Extend IHG Diamond status for another year with InterContinental Ambassador

Received IHG Diamond status during the recent challenge? Extend it till end-2023 with a US$200 InterContinental Ambassador membership.

Back in October, many members of The MileLion community snagged IHG Diamond status thanks to a very generous status challenge by IHG One Rewards. 

Under the terms of the challenge, Diamond status would be granted till 31 December 2022. If members stayed at least 10 qualifying nights during this period, their Diamond status would be extended till 31 December 2023 (Diamond normally requires 70 nights in a calendar year). 

I haven’t clocked anything close to 10 nights, but I’ve managed to get my Diamond renewed till 31 December 2023 simply by purchasing an InterContinental Ambassador membership. 

For those interested in doing the same, here’s how it works.

What is InterContinental Ambassador?

For context, IHG operates a dual-track loyalty programme:

  • IHG One Rewards is the free-to-join loyalty programme that covers all brands under the IHG umbrella
  • InterContinental Ambassador is a paid membership programme that offers additional perks at InterContinental properties (and Regent Hotels, until 31 December 2022)

InterContinental Ambassador membership costs US$200 or 40,000 IHG points per year (defined as 12 consecutive calendar months from when you join), and comes with the following perks:

  • Guaranteed one category room upgrade
  • Guaranteed 4pm check-out
  • Complimentary weekend night
  • Platinum Elite status in IHG One Rewards
  • Restaurants & bars credit of up to USD20 for every stay
  • Complimentary mineral water
  • Complimentary internet
  • Dedicated check-in area
  • Single room rate for double occupancy
  • Mainland China Only: Complimentary breakfast for one, each night you stay
  • Greater China Only: Welcome fruit platter for Platinum Elite & Diamond Elite members

As you can see, Platinum Elite status is one of the published benefits of membership. However, it’s widely known that an unpublished benefit of Ambassador membership is a 12-month extension of existing Diamond status. I suppose that’s intended to provide some incentive for Diamond members to join, since Platinum status would be useless to them. 

For example, the IHG Diamond status I secured through the recent offer was valid 31 December 2022, but after I purchased my Ambassador membership, that was immediately extended till 31 December 2023. 

Since this is an unpublished benefit, I want to stress it can be pulled at any time. All I can tell you is that it worked for me, as it did for numerous other members in the Telegram Group.

InterContinental Ambassador joining offer

Join IHG Ambassador

If you’re thinking about joining InterContinental Ambassador, there’s a special joining offer valid for enrollments by the end of 2022. 

⚠️ Important Note

This offer is not mentioned on the IHG Ambassador landing page, but is featured in the T&Cs. Or at least it was until IHG replaced them with a much older version that shows a joining offer with end date of 31 March 2022 (instead of 31 December 2022; look at clause 45).

I don’t know whether this means they’ve pulled the offer early, or whether it’s just more IHG IT hijinks (remember, they’re the company that got hacked because they used Qwerty1234 as their password, no really), but you might want to keep monitoring the T&Cs page to see if the correct offer returns.

For what it’s worth, I’ve been told that those who signed up today (23 Dec) still see the offer reflected in their member section, so I’m leaning towards another IHG snafu.

InterContinental Ambassadors who join by 31 December 2022 and stay at least two eligible nights by 31 January 2023 will receive 20,000 IHG Points, worth roughly US$100. That’s basically half the Ambassador membership paid for. 

Your two nights can be either consecutive or part of separate stays, at hotels under the following brands: 

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels
  • Regent Hotels

Each of the two nights must have a rate of at least US$30 per night (i.e. award nights don’t count). However, the Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night (see next section for more details) does count as a qualifying rate, and the complimentary night will count towards the two night requirement. 

The bonus points will be credited within six weeks of meeting the qualifying criteria. 

How does the complimentary weekend night work?

InterContinental Hotel New York Times Square

The Complimentary Weekend Night certificate is valid on the second night of a minimum two-night paid weekend stay at any InterContinental Hotel worldwide. 

