Welcome offer: 1,000 bonus points on stays with Raffles, Fairmont or Swissotel

A guide to Le Club AccorHotels status, points earn, and frequent flyer partners and transfers

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 7 minutes
POSTED: July 11, 2018
UPDATED: July 11, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Program Summary

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.

There are currently bonus point offers on for stays at varying AccorHotels properties, which we detail below.

We then get into the guts of the program, including hotel locations, how to get free status, stay benefits, and key redemption opportunities.


Offer 1: Receive at least 1,000 bonus points for stays with Raffles, Fairmont or Swissotel properties until 30 September 2018

Fairmont offer

To celebrate the addition of these three high-end brands to the AccorHotels group, you can earn 1,000 bonus Rewards points for any stay at these properties worldwide until the 30 September 2018.

Each subsequent stay will also earn 1,000 bonus points if the property is located in Asia Pacific.

You can also earn 3x Rewards points at all other AccorHotels properties in Asia Pacific as part of the same offer.

Be sure to register, and then book before the 19 August.

These bonus points are worth the equivalent of $32 NZD if redeemed towards a future stay, or 1,000 points with the Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity programs.

Offer 2: Receive 500 bonus points for each MGallery stay until 2 September 2018

MGallery offer

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MGallery by Sofitel brand, you can earn 500 bonus Rewards points for each stay booked at MGallery between the 9 July and 2 September 2018.

You’ll also receive a complimentary Signature Cocktail for two people.

Be sure to register, and then book before the 31 August.

These bonus points are worth the equivalent of $16 NZD if redeemed towards a future stay, or 500 points with the Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity programs.


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:

  • Auckland
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Hamilton
  • Invercargill
  • Nelson
  • New Plymouth
  • Queenstown
  • Rotorua
  • Wellington

Below are a few AccorHotels properties that we have stayed at and reviewed:

Sofitel Auckland

Sofitel Viaduct Harbour Auckland

MGallery Auckland

Hotel Grand Windsor Auckland – MGallery by Sofitel

Novotel Auckland

Novotel Auckland Airport

Status

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.

Classic

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

Silver

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.

Gold

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.

Platinum

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

You may receive complimentary Platinum status if you become an Accor Plus member through your New Zealand-issued American Express Platinum Charge card.

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:

Accor Earn Rates

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:

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:

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.

You can then use your Qantas Points to fly in Emirates First Class

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

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 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.

Current offers

You can access a full list of current offers here.

Summing up

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.

Welcome offer: 1,000 bonus points on stays with Raffles, Fairmont or Swissotel was last modified: July 11th, 2018 by Daniel Kinnoch