Le Club AccorHotels tweaks loyalty tiers, points earning

By Chris C., April 7 2016
Le Club AccorHotels tweaks loyalty tiers, points earning

Members of the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program will qualify for the elite Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers status through new ‘status points’ from 2017: comparable to Qantas and Virgin Australia ‘status credits’.

Distinctly different from ‘rewards points’ which you can swap for discounts on future hotel stays or can transfer to airline frequent flyer partners, these new status points are solely used to determine your level with the program and will be earned in addition to traditional rewards points.

Other changes on the horizon include fixed calendar year membership periods, new tier qualification levels and digital membership cards: here’s what it all means for you, the traveller.

'Status points' now determine your status

Currently, Le Club points earned through generous triple or quadruple points promotions or as bonuses for Silver, Gold and Platinum members are counted towards the number of Le Club points needed to retain your existing status or to reach a higher one.

From January 1 2017, you’ll continue to earn these types of rewards points, but they won’t contribute to your status tally: that will be the job of new status points which you’ll collect at the same time.

For every €10 spent at most Accor hotels including Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel and Mercure (or the equivalent in a hotel’s local currency) from 2017, you’ll pull in 25 status points regardless of your actual tier status.

At the lower-priced Ibis and Ibis Styles brands, that drops to 12.5 status points on the same, to 10 status points at Adagio and 5 status points at Adagio Access: mirroring the current rewards points earning rates of an entry-level Le Club Classic member.

[Click on the table above to enlarge it. Rates effective January 1 2017.]

New membership tier qualification rules

As some activities will no longer earn points that contribute towards your status tally – such as those promotional or status bonuses – the qualification rates for Silver, Gold and Platinum members will be reduced from 2017 to compensate.

Le Club Silver remains within reach after 10 nights spent at any participating Accor brand but will require just 2,000 status points, corresponding to a spend of €800/A$1,200 at most Accor brands rather than the 2,500 points needed today (on-par with €810/A$1,214 spent by an existing Silver member).

Progressing to Le Club Gold will command either 30 nights or 7,000 status points – equal to €2,800/A$4,197 of spend at Accor’s top brands – down from the 10,000 points needed today, but which could be earned from a marginally lower spend of €2,710/A$4,062 by existing Gold members.

Topping the status ladder, a Le Club Platinum card is yours after 60 nights or earning 14,000 status points from €5,600/A$8,395 of spend at most Accor brands, a reduction in number from the current 25,000-point threshold but which is currently achievable from a similar €5,690/A$8,529 spend by Platinum cardholders.

Status based on calendar year, not a rolling period

Effective immediately, any new status level earned will be valid for the remainder of that calendar year plus the entire next calendar year.

For example, reach Le Club Gold in May 2016 under the current qualification rules and you’ll be Gold until December 31 2017. Then, the status points you earn throughout 2017 will determine your status from 2018, and so on.

Most business travellers will find that an improvement over the current system whereby your status is valid for exactly 12 months from the date on which it was earned, but it does mean that those whose stays cross the December/January break might take an extra year to reach the same targets.

Membership cards go digital

From 2017, you’ll no longer receive a physical membership card in the post from Accor for the year ahead, instead keeping a digital copy of the same on your smartphone, accessible via the Accor app.

With Accor oddly changing each member’s actual card number every year, using a digital card ensures you’re always providing a hotel with the most up-to-date information as you check-in, and presents one less thing to pack into your wallet.

For the select few business travellers without a smartphone, we’d expect Accor to provide an alternative such as print at home card, or a physical membership card by special request.

In any case, the number of rewards points you'll earn when staying at Accor's range of brands remains unchanged, as do the benefits of each tier and also the 'conversion' rates from points into hotel savings or to the various airline frequent flyer programs.

Also read: Le Club Platinum members gain Australian Club Sofitel access

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 76

Some good and some bad.

The good: Accor has communicated the changes well in advance, and the changes are relatively clear. The change to a calendar year membership makes sense.

The bad: It just got much much harder to achieve platinum. So it take about €5,690 to achieve platinum now? But I imagine 99% of members are able to attain platinum by spending far less than this given the numerous bonus points that Accor offer. Now that bonus points no longer contriubte it looks like it will be impossible to achieve platinum without spending €5,600 (unless you stay 60 nights).

I think moving to both points and credits is a step in the wrong direction. It makes things more complicated when Accor should be streamlining their systems. It would be easier to forget about 'credits' and instead just refer to it for what it is... 'dollars spent.'

The digital card is ridiclous. I deleted the smartphone app because it is useless! It had constant bugs and the interface is awful. It is a waste of space. I don't understand why a membership card is even needed given that just about every hotel I've stayed at asks for a passport. Why not just do an ID check. Some hotels ask to see the card and some don't. I don't see why they need to see it? They should just do away with the membership card altogether. Is it really that important?

Given it is going to become harder to achieve platinum I would have expected the benefits to improve. Some hotels have some great benefits, and other hotels have almost no benefits at all (you are lucky to even get a drink voucher).

05 Jan 2014

Total posts 25

some good points raised there. I completely agree with you, Accor need to sort out it's website and digital space, it's slow, unresponsive and often logs me out whilst I am trying to make a booking. (Am a Platinum member)

17 Aug 2016

Total posts 3

I agree also with the extra costs to get to Platinum. We also take advantage of triple points etc and it would cost us almost twice what we paid this year to maintain Platinum, with the new system.

I emailed AccorPlus and they said they contacted France to clarify if Status points would also attract bonus points etc as they were not completely clear on that. Awaiting reply.

17 Aug 2016

Total posts 3

Update on my last post.

It seems from the phone feedback I just got from Accor and a recent email that it is correct what AlexTravAddict writes "Now that bonus points no longer contribute it looks like it will be impossible to achieve platinum without spending €5,600 (unless you stay 60 nights)."

So no matter how many bonus ponts you accrue with the new system it won't help at all with helping gain maintaining/upgrading status.

Very disappointing.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jun 2011

Total posts 70

My Le Club number hasn't changed in years, so I am not sure what the change every year is for. There is a small change to the number (the 7th digit) when status changes, but that;s about it in my experience.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

I can understand why they are doing this - I just scopped Platinum on a 14-night trip to Viet Nam, with all stays registered for the triple-points promotion that's currently running.   By my calculations I would've achieved Gold for the itinerary without the TP promotion, but I wouldn't have made top tier. 

Also agree with commentors about the website - being logged-out when making a booking is very annoying, and I found that the Accor sites really only work to plan using IE (ugh).  The iPhone app, as of this date, won't get past the first introductory pages before crashing; some bugs from the Raffles/Fairmont/etc addition, it seems. 

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