AccorHotels have announced a new promotion through which Le Club members can earn 6,000 bonus points after three stays at participating properties.
You can join the program for free and then transfer these points to Qantas or Velocity at a 1:1 ratio, with a full explanation of the transfer process later in this guide.
Each stay at an AccorHotels property has to be a minimum of two nights.
The offer is tiered as follows:
- 500 bonus points after the first stay
- 2,500 additional bonus points after the second stay
- 3,000 additional bonus points after the third stay
You could book a stay at a property like the Sofitel Auckland at Viaduct Harbour.
Key terms are:
- You must register and book your stays before 7 October
- Stays are eligible if they post to your account between 18 September 2018 and 14 January 2019
- Participating properties include Swissotel, Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, MGallery, Pullman, Grand Mercure, The Sebel, Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter, Adagio, ibis, ibis Styles and Adagio Access
- These points are in addition to any standard Rewards points that you would usually earn for your stay
- Stays that are paid for partially or fully with Rewards points or with one or more Le Club AccorHotels Rewards vouchers will not be eligible to benefit from this offer
- Stays must be booked directly via AccorHotels or through a travel agency whose booking system is automatically connected to the AccorHotels booking office
- The Rewards points will be credited to your account within 10 days of checking out
Why this offer is valuable
2,000 Rewards points are equal to 40 euros (~71 NZD) when redeemed towards stays at AccorHotels properties. This is a nifty amount to effectively ‘earn back’ after eligible stays.
However, these points can also be redeemed at a 1:1 ratio with Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity, or a 2:1 ratio with most other programs, including Asia Miles and KrisFlyer.
AccorHotels have an extensive footprint in New Zealand, so this offer should be quite easy to take advantage of if you have domestic (or even international) travel planned for the remainder of the year.
You can either use these points for a discount on future stays, or for a transfer to one of their many frequent flyer partners (recommended option if you don’t stay with the brand often).
A guide to Le Club AccorHotels
Le Club AccorHotels Rewards points are a useful major points currency to consider if you have an affinity for staying in hotels that are a part of the ever-expanding AccorHotels group.
This guide gets into the guts of the program, including hotel locations, how to get free status, stay benefits, and key redemption opportunities.
Locations & key hotels
Accor have a large presence in the New Zealand and Australian market, and have over 4,200 hotels in 95 countries worldwide, providing accommodation in some of the most popular business destinations across the globe.
The group includes a range of brands such as Raffles, Fairmont, Swissotel, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Grand Mercure, The Sebel, Ibis, MGallery, Adagio and Pullman. The Mantra, Art Series, Peppers and BreakFree brands are currently being folded into the group.
There are 29 properties in New Zealand. Current locations include:
- New Plymouth
Below are a few AccorHotels properties that we have stayed at and reviewed:
AccorHotels offer four status tiers in the following order (from lowest to highest): Classic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
You can find more information about the status tiers and benefits on the AccorHotels website.
Here is an overview of the benefits for each status level.
Requirement: just enrolment in the program
- Complimentary Internet
- Priority check-in at Fairmont properties
- Express check-out
- 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
Requirement: 10 nights or 2,000 Status Points
In addition to Classic benefits:
- Priority check-in at all properties
- Priority waitlist status at Swissotel properties
- Complimentary welcome drink for you and registered guests 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 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
You’ll receive complimentary Silver status if you become an Accor Plus member.
Requirement: 30 nights or 7,000 Status Points
In addition to Classic and Silver benefits:
- Early check-in on request, and subject to availability
- Guaranteed room availability up to 3 days before arrival
- In-room welcome amenity
- Complimentary upgrade to the next room category, if available at the time of check-in, excluding villas, one of a kind suites, specialty suites and presidential suites. If not available, upgrade to best available room in current category
- Host benefits at MyResorts properties
- 20% discount at Swissotel spa and sport facilities
You’ll receive complimentary Gold status if you become an ibis Business Card member.
Requirement: 60 nights or 14,000 Status Points
In addition to Classic, Silver, and Gold benefits:
- Access to Executive Lounges in these locations
- Guaranteed room availability up to 2 days before arrival
- Complimentary breakfast at these Asia-Pacific properties
- Premium Wi-Fi where available
- 10% discount on treatments at Thalassa Sea & Spa Institutes, Raffles spa treatments, and in the restaurant/bar at select Mercure properties (latter is not available in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Asia Pacific)
- 15% discount at the Raffles hotel boutique
- Complimentary ironing service at Pullman Hotels & Resorts (one item per stay)
- Guaranteed restaurant table at Raffles, with 24/hr notice
- Daily turndown service at Fairmont properties
- Free soft drinks from the mini-bar at MGallery
- Extend Platinum benefits to another room at MyResorts properties, plus receive a surprise gift
Earning and redeeming Le Club AccorHotels Rewards points
How can I earn points?
AccorHotels have varying earn rates at their different property brands, making it a bit confusing to calculate how many points you’ll earn. They also base their earn rate on the amount you spend, converted to euros.
Here is the full earn rate table:
They do have a calculator that you can use, which makes it a bit easier to work out exactly how much you’ll earn for your spend at any given property.
You can also earn points with a few niche partners:
- Club Med, 1 point for every euro spent
- Club Opinions, 300-600 points for completing your first survey
- e-rewards, 250 points for completing your first survey
- Europcar, earn up to 1,000 points for every rental, plus get a 15% discount
- Hertz, 3 points per euro spent
- Independent partner hotels, 12.5 points for every 10 euros spent
- La Collection, 1 point per euro spent on shopping
- Priority Pass, up to 1,500 points for a new membership
- The Economist, up to 4,000 points for a print + digital subscription
Many of the offers above are ‘one-time’ only, so make sure you look at offers with different programs first to make sure you’re picking the one that offers you the points you need (for example, you can earn up to 1,000 Airpoints Dollars on a ‘The Economist’ subscription, at the same price as offered here).
