It’s official – American Express Platinum Charge cardholders will receive an annual complimentary membership to Accor Plus for enrolments until 15 April 2021.
This has been a card benefit in previous years however it has always been a bit touch and go as to whether the membership will roll over into future years.
While the Amex website advertises that you will only receive Silver membership in Le Club AccorHotels, you may increase your chances of landing Platinum by already having the paid ibis Business Card, which comes with Gold status.
Worst case outcome is that you’ll find yourself with Gold, which comes with a decent range of benefits which we explore in detail in our dedicated Accor Hotel Le Club Guide.
Feature image above from the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua which is part of the Accor Plus program.
Guide to Accor Plus
Unless you stay at hotels 40 nights or more nights a year it’s hard to attain status with hotel loyalty programs.
One of the ways of leveraging more value from your hotel stays is through programs like Accor Plus, because you are essentially buying a form of status – along with a range of other perks.
This is a guide to the benefits of the Accor Plus program, which includes a free night, discounts of up to 50% on rooms and food/drinks for your say, and benefits with other partners.
This is what my Accor Plus membership pack looked like
Digging into the details of Accor Plus
Unlike Accor’s Le Club loyalty program, you can buy an annual membership to Accor Plus for $385. You can also apply for a supplementary cardholder for $165.
Here are the headline benefits:
- A free night “Stay Plus” at participating hotels within the 700 plus properties in 17 countries across Asia Pacific. These countries include Australia, Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam
- Up to 50% of “Red Hot Rooms” promotions, where you get half price discount rate at certain hotels.
- Up to 50% off your restaurant bill, and 15% off drinks at participating restaurants in Asia
- Silver status with the Le Club loyalty program (possibly Platinum if you are joining via the Amex Platinum Charge)
- ‘Member for a Day’ certificates that you can give to friends/family to enjoy the same benefits that you do, on their next stay
- 20% discount with Eurocar rental
- Up to 12% discount on Qatar Airways flights in Economy and Business Class
- Other special events for members only such as cooking with famous chefs, or golf with professionals
So is Accor Plus worth the $385 annual fee?
The Stay Plus free night benefit
The Stay Plus benefit is a complimentary free night for a standard room in a participating hotel across Asia Pacific and can be redeemed at Accor’s budget brands like Ibis (but not ibis Budget), to midscale Novotel and Mercure, all the way up to upscale Pullman, Sofitel, Swissotel and Fairmont hotels.
Here’s a quick flavour of the various types of Accor brands at different properties around the world:
It’s a no-brainer that the Stay Plus benefit yields the best value at the upscale hotels. However not all hotels are eligible for Stay Plus, just to make life more complex.
Many properties can be redeemed with Stay Plus. As you can see, the cost of some of the rooms for the 1 night can recoup the cost of the annual fee.
Ineligible properties will be marked “Stay Plus Not Accepted”.
In some cases a Stay Plus benefit may not be available on the dates you want, in which case Accor Plus offers you the option to the Stay Plus benefit towards a room upgrade. The ‘supplement’ that you’ll pay is shown when you search:
A minimum length of stay may also apply at some hotels.
Be sure to bring your Accor Plus membership card to present at check-in as the Stay Plus credit is loaded onto your card.
Red Hot Room Sales and 10% Best Available Rate Discount
Accor Plus members have access to special deals at certain hotels over a certain time period, where you can book rooms with up to 50% off.
If Red Hot Rooms promotions are not running, you can also receive 10% off the Best Available Rate at any 600 plus hotels.
This includes ibis Budget hotels in Australia and New Zealand.
You can book up to 2 rooms at the discounted rate, as long as you will be staying in one of the rooms, and will be settling the bill for both upon check-out.
Make sure to use Cashrewards, as you’ll receive an extra 4% cashback on your accommodation costs.
Up to 50% off restaurant bills with Accor Plus
As an Accor Plus member, you also get up to 50% off your food bill, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, at a participating hotel restaurant, year round – and you do not need to be a guest staying at the hotel.
Here’s how the savings work, based on the number of adults dining and percentage saving off the total food component of your bill:
- 1 member only – 25% off
- 1 member and 1 guest – 50% off
- 1 member and 2 guests – 33% off
- 1 member and 3 guests – 25% off
- 1 member and 4+ guests – 100% divided by the number of diners (e.g. 100% divided by diners = 20% off)
In addition, participating restaurants in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji accept multiple cards per table (not valid in Asia), so you can you can save more than 25% of the bill.
For example, if 4 adults are dining and two Accor Plus member cards are presented, you’ll receive 50% off the total food portion of your bill (maximum discount per table is 50%). When dining in Asia you also receive 15% off drinks.
There are also other promotional offers, such as your first beverage free, or complimentary afternoon tea at participating hotels.
If the main hotel restaurant is closed for lunch, the dining discount is available on food purchased from the bar snack menu.
