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Would You Pay $200 a Year to Be an InterContinental Royal Ambassador?

July 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM | by | ()

We can't all earn 10 million frequent flyer miles or spend 300 nights out of the year on the road to get supreme elite status so some of us have to get it another way--by buying it. And that's what you can do at InterContinental Hotels to get Royal Ambassador status.

For just $200 a year (or 32,000 Priority Club rewards points), you can get an upgrade to a superior room, priority waitlist reservations, late check-out, instant check-in, instant check-out, a complimentary weekend night upon enrolling, fresh fruit and mineral water at arrival, VIP greeting, in-room welcome gift, one free pay TV movie per stay, complimentary newspaper and an airport chauffeur service (but for a fee.)

You also get a Royal Ambassador portfolio mailed to you which will contain a 5,000 Priority Club points voucher, the Complimentary Weekend Night Certificate, a luggage tag and your InterContinental Ambassador membership card. Special!

Of course being an InterContinental Royal Ambassador means you only get these perks at InterContinental Hotels, not any other IHG hotels. So if you're gonna buy your way into ambassadordom, you better love InterConties. Otherwise, you might be better off with a program like Tablet Plus or American Express' Fine Hotels and Resorts.

What do you think--Is $200 for InterContinental Royal Ambassador membership or would you rather sleep around? Let us know in comments below.

Archived Comments:


At the other IC hotels you also get Platinum Priority Club Status. I have purchased the $150 version 3 times when I have been going to stay at an IC hotel. In all 3 instances an "upgrade" was not available.

A couple of corrections

A few clarifications about the Ambassador program:

First, Royal Ambassador is the elite tier of the Ambassador program and generally is offered when an Ambassador has over 50 nights at IC properties (at least 3 different IC branded properties must be included in these nights, though stays at Holiday Inns and Crowne Plazas -- other InterContinental Hotels Group brands -- also count) which is considered to be the top 1% of Ambassadors.  Or another Royal Ambassador may recommend you with a referral voucher which is received every year upon free renewal.  The referred person would pay the basic $200 initiation if not already an Ambassador.  

So your reference to the Royal Ambassador kit above is incorrect.  This is the basic Ambassador kit.

Second, while $200 is the initiation year cost (or 32K Priority Club points) for basic Ambassador membership -- which runs for 12 months from the month of registration, not on a calendar year basis -- annual renewal is $150.  Royal Ambassadors get free annual renewals, or if they fail to achieve the required number of nights, a free year of Ambassador.

Third, basic tier Ambassadors also receive Gold status in the Priority Club awards program (and Royal Ambassadors receive top tier Platinum status).

Fourth, the BOGO night is for the second weekend night after paying a rate equivalent to ICG's "Best Flexible Rate" as it appears on the web site booking engine, but must be booked through a special area of that site.

Fifth, upgrades for Ambassadors are available at check-in to the next higher category of room.  Royal Ambassadors generally receive an upgrade to a Club Intercontinental room with lounge privileges or a regular suite (if a normal category room has been booked).  This latter upgrade varies by property.

As noted in the article these stay benefits are available only at InterContinental branded hotels and not at ICG's other brands,  However, because of the elite tier Priority Club status received as part of the Ambassador/Royal Ambassador benefits, upgrades would be available to better rooms (though not always suites or club rooms) at the other brands based on inventory at check in.

I have been an Ambassador since the program transitioned from IC's old Six Continents Club, a similar enhanced stay benefits program before the upscale chain joined up with Holiday Inn's parent company.  I was a SCC member since the 1980s, and a Royal Ambassador since that tier was created in the early 2000s and have never regretted paying the initiation fee or annual renewal fee when I had to pay it (though back then initiation was $100 and renewal $50...but that was a long time ago!).

Great program!

Discounted Prices & Free Night

I am looking at staying in Bora Bora over Thanksgiving.  IC Hotels has discounted prices for the stay on the public site.  Will these prices show up on the Ambassador reservation site?  Will I be able to use my free weekend night, get the upgrade, and get the prepaid price?  Thanks for the help.

Didn't Receive Royal Ambassador Status This Year


I have had Royal Ambassador for quite a number of years.  I think it is by far the best status and program going.  Unfortunately, this year I didn't qualify for it.  As you know, when you achieve this status you receive a referral card to have a friend be upgraded automatically to the Royal Ambassador status.  Since I didn't qualify, I am in need of someone who has the status in order to use this card.  I was wondering if it would be possible if I could be referred by you.  IHC has received my upgrade referral card, but I need a Royal Amb. name and account number in order for me to get Royal Amb again.  Would this be possible?  If so, then please email me at svitale@me.com with this info.  I can forward you the email to confirm that I am not wanting this info for any other reason.  I appreciate your help.


Intercontinental ambassador club

I emailed them and they told me to wait 3 days . The three days then three days
Total of nine and then they said sorry you have to call us for the upgrade. I wouldn't pay 2 dollars for it
The interconti ambassador club is a waste .i told them please respond or I will write my review they didn't care. If I am out of the us I would spend so much more than the amount of upgrade in toll charges . My problem is still not solved as I write these lines



ihc ambassador club is a scam

The $200 fee and what you get is nothing, A $200 fee for what Marriott, and hilton honors are free with platinum status. They say the room upgrade ,the fresh fruit,water and gift only apply when you stay at a intercontinental hotel. I have stayed at intercontinental hotel and did not receive anything and the room upgrade was the same room on a higher floor. My wife is currently staying at the intercontinental and tey did the exact same thing and were both members.When you call the ambassador hotline its a 3rd party overseas call center that is designed to kindly go away.I am canceling my priority club credit card , and going somewhere else.

ambassador club is a scam

I would also like to add if your using the reward night besure to bring the certificate that they send with the welcome kit or you will not get your free night. I had to send it fed ex out because i didnt read the fine print. The ambassador club couldnt send an certificate by email like marriott or hilton honors.I noticed the above post with the clarifications from the ihc employee. You could give us any helpful advice like i just did. Thanks for nothing ihc