“Weekend” is defined as a stay falling on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, except in the Middle East where it falls on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

🏨 Also valid at Regent and Kimpton
The complimentary weekend night is also valid at Regent and Kimpton hotels (on any day of the week), although this is only for stays till 31 December 2022 so you don’t have much time left to take advantage of it.

To book your free night, visit this link and enter your destination and dates. Remember that you must book a stay of at least two nights that falls on a weekend. 

Here’s what it looks like at the InterContinental Robertson Quay in Singapore:

Do note that the Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night rate is usually slightly higher than the best available refundable rate (S$350 vs S$340 in this case), but not by much. You’ll still end up saving, though it’ll be slightly less than the 50% you might be envisioning. 

At the time of booking, the full cost will be displayed. The cost of the second night will be removed at the time of payment at the hotel. 

In other words, ignore the green text above. Your total price for this stay will be S$350++ for two nights, not S$700++.

Conclusion

While I’ve not been much of an IHG loyalist in the past, the revamped IHG One Rewards programme is a big improvement from before, and since it means free breakfast and upgrades, I figured paying US$200 for a one-year extension made sense.

Together with my Hilton Diamond status, I’ll have guaranteed breakfast at two major chains worldwide, which gives me more options when redeeming points for stays. 

Once again, it’s important to emphasise that Diamond extension is an unpublished benefit of InterContinental Ambassador and can be discontinued at any time. 

Anyone else extending IHG Diamond status this way?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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J J J

Which credit cards or recommended for the payment? Thx

N G

I managed to get 4mpd with CRMC+Amaze a month ago for the sign up. Don’t think it’s coded as hotel/travel MCC

F L

Tested with lock DBS card, it shows Business Services as merchant category

Patrick

DP as 23/12 2:29pm. I just did it for USD200 and my Diamond has been extended immediately to 31 Dec 2023.

JHH

Horrible loophole, and definitely not one that is fair for “true” diamond members. Sign-up while you still can, coz a formal complaint is on its way. Thanks Aaron!

Salty

Why so salty

powersteer

You don’t belong here, please leave.

Baron Wong

add water to the salt burn

nunbz

jka$$

Joon

I’ve been discussing this with the IHG/Intercontinental folks for the past week. Timely update!

Baron Wong

most of the time, they don’t know what they talking abut

Cruze

I was on the fence until this article motivated me to pull the trigger. thank you, Aaron.

David

Does it mean that if I had already qualified for the 2023 extension by staying 10 nights, I can join the ambassador program in 2023 to extend it till 2024?

Andynamics

Like to know the response to above too 🙂

Points

Where to see the 20000 points offer? I can’t find it.

sriksc

I cant find the diamond extention or it shows only platinum.

HHX

Working on 23 Dec 7.56pm. Just to check if i use Amaze card to sign up for this and link to Citi Rewards, does it get 4mpd based on online spend?

HHX

If i use the complimentary weekend night and i book a room for 3 pax. Do i get free breakfast and the other perks (due to diamond status) and is it for all 3 pax?

Trampezz

If I only managed to get the platinum status and am staying 6 nights this year, is it worth it to purchase the ambassador?

Baron Wong

my case, paid by it self n extra profit 7k points

Trampezz

How many nights did u clock?

Baron Wong

zero, free frm past promo code straight to diamond, u missed some reading?

Trampezz

By the time I tried it, the offer was dead. Thus was stuck at platinum

Baron Wong

done, sengkiu

George

$270 for diamond elite for one year. Why not? It’s definitely a grab regardless if the 20k points promo is still available. Thanks Aaron.b

Adrian

I tried and it says Sorry this offer is no longer available.

George

One qns: can the 2 night stays (ambassador promo) combo with the 2 night stays promo from IHG?

DTAY

Dp: did the previous free diamond elite offer, did not sign up for ambassador, got diamond elite extended till end of 2023

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