. The rate also applies to suites, and your upgrade still applies. I used one for the level below a suite at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand last year.
I bought it first time when I knew that I had a couple of upcoming stays in InterContinentals, so was able to use the benefits at the Willard, Washington D.C., The Venetian, Las Vegas and in Paris. I renewed because I knew that I could take advantage for my trip to San Francisco.
Renewal was slightly different. The basis rate was less, at $150 (or 24,000 IHG points), but there were also other options. I paid $200 for a package which gives 15,000 bonus points on renewal instead of 5,000 and also gives a 10% rebate of points on redemptions because I knew that I had a number of redemptions coming up, as listed on my redemptions page.
If you are not already an Ambassador and have an InterContinental stay coming up, it might be worthwhile. Make sure that you sign up before the stay so you are in the system, but then have as long as you can after for any further stays as it is valid for 12 months.
It can also be good if you are planning to stay at one of their hotels over a weekend if the advance room rate is more than $250 – using the voucher could be cheaper, and you’ll get an upgrade!
Do you have Ambassador status? What has been your best experience with it?