It’s been a year since I’ve done this, but it’s time again to crack open my Intercontinental Hotels Group Ambassador Renewal Kit.
For those who don’t use IHG Ambassador – it’s a paid-for programme that at its base level grants some useful amenities
The list is reasonable, but includes:
- One-Category Room upgrades
- A complimentary weekend night voucher when booking on an Ambassador Weekend Rate
- 4pm late check-out
- Welcome amenity
- Mineral Water from the mini-bar
- One free pay-tv film per stay.
I’ve been an Ambassador a few years – and it works well for me in terms of benefits, with me using the Weekend stay certificate and the 4pm check-out in the majority. Whilst the single category upgrade is nice – I can live without it. The rest of the benefits fall into the “nice” category.
But you do need to pay up to use it. It starts at US$200, with renewals starting at US$150/US$200 (with a point rebate on redemption bookings) or 40,000 IHG points (with a points bonus too).
So what do you get for renewal kit? A lot less than the year before it seems.
This is rather slimmed down from previous years. Gone are the key ring (or last year, the card wallet). It’s just been replaced with a welcome letter, the voucher, some information and a membership card
… and the most important thing in the pack – the free night voucher.
Whilst the renewal kit isn’t the most impressive one in the world (and I miss adding another Intercontinental Ambassador key ring to my rucksack each year) it has the core things it needs – although I’m struggling to see what point a paper voucher is these days – where it can be probably be digitised and made into a virtual voucher which can be cashed in when needed (it would also stop the trade in vouchers on eBay).
Still – this is one of the few statuses that 1) I use and 2) take advantage of. It’s easy enough to make my money back with the free night (I was about $50 up last year on my stay at the IC Mark Hopkins), which make the rest of the amenities a rather good bonus.
Of course – the more you stay, the more you benefit. But even if you stay twice – you’ll be up on your membership fee.
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