Le Club AccorHotels made an announcement last week (read more here) on their website (no emails to program members yet) about the status qualification changes that will take place starting on January 1, 2017, when only status points will count and not ALL points from all sources.
There are quite a few comments on that piece and a LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email about thoughts that they had. Remember that you can always email me, sent a message via Facebook or use Twitter. I’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.
You can access Accor’s website about these changes here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
After I read your post on Le club Accor changing its rules for Platinum status, I was a bit worried so wrote to the director who assured me that my status would certainly not be affected by the changes.
Truthfully, John, while it is great for people to churn points and use them for status can you complain when a hotel chain chooses to reward their true loyal customers who spend dozens of nights each year in Sofitels and don’t jump ship when Hilton or another inferior brand has a slightly better deal or triple points?
I stay in Sofitels exclusively in New York, Philly, DC, Chicago, Hanoi, and several European cities, booking directly with my contacts in the individual hotel.
Yes, I have Hilton Honors and got bootstrapped to Diamond Status but I wouldn’t expect a huge upgrade for a status that I hadn’t truly earned and would only stay in a Hilton if no Sofitel existed or there were not a really good hotel like Kempinski or Mandarin Oriental with a decent rate.
I enjoy the game and appreciate the help you and others have provided as I have used points/miles to our advantage but it always seemed to me that hotels and airlines and credit card companies would eventually figure out what was going on(They too have the Internet!) and start at least attempting to make rewards for those who benefit their company?
Just saying, they don’t work as fast as you bloggers/points gurus but eventually they catch on.
As I have written previously, Le Club AccorHotels has tightened how people can get the Platinum status by removing the instant sign ups back in 2013 and discontinuing the partnership they had with American Express this year.
From 2017 onward, it is entirely based on the Status Points that are based on the Euro spend at the properties or number of nights. The requirement for Platinum status is $6337 (USD) spend at the full service hotels based on the current exchange rates between EUR/USD.
Le Club AccorHotels has in tandem tried to increase the benefits of being an elite with them. Many of these benefits are still, however, based on availability and up to the hotel. There are hardly any guaranteed benefits such as early check in, late check out, and breakfast. Also, one category “imaginary” upgrade is often not really an upgrade at all.
It is very difficult for me to choose an Accor affiliated property when there are Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Starwood, Fairmont and other brand affiliated hotels in the same cities with whom I have top tier elite status with. I know what the benefits from these are and it is often a gamble with Accor. I have stayed at Accor affiliated properties when they had those great bonus points offers last year. My stays so far this year are flat zero.
I have probably stayed at 6 to 7 Sofitel hotels during the past 12 months from Abu Dhabi to Bali and haven’t been “blown” away. I do understand that these are probably not flagship properties, but I would have received better upgrades and service at other brands. Sofitel Rio de Janeiro was the worst and I’ll be back in June (only due to their location).
BTW you really shouldn’t book directly with the Accor hotels because you are losing out on most if not all of the bonus points offers. Le Club AccorHotels bonus points promotions require you to book via Accor’s centralized channels such as website, app or call center. Reservations made directly with the hotels are implicitly excluded.