Le Club Accorhotels Offer of 1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

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Earlier in the week, I wrote about offer from City & Accorhotels for instant Platinum status for the Le Club. This offer was discontinued few days later. There is another offer of 500 bonus points for playing Facebook game (doesn’t require Facebook account) and triple points until June 10th, 2012.

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Now Accor also has a promotion with Delta and Air Canada for 1000 bonus miles for a stay until the end of May. The terms and conditions would indicate that this offer is valid only ONCE, but then the same terms also refer to STAYS. To be on the safe side, I would assume that this offer is only valid once.

Here are the terms of the Delta SkyMiles offer:

1. This offer is valid every day for stays with check-in between 04/01/12 and 05/31/12 at participating Accor hotels.
2. In order to benefit from this bonus, the member must have activated Delta Air Lines and SkyMiles as the preferred conversion option ahead of the stay.
3. You must provide your Le Club Accorhotels loyalty card or member number when making your reservation, and present your card at the reception desk of your hotel when you check-in for your stay.
4.The bonus will be credited in Le Club Accorhotels points and converted ino SkyMiles according to the applicable conversion rule.
5. Reservations that include several rooms covered by the same member during his or her stay are only counted as one stay.
6. This offer may not be combined with other current offers or advantages and does not apply to groups.
7. This offer is subject to availability. General sales terms and conditions apply for reserved public rates specific to each hotel.
8. General A|Club terms and conditions apply to this offer.
9. A member can only benefit once from this offer between 04/01/12 and 05/31/12.
8. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, visit delta.com/memberguide. Offers void where prohibited by law. Other restrictions may apply. Offers subject to change without notice.

Here are the terms of the Air Canada Aeroplan offer:

1. Between April 1st and May 31st, 2012 new and current A|Club members can earn 1,000 Aeroplan® Miles by staying at any eligible Accor hotel.
2. General A|Club terms and conditions apply to the “Earn 1,000 Bonus Miles with Aeroplan®” offer.
3. In order to benefit from this bonus, the member must have activated Aeroplan as the preferred conversion option ahead of the stay.
4. A member can only benefit once from this offer from 4/1/12 to 5/31/12.
5. The bonus will be credited in Le Club Accorhotels points and converted into Aeroplan miles according to applicable conversion rule.
6. ®Aeroplan is a registered trademark of Aeroplan Canada Inc.

More Information About SPG: Nice Choice Promotion Coming on May 1st

Earlier in the week I wrote about the teasers that Starwood was releasing about their forthcoming SPG: Nice Choice Promotion.

At the time the only hints that the SPG gave were:

ALL ABOUT YOU

CHOOSE WHEN, WHAT AND HOW YOU WANT TO EARN

Now we have learned that:

1. There are three different promotional periods that you can choose from May/June/July or June/July/August or July/August/September.

2. You can choose from free weekend nights, elite bonus nights towards SPG status, extra Starpoints, Starpoints redemptions awards, merchandise discounts etc.

It is still unclear at this point i.e. how many nights/stays you need for a free weekend night award. In the past two summers it has been three stays for a free night.

This promotional period would also indicate that the next global promotion won’t start before October this year. Considering that the previous promo has already ended and you need to choose three months over five month period, there is going to be three month period up to October when there aren’t any promotions.

SAS Eurobonus Offering Status Matches in China & Hong Kong

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This comes handy to those who are losing their Star Alliance Gold status due to BMI exiting the alliance by the end of May, or Oneworld or SkyTeam fliers that have some Star Alliance flights. Earlier in the week I wrote about Etihad’s status match offer for Gold status, and the other week about my status match experience with Alaska.

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Scandinavian Airline (SAS) is offering status matches to their Eurobonus program until the end of May, 2012. The only requirement is that you need to have registered your Eurobonus account in China or Hong Kong. You can probably get around this requirement by borrowing an address from a friend living there. Then you just need to email in a copy of the statement or the frequent flyer card to mystatus@sas.dk.

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Even if you are not planning to set your foot on a SAS flight the Star Alliance Gold status comes handy. You can always use business class check in counters, have higher luggage allowance, and have access to airline lounges. You don’t have to credit the flights to SAS’s program, but mere show the card when checking in. If you are US based Star Alliance flier, this would grant you an access to all lounges when flying domestically. No need for a lounge membership.

