The most underrated hotel loyalty programme? – five reasons you should know about Accor Hotels ‘le club’… Part Four: Bonus Points

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Part Four of a series exploring some of the best features of a seriously underrated loyalty programme.

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Accor Hotels ‘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…

We’re going to help you do exactly that with this series of posts:

Part One: Cashback – the most generous in the UK?

Part Two: “Happy Mondays” – city centre hotels in the UK from £25.00

Part Three: “Private Sales” – up to 50% off

Part Four: Bonus Points – earn back the cost of your stay in Accor Points

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Part Four: Bonus Points – earn back the cost of your stay in Accor Points

What’s the deal?

Accor regularly has generous offers for bonus Accor Points and for bonus frequent flyer Miles with some of their airline partners. These bonuses can be extremely rewarding, and it’s not uncommon for the number of points earned to be worth the same as the cost of the stays needed to trigger the bonus. In fact, sometimes Accor gets so carried away that they just hand out completely free points.

It’s worth explaining that Accor Points are different to most other hotel loyalty points because they have a fixed value of 2 euro cents when used to stay at Accor hotels. The amount of Points required for a stay therefore depends entirely on what the cash rate is on any particular night. Points can only be redeemed in blocks of 2,000 (worth 40 Euros).

If you do not already have an Accor ‘Le Club’  account, you can sign up for one here.

Small Bonus Points Offers

Accor provides a near constant stream of small bonus points offers for booking a hotel in a particular city/country/region, or at new hotels etc etc.

accor-bonus-points

These tend to range from 100-800 points, or offer 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x base points instead. A quick glance at the current list shows bonus points for stays in Singapore, Spain/Portugal, North + Central America, Asia Pacific etc, as well as quadruple Points at some new hotels.  Most require registration, so if you see something of interest, just click through (check the terms and conditions to make sure it will apply to your stay), and there is usually a registration button to press.

Large Bonus Point Offers

Accor also has less frequent large bonus points offers, which can be extremely lucrative. These tend to pop up every few months, and take the form of “Stay x times at Accor hotels within a given period, and earn x thousand points”.

The precise details are different for each particular offer, but the number of stays required is usually quite low (3-4 stays, though in recent years each stay has had to be 2 nights or longer, so 6-8 nights minimum), and the number of bonus points tends to be about 10,000.

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To put that into context, 10,000 points is worth 200 Euros to spend at Accor hotels. If you stay at Accor’s more budget friendly brands (and particularly if you take advantage of other promotions like the ‘Happy Mondays’ sales), 200 Euros for eight nights can be a fantastic rebate.

Eight nights at Ibis hotels in the UK (outside of London) booked using the ‘Happy Mondays’ rate would cost £200.00 (8x £25.00), and you would get almost all your money back in Accor Points from the promotion, because 10,000 Points =  200 Euros (~ £170.00).

These big promotions can almost always be stacked with the smaller offers too, and when you factor in cashback as well, the value is fantastic.

I took advantage of the latest version myself, and ended up with over 12,000 Points (worth 240 Euros or just over £200) for spending less than £200, by the time all the bonuses and cashback are taken into account. Not bad!

Frequent Flyer Mile Bonuses

‘Le Club’ members can choose to receive frequent flyer Miles from a list of airline partners, instead of Accor Points.

The number of Miles you earn per £1.00 depends on which frequent flyer scheme you select and the hotel brand you stay at (read the details in our ‘Le Club’ Guide), but in most cases it is equivalent to one Mile for two Accor Points.

Bearing in mind an Accor Point has a fixed value of 2 euro cents, this is a bad deal –  valuing frequent flyer Miles at 4 euro cents (~ 3.4p) each. The one major exception is Iberia Plus, where the ratio is one Avios for one Accor Point – valuing Avios at about 1.7p, which is still far from great.

iberia plus sale

In addition to the various offers for bonus Accor Points, there is usually a selection of frequent flyer Mile bonuses for some of the partner airlines too. These are generally for double or treble Miles, but when Accor are feeling particularly generous, they sometimes offer a fixed amount of Miles per stay, rather than just multiplying the normal earnings rate. Most of these sort of offers are for 1,000-2,000 Miles, which isn’t bad at all for a cheap one-night stay.

Occasionally, they offer even more Miles. The highest I’ve ever seen was at the end of 2014 when there was an offer for 5,000 Air Canada Aeroplan Miles per stay!

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Air Canada Business Class

Bear in mind that a £25.00 ‘Happy Mondays’ stay at an Ibis was sufficient to get the bonus, and that at the time you only needed 45,000 Aeroplan Miles for a one-way Business Class ticket between Europe and North America, and you can see how absurdly generous this was.

I don’t expect to see anything quite as generous as that in the foreseeable, but you just never know…We’ll be sure to keep readers updated with the latest offers, and advice on how to best take advantage!

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