Is the super generous Accor points to Avios conversion rate going away?

Accor – the Sofitel / Novotel / Mercure / Ibis hotel group – runs their loyalty scheme slightly differently to most.

Instead of collecting points to redeem for free nights, you can only redeem your points for money off vouchers.  This took a lot of fun out of the scheme, since there was no possible arbitrage (ie no fun in finding very expensive hotels offered at very low points levels).

Le Club Accorhotels

For Avios collectors, due to a unique arbitrage, the money-off vouchers have historically been a poor way of using your points compared to converting to Avios!  You had to convert to Iberia to exploit this, though.

For historical reasons, Iberia has always had a more generous deal with Accor than British Airways for converting points to airline miles.  It didn’t matter when each scheme was separate, but since Avios was launched as the common currency, the arbitrage was just weird!  The exchange rate was:

  • 2,000 points = 2,000 British Airways Avios, but …
  • 2,000 points = 5,000 Iberia Plus Avios

You therefore got 250% more Avios by converting to Iberia and then using ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them to BAEC!

On this basis, 2,000 points would get you 5,000 Avios or an €40 discount.  This means that you are ‘buying’ Avios for around 0.6p each, which is a great deal!  Frankly, forget the vouchers!

However, this deal may be going away.  The ability to transfer points to Iberia via Accor is ‘temporarily unavailable’.  Members have been told that it is returning soon ‘following the implementation of a new deal between Iberia and Accor’.

However, there is a very real possibility that these extremely generous rates will no longer exist when the conversion does return.  And it is too late to convert now if you haven’t already.  Let’s see.

New Priority Club 40,000 point credit card link available
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Comments

  1. And annoyingly you had to hit 5k before being allowed to transfer points anywhere, so despite knowing about this deal I’ve still been stuck with Accor points.

    • gagravarr says:

      Auto-convert doesn’t have the same limit – for most (but apparently not all) people an auto-convert Iberia transfer will trigger on a single point. Too late for you now though…

      • My understanding is that for auto-convert you still need to hit the 5k target before it starts auto converting. I’ve had it set the whole time (for IB naturally!), but despite 2.5k posting none of it has converted.

        • gagravarr says:

          I think you’re in the “unlucky” bucket then. For myself, and most other people who have commented on it here or on flytalk, you set up auto-convert and as soon as you earn points they transfer over, even if it’s just a few tens of points. I set it up when I had a zero balance, and it’s always just gone, no waiting / building up.

          • Damn! I’d definitely read some others that hadn’t auto converted too, but annoying to know it has worked for many! Out of interest did this apply to promotional points too? (that’s what all of mine have been!)

          • gagravarr says:

            Yup, stays, facebook games and facebook places (in the rare event that that works) all went across just the same

          • @gagravarr – hmm, I’ve had no valid stays yet (all mine were ineligible rates) so I’ve only had promo points – perhaps that’s why?

        • You need to visit this link first – I tried it on a new account (with platinum status from Raffles’ earlier post) and it worked, but didn’t work on a second account.

          It definitely worked on a 3rd account which I used during the Facebook contest

          http://s-leclub.accorhotels.com/burn-auto-fast-track-init.action?lang=en&promotionCode=FFPBAS01T&programName=Iberia%20Plus

          The program name in the URL doesn’t seem to affect anything, i.e. it appears to just activate no min transfer to the program you choose

          • I meant, I just tried it today and it apparently worked on one but not the other; but definitely worked in November

          • Tried the link and it says “The given promotion code is not usable anymore”

          • PS just checked my email from when I activated auto-convert – they said:

            “Dear Alan,

            You have asked for your Le Club Accorhotels points to be automatically transferred to your Iberia airline Frequent Flyer program account. Each time that your Le Club Accorhotels points balance reaches 3,000, your Le Club Accorhotels points will be automatically transferred to your Frequent Flyer account.

            It’s an ideal way to get a premium ticket even more quickly and jet off to your destination of choice!

            If you would like to keep your points and stop converting your Le Club Accorhotels points automatically, simply connect to your client space on http://www.accorhotels.com.

            Please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team or to consult the FAQ section on the accorhotels.com website for more information.

            See you soon,

            Your Le Club Accorhotels team ”

            So sounds like there were some promo links that allowed immediate transfers, but the default was only at a 3k level.

  2. Can you transfer membership awards to accor points?
    If yes how do I do that?
    And would it then be worth it to transfer from membership rewards to accor and then on to avios?

  3. So glad I transferred 45,000 points from Accor to IB in November :-)

  4. gagravarr says:

    Accor have also announced that fairly soon (it’s being rolled out to different hotels over time) you’ll be able to use your Le Club points to book discounted advanced-purchase rooms online, fixing the previous large disadvantage that you could only use the vouchers on fully-flexible rates. The LeClub flyertalk forum has the info, but not sure it makes up for the Iberia change

  5. I have just successfully transferred 3000 Accor points to 7500 Iberia Avios – the conversion appears to be back. I will be checking my Iberia account carefully that the conversion is honoured.

    • Excellent news!

    • Great it’s back (and I had to switch autoconvert back on as their temporary removal of Iberia seems to have switched it off), but sadly at 2500 pts I’m still finding my convert button greyed out (whether autoconvert is on or not).

      Anyone know an easy way to get 500 Accor points? Would be nice to hit the 3k mark and turn them into 7.5k Avios!

  6. Whohooo, just converted 6000 Accor points to 15k avios, can’t wait for them to post!