IHG Ambassador Status now costs 40,000 points!

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We have recently written about IHG devaluing its Rewards Club loyalty scheme. IHG has created an entirely new redemption category, requiring a whopping 70,000 points. Whilst some properties now require fewer points, a good number of interesting hotels have increased in price. It seems that the devaluation has now hit the IHG Ambassador programme too.

We have covered the IHG Intercontinental Ambassador scheme in detail here. Basically, it is open to anyone and you are effectively paying cash or points for guaranteed benefits like 4pm late check-out, room upgrades and welcome gifts. You will also receive a voucher for a free weekend night (buy one get one free) on sign up and each renewal.

Until recently, Ambassador status cost $200 or 32,000 points for first-time sign-ups. Renewing Ambassador customers would pay $150 or 24,000 points.

Although the cash price remains unchanged, IHG has increased the points required to purchase or extend Ambassador membership. Both first-time sign-ups and renewals now cost 40,000 IHG points! The FAQs on the Ambassador webpage have been adjusted accordingly:

Bottom line

I accept that increases in the points requirement were on the cards, given IHG’s generous Accelerate promotions – but the least IHG could do is inform members before these changes took effect.

I am starting to get annoyed by IHG making these sort of adjustments without prior notice. We only found out about the recent devaluations by accident. IHG had updated the webpage but had not notified members by email. The increase in points required for Ambassador has caught me off-guard. I was hoping to renew for 24,000 points as one of my current Accelerate targets for this quarter offers me 5,000 bonus points for renewing my membership. I would thus have paid 19,000 points. The price tag has now gone up to 35,000 points for me…

Hat-tip: YHBU


  1. Rich Thompson says

    I don’t see the points option as good value for renewals even at the old rate unless you are very points rich.

    You can easily get more than $200 worth of value from 40k points for hotel stays, and the $200 option comes with 15k points AND 10% rebate on reward stays for the year – which can easily again get you more than $200 of value.

    • rewardscollector says

      Absolutely right, Rich. I managed to bag a lot of bonus points from the last 4 Accelerate promos and haven’t redeemed any at all in the last 12 or so months. So paying 19k (after the 5k rebate for renewing) would have made sense for me, I think, especially when factoring in the 2-4-1 weekend certificate. But that obviously won’t be happening now…

      • Naomi Charlton says

        Quick further question guys if you don’t mind, do you get the 5000 bonus points when you 1st join or just when you renew? This might work for us for a specific special trip (I would probably pay cash) but the 5000 points would make it a bit more cost effective xxxxxxxxxx

        • RichT says

          The 5000 points comes as a voucher in your welcome pack along with the 241 weekend night voucher (which MUST be physically presented at the hotel when using that rate) – however don’t hold your breath waiting for the points! They say 6-8 weeks for delivery from joining/renewal. My first one was quite quick about 2 weeks, this year it was over 8 weeks and only after I chased them. Supposedly it was dispatched 30th October… It appeared through my letter box the second week of January!

          • Naomi Charlton says

            Ah thx so much Rich, that’s really helpful. I’m going to wait a bit anyway as the trip will be in 18 months or so but I reckon it will be worthwhile for the guaranteed wow factor if you know what I mean!! There’s 1st class air travel built into this trip as well so let’s hope the better half appreciates…..:))


  2. Naomi Charlton says

    Dear all – obviously not good that points price has gone up :((

    I was just wondering more generally whether people think there is any value in getting the Ambassador Status if you already have Spire Status?


    • RichT says

      The advantage with Ambassador is the benefits are guaranteed on stays at IC hotels. Spire it is down to the hotel whether they give you any Perks or not

      • Naomi Charlton says

        Ah thx so much Rich – I generally find IHG hotels pretty good at recognizing Spires with upgrades etc (tho my experience is mainly in the U.K.)? xxxxx

          • Naomi Charlton says

            Ah it’s my husband who is the road warrior but me who has the slight travel hacking obsession!!

            He generally does 30-40 nights @IHG as he splits his time with Hiltons & Marriotts as well, we make up the Spire balance with points for credit card spend plus transferring Virgin miles if necessary.

            It’s worth it for us as we travel a lot with the kids (my son is a modern pentathlete) & Holiday Inns will invariably a) have family rooms available & b) upgrade us to them for free with being Spire.

            You have great weekend Craig – xxxxxxxxx

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