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Conclusion to a five part series exploring some of the best features of a seriously underrated loyalty programme.
Accor’s ‘Le Club’, doesn’t seem to get a lot of love in the travel/points/miles blogosphere. I think this is probably because of a lack of properties in the US (where a lot of the big bloggers are based), but whatever the reason – it’s a real shame.
For those of us in the UK (and much of the rest of Europe too), ‘Le Club’ can be a great programme, if you know how to make the most of it…
Putting it all together
Before ending this guide, it’s worth mentioning that Accor‘s hotels are usually pretty good – I mean, who cares how good a ‘deal’ at a hotel is, if you don’t want to stay there?
The four main Accor brands are Ibis, Mercure, Novotel and Sofitel. Ibis hotels compare well against other 2-3* options, Novotel hotels are a very consistent 3-4* choice, and most Sofitel hotels are at least as good as the luxury brands offered by the other big chains. Mercure hotels can be a bit of a wildcard to be completely honest, ranging from not very good to excellent, so make sure you check the reviews!
In general though, Accor hotels do a good job at meeting or exceeding expectations across the various price points that their brands cover.
With that out of the way – onto stacking the deals!
Accor’s standard cashback compares quite well to its competitors. What sets it apart though are the regular bonus cashback offers – up to 15% – which blow the competition out of the water. No other hotel chain offers cashback that high with anything like the same frequency.
Cashback only matters though if the original rate is a good deal anyway – overpaying just to get some of it back in higher cashback wouldn’t make any sense at all!
Accor’s various brands are usually fairly priced compared to hotels of a similar standard, but the way to get real value is to take advantage of the regular Private Sales, and in particular the heavily discounted ‘Happy Mondays’ rates.
What other chain can even get close to offering weekend nights at city-centre hotels in the UK for £25.00, every week?
Booking hotels with Accor can obviously be a good deal in terms of what you have to pay out, but that’s only half the story. When it comes to hotel chains and their loyalty programmes, what you get back in Points/Miles can be just as important as what you pay.
Accor offers a constant stream of small bonus offers (which can add up), but it’s the less frequent big bonus offers that provide the real value. Offering bonuses so lucrative that it’s possible to earn back more in Points/Miles than the cost of your stay, is absolutely exceptional. It’s basically the holy grail of the Points/Miles world, and the only offer from another big hotel chain that has got close in recent times are some of IHG’s personalised offers.
Another important consideration for many frequent travelers when deciding where to stay is elite status and the benefits that come with it. Even if staying at an Accor hotel is a great deal, if you’re used to free upgrades and lounge access with your usual hotel chain, then you might still not want to switch.
Fortunately, Accor’s ‘platinum’ status offers great benefits and is the easiest top-level status to get out of all the major hotel chains.
Late checkout, drinks vouchers, nice upgrades, lounge access and a range of other perks are all included for platinum members.
Getting status with Accor is a lot easier than you might think, because you can qualify based on the number of Points you have earned and bonus Points count.
When Accor has ran big bonus Points promotions in the past, it has been possible to get ‘gold’ status after just one stay, and ‘platinum’ for as little as three nights.
If you can’t wait for the next big bonus Points offer, Accor ‘platinum’ is also the only top-tier status that you can get in the UK just by having the right credit card (admittedly the Amex Platinum does have a hefty £450 annual fee).
Every one of the offers discussed in this series would individually make staying with Accor worth considering. Combine them, and you’re looking at something quite special.
Book during one of the periods when everything aligns, and you can get great cashback, cheap rates, more back in Bonus Points than the cost of your stay, and enjoy top-tier Status, all at the same time!
I told you it was underrated…