InterContinental is part of the IHG One Reward program. However, InterContinental also has its own guest recognition status program called InterContinental Ambassador Program. You can enroll and renew this status program for $200 cash or 40,000 IHG rewards points yearly. 

InterContinental Ambassador Program offers a complimentary Weekend Night on the second night of paid stay. From time to time, you can purchase the program and get the InterContinental Ambassador status with additional bonus points or an additional free night reward

In this post, I want to look at whether paying for the program with $200 cash or 40,000 IHG points makes the most sense. Whether the program is worth it or not, really depends on how you value the benefits that the program offers. 

Should You Pay For InterContinental Ambassador Program With $200 or 40,000 IHG Points?
InterContinental the Clement Monterey
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    InterContinental Ambassador Program Benefits

    • Complimentary Weekend Night on the second night of a paid weekend stay. 
      • The complimentary weekend night is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
    • Guaranteed complimentary one-category room upgrade at check-in at InterContinental hotels and resorts. 
    • Automatic IHG Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards One program.
      • This is the same benefit you receive from the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card or Chase IHG Premier Business Credit Card
    • Guaranteed 4 P.M late checkout
    • Up to $20 credit towards restaurants and bars for every stay. 
    • Complimentary mineral water.
    • Complimentary high-speed Internet
    • Single room rate for double occupancy.

    The following benefits apply if you stay in China:

    • Complimentary daily breakfast for one guest (the Ambassador member-only)
      • This benefit is not valid for in-room dining, valid only in the property's onsite main restaurant.
      • IHG Diamond Elite members can receive up to two breakfasts for the member plus one additional guest as part of the IHG Diamond Elite benefit. 

    InterContinental Ambassador Program Cost

    InterContinental Ambassador is a loyalty program that offers the above-mentioned benefits designed exclusively for guests staying at worldwide InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. You can receive all these benefits by simply joining the program. You can either pay $200 to become a member, or you can use 40,000 IHG Rewards Points to redeem for the membership in place of the $200 cash. The membership fee is not a one-time thing, you must renew each year to keep your Ambassador membership and its ongoing benefits. 

    InterContinental Ambassador Program Enrollment & Renewal Offers

    • Enroll or renew your InterContinental Ambassador status by December 31, 2022.
    • You can renew the Ambassador status with $200 cash or 40,000 IHG Rewards points.
    • You can receive 20,000 bonus IHG Rewards points after staying two nights by January 31, 2023.
    • Direct Link to the Offer (The offer is stated in the T&C under Renewal and Enrollment Offer sections). 
    • Direct Link to Enroll or Renew InterContinental Ambassador

    Should You Pay For InterContinental Ambassador Program With $200 or 40,000 IHG Points?

    Cash, to me, is always the king. The points currency is great if you are going to spend them in a short-term period. I personally value IHG points at 0.5 cents apiece, this valuation aligns with IHG's frequent points sale that offers a 100% bonus when you purchase IHG points. Therefore, if you use 40,000 IHG points to pay for the InterContinental Ambassador Program, that's equivalent to $200. 

    I love points, don't get me wrong. But you are at the mercy of the loyalty program. Your IHG points can be devalued at any time by IHG Rewards One. IHG has already implemented a dynamic award pricing model, which I think is a devaluation. We may see the negative sides of variable award pricing with the IHG Reward One program sooner or later. Just take a look at the Hilton Honors program, for example. 

    The gist is that cash remains the king in the long run. However, if you can maximize 40,000 IHG points in the short term for a great stay, they can be worth more than $200. In that case, you keep the points and pay $200 for the InterContinental Ambassador Program. However, if you are going to hoard the points and hope for a great redemption at a later time, you are putting your points at risk of losing their value with the IHG Rewards One program's devaluation. 

    Is InterContinental Ambassador Worth It?

    One of the best benefits of InterContinental Ambassador is the annual free weekend night benefit. It really comes down to your traveling style:
    • Do you stay at InterContinental, Kimpton, and Regent hotels and resorts each year? 
    • Do you generally book your stay with cash or redeem IHG Rewards points?
    • Do you have a future short-term use of that free weekend night at a particular InterContinental destination?

    If you are staying at InterContinental at least once a year and book the standard rate, then you will benefit from the free weekend night benefit that the InterContinental Ambassador program offers. Additionally, if you have an InterContinental property in mind that you want to stay at and can use the free weekend night and upgrade benefits to save you some out-of-pocket money, then the InterContinental Ambassador program is worth it. You can use the following link to check fo the Ambassador's rate with the complimentary weekend night:

    I feel that the other Ambassador's benefits are just icing on the cake, and not to mention you can receive IHG Platinum Elite status by simply having the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card or Chase IHG Premier Business Credit Card, which also offers one IHG Anniversary Free Night each year that's worth up to 40,000 IHG points and ability to top-up for redemption at any IHG-brand properties, including InterContinental as well. 

    Therefore, if you do not utilize the InterContinental Ambassador program's weekend night benefit each year, this $200 program is not for you. It also does not make sense to purchase the membership speculatively without any stay plans in the future.