Accor announced initial details on Thursday morning of a plan to scrap Le Club AccorHotels and replace it with a new loyalty programme from 2020.
The new programme will be called ‘Accor Live Limitless’ (oh dear) although that does have the catchy acronym of ALL. Here is the logo:
A new elite tier will be introduced above the current Platinum level – but we don’t know what the benefits will be
Elite benefits will be improved at all levels
There will be a strong focus on ‘experiences’ redemptions – Accor has signed partnerships with entertainment organiser giants AEG and IMG to get access to their concerts and events. Over 60,000 tickets (per year?) will be available, some in private boxes, across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Accor has signed a shirt sponsorship deