Accor and Visa reached a deal back in February about cobranded credit cards that would be available in several countries.
The launch has been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic. Still, a French bank (surprise surprise) BNP Paribas will initially roll them out domestically in February 2021 before releasing them in other European markets.
You can access Accor here.
It is unclear what benefits come with each of these cards and pricing.
Here are the three cards launched:
- ALL – VISA Pulse (aimed at Millennials)
- ALL – VISA Explorer (for clients who travel extensively for work or leisure)
- ALL – VISA Ultimate (for super-premium clients)
Here’s the announcement from Accor & BNP:
Accor and BNP Paribas become strategic partners to launch a co-branded payment card in Europe
This card will be linked to the Group’s loyalty program ALL – Accor Live Limitless and will be available in several versions. It will offer members the opportunity to collect loyalty points when making everyday purchases and to receive benefits tailored to their interests.
The card will be launched in France early 2021 before being gradually rolled-out in Europe.
Accor, a world leader in hospitality, and BNP Paribas, the leading bank in the eurozone and a key international banking player, announce that they have concluded a pan-European partnership to launch a unique co-branded payment card. Members of the ALL-Accor Live Limitless lifestyle loyalty program who subscribe to the card will be able to use it for all their day-to-day purchases. Linking up with one of the sector’s best loyalty programs, card users will earn points as soon as they start spending, upgrade to a higher status more quickly, and enjoy special and unforgettable experiences both in the Group’s hotels and across the entire Accor ecosystem.
In an environment that has been dramatically impacted by the pandemic, it is vital to enable members to continue to take advantage of their loyalty program at a time when travel has been temporarily restricted. These points earned in the course of everyday life can be enjoyed immediately and in many ways – by using them for short breaks to explore our regions, perhaps in the mountains or on the coast, or to enjoy a dinner or a spa. As the validity of these points is extended with each purchase made, users can also keep them to explore new destinations during their next summer vacation through our 85 travel and lifestyle partners, including more than 33 airlines. In addition, these points can also be spent on special events in 2021 – perhaps to see Paris Saint-Germain play, attend a concert in the Accor Arena or visit world-renowned food festivals.
This payment card represents a major asset for the Group in leveraging customer engagement. The various services available to cardholders are a perfect illustration of Accor’s “Augmented Hospitality” strategy, a sophisticated vision of hospitality and bespoke services to enable guests and local residents to enjoy unique experiences. Extending beyond just maintaining contact, the card will help strengthen the relationship with members of the Group’s loyalty program ALL – Accor Live Limitless.
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor, said,
“This partnership with BNP Paribas puts one of the cornerstones of our loyalty building strategy into practice. The launch of the innovative and ambitious ALL payment card is a key step in the rollout of our loyalty program, which already has almost 70 million members. We will be able to offer new and ever more generous and pioneering services, accelerating the diversification of the Group’s revenue streams. By combining the complementary expertise of two European leaders, we aim to attract ever-increasing numbers of loyal customers and step up the rollout of new offers to create an ecosystem that is unique in the world of travel and leisure.”
A generous card without the need to change bank
With three different tiers offered, ALL – VISA Pulse (aimed at Millennials), ALL-VISA Explorer (for clients who travel extensively for work or leisure) and ALL-VISA Ultimate (for super-premium clients), once launched these will be some of the most generous payment cards ever made available on the market, providing benefits to users as soon as they subscribe. There will be no need to open a new account or change bank. The card will be allocated in a few minutes once the connection to the current account has been made. The card will be linked to the dedicated and secure Accor Pay app, created in partnership with BNP Paribas, which will allow users to securely view their balance, manage their spending, check their points and contact the concierge service at any time. The card and all its related benefits will be unveiled early next year.
Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and CEO of BNP Paribas, said,
“The payment card market is undergoing a huge transformation, particularly in Europe, both functionally and technologically. Today, it is one of the major drivers enriching the customer experience and introducing higher added value services and offers. As a European banking group, we continuously innovate in terms of payment solutions to support customers with their new habits and aspirations. We are therefore delighted to be involved, alongside Accor, in this major advance for the customer experience within the international hotel industry.”
Credit cards in Europe don’t offer very good benefits because the merchant fees are capped, and fewer consumers keep balances on their cards with high-interest rates than in the United States.
You have to keep in mind that Accor’s ALL (Accor Live Limitless) redemptions are all dynamic. These BNP cards are “cashback” but in the form of only usable at Accor affiliated hotels.
I am still confused about how the BNP will handle credit allocation and issuance in countries it has no consumer banking presence? SEPA payments within the Euro-zone are instantaneous between countries and banks. I guess that they could start with a low limit and later increase it.
Let’s see what benefits these cards come up with.