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.)

Bits: (Huge?) Qatar Airways sale starts Monday, register for triple Avios now, Hilton / American Airlines promo
New British Airways strike dates announced
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Comments

  1. Hingeless says:

    I have a Platinum Accor Plus membership, I have literally no idea how to retain plat level as my year still ends in June and they have told me I need to achieve it under the new rules!

    Oh well, I am getting bored for the lack of acknowledgement I have had from most of the hotels I stay in, i earn’t it the hard way last year so have had a lot of accor stays with very little benefit over the other levels.

    Might make me start looking at other chains more.

  2. Went from platinum to silver here.

  3. I am currently reading today’s posts from the crowne plaza executive lounge Auckland. Must beautiful lounge I have ever gazed from with a G&T and an impressive spread of canopies. As platinum I was upgraded to deluxe view but no club lounge I had to pay $40 (£22) for access to club floor room and lounge however it’s stunning and I will drink my £22 worth especially as New Zealand prices for alcohol are expensive it won’t take long to drink and eat £22

    • I got nothing as Spire last year except for late check-out. Even the wifi had a 2GB limit (somewhat understandable) but the free wifi in Britomart station was better.

      $40 is probably a good price although in the middle of summer (or what passes for summer in NZ) I wouldn’t spend any more time than I needed to in the hotel!!

  4. Sandgrounder says:

    After 3-4 years of auto renewing my Platinum status (undeserved), Accor have kicked me all the way down the stairs to Classic. I have to admit I got it from using one of the many links which were posted online, so I cannot complain. It was a good run while it lasted.

  5. BillyBoy says:

    Yet again I have been auto–renewed to Platinum despite spending less than £1k in total with Accor last year !!! Utterly rubbish IT 🙂

  6. Cheshire Pete says:

    My expiry still shows as April, not sure why I wasn’t extended until end of 2017, via Amex.

    • I have the same issue. Renewed via amex website before Accor got pulled as partner, only valid until April 2017… Rather annoying as my sister who has not been an Amex plat card holder for over 4 years, whom gets her Accor Platinum card renewed every year due to bad IT, has it valid until Dec 2017!!!

      • Genghis says:

        Mrs G and I both did the Amex Plat route just before it ended and we’ve got the status till Dec 17

  7. Philodemus says:

    Thanks for a fine article! A couple of detailed points:

    1) The rate you quote, of 25 status points for €10 spend, doesn’t apply at Ibis, where the rate is only 12.5/€10. Ibis hotels are a big part of Accor’s portfolio. Lower rates also apply at some minor brands like Mama Shelter and Adagio.

    2) It seems one can also gain Platinum by staying 60 nights, regardless of spend. This might allow one to get there more cheaply.

    • i.e. 60 x Happy Monday stays @ £25 each at Ibis hotels = Platinum for total £1500 spend?
      OR is the 60 nights in addition to the 14,000 status points?

  8. Not sure it’s planned or just rubbish IT (although I could guess), but all the status points (under the new scheme) I earned last year (under the old scheme) are showing as valid until 31/12/17, so I only need 500 to qualify for Gold (a drop from platinum). This might be a mistake but others might be in the same boat.

    • Same for me Andrew. It shows me as already requalified for platinum (more than twice over in fact!) in the “Goal” section. The number of status points and reward points I have are different but I am assuming the status ones will be reset at some point rather than carrying over as they are at the moment.

    • Kathryn says:

      Some sort of glitch in the matrix on this one.. I have 8k+ of status points, out of the 7k I supposedly need, but I’m still shown as silver. Odd..

  9. My experience as a lowly silver is always very good with Accor. Stayed at the Sofitel Heathrow last week asked how much an upgrade to a junior suite was received it free. Then with my BA Black Friday deal hopped over to Brussels with the wife and 3 year mood and again asked how much a suite was at the Sofitel Brussels told €120 per night which I politely declined only to be told it’s a free upgrade and here’s 3 drinks vouchers, have a late check out and chocolates in your room.

    Fantastic hotel! Only pain is the Heathrow booing received points but the Brussels didn’t as I booked via BA holidays but. Emailed Accor knowing the answer and they declined saying its a third party travel agent so your not entitled to points….oh well!

    • Never stayed at a Sofitel but all the other Accor brands I have stayed at are woeful at recognising status.

      • RussellH says:

        I have always been recognised in the Ibises I have stayed at following reaching silver (entirely due to e-Rewards). The drinks vouchers for myself and my partner have always been ready inside the room key wallet at check-in.

        A definite contrast with IHG which only offers one free drink to its gold members (though if you ask nicely some will slip in a second voucher).

        • I even got key and drinks voucher at an ancient Mercure outside york on happy Mondays for £40 just before Xmas!

      • Upgrades at Novotel were always offered. Not a good thing as Exec rooms have a memory foam mattress, which I truly hate.

        Pullman Cologne, no upgrades but drink vouchers. Except bar was closed for a private party!

        Mercure Leeds, one of the worst hotel rooms I ever stayed in. Connecting room door was paper thin and the guy in the next room was arguing on phone with his wife. Asked to move room to be told hotel was full, but were still selling rooms online. The one time I really wished I had left and booked elsewhere.

      • I had pretty good recognition throughout Oz with Accor – as Plat they definitely did seem to honour the ‘best available room’ upgrade, some really stunning rooms received, always with at least a half-bottle for free wine! Was very glad to have it whilst over there, will be a shame to lose it.

  10. BigDave says:

    sligthly OT but did anyone get their 1000 accor points for signing up to the meeting planner programme in June? should take 6 months to posts and well … I got a card in the post, but thats all so far

  11. Jovanna says:

    I thought I’d renewed via Amex Plat before it was pulled but received an email a couple of days ago. Now Classic!

  12. Makes no difference to me. Never received any meaningful recognition as Platinum or gold for a few years….happy as long as they dont touch their 1K = 20euro system

  13. Matthew says:

    I used to have silver, but recently at an Ibis, I bought the Ibis card, saved 10% on that booking, which paid for the card, gives me 10% off all Ibis bookings for a year, and Gold status. Silver always used to get you a free drink, sometimes just a soft drink, sometimes a beer. Worth having status, but i dont go out of my way to stay with Accor.

  14. I seem to only need another 6,500 status points to get to platinum or 25 nights (currently gold, and confusingly have 18,000 status points).

  15. My Platinum from Amex expired and I dropped to Silver, but was then immediately bumped up to Gold, presumably based on nights or points. Seems I need another 4k status points to get back to Platinum but I can’t figure out how/when I earned the 10k I’m on.

    In terms of benefits, I would heartily recommend the Novotel at Bangkok airport, where I got a room upgrade, welcome fruit and exec lounge access. Yes, your read that correctly, a Novotel with an exec lounge (and good gym, 4 restaurants, and walkable under cover to the terminal).

    Usually I’m pretty scathing about Novotel based on abysmal service at a number of their properties and the uninspiring decor and facilities. The Novotel at Bangkok airport was a very pleasant surprise and perfect before an early (cheap Qatar?!) flight back to Europe.

  16. Patrick says:

    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.

  17. 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!)

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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….

  22. 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)

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. BigDave says:

    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…

  26. 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…….

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