It is somewhat unclear how long the status would be valid. At the minimum it would be until January/February 2013. This status match program is initiated probably due to SAS’s new Copenhagen – Shanghai route.

American Airlines Sues Gailen David aka The Aluminum Lady

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This is the latest twist on the apparently never-ending saga between the American Airlines and its former flight attendant Gailed David that is the person with the entertaining Aluminum Lady parody videos. Now, American Airlines has decided to sue Dailen David and people (John Does) who are feeding him information about day to day operations that apparently AA would like to keep under  the radar

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Gailen David has been advocating for more civilized air travel and been giving hints and tips about air travel on his DearSkySteward website. Last month American Airlines terminated Mr. David’s employment.

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Apparently the last draw for American Airlines was Gailen David’s posts about current and former American Airlines employees bumping paid first class customers on number of flights, and naming the people who did so.

Considering that American Airlines parent AMR is going through a chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizing process, it probably wouldn’t hurt for these executives to show some humility and ride occasionally on coach.

What do you think? Is it ok for former and current executives to bump paying first class customers? Leave a comment below.

Discover America Daily Getaways Announced for the 4th Week April 30th – May 4th

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The first two week of deals were out a week ago, and then the third week one was announced as well. The only deal so far to that I consider participating is the Wyndham Rewards points on the 3rd week. You can easily transfer Wyndham points to number of different airlines.

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The fourth week sees the return of the same Hilton deal as on the 3rd week. Last year, I did buy couple of Hilton packages, but I was low on points and knew that I could use them wisely.

Hilton HHonors Points Wednesday May 2nd

Packages available

150000 Hilton HHonors points for $825

250000 Hilton HHonors points for $1375

100000 Hilton HHonors points for $550

I would steer away from buying Hilton HHonors points unless you are a Diamond member and/or know how to use them properly. You can “buy” a very good deal using these points, if you are able to use them at a place like Conrad Koh Samui where rates are in excess of $600 per night.

Choice Privileges Points Thursday May 3rd

Packages available:

40000 Choice Privileges points for $166

36000 Choice Privileges points for $156

32000 Choice Privileges points for $134

Note that you can buy two each of the above mentioned packages for total max of 216000 Choice points for $912 before 10% Amex discount.  You can transfer Choice points for number of airlines, but the transfer ratio is not great, unless there is a transfer promotion.

If you are close to getting a companion pass with Southwest, it might make sense to buy Choice points, and then redeem for Southwest Rapid Rewards points. The maximum number of Rapid Rewards points you can get through this Choice promo, if you manage to get two of the each above mentioned packages, is 64800. You would need 45200 points from other sources.

You can also use Choice Privileges points for Preferred Hotels Group properties. These vary from 30K to 60K per night. Can be a good deal, if you are able to redeem at a very expensive location.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points Friday May 4th

Packages available

5000 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for $280

15000 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for $720

9000 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for $430

You can buy one of the each three packages above. Hertz points can be handy if you are looking for a one-way or specialty rental.

New Twist on the BMI Diamond Club & Lufthansa & Star Alliance & British Airways Saga

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Earlier today, I posted a screenshot from Lufthansa’s Miles & More web page that indicated that BMI’s cooperation with Lufthansa would end effective April 19th, 2012. This is the case. The earlier information about the status benefits on BMI flights was wrong, however. Star Alliance status related benefits on BMI flights will be valid until May 31st, 2012.

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The last day to earn and burn Diamond Club miles will end on Lufthansa affiliated airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines) on April 18th, 2012. This is also the last date to earn and redeem miles on Miles & More program on BMI operated flights.

bmi-keeping-you-informed

Last week, Asiana posted an announcement on their web page about BMI’s removal of Star Alliance. According to the rough translation from Korean, the earning of redeemable and status miles on Asiana’s program on BMI operated flights would end on May 31st, 2012. That would also be the last day to redeem miles from Asiana’s program for BMI operated flights.

asiana-bmi-announcement

It has not been officially announced when the BMI will leave the Star Alliance. It is unlikely that they could announce on April 18th that the last day for redeeming miles and get status benefits on Star Alliance would be April 18th, 2012. But then, who knows exactly what is going to happen.

