So my Intercontinental Ambassador renewal pack came yesterday and I just wanted to share what’s in it.
So there is the obvious silver membership card, and a nice quality bag tag. In addition a glossy brochure about what you get, a welcome letter and a nice box.
Discard the box and glossy brochure, but NOT the letter.
The letter contains your bonus points code. The amount of this varies depends on how much you paid for your renewal. It’s an 18 digit code that you enter on the web site.
At Intercontinental properties you get:
Guaranteed Room Update (one level only)
Fresh Fruit and Mineral Water
A Pay-TV movie
4pm late check-out
10% rebate on Reward Night Redemptions
A free weekend night when you stay 2 nights.
How valuable are these?
Well I do like the upgrade, although I find it can be applied in a patchy way. Often if you book the highest category non-Club room you won’t score the upgrade to the Club floor. Rather they reduce your room rate to the category below what you booked and then honour the upgrade the room you booked.
The movie, if there is something worth watching it is a real saving.
The fruit and water are nice touches which would otherwise not be provided.
So what about the free night? Is it really free?
Yes, and No.
In the old days you used just to book any rate from the Intercontinental web site but now you have to go to the special web site on the back of the coupon. Most of the pre-paid (and hence cheaper) rates are excluded. At the start they excluded Club Intercontinental Rooms and suites, but sometimes you can get a Club room now via the web site.
A random check of hotels for 12-14 December reveals:
Ambassador Rates/Regular web site rates
(Of course you get two nights for the Ambassador Rates if you use the voucher.)
New York, Times Square
Sky View $679/$611.10
So don’t get too excited about the value this certificate offers. I use mine every year, and recognise that the savings are weaker than they once were. But as you can see, you can get a decent room and a nice hotel for a reasonable price.
Typically, however, the voucher rates don’t post properly to your account and so will need some intervention from the service centre to fix. They usually post at 0 points.
Check the expiry date on the back of the cert as it often expires a month before your membership card does.
How to join.
You can join via the Intercontinental web site, paying by credit card the $200 dollar fee. (In the second year the fee is $150). You can also use 32,000 points to pay for membership.
Your member pack can take 4-6 weeks to arrive by post.
Royal Ambassador is the invitation only level for the most frequent guests. This is sought after as it provides access for free to the Minibar and a suite. You need to be a big stayer to earn this.