Royal Ambassador qualification helpful tips

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by OCP, Feb 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. OCP
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    OCP Silver Member

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    I am posting my understanding and experiences of how the RA qualification process works. I am known as martyYYZ on FT.

    First, I’d like to state that I do not know the exact numbers that are required to earn RA although many have posted that it is around 50-55 nights, including 3 separate Intercontinental hotel stays.

    I have earned RA in the past and have been referred over the past couple of years.

    For people trying to earn RA status, my experience has been as follows:

    If you are already RA, a sweep will occur roughly 3 months before your expiration date. For example, if your expiration date is September (September 30), the sweep will occur on or around July 1. You can also earn RA before the 3 month sweep if you have enough nights.

    When IC determines whether you have reached RA, they will look back at your stay activity exactly 365 days. I have had agents tell me that they can see 2 numbers on their screen when I call in:

    1. how many qualifying nights you have in the past 365 days
    2. how many different Intercontinental (IC only, not CP, HI, HIX, …) you have stayed at in the past 365 days
    Based on many FT posts, I believe that award stays are also factored into this number. I also believe that the agent can look at future stays if you ask them to in deciding whether you requalify and they will factor this into the equation.

    Many on FT are always confused as to how many nights they have and when the window starts/ends. All that it takes is a simple phone call to CS asking how many nights do you have so far in order to get to RA. Most agents that I have dealt with will tell you this information. Although I do not know the exact number of nights that are required to reach RA, at least this number will tell you exactly where you stand.

    If you do not make RA during the sweep, you can call back at any time to see if you are eligible. They will always look back 365 days from the time of your call. For example, if your year end is September, 2011 and as of July 1, 2011 you only have 40 nights, you will not make the sweep. However, if you know that you will have a 2 week (21 night) vacation coming up in late July, 2011. Call back after your July stay posts since you will now be at 61 nights (assuming none of the 40 were in early July last year). The other major benefit of this late stay is that you now have 21 nights in the bank for your next year of qualification, since that sweep will happen next July 1 (2012) and will include this stay since they look back 365 days. I was lucky enough to have a 2 month stay near then end of my ambassador year. This got me 2 years of RA status – I got it when I reached about 50 nights and the following year’s sweep picked up the same stay since it posted within my 365 day window. I have recommended this strategy to many on FT and have received PM’s thanking me and confirming that this works.

    If you have never been RA and are trying to get there for the first time, I believe that the rules are the same. The agent and/or sweep simply looks at your past 365 days of activity. I know that some people say that stays only count since the day you became Ambassador, but I have seen many posts on FT saying otherwise. I cannot say 100% that this is the case but this is how I believe that it works.

    For people with an RA referral, my advise is as follows:

    An RA referral will grant you RA status until the end of your Ambassador year (assuming that you already have Ambassador status). So if you’re Ambassador year ends on September, 2011 and you send in an RA referral in March, 2011, you will only get 6 months of RA status (March-September)

    If you are not currently an Ambassador member, my advice is to apply for Ambassador status first using 32K points or $200. This will get you a package which has a 5K point code along with a Buy one weekend night (BOGO), get one free voucher. Once you get the package, send in your RA referral and you will get another package with the same 2 items. Your RA status will be good for about one year (since you just applied for Ambassador). Some lucky people (including myself in the past) have also received an RA referral voucher with their kit, however, this is by chance. Normally, I don’t think that referred RA’s are suppose to get a referral voucher.
     
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  2. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    I can confirm that award stays count, as I only had one IC property that I paid to stay in, and the status was credited one week after the third IC property that I stayed in (the other two were standard point awards).
     
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  3. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I just learned that I did not make it! Had 13 paid stays at IC, 4 Stays on Points at IC and about 80 paid nights at others (CP, HI and HX)
     
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  4. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Hmmm, this is a quandary for me. I'm seriously thinking of switching to IC/PC, but really only if I can make RA.

    I currently do 20-30 nights a year in MCI (and the IC would be very convenient), another 10 nights in SFO, 10 in AUS and two or three nights each in a handful of other IC locations. Beyond that I could move enough nights to CPs and an HI or two to account for around 80 or 90 total nights total a year.

    I had thought this made IC/PC a no brainer but if I could actually wind up spending 40-50 nights in ICs and another 40 or so in other PC properties and still miss out on RA, then I might be better served with my current alignment of Hyatt Diamond + Hilton Diamond.

    I'd be very interested in learning what other folks have done in terms of earned RA to see if it's really common to have 80+ PC nights and 20+ IC nights (as the poster aleges) and still be stuck at Amb.
     
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  5. NewCokeandTaco
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    NewCokeandTaco Silver Member

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    Great initial post about RA qualification/re-qualification OCP. I am not an RA, and I will never be one unless I am referred by someone. I am not an expert on this subject.

    That being said.....In my understanding/learning of this topic I noticed a few things that may need updating.

    You can also attain RA status at any time before the 2 month "sweep", or at the end of your Ambassador year in a final "sweep", only if you have the required amount of nights (which currently seems to be above 55 nights with at least 3 nights at different Intercontinental hotels).

    You may also want to include the number of points to purchase Ambasador status = 32,000 Priority Club points.

    This is a confusing subject and thank you for starting the discussion. I am here to help and learn
     
  6. Something is not right, unless you didn't stay at three or more IC's. If you did a minimum of three IC's you should call and ask and you should receive, even if you didn't, I would call as you have no downside to asking.