It is possible and I think likely, based on the announcements that Asiana  & Lufthansa have made, that the earning and burning miles on other Star Alliance carriers besides the Lufthansa group would continue until May 31st, 2012. Certainly, I would hope so.

Anyway, I am going to try getting in few redemptions before the end of the week. Those phone lines at the Diamond Club must be very busy this week.

Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, Thailand – Review of My Stay

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Hotel Muse is part of Accor’s MGallery collection of unique hotels. It was opened about six months ago and is very popular party spot among Thais. Last week, I was staying at the Grand Hyatt Erewan, and was staring at the Muse Hotel from my 16th floor window. I am always very eager to try out different brands and hotels. I had not experienced Accor’s MGallery collection hotel before, but I had heard that the Hotel Muse was very boutique and some might even call it a trendy hotel.

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When I arrived to the hotel, I was welcomed with a very familiar smell. Apparently the hotel pumps the same fragrance to public spaces as the Hotel Victor, which used to be part of Hyatt, in South Beach.

Location

The hotel is located on the Langsuan road about 400 meters from the Chit Lom BTS station. The road is one way so it might make few turns to get there depending on the direction you are coming from. I like the location as it is close to the Central World & Siam Paragon shopping complexes. There are quite a few other hotels in the immediate neighborhood, and I have been to quite a few of them; St Regis, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Renaissance, Courtyard, Mayfair Executive apartments etc.

Cabs are not familiar with the hotel at all, but they do know the road well. It is probably worth saving the address in your smart phone or print it out on the paper both in English and in Thai.

 Check In

The lobby is very intimate and has only two desks. The overall decor is very dark, but I liked it. It gives a different vibe to the property.

Unfortunately things started to fall apart at check in. I had made my reservation couple of hours prior to my arrival, and apparently their system and Accor’s web reservation aren’t linked electronically as I could see my reservation printed out as an email sitting on the table.

They could see that I had a Le Club Accorhotels account, but they couldn’t see what my status is. I offered to log into my account online using my laptop and tethering through my cell phone. When I showed my Platinum status online, they were satisfied.

Then, I was inquiring what Platinum benefits I would get. Would I get a complimentary breakfast or wireless internet access? According to one of the front desk employees my rate was already so good that they couldn’t offer them. I really wasn’t interested in about the wireless internet access because I could tether on the 3G network using my cell phone, but would have preferred to check out their breakfast offerings.

One weird thing during the check in was that the hotel wanted to charge the room rate immediately and then hold an authorization for the incidentals. Normally hotels just block certain amount during the check in, and you settle both the room bill and incidentals when checking out.

Somehow the only non-Thai employee, who was from Mexico, was able to find me a 9th floor corner room and gave me a Platinum gift that turned out to be a nice Hotel Muse branded shirt. The room wasn’t immediately ready, and I had to wait 10 to 15 minutes in the lobby.

The check in process took maybe 20 minutes without the wait for the room to be ready. This is way too long.

Corner Room 902

As with the other part of the hotel, the decor of the corner room I had was dark. Some might say that the hotel over uses the Muse everywhere from the water bottles to the TV, but it didn’t bother me too much. I think that it rather proves that the hotel takes branding very seriously.

hotel-muse-bangkok-langsuan-room-902

The room was quite spacious for a regular sized corner room. The bathroom had a window to the bedroom as most of the newer hotel so, but you can easily close the curtain when soaking in the bathtub or taking a shower. I have no idea why, but there was no air conditioning in the bathroom. You had to have the door open from the bedroom to keep the temperature at the normal level inside.

hotel-muse-bangkok-langsuan-room-902-view-of-the-bathroom-from-the-living-room

The minibar setup was one of the better ones that I have seen. The cabinet was well designed to house both the complimentary (Muse branded) coffee & tea as well as the beverages and snacks.

hotel-muse-bangkok-langsuan-room-902-bed-other-view

Overall, the room was very functional and well thought. I really liked the decor as it was definitely trendier and thought than “normal” run of the mill hotel rooms. But, at the same time, I can understand that the concept that the Muse has probably isn’t for anyone.

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Fitness Center & Pool

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Both the fitness center and the pool are on the 19th floor. The fitness center was on the small side, but then this is only for the hotel guests. I was little surprised that they hadn’t bought the most up to date LifeFitness line of machines. I really like the ones that have imbedded TV on the console so that I can watch CNN/BBC while running.