How can I redeem points?
AccorHotels offer a variety of ways in which you can use your points.
The most obvious is using your points on future stays. You can redeem 2,000 Rewards points for 40 euros (~$68 NZD) of credit to spend at participating AccorHotels properties.
Other redemption opportunities/partners include:
- Dream stay packages
- Elite Experiences, including Cirque du Soleil and the Australian Open
- La Collection, an online shopping mall
- onefinestay gift cards
- Transfer to varying frequent flyer partners, including KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Qantas, and Velocity
Most of these redemptions are poor value, though if you are a road warrior and prefer to experience other things in life than more hotel stays, using your points for any of these would make perfect sense.
Frequent flyer transfers are explained further below.
Should I transfer Le Club points to frequent flyer programs?
As a general rule of thumb, points earned through hotel rewards programs are best kept and used towards future hotel stays. This is where you maximise their value.
Rewards points have a value of approximately NZD 3.4 cents each when used for credit to spend at Le Club AccorHotels properties. This should always serve as your value baseline when deciding whether to transfer to a frequent flyer program.
You can read more about how we value points here.
If you want to use the points towards a flight redemption, the general rule is 4,000 Rewards points transfer to 2,000 miles.
This means you’re effectively ‘spending’ 6.8 cents on every mile. You’d have to be doing very well with your flight redemptions to be getting that much value from each mile.
Why preference Qantas and Velocity?
There are some exceptions, with Qantas and Velocity being the two most applicable to Kiwis where points are converted at a more favourable 1:1 ratio — 1 Rewards point equals 1 Qantas or Velocity Frequent Flyer point.
This means you’re ‘spending’ a far more favourable amount per point – only 3.4 cents. While we generally only value these points at around 2 cents each, you’ll be more likely to find redemptions where you’ll get much more bang for your buck, compared to those programs where the ratio is 2:1.
What about Airpoints Dollars?
You cannot convert Rewards points to Airpoints Dollars. However you can choose to earn Airpoints Dollars instead at select hotels in New Zealand and Fiji.
You’ll earn 20 APD for stays at Sofitel properties.
Stays at Pullman Hotels, Mgallery Hotels, Grand Mercure Hotels & Apartments, Novotel Hotels & Resorts, and Mercure Hotels & Resorts will see you earn 1 APD per NZD $15 spent.
See here for more information.
From my experience, you cannot earn both Airpoints Dollars, and book your stay online as a logged in AccorHotels member. If you are logged in, when you check-in at the hotel, they will often inform you that you will only earn Rewards points and not Airpoints Dollars. I have raised this issue with Air New Zealand and I understand that they are working on tweaks to this arrangement.
How to transfer points to frequent flyer programs
Le Club AccorHotels offers the option of transferring your points to any of their partner frequent flyer programs.
Here are the transfer rates and minimum manual transfer amounts for the most popular programs for us in New Zealand:
- Qantas: 1:1 ratio, 2,000 minimum
- Velocity: 1:1, 4,000 minimum
- Asia Miles: 2:1, 4,000 minimum
- KrisFlyer: 2:1, 4,000 minimum
- United MileagePlus: 2:1, 2,000 minimum
To transfer your points from Le Club AccorHotels to the frequent flyer program of your choice, you can either do it yourself when you reach the minimum threshold or set up an automatic transfer (not available for Velocity).
You can choose auto-transfer for Qantas, Asia Miles, and KrisFlyer
With manual transfer, you need to log in, and then transfer the points once you reach the minimum transfer amount, and you need to use or transfer the points within 12 months. There are ways around this though—for Qantas Points, you only require 1 Le Club point in your account to enable auto-transfer; for Asia Miles and KrisFlyer, it’s 2 points.
So, to get around the manual transfer minimum generally needed for frequent flyer programs, you can select automatic transfer over to these three programs, which is a great win. Once you change your preference to auto-transfer, all existing points in your account will transfer upon completion of your next stay.
You can accrue as little as 1 or 2 points and they will still be automatically transferred.
This is a good option for those who don’t think that they’ll accrue the minimum 2,000 points to use towards a future hotel stay, which is generally where you’ll get better value per point.
You can also set up an auto transfer for MileagePlus miles but this will only kick in once your account reaches 2,000 points – the same number you need for a manual transfer. So not as much benefit as the programs above.
You need to do a manual transfer for Velocity
Unfortunately, the automatic transfer option without a minimum points balance is not available for Velocity members; if converting your points to Velocity, you need to accrue 4,000 points to do so.
For more information, check the short general terms and conditions related to airline company partners of the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program.
You can access a full list of current offers here.
The best value option between keeping your points in Le Club AccorHotels compared to transferring to frequent flyer programs is dependent on your personal circumstances, as always — and especially in this case how many Le Club points you have, are likely to earn, and where you want to transfer them due to Accor’s transfer limits.
I stay at AccorHotels properties quite frequently, and therefore keep my points in the AccorHotels program until I know exactly what I want to do with them. They’ll never expire as long as you earn points at least once per year. This way, it effectively functions as an excellent flexible-points program.
Though for those people who don’t stay at hotels regularly, I would be inclined to recommend transferring the points to frequent flyer programs, and learning how to get the best value for their use.
Supplementary images courtesy AccorHotels.