    I had 140 nights at IC's last year and retained RA in October but after I received a letter stating I'd revert to ambassador for the next year as hadn't satisfied the criteria on the first sweep which was three months before the end of my ambassador year. I called and they upgraded while I was on the phone, so they have the ability to overide the system, vis the minimum of three IC's, the reason I didn't satisfy the logarithm was I had only stayed at two IC's at the nine month point. I stayed another two IC's in the last month of the ambassador year so presumably it would have automatically upgraded in any case. And now I wonder whether I would have been better off not calling if infact they sent out the ambassador with the BOGO, and then when the third IC registered in the final month, the RA would have triggered and I would have received another kit with another BOGO.

    From my experience I am absolutely sure they do the first sweep three months prior to your end of year, just not sure if they look back nine or twelve months on the first sweep?, I'd be interested to hear, I assumed it to be the preceding nine months.
     
  7. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    Oh yes, the whole RA is a mystery... My understanding is that they look back 12 months when they count the nights, but I can be wrong... Hahahahaha <insane laughter> who knows.... When I got my RA in December I had only had 18 nights in my Amb. year, but hit 54 nights when I got my RA. I got it without asking, it turned (surprisingly) up at my account. Now I am crossing my fingers that I will be keep my RA in August, when my Amb. year end. Some people have told they didn't manage to renew with over 80 nights! Grrrrrr.... I will have around 65 nights in 9-10 different IC's (around 50% og my stays). I will quite upset if I don't requalify. Luckily I've got an RA ref. cert. that expire in the end of June, hopefully I will know if I requalify before that so I at least can give the cert. to my husband.

    Xxx.
     
  8. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I still have two more stays (3 nights each) at IC SFO and IC LAX!!! After those are posted to my account I'll definately call them, and even so they decided not to upgrade me I'll change my choices to Hyatt where I'm a diamond member and Fairmont (Platinum).
     
  9. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I forgot to mention that I stayed at 11 diferent ICs (SFO/LAX/MKE/ORD/BOS/NYC/GIG/GRU/WEL/DCA/MONTREAL)!!! All paid Stays with a minimum 2 nights!!!
     
  10. in that case you should have RA, frankly I'd wait for your ambassador kit with BOGO, which is normally sent out a month before end of your ambassador year, then call and request/ get the RA kit with another BOGO.

    Based on your stay statistics I cannot see why they haven't upgraded you automatically.
     
  11. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Thanks Tim, I'll do that. I am as surprised as you that they didn't upgraded me automatically!!!
     
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  12. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    I have what might be a silly question, but -- you are already an Ambassador, right? They won't just grant you RA from "nothing". You have to first purchase Ambassador membership. Then, with a stay history like that, an automatic upgrade to RA should be almost immediate.
     
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  13. yes that would be a reasonable explanation
     
  14. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    Hey Friends, I just got off the phone today with custome service and they apologized for their mistake and they adjustes to renew my membership to Royal Ambassador till next year, but they only did that after I called. So if there is anyone who might think they are entitle to the status don't forget to check with them, because if I didn't do that I would be probably an Ambassador for the next year!!!

    Thanks everyone for their suggestions!!

    Cheers
     
  15. OCP
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    OCP Silver Member

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    Congrats! I suspected something was wrong since you had so many nights. It pays to call if you think that you qualified. At a minimum, they can confirm how many nights that you have so far in your quest for RA
     
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  16. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Just got off the phone with the Ambassador service center, I renewed my Ambassador status and inquired as to an upgrade to Royal Amb. The agent claims that "the very prestigious status is reserved for the top 1% of ambassador's " and this year It would take at least "75 nights" to qualify. She said that I have 62 nights (58 paid 4 rewards) and 4 different IC's. She then went on to thank me for my continued loyalty and offered to make an exception and try to submit me for an upgrade to RA Status. She claimed she would need 24hr's to get confirmation, and that I would get an email from her within that time. I'll update when I get the email. But it looks like 75 nights is the new hurdle.
     
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  17. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    to me this is becoming Marriott platinum decision, which was nice when I had it, but personally I much prefer having at least two top tier status (say SPG Plat & Hyatt Diamond).
     
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  18. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Just got my email confirming upgrade to RA with only 62 nights.

    "We highly appreciate your undaunted loyalty to our hotels and to the Royal Ambassador program, Mr. XXXXXXXX. Our valued members like you enable us to consistently provide quality service and develop our programs to suit your needs. "
    "Our records show that you have very impressive stay activities for 2010. In this regard, we are pleased to inform you that your Ambassador status has been upgraded to Royal and valid until 30 April 2012. Kindly allow two to three weeks for delivery of your Royal Ambassador portfolio to your preferred address on file. "

    I would recommend anyone who thinks their close to call and inquire you may be surprised.
     
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  19. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Congratulations, and this should be a reminder to folks to take what the CSRs tell you are the RA requirements with a grain of salt. It appears they know about as much as we do with regards to what the actual super-secret criteria to becoming RA is. :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    congrats, were most of your stays Mon-Fri?
     
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  21. DJP_707
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    Yes at least 80% of them.
     
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  22. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    this said, perhaps RA qualification is also a factor of overall spend/revenue or revenue per stay, not just nights? (I suggest this as mon-fri rates are generally much higher than weekend rates)
     
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  23. OCP
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    OCP Silver Member

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    Unless things have changed, I don't think that this is a factor. The only 2 numbers that mattered back when I made RA were number of nights in the past 365 days and number of different ICs
     
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  24. yes, prima facie i guess that may be it but I've often wondered how developed their financial modelling is around customers and whether in fact they do treat those RA's with bigger spend, higher yield customers that may book suites etc differently, the casinos have the high rollers/high yield customers that get treated to varying levels according to their spend patterns.
     
  25. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    I doubt it. PC can't even keep proper track of the number of nights for my account, so I can't imagine that they would have some sort of sophisticated revenue tracking system.
     

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