*Gets on first-world-problems pulpit*
I love being an InterContinental Royal Ambassador. It’s quite possibly my favorite top tier status. As a Hyatt Diamond and Starwood Platinum I feel like I’m usually treated like a United 1K, while as an InterContinental Royal Ambassador I feel like I’m treated like a Global Services member. That’s not a jab at Hyatt or Starwood — the fact is, they have a lot of top tier elite members.
Maybe it’s the fact that Royal Ambassador is an “invitation only” elite tier, or maybe it’s the fact that there are fewer InterContinentals, which means there are fewer people qualifying for elite status with them.
At least that’s how they treat you. Most of the time.
My one major frustration with InterContinental is that they don’t honor elite benefits on award stays. Gary has written about this several times, including here and here. As Gary always says, “I am not my rate,” and I couldn’t agree more with that — if you’re supposedly a “guest” of a hotel brand, you should be treated based on your overall loyalty to the chain and not your value to the company on a single transaction.
This is especially true on award stays. You earned those points through your loyalty to the chain, and it’s a bit of a slap in the face to essentially say “you’re one of our most valued customers… except when you redeem points that you earned from us for your stay.” And this is probably why every other major hotel chain honors elite benefits on award stays.
But the real reason I’m making this post now is because I stumbled upon a post on FlyerTalk that couldn’t sum up the issue any better. A FlyerTalk member emailed the InterContinental Melbourne and asked whether they would honor Royal Ambassador benefits on an award stay (because some hotels do, and some don’t). Their response?
When booking on the points no benefits will apply as by using the points that is a benefit in itself.
I couldn’t have summed up the chain’s view of award redemptions any better myself…
I have a lot of Priority Club points, but I’m scared to redeem them. Some hotels honor elite benefits, but often it’s as a courtesy or “one time exception.” I don’t want the hotels to have to do me a favor by letting me use my hard earned points for stays with them. But unless they change their policy, that’s how it’ll continue to be.
*Gets off first-world-problems pulpit*