IHG Ambassador 10% rebate renewal benefit terminated

I’ve written about the IHG Ambassador programme and highly recommend you to join even if you stay at InterContinental hotels just once. When it comes to renewal, you used to have two options:

  • Pay 40,000 points
  • Pay $200, get 15,000 points and 10% rebate on award stays for a year (max rebate 100k points)

It was a no-brainer to go for option 2. Back in February though, when I was going to renew I found the 10% rebate message missing:

You should be able to see your options here too if your membership is due to expire in the next two months. I wasn’t sure what’s happening so sent a request to the Ambassador service team. One representative confirmed that I was still eligible, and the missing message was simply a glitch. I was rest assured and went ahead with the renewal.

Eight months have passed, and all of sudden there are some discussions about the termination of this benefit again on Flyertalk. Also I noticed that none of my stays have had the rebate posted (it was very slow in previous years too) so made a claim using IHG’s contact form.

The response I got is as follows:

I’d like to share with you on the other hand that the 10% rebate for Reward Night stay benefit has already been discontinued for Ambassador renewals made on 13 Feb 2020. In this regard, I’m so sorry to inform that your below stay will no longer be eligible for this benefit.

Amusingly, it’s the same representative who confirmed my eligibility for the rebate in February. Without question I replied quoting the original response, as I believe I have enough reason to insist on the rebate.

Another representative (supposedly the manager) replied promptly, apologised again and offered 10,000 points as a one-time compensation. Given that my rebate due is already in this range, and I have award stays planned in the next few months, I asked for another 10,000 points which was granted – not a shabby result!

It’s absolutely a shame to see this benefit go – in fact I deem it one of the most important benefits offered by the Ambassador membership, as it doesn’t require staying at InterContinental hotels. And it’s a bit dodgy of IHG not to give proper notice or public announcement on its removal, although it was implied on the renewal page.

So if you are wondering when your Ambassador rebate will land in your IHG account, it wouldn’t. The scheme is still quite decent, and I’ll probably continue renewing in the future, but I’ll think twice before picking my payment option.

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