Sebastian wrote a week ago about whether he should renew his InterContinental Ambassador-status or not (read more
here).,,The piece generated very informative comments for and against the “invitation” only Royal Ambassador-status (go and read the original article).
,You can access IHG’s page for the Ambassador program
here.,READ MORE: IHG Rewards Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions,,Does It Make Sense To Currently Renew Or Purchase IHG Intercontinental Ambassador Membership?,The Ambassador-program itself is worth the price in cash or points if you have few nights every year at InterContinental-hotels and perhaps at Kimpton, Regent, and Six Sense hotels once they have been appropriately integrated into the program.,The problem I have with the “invitation” only Royal Ambassador-status is that you may end up spending a significant amount of cash with the InterContinental hotels and not getting the invitation or renewed like what happened with my RA the other year (I believe my IC spent was around $12K).,The Royal Ambassador-benefits only apply for a tiny number of hotels (200+ InterContinental hotels). There aren’t that many Regent and Six Sense either (and the best InterContinental are being converted to Regents like the one in Hong Kong).,IHG only has 228 InterContinental, Regent, and Six Sense hotels open that are considered a luxury. There are 73 Kimptons open.,,Waldorf-Astoria (33), LXR (4), Conrad (41), Canopy (27), and Hilton (580)
= 685,,JW Marriott (102), Ritz-Carlton (104), Luxury Collection (119), W (58), St. Regis (45), EDITION (11), Marriott (584), Sheraton (442), Westin (225), Renaissance (176), Autograph Collection (209), Le Meridien (109), and Tribute (48)
= 2,231,,Raffles (17), Fairmont (81), Sofitel (119), SO (9), Pullman (143), MGallery (115), and Swissotel (35)
= 519,,Park Hyatt (44), Grand Hyatt (58), Alila (13), Andaz (24), Unbound (24), Thompson (11), Destination (16), Hyatt Regency (214), Hyatt (12), and Hyatt Centric (38)
= 454,All of their competitors have well-defined tier levels with exact requirements with a much higher number of luxury and full-service hotels than IHG, and stays at all of their brands count towards the status requirements.,,IHG’s Loyalty Problem,Conclusion,I am glad that Nicolas is happy with his Royal Ambassador-status and continues to stay at proprieties that treat RA’s well and are up to date.,IHG has the same problem, as many of the other companies listed above, that there is sometimes significant variability within the brand. One of the reasons I lost the RA was the decision I made that I would no longer give business to InterContinental hotels that I don’t like and mistreat Royal Ambassador (Park Lane and Sydney come to my mind).,There are some InterContinental hotels that I continue to stay as an Ambassador (Sao Paulo and Singapore) and make bookings accordingly to get what I want.,I wrote a diacritic piece about IHG Rewards Club (read more
here) that is now called IHG Rewards. Their program is a REWARDS one but doesn’t offer loyalty benefits than the four competitors listed above do.,Had I given Hyatt and Hilton the business that I gave to IHG in the past, I would already have lifetime Diamond and Globalist-tiers banked.,