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The pool was on the same floor as the fitness center. It was not huge, but enough to get you wet if that’s what you wish. There were some sun chairs around and inside the pool as well on the both ends.

Food & Beverage outlets

The hotel runs a very popular Speakeasy restaurant/bar on the top two floors of the hotel. The Thai restaurant that also serves the breakfast is on the 19th floor. They have another bar on the lower ground floor. Unfortunately, I was not able to check out these outlets as I had bit of a problem with my stomach from the food that I had the previous day at the Grand Hyatt.

Conclusion

This is a very nice designer/boutique hotel that caters to the trendier crowd. The price that I paid was in line with other hotels in the immediate area. I really liked the dark décor of the hotel, but it probably won’t work for everyone. They do, however, need to speed up the check in process and integrate the Accor’s reservation system with the in-house one. There is no place for getting reservation made at Accor’s website by email and then inputting them manually to the system that the hotel uses. Too many things that can go wrong with this manual approach.

Also, they need to make sure that they treat the Le Club Accorhotel Platinum guests better. Most of the other hotels in Bangkok give a complimentary breakfast & internet to their elite guests even when the benefit is not system wide i.e. Courtyard by Marriott. This is due to the competitive market in Bangkok. I think that the hotel should look into this. Claiming that they cannot provide certain Platinum benefits due to the low promotional rate I paid, is borderline ridiculous.

Five Priority Club Points Promotions That You Should Sign Up For

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This is an updated version of the post I made last month about three Priority Club bonus points promotions. There are now two more that are combinable with other offers.

These five promotions should work for all. The Elite member next stay bonus probably requires a Gold or higher status with Priority Club, however. Remember to sign up for the other on going Priority Club bonus points offers that you can find here.

You can register for these promotions at priorityclub.com/register.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up.  Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earnings.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

BMI’s Diamond Club Likely the Last Date of the Star Alliance Affiliation is April 18th

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There has been lot of confusion about when is the exact date that BMI’s Diamond Club will exit from the Star Alliance. EU recently approved the Lufthansa’s sale of BMI to IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia. The expected date for this deal to be finalized was around 20th of April.

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Last week BMI posted on their Facebook page that they intent to start withdrawing from Star Alliance upon completion of the above mentioned deal. Today, however, Lufthansa briefly posted the above announcement on their webpage. It was then removed, but you can still access through Google’s cache.

I would be prepared to have all the Diamond Club miles used by 19th of April, if you are planning to use them on Star Alliance. It does start to look as if the BMI’s Diamond Club WILL exit from the Star Alliance on 19th of April. The last date to use Diamond Club miles on Star Alliance carriers would thus be April 18th. You can ticket as far as there is availability and the award will be honored by the carriers. It is very unlikely that you can do any changes to awards after the exit from Star Alliance besides getting a refund of miles and taxes.

Le Club Accorhotels 500 Points for Free & Triple Points For Stays Including Weekend Night

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Earlier in the week I was writing about Le Club Accorhotels offer of instant Platinum status for Citi cardholders, but the offer appears to be open for anyone. Now, Le Club is offering 500 points just for inputting your Le Club number on to their Facebook page (no need to sign up for Facebook). You will also have a chance to win 1000000 points (one person) or 25000 (10 people).

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I just signed up for this and instantly received an email confirmation that I had been eligible for the 500 Le Club points, and that they would post to my account within 3 weeks after the end of the game. I am not in a hurry to get Le Club points, so if they post eventually, it’s all good.

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This offer also includes triple points for stays that include a weekend night that are booked from April 10to May 10, and consumed by June 10, 2012. You weekday nights will get triple points also IF your stay includes Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night.

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There is no separate code for signing up for this promotion. I would assume that signing up for the 500 points offer, which is available for the first 25000, will sign you up for the triple points offer as well.

Here are the terms and conditions that Accor has released about these two promotions:

New Starwood Preferred Guest Promotion “SPG: Nice Choice” Coming on May 1st

Starwood is teasing on their Twitter and Facebook feeds about the new promotion that will be open for registration on May 1st.

