New Accor rules on gaining and keeping status now in place – be aware!

On 1st January, Le Club AccorHotels (the loyalty scheme for Mercure, Novotel, M Gallery, Sofitel, Ibis etc) made some sweeping changes to its programme.

We had received plenty of notice, but it will still come as a bit of a jolt to anyone who used to earn Accor status via promotions.

Accor runs a lot of generous promotions offering bonus points.  We saw offers last year offering 10,000 points – which converted to 10,000 Avios – for just four stays.  Those bonus points count towards status.   Status stay bonuses also counted, so once you had status it was easier to keep it.  This meant that hitting the 25,000 point annual target for Platinum was not too tricky.

No longer.

On 1st January 2017, Accor changed the way you earn status in its programme. 

Full details are on the Accor website here.

Le Club AccorHotels 2017 changes

There are a lot of moving parts here, but the headline changes are:

Status bonuses no longer count towards status

Point bonuses no longer count towards status

Points earned via the Places Facebook app or from partners (admittedly, there are not many of those) no longer count towards status

The number of points required to achieve or retain status is being reduced – but probably not by enough to make up for the three factors above

The net result is very simple.  The only points that count towards status are the base points from your stays or by holding a meeting.

You now need to earn 14,000 status points (was 25,000) to retain or earn Platinum status.   You will earn 25 status points for every €10 spent.

Gold status will require 30 nights or 7,000 status points (was 10,000).  Silver needs 10 nights or 2,000 status points (was 2,500).

This means that Platinum will require (14,000 / 2.5) €5,600 of pre-tax spending or 60 nights.  This is not completely bonkers – Marriott requires 75 nights for top tier status – but will not be easy given that the majority of Accor hotels are midrange and priced accordingly.

Status moves to a calendar year basis

The programme has also moved to a calendar year basis.  Historically, you would earn status based on a rolling 12-month period which was handy if you had a major overseas project running from, say, October to February.

This new structure is easier to understand.  Some people will benefit because you can technically get status for up to 23 months if you hit it very early in the calendar year with an expensive stay in January.  This is because you get your new status for the rest of the current calendar year and all of the following year.

It is not clear if you get a ‘soft landing’ or not if you fail to requalify.  There is an example on the website of a member dropping from Gold to Silver – as opposed to Gold to nothing – but the example is based on the member earning 3,000 status points which have got them Silver anyway.

You can read more about the changes on the Accor website here.

Sofitel St James 350

Coupled with the loss of free Accor Platinum status for holders of the American Express Platinum card – this benefit was withdrawn last April – and you may see a major thinning of the Accor elite ranks going forward.  My status, via American Express, runs until December 2017.

You could be charitable and say that thinning of the ranks should lead to better benefits for the elites that remain.  The experience from similar changes and the introduction of Spire Elite status at IHG Rewards Club is not encouraging.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. The easiest and cheapest way then is to become a shareholder

    http://www.accorhotels-group.com/en/finance/retail-shareholders/shareholders-club/benefits.html

    Gives Gold status. There are 2 ways to achieve this. Either with a single share (37 eur at the moment) but with the need of opening a securities account with BNP in France and register as a shareholder

    Or by Holding 50 bearer shares (1850 eur current prices) and sending them proof.

    Please note that I am not giving any investment advice, nor recommend buying the stock. Merely putting the available information out there.

    • I wonder if this could be a decent article for HFP, looking at the benefits that you can receive from owning shares in hotel chains?

      I see that for IHG there is “hotel discount promotion – this benefit is not available to nominee shareholders” listed on share.com and you only need 1 share to receive the benefit. An old FT thread suggests it’s usually 5% off but with no points or nights credited to your account, so a bit rubbish, but it could be interesting to get an overview in case there is some value at other hotel brands.

  2. Jason Cousins says:

    I also got dropped from the greatest height from Platinum to Classic. Not too worried though as the benefits were so limited and their footprint in America is so small, had no opportunity to build up status the hard way. They will, however, be at the bottom of the pile when choosing hotel stays in the future, especially as I have retained Spire at IHG and Diamond with Hilton this year (with grateful thanks to Headforpoints!)

  3. To be fair and I’ve not seen the criteria for it yet but Accor did take some big names under its wing and I can understand them reigning in the ability to make the top tier fairly easily.

    You can just imagine the deal and upgrade most HfP readers could get at the Raffles in Singapore or the Fairmount; or even the upgrade at the Metropole in Hanoi. I will see what happens in December, until then I’ll be churning up my Plat benefits like a goodun.

    • I left it until 31/12/16 to trigger the offer to 2 upgrade certs and Fairmont and Swissotel via Accor Plat – they’re valid for a year, tried to at least give myself the maximum chance to make use of them!

  4. O/T. I’m looking to burn some IHG points soon and do a bit of a ‘Rick Stein’ can anyone give a heads up on the basic rooms at the following:

    IC Bordeaux
    IC Porto
    IC Barcelona

    I know Rob did a review of he IC Bordeaux but can’t remember if he had he basic room for points.

  5. One of the few times my platinum status would have been any use would have been at the Pullman Auckland on Christmas day this year. However, they’d dropped me down to silver a few weeks before….

    Apart from that it has been good in the sofitel for the executive lounge, but we can get in that with the priority pass.

    So its sods law that I actually booked somewhere where it was really useful before I realised my status was gone, but apart from that, the 4-5 years I’ve had the status it has been pretty useless. A couple of few drinks which I get as silver anyway.

    So no great loss, and won’t be making any attempt to requalify. I value hiltons much more highly, I can get into some of those cheaply and get upgraded to get lounge status. I have to pay a fortune to get in a pullman/sofitel, to get a lounge in the few of those which have one.

  6. barafear799 says:

    think I need to become a shareholder.

    I clicked on the link above – so one share for around 37 Euros, plus 9 euros +VAT dealing fee – around 47 Euros – say £40.

    Gold Status……

    I have been dropped from gold to classic!! Like others, I earned my status (Platinum for one year before dropping to Gold) through the very generous promos they had on about 2 years ago – highlighted on this website.

    So can’t complain too much – but will miss room upgrades, drinks vouchers, late checkouts….all of which I enjoyed on my stay at Novotel Paddington on 1st Jan (before Accor’s IT systems had updated!) – and it was a Happy Monday rate, part paid with points.

    • If I read correctly Gold status would only be valid for one year though and then it would revert to normal rules. Still not bad though….

  7. barafear799 says:

    clearly the French stock market seem to like Accor’s “new rules” – their shares have gone up from around 33 to 38 Euros in the last month (albeit generally stocks have risen)

  8. Interesting – my Accor Plat was due to run out mid-way through the year but the updated website now has it valid until 31/12/17 – excellent!

  9. Peter Taysum says:

    I cancelled a SOFITEL stay, had confirmation but due to “an error with our systems” they took the money for one night. I got the money back (not sure if through them paying it back, or my bank reclaiming it as fraudulent activity, as I reported it as such).

    Accor won’t get my custom again.

  10. You also could get Instant gold status if you bought the IBIS business subscription for one year…
    let see if they keep that going when my silver runs out…

  11. barafear799 says:

    but is it worth buying the IBIS card for £65 unless you’ll actually get value from the “additional” discounts it offers. At least with buying one share, although it costs “roughly” the same, you’ll be able to get “most” of your money back (or even make a profit) if your gold status only lasts a year and you then decide to see your share.

    Ok – if you only buy one share, dealing costs might eat into that…….