Accor Plus members will receive an additional 10% discount off any public dining promotion equal to or exceeding normal member benefits. This is not available however in relation to benefits offered by third parties, such as the Entertainment Book.
Dining offers are not available at ibis Budget hotels, or for breakfast at resort hotels in Australia.
I’ve used this benefit to receive breakfast buffet at the Playford Hotel in Adelaide for myself and a colleague for only $35 – absolute bargain, especially when you consider that drinks and coffee are often included.
‘Member for a Day’ Certificate
The MRD Certificate entitles a non-member to receive all the Accor Plus benefits, except the Stay Plus benefit, for a period of 24 hours from the point of presentation at a hotel. A maximum of one can be used per stay. No points or status points will be earned.
A maximum of three certificates are allocated per member, per year. These can be obtained by contacting Accor Plus Member Services, which is simple as submitting a quick request through this form
The Accor Plus team will need to know the details of the person using the certificate (e.g. name and phone number), and if known, the date it will be used. The certificate is only valid for 1 month when it is ordered, and for use only whilst the Accor Plus membership is valid, so make sure you time your request.
These certificates cannot be used at properties in China.
Sometimes you will receive another certificate type in your membership pack.
In my case, I received a certificate for a free buffet breakfast for two people at any hotel in Australia, New Zealand or Fiji, without any stay requirement.
Silver status with the Accor Le Club loyalty program
In addition to those benefits, an Accor Plus membership also gives you a Silver status with the Accor Le Club program.
Normally to qualify for Silver status, you need to stay at least 10 nights or earned 2,500 points.
With Silver Status, you get
- Complimentary Internet
- Priority check-in at all properties
- Express check-out
- Priority waitlist status at Swissotel properties
- Complimentary welcome drink for you and a registered guest staying in your room
- Late check-out on request, and subject to availability. At MyResort properties, you’ll be able to enjoy resort amenities beyond normal times
- Complimentary newspaper and local calls at Fairmont and Swissotel properties
- Access to Private Sales, 48 hours before non-members
- Up to 10% discount off room rates at participating hotels
- Complimentary fitness gear, access to BMW bicycles, and use of golf clubs at Fairmont properties
- 10% discount on treatments and products at Fairmont spas, and at the on-property Fairmont Store
In terms of points earn, every 10 Euros as a Classic member earns 25 points, whereas Silver earns 31 points, Gold 37 and Platinum 44 points (at Swissotel, Pullman, MGallery, Mercure/Grand Mercure, Novotel and other premium brands. At Ibis the earn rates are less).
Qatar Airways discount
Members can receive a discount of up to 12% on Qatar Airways flights originating from Auckland, when booked via this page.
The key terms are:
- Valid for bookings made until the 31 August 2019
- Travel period is until the 31 December 2019
- Discount is available on Qatar Airways operated flights only to eligible destinations in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. A full list can be found here
- Discount does not apply to taxes, surcharges, and any other fees
- Valid for return and one-way fares
- Members may use this offer as many times as they like during the offer period
Fares eligible for a discount are signalled by a red star icon next to them. Though in playing around, I noticed that heavily discounted Economy Promo fares had stars next to them, but were not cheaper than the best price already available.
Business Promo fares however were discounted – e.g. at time of writing, a return flight to Amsterdam in April 2019 cost $5,318.60, with discount:
Whereas the normal price was $190 more:
I suggest that the value of this offer will vary, but it is worth keeping in mind nonetheless if you plan to fly Qatar.
20% Accor Plus discount car rental with Europcar, and other benefits
Accor Plus members also receive 20% off the best rate of the day when renting with Europcar. You can also choose to receive 250 Le Club points for rentals between 1 to 4 days, 500 points for rentals 5 to 7 days and 1,000 points for rentals of 8 days or more, but this would be instead of earning other airline points like Velocity or KrisFlyer.
Finally, there are other member-only special events such as cooking with famous chefs or golf with pros. I suspect this benefit might not be for everyone, however Accor Plus promises, “step into the kitchen for a celebrity chef masterclass, tee off with golf pros, meet the cast of the latest theatre shows and more.”
It’s hard to put any kind of value on those given they need to match your taste for them to be appealing.
Accor Plus seem to have a separate price promise arrangement for Australian and New Zealand hotel bookings. The full terms and conditions of this agreement can be found here.
Value summary – Accor Plus
If you are savvy you can extract a lot of value from annual $385 member Accor Plus membership, given the inclusion of:
- The Stay Plus free night, if you use it at a suitably otherwise expensive hotel
- 10% off the best available rate, or 50% off Red Hot Rooms
- Up to 50% off your restaurant bills
All up that should equate to > $400 in value at least when each benefit is used just once.
If you use the dining benefit extensively on family or romantic breaks, the savings against the usual cost of hotel will quickly add up. I’ve used a similar benefit at InterContinental hotels in the past and it’s really helped ease bill-shock at the end of a long stay.