Pros & Cons Of Le Club AccorHotels (2016 Update)

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It is time for the Pros and Cons of hotel loyalty programs based on the developments in 2015. I covered Le Club AccorHotels for the very first time year ago.

Pros and Cons of Le Club Accorhotels 2016 Update

I had few stays back in 2014 due to very lucrative airline related offers and then again in 2015 due to several 10K bonus ones. I had roughly 30 nights with Accor affiliated hotels last year.

You can access Le Club AccorHotels web page for benefits here.

READ MORE: Le Club AccorHotels Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Please leave your personal comments about the Le Club AccorHotels programs below. What do you like and what do you dislike?

Le Club AccorHotels Brands

Pros

– Number of properties in Europe (especially in France) and Asia

– Strong at the lower end of properties

– No credit card link up

– Good 40% off sales throughout the year

– Accor Plus discount of 10% in Asia Pacific

– Happy Mondays (UK & Ireland), Private Sales Europe & Australasia (New)

– Platinum status for Amex cardholders in certain markets (Gone)

– Easy status qualification

– Points earnings

– Never ending promotions

– Converting points to airline miles

– Platinum & Gold discount rate

– Truly no blackout dates

Cons

– Almost Non-existent properties in North America (Changing)

– Fewer high end properties

– No credit card link up

– Getting stays to post

– Rates eligible for awards (New)

– Quality within the brands

– Calculating the number of points earned difficult

– Elite treatment

– Best rate guarantee

– Issues with promotions

– Excluded properties ibis budget and all ibis hotels in China

– No Status match

– Trust

– Using points for free stays

– Very few guarantees based on availability

– The value of Euro vouchers converted at the property’s cash rate

– Customer service

– No lifetime status

Le Club AccorHotels Hotels

Pros

Number of properties in Europe (especially in France) and Asia

Accor is especially strong in France and Europe representing 61% of the groups number of properties. Asia Pacific represents roughly quarter of the properties under the Accor’s umbrella.

Strong at the lower end properties

Sofitel, Pullman and MGallery brands represent less than 10% of the total number of hotels Accor has.

No credit card link up

Some may prefer that Accor doesn’t sell points to credit card partners.

Good 40% off sales throughout the year

Accor tend to have Super Sales several times year + up to 40% off Private Sales in between.

Accor Plus discount of 10% in Asia Pacific

You can purchase Accor Plus membership that gives you an additional 10% off of most rates in the Asia Pacific.

Happy Mondays (UK & Ireland), Private Sales Europe & Australasia (New)

Le Club AccorHotels has weekly sales for UK (Happy Mondays), Private Sales for Europe (on Tuesdays) and Asia-Pacific (mainly Australasia on Fridays).

Platinum status for Amex cardholders in certain markets (Gone)

Certain American Express cardholders in some markets are eligible for instant Platinum status with Le Club Accorhotels.

Accor is in the process of ending this in the Spring of 2016.

Easy status qualification

The number of nights and/or points required for Gold and Platinum status may initially look very high, but you can get Platinum status in just four or five stays if you time your stays with good airline related promotions.

Points earnings

You can earn points much faster by taking advantage of Le Club AccorHotels promotions.

Never ending promotions

Accor has so many on-going promotions for discounts, bonus miles and points that it is difficult to track them all (I am trying to do my very best here on LoyaltyLobby).

Converting points to airline miles

You can usually convert Le Club AccorHotels points to miles with 2 points to 1 airline miles ratio.

Platinum & Gold discount rate

Le Club AccorHotels members are sometimes eligible for discounts based on the elite level they have with the chain.

Truly no blackout dates

You convert your Le Club AccorHotels points to EUR vouchers or use them online to guarantee your rooms. 2,000 points are worth 40 euros.

Cons

Almost Non-existent in North America (Changing)

The chain has roughly 10 properties combined in the United States and Canada.

Accor is in the process of acquiring Fine Hotels & Resorts that consists of Fairmont, Swissotel and Raffles brands. Fairmont brand would give good presence in Canada.

Fewer high end properties

Sofitel, MGallery and Pullman properties are considered the high end of Accor and there are fewer than 300 of them worldwide.

No credit card link up

Some prefer earning points towards free nights by charging their credit cards. This is not possible with Accor.

Getting stays to post

Many hotels are manually inputting member stays to the Le Club AccorHotels system and this is prone to mistakes and missing reported stays. I have had better luck getting stays to post from limited service than full service hotels.

Rates eligible for awards (New)

Le Club AccorHotels advertises that you can use your points towards rates found on Accor’s website, but that is not always the case. You cannot use points towards the mist discounted rates.

Quality within the brands

This is not just a problem with Accor, but will all hotel chains. There is usually great variability within the brands.

Calculating the number of points earned difficult

Le Club AccorHotels can earn anywhere from 5 to 44 points per 10 euros charged depending on their status and brand stayed at. As a matter of fact there are 16 different levels altogether.

