InterContinental Launches Status Extension for Ambassadors Experiencing a Life Event
From welcoming a new baby to dealing with a family emergency, sometimes life can get in the way of travel. Airlines and hotels are starting to recognize that some of their most valuable and loyal members can be sidelined from travel for a time period, but they don't want to have to start over from the bottom elite tier level when they resume their normal travel patterns.
A small but increasing number of travel providers are allowing elite members to pause their status when a qualifying life event occurs. And now, InterContinental Ambassador is joining the movement.
Starting today, August 14, InterContinental Ambassador members can apply for up to a six-month extension of their annual membership when their travel plans are interrupted. This once-per-lifetime exception is available to members experiencing a life event — whether it’s starting a new job or welcoming a baby.
Members that are in at least their second consecutive InterContinental Ambassador membership year are eligible for the full six-month extension. The terms indicate that if you signed up on July 1, 2018 and renewed by July 1, 2019, you'd be eligible to apply for this full extension. Otherwise, members will only be granted a two-month extension. In addition, if your membership has already expired, no extension is allowed. And once the extension is applied to your account, that action is considered final and not reversible.
To apply for the extension, head to this landing page to submit a request.
Unlike other elite status programs that require a certain number of stays or miles, it's easy enough to sign up for InterContinental Ambassador at the end of your life event. So, it's not as critical that the program offers a date extension like this. So, it's a nice gesture that InterContinental Ambassador is adding this — especially considering the program can pay off in just one or two stays.
If you're unfamiliar with the InterContinental Ambassador program, its the paid elite status program of the InterContinental Hotels and Resorts brand of IHG. For $200 or 40,000 IHG Rewards points per year, you'll get guaranteed perks when staying at InterContinental hotels, including guaranteed room upgrades, a weekend free night, 4pm checkout, IHG Platinum Elite status and a $20 food and beverage credit per stay.
The weekend free night alone can justify signing up. For example, I signed up for the program ahead of my trip to Fiji in June and saved $286 off of the cheapest available rate by utilizing the weekend free night at the InterContinental Fiji. Since then, I have gotten even more value out of my membership by scoring upgrades at other InterContinental hotels.