✈️ How to buy elite status

✈️ How to buy elite status

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 29 seconds

Bread is often treated as sacred in Uzbek culture, causing them to not place bread upside down. It is actually considered disrespectful. Read more about their tradition here.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the sassy best friend of newsletters. We’re here to spill all the hot goss from the travel hacking world to keep you up to date.

Here’s what I’ve been hearing through the grapevine lately:

  • 🏨 The hotel elite status you can buy (no credit card required)

  • ✈️ Daily Getaways returns… with a bang

  • 🌎 Where in the World Wednesday

🏨 The hotel elite status you can buy (no credit card required)

Elite status is one of the best perks in the biz when it comes to hotels and flights.

Personally, I put a lot of my focus on earning and maintaining elite status every year with the programs I care about most.

The challenge is, of course, spending a ton of money and staying a ton of nights at hotels to earn it in the first place.

What you may not know is that Intercontinental, one of the major brands of IHG, has its own mini loyalty program on top of IHG's loyalty program. It's like a loyalty program within a loyalty program. Loyaltyception? 🤯

The program is called Intercontinental Ambassador, and earning it is pretty simple: either pay $200 cash or 40,000 IHG points per year.

That's right. No need to spend dozens of nights at hotels to try and earn status; you just sign up on their website, pay a fee, and reap the benefits.

But what are the benefits?

The benefits are also straightforward. Essentially you get some sweet perks when you stay at Intercontinental hotels.

But there's one perk that puts the rest to shame. A “one perk to rule them all,” if you will (I’ve been watching Lord of the Rings recently if you couldn’t tell).

You also get a free weekend night certificate for every year that you have this status.

I personally took advantage of this deal last year. I already had a 2-night stay booked at an Intercontinental in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It's not the cheapest hotel, but I like to pamper myself every now and then and unleash my inner bougie self.

As you can see, this hotel costs 216 Euros per night. Since Ambassador status costs $200 and gives you a free night at an Intercontinental, I saved 16 Euros right off the bat by using this deal.

That’s all well and good, but who the heck stays at only Intercontinentals, am I right?

Well, that doesn’t matter at all because Intercontinental Ambassador status also gives you IHG Platinum Elite status, which earns you the following benefits at ALL IHG hotels worldwide:

  • 60% Bonus Points on paid stays

  • Complementary Upgrades (including suites)

  • Points or Drink/Snack Welcome Amenity

  • Reward Night Discounts

  • Early Check-In (based on availability)

Overall, it’s not difficult to justify the cost of this status if you stay (or want to stay) at some IHG hotels throughout the year.

However, if you already have Platinum status (like many of you do from signing up for that dank credit card a couple of months ago), then make sure the Intercontinental-specific perks (like the free night certificate) can justify the $200 price tag.

So if you want some easy (and relatively cheap) elite status without any of the hassles, I’d recommend looking into this.

✈️ Daily Getaways returns… with a bang

Every year, The U.S. Travel Association hosts a fun series of travel promotions called “Daily Getaways,” which help you all save money on hotels and other things.

Since Daily Drop is barely less than a year old (b-day party invites are in the mail, by the way), we’ve never had the chance to talk about this staple of the travel hacking world.

You can find a full list of the various promotions on their website, but let me give you my take on the situation.

Most of these deals center around buying hotel points.

For example, the first week of deals includes buying IHG and Hilton point packages. 👇

However, these deals aren’t any better than the hotel programs that sell these points themselves with frequent sales.

for example, on June 12th, you can buy 100,000 IHG points for $500. When IHG has a sale on their points (which happens a few times a year), they cost the same price.

For that reason, I’d avoid going ham on buying hotel points from them.

However, there are some far more interesting deals as well. For example, on June 16th, you can buy Marriott gift cards at a pretty sweet discount.

As someone who spends most of my hotel nights at Marriott properties, saving $100 is definitely appealing - especially considering you can buy multiple packages multiple times.

So here’s my advice:

  • Take a look at the various deals being offered

  • Set some calendar reminders for the ones you’re interested in

  • Be ready to jump on the deals as soon as they drop - these usually sell out pretty quickly

🌎 Where in the World Wednesday

Hola, friendos! Today, FareDrop is taking us to Santiago, Chile 🇨🇱

In case you didn’t know, Santiago is the only city in the world that uniquely offers the ability to go skiing in the Andes and surfing in the Pacific Ocean… on the same day… with just a 45-minute drive between the two.

Am I the only one thinking that’d be a tough trip to pack for? Let me pack my enormous puffer jacket and ski pants… and my shorts and flip-flops 🤔 

Either way, Santiago is freaking beautiful. The Chilean capital is such a vibrant bustling city that has the best blend of museums, art galleries, street markets, architecture, nightlife, and eateries.

Speaking of food, you’ll find tasty treats like empanadas, ceviche, asado, and completos in this foodie city. Haven’t heard of that last one? That’s because it’s basically the bougie version of an American hot dog… Cool? Weird? Yum? Sure! 😅

Santiago is also home to the super fascinating Baha’i Temple of South America that is based off of a particular modern faith founded in Iran. The temple itself looks like a futuristic rock (it sounds weird, but trust me… it’s a spectacle for sure).

Courtesy Doublespace photography

However, their “temple of light” is open to and respectful of all religions, which is super admirable.

And just for kicks, you could also visit one of the city’s famous skyscrapers that is shaped like a 90s cellphone. Really, nothing screams 90s technology like a literal brick of a phone.

Would I pay to go up into it? No. But would I go out of my way to take a picture of it? You bet. Because… nostalgia 🙃 

Santiago is pretty fascinating, eh? Would you go?? 👇

Want to help Daily Drop take over the world? Share our newsletter with your friends/family/pets/colleagues/enemies and win some rewards in the process!

Sign up for Daily Drop to grab your referral link!

…or you can just buy these prizes from our website if you want to keep us all to yourself. 😉

That’s all for today, friends. I’m here in Krakow for a few days before jetting off on another wild adventure on another continent!

I’m definitely a fan of that IHG deal, but I’m curious to hear your opinion:

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

Thanks for tuning and and see you all tomorrow,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

50.0647° N, 19.9450° E 🇵🇱

Back to blog