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The only hints that the Starwood has given out so far are that the promotions is:

ALL ABOUT YOU

CHOOSE WHEN, WHAT AND HOW YOU WANT TO EARN

So, the basic assumption is that this is a choice based promotion. Starwood has run something similar in the past where you can choose your preferred reward out of few choices. I cannot remember Starwood ever having a promotion where I could decide when I would earn.

I am probably not the only one who is eagerly waiting to learn more about this promotion. We should know in the next week or so.

In the past two summers Starwood has been running a promotion for a free hotel night after certain number of stays (3). The number of complimentary nights that one could earn has been unlimited.

In 2010 those nights were valid for weekend stays (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) at most Starwood hotels. In 2011 the promotion was for free nights at properties classified as resorts. These nights were valid 7 days a week.

Hilton HHonors Changing Award Categories of 447 Hotels

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Hilton just released a list of properties that will change award categories on April 30th, 2012. Off the 3800 Hilton affiliated properties 330 will move up by a category and 117 will move down by one. InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, and Starwood already had their category changes earlier this year.

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You have until April 30th, 2012 to book these properties that are moving up at old award or points & money levels. If you have an award reservation at a property that is moving down, you need to call after April 30th to have the number of points withdrawn for the award corrected.

Overall, this category change is not dramatic, but the number of properties moving up year after year does make the higher categories crowded.

You can access the PDF that Hilton released about this change here.

Properties moving down – 117

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Properties that will move down by a category are mainly category 3 and 4 Hampton Inns. There is very little movement on other brands/categories.

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Properties moving up – 330

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Close to half of the properties moving up are Hampton Inn, but other brands are well represented as well. Category 3, 4, and 5 have the highest number of properties moving up by a category, but even the category 6 has 28 properties moving to category 7.

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Here are the Frequently asked questions that Hilton has anticipated about this change:

Etihad Matching Other Airlines’ Gold Elites (or Higher) to Etihad Guest Gold

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Etihad, the national & smaller global airline out from UAE, has launched a status match campaign that is limited to first 1000 participants. Etihad is matching other airlines’ Gold members or higher to Etihad Guest Gold. This offer is valid until April 26th or when participant quota has been reached.

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Last week Etihad announced some not so good changes for its Etihad Guest frequent flier program. Unless you are flying full fare business or first class, the number of miles you will earn will go down.

The requirements of this status match campaign are very straightforward. You only need to email a copy of the frequent flier card and the miles statement to tiermatchuae@etihad.ae along with your Etihad Guest frequent flier number.

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There is also an offer of triple miles for business class and quadruple miles for first class for program participants. The details of this bonus offer are somewhat unclear. Apparently, they will send more detailed information for those that are matched to Gold.

I just applied for the tier match myself as I have been thinking of taking some Etihad operated flights in the not so distant future. I qualified for the Emirates Skywards Gold the other week, but haven’t received a new card yet. At least on the Emirates’ website you can just print a copy of the card. Then I printed out also my latest account statement as a PDF file, and sent a short email to the address above with my guest number and the two files as an attachment.  We’ll see how long it takes for Etihad to update my status to Gold. Based on my previous correspondence with Etihad over the email they have been able to react rather fast.

Le Club Accorhotels (Accor A Club) Platinum Status for Signing Up

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Please note that Accor has disabled this offer. Please sign up for our email alerts to get notified when this offer is available again.

Last month Accor changed the name of its loyalty program from Accor A Club to Le Club Accorhotels. Not sure why the name change? Personally, I don’t think that the new name is any better than the old one.

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Accor has run multiple promotions of getting the Platinum status with its loyalty program instantaneously. Typically these promotions last for a week or so. If you are planning, or even if you are not, to stay at Accor property, it makes sense to sign up for the program. The benefits are somewhat hit & miss, but then you really don’t have to “qualify” for the program in the first place.

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I signed up for the Platinum status last year and have had few Accor stays. The Mercure hotel in Nadi was not great, but the Novotel hotel in Lami Bay was actually nice. During my latest Accor hotel stay at the Hotel Muse, an MGallery collection hotel, in Bangkok I even received a Platinum gift that was a shirt.

This latest offer is targeted to Citi credit card holders, but in the usual Accor fashion it is open for anybody. You can sign up for the program and get the instant Platinum status by completing the form here. The promotional code should be embedded. If for some reason it is not, just use the following one CITIBANKRLPLAT2012.

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