InterContinental raising the cost of Ambassador status renewal to $150 as of August 10, 2012

While InterContinental is a part of the Priority Club program, they don’t actually recognize Priority Club status benefits at their hotels. Instead they have their own elite tiers — Ambassador and Royal Ambassador. Ambassador status can be purchased and offers pretty basic benefits, while Royal Ambassador status is on an invitation only basis.

In 2010 InterContinental raised the cost of Ambassador status from $150 to $200, though they continued to charge only $100 for the annual renewal. This was a bargain given that the renewal kit includes 5,000 Priority Club points and a “buy one get one free” weekend night certificate.

Unfortunately the cost of renewal will be increased to $150 as of August 10, 2012, which I guess shouldn’t be much of a surprise. If your renewal date is in the next month or so it would probably be worthwhile to renew now, though to the best of my knowledge there’s no way to renew your status further out than that.

While Ambassador status used to be a no brainer for the free weekend night certificate alone, InterContinental really is doing everything they can to make the certificate less valuable. In 2010 they excluded suites from the weekend night certificate, while earlier this year they added capacity controls, which seem to be getting more severe in my experience.

Anyway, I really think the program could use a revamp, as over the past couple of years InterContinental has only raised the requirements for status while taking away benefits. If anything I think it’s time they rethink their tiers. There must be some middle ground between status that you can buy for $100 per year (now $150 per year), and invitation only status that requires 60+ nights per year at Priority Club properties.

Comments

  1. They are simply out of touch and Brad May (president of ambassador) is continuing screwing us,even the water replenish they announced as boosting benefit is not delivered,ambassador and royal(i ve been for at least since its creation)is the most inconsistant program.

  2. They’ve been consistent in their inconsistencies for years. I vacillated on a renewing each of the past few years. With this, I’m done.

  3. Is it even worth buying into Ambassador level at this point? Have PC Platinum but mostly using PC points for any IC stays at this point… With the devaluation of the free night certificate and so many ICH hotels ignoring status on points stays… Maybe only if making trips to Asia? It seems that status is recognized more often at IC hotels there?

  4. @ Steelsnow — Keep in mind that technically IC doesn’t honor elite benefits on award stays, so if you’re staying mostly on points you won’t get that many benefits. If you think you might be able to take advantage of the free weekend night certificate then that almost covers the fee, so I’d say go for it. Otherwise it’s probably not worth it.

  5. My dog, cat, mother, father, and roommate all renewed their Ambassador memberships today. šŸ˜‰

  6. I thought they changed requalification terms from 60 nights at the IHG brands to 30 nights in an IC hotel.

  7. Four days until the price increase, and nothing about it on the IC/Ambassador web site??? … even after logging in. That’s rather disgusting.

    The site also has several “special offers” that expired on 7/31 still on the site. Sloppy.

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