Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
Part One of a (updated) series exploring some of the best features of a seriously underrated loyalty programme – Accor ‘Le Club’
Accor ‘Le Club’ (the loyalty programme for Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis etc), 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…
Part One: Cashback – the most generous in the UK?
Using cashback sites like Quidco and TopCashback is a quick and simple way to save some money when booking hotels. Whether you’re booking directly with a hotel chain or through an online travel agency like Hotels.com or Expedia, it’s always worth a look to see what you can get back.
I’m not going to get into the debate here over whether it’s generally best to book hotels directly or through a third-party site (the answer is, “it depends” – unsurprisingly enough!). The purpose of this post is to take a look at what the various hotel chains offer in terms of cashback in the UK when you book directly, and to show that Accor is consistently one of the best.
I should point out that all the links I use will be to Topcashback, because they promise to match whatever Quidco are offering if there is a difference, and Topcashback credit can be transferred to Avios (with a 25% bonus).
The cashback rates offered by Quidco and Topcashback are often different though, so do check both!
The major hotel chains of interest to most readers are IHG (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn etc), Hilton, Marriott , Hyatt, Starwood (Sheraton, Westin etc), Club Carlson (Radisson, Park Plaza etc), Wyndham (Ramada, Days Inn etc), Best Western, Choice (Clarion, Comfort Inn etc), Travelodge, Premier Inn and Accor.
Of these, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, Choice and Premier Inn don’t currently offer any cashback at all in the UK.
Club Carlson cashback tends to hover around 5-9% most of the time depending on the particular brand of hotel you stay at, but can be higher.
Marriott is a bit odd, offering 5-7% cashback for members and 7-9% for non-members. Given the amount of effort and money hotel chains put into signing up new members and trying to convince them to book directly, this is… surprising.
You can’t get any IHG cashback from TopCashback, but can get 8% with Quidco.
The amount of cashback you receive from Accor depends on the specific hotel brand that you book – with the more expensive brands offering more cashback.
The standard cashback rates with Accor are:
- 2% for Ibis Budget,
- 4.5% for Ibis and Ibis Styles,
- 8% for Novotel, Mercure and Adagio,
- 10% for Sofitel, Pullman and MGallery.
As you can see, the amounts available for the budget-friendly brands are in line with what is on offer from Travelodge etc, and 8%+ for the more expensive brands is at least as good as what Marriott/Club Carlson/IHG offer.
What really sets Accor apart though, is the frequency with which Topcashback and Quidco offer an ‘exclusive’ higher rate of cashback (remember you can get Topcashback to match whatever Quidco is offering, so it doesn’t really matter which company is running the bonus). You can see that it’s Quidco that is offering bonus rates at the moment (post published 9th November 2016):
- 3% for Ibis Budget
- 7.5% for Ibis and Ibis Styles,
- 12% for Novotel/Mercure
- 15% for Sofitel/ Pullman/MGallery
These figures blow the competition out the water – offering almost double what is available from the other chains. The bonus rates are available very frequently indeed, with barely a week going by without one of TopCashback or Quidco offering the higher rates.
The current bonus ends in 4 days, but I would expect to see something similar over at Topcashback very soon.
Obviously cashback is a nice bonus, but it is only one of many factors when working out where to stay, and particularly which hotel chain makes most sense for you. I hope to show through the rest of this series that Accor deserve a lot more attention than it seems to get!
Are there any other Accor fans out there?