Elite treatment

Obviously lower end properties don’t have too many options for upgrades, but you often must negotiate with higher end brands as well.

Best rate guarantee

Accor has a best rate guarantee that promises to match the lower price and to take an extra 10% off. The implementation of this program is terrible, however. Accor merely forwards the price match requests to individual properties that are then supposed to process and handle them. Sometimes the do and sometimes they don’t.

Issues with promotions

Accor’s promotions often require you to book within certain dates and sometimes also require you to book a specific rate. Sometimes promotions are retired without any word from Accor.

Excluded properties ibis budget and all ibis hotels in China

Many of the Accor hotels are excluded from earning points. You cannot earn points at any ibis hotels in China and ibis budget hotels are excluded worldwide.

No Status match

Le Club AccorHotels doesn’t offer status match, but you can easily get the Platinum status in few stays during the airline related promotions.

Trust

The communication from Accor regarding these promotions that they decide to end without any notice to membership is bizarre. It is very difficult to trust company that can cancel promos at their whim.

Using points for free stays

As you use vouchers to pay for your stay, you need lots of spend to get enough vouchers for a free night stay at the top end properties.

Very few guarantees based on availability

Le Club AccorHotels elite members have very few HARD guarantees. Most are based on the availability and/or at the discretion of the hotel in question.

The value of Euro vouchers converted at the property’s cash rate

Many hotels cheat and use their cash conversion rate when applying Accor voucher to your folio. You can lose anywhere from 5% to 20% of their value.

Customer service

This really is the Achilles heel of Le Club AccorHotels. The customer service is not up to the same level compared to SPG, Marriott, Hilton or even IHG.

No lifetime status

Many of the Accor’s competitors offer lifetime status to those that have spent considerable time of their lives or cash at their properties. I am not aware of that Accor would be offering anything similar.

Conclusion

Accor and Le Club AccorHotels have both come long way in the past few years trying to beef up the loyalty program and making it more worthwhile for the members.

It is interesting to see how they will merge the Fairmont, Swissotel and Raffles brands to the Le Club AccorHotels (and what happens with my lifetime Fairmont Presidents’ Club membership).

I just wish that they would fix the customer service issues. None of us contact the CS unless there is an issue and would then prefer to have prompt and correct resolution.

I would also prefer early check in and late check outs to be guaranteed and not based on availability.

Let’s hope that they continue with the good promotions this year. The most lucrative airline promos were gone in 2015, but we have number of bonus points promotions to compensate.

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  • David

    Yes, what will happen with the Fairmont program is a big question to be answered later in the year? Got my Accor Platinum status through AmexPlatinum card (Canadian version) and did have a few stays (large number of Brazilian properties) last year. Received an email last month that indicated I would continue to be Platinum for 2016 even though I hadn’t called Amex to “renew” the status, nor stayed enough to qualify otherwise.

    • ChrisB

      Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel now show as Accor properties when booking through Accor’s site but none yet participate in Club Accor. Yesterday I asked the Fairmont Makati in Manila if they will provide Accor Platinum benefits and received a polite “Not at this time”.

      • David

        Yesterday I received emails from both Accor and Fairmont announcing the formal merger, but each indicated benefits and details of their respective frequent guest programs would remain the same for a while longer. This was also mentioned by the GM for the Americas for Accor when I attended a special dinner here in Toronto with a half dozen other Accor Platinums and the GM of the Novotel downtown in May. He said it would be a while before the new program emerged and not to expect it to happen when the formal merger took place (which was this past week). He wasn’t as aware of the Fairmont program as some of us were so we did discuss some of the better elements of each.

        I’m going through a similar “recognition” issue with the takeover of the Protea African chain by Marriott, and what happens as a member of Protea’s Prokard program as well as being a Marriott Gold. Stays next month in South Africa will prove interesting in both the benefits I receive and where I will credit the points earned, either in the Marriott program or as Rand credits in the Prokard program. (Not to mention how my SPG stays this year will be counted along with my Marriott stays in whatever program emerges next year as a result of that merger!)

        So 2017 should be an interesting year for both Accor/Fairmont and Marriott/SPG/Protea vis a vis our elite status and future stay benefits.

  • Dr Ti

    Dear John, could you please explain how miles promotion could qualify to ear platinum status on few stays? Actually Miles&More have a promotion, how can I take advantage from miles AND A-Club points?
    Kind regards,
    Dr.Ti

  • Tomas

    Did you miss that gold can easily be earned through the Accor shareholder programme. Used to be platinum for all shareholders. This has changed and the premium is now gold. Very nice way to get gold!

    • Or through ibis pro or was it business program.

    • Gaijinsan

      Quite interesting, so someone could by literally, 1 share and get Gold?

      • Stefan_In_Vienna

        you need 50 shares and then register with the shareholder’s club

        • Gaijinsan

          Ok, at Euro 38.50 per share (1925 Euro plus brokerage fees), that’s not a very cheap way to Gold, though presumably it’d be permanent.

          I think John & Sebastian’s typical way of taking advantage of point and mile promotions is probably more viable, and most likely they were needing to stay in a hotel anyway.

          • Stefan_In_Vienna

            Permanent Status – used to be PLT until last year – as long as you keep the shares.

  • josmon10

    This is so French: “what can we do to have double-figure percentages in every region Let’s put our southern neighbours Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy and Malta in the same group as Chad and Benin!”. Without the hundreds of properties in these European Mediterranean countries (and let’s not forget France is geographically another one of them), Middle East and Africa would only be something like 5%.

    • They regions are bit weird and don’t get promotions where the participating countries are Italy, Greece & Israel. Happens often.

  • josmon10

    OK, I’ll stop being harsh about Accor! Here’s another pro: points obtained via e-Rewards count towards Elite. They’ve helped me maintain Gold or Platinum with very few proper stays.

    • Lost In Space

      I just signed up for e-rewards (huge pain as I have to do it in German) and I can’t get them to accept my mail.com email. and for some reason I’ve stopped getting emails for gmail

  • Based on my experience, the treatment of elite members is no longer a “Con”: It used to be like pulling teeth to get an upgrade as Platinum, especially in Asia were it seemed to be near impossible. Over the last year, that has completely changed. I now get upgrades almost every time, without prompting. Some of the upgrades have been spectacular, from a basic room to a stunning pool suite at a neighboring, higher-end property! I’ve also received welcome gifts, even at ibis hotels and my status has been acknowledged universally. It seems like Accor has been cracking down…ahem.. training staff and management!
    For me, Accor has gone from dead last to somewhere near the top of elite treatment…

    • Just had less than stellar experiences last year in Brazil and Australia that may have tainted my view of the PLT benefits. The benefits that I received in Thailand were all generally good, however.

      • Greg Armstrong

        I have also had consistently good results with upgrades at the Platinum level in Jakarta, Bangkok and Hanoi with Accor.

        • Stefan_In_Vienna

          Same here. 99% upgrades in South East Asia, sometimes even from cheapest standard room to suite on the executive floor

        • Paulo

          You got this upgrades at Sofitel, Novotel?

          • Greg Armstrong

            All of them. The lounges are often good value

    • BenniHK

      Yes I agree with u! I got upgrades almost everytime (not to suite, but usually got a better room with free mini bar) in last year. So diff with what had happened before (which I usually need to email them far prior than check in and make up a long bs story for the upgrade).

    • Paulo

      On which brands you got this upgrades?

      • Novotel, Mercure, MGallery by Sofitel, pullman

  • BenniHK

    I dont understand why everyone whining about the BRG programme of Le Club (even in flyertalk, every said its almost impossible to go through). In fact its super easy and far less hassle to grab the price match + 10% off + free breakfast (sometimes) than any other hotel chains’ BRG program (especially comparing with IHG, which always dig out something nonsense like lying an instant confirm website as non-instant confirm one or the 3rd party website requested 2 hours prior than IHG for free cancellation…etc)! Last year I filed 13 BRG claims totally and got 12 passed (the only one left was in China which… well… understandable). Seems they ve never review any terms in detail and only relied on what customers submitted (not so sure whether they really goto the third party website to check them out), diff room types/with breakfast vs room only/refundable vs non refundable/price diff less than 1% and maybe due to fx… all were matched.
    But there’s a trick for filing the claim – the online claim form is useless! after fill out that form, you need to call a day or two later for the follow up. Usually they could never found ur claim and need to do it again manually.

    • Gaijinsan

      I’ve never been able to get a successful claim through without going to the property sales office directly. This then isn’t a BRG claim anymore, it’s just a rate match by the property themselves.

      Their actual BRG process is useless, and even you said you have to call yourself and they can’t find your claim. That’s not the way it’s designed to work.

  • Italdesign

    Customer service below IHG? Oh my

  • miauste

    Just want to share some experience with Accor. Since May this year i registered at Le Club. But they were not even able to forward the first 2 nights at Dubai automatically, the next 2 stays each 2 nights they forgot nights.Though i claimed they argued i have to proof although the receptions of all 3 Hotels insured that they forwarded the points and stays, i had to send them the invoices. The promotion Le Club AccorHotels 2,000 Bonus Points For Two Night Stay Middle East & Egypt June 8 – July 8, 2016 i had more stays but they have not credited the 2,000 bonus points. Even after my claim and they can see in their system. Anyway forget these promotions with Le Club, be very careful with them

  • richardinkl

    I checked into Adagio in Abu Dhabi in November 2015 and gave my Le Club Accor card which was registered against my stay. My bill was paid monthly for my stay and when I checked my points I was informed that points were only added after check out. I checked out last month (September 2016) after a 10 month stay and am still waiting for my points to be credited. I also wonder if as my points accrued over the months my grade of membership also increased as I notice higher points are given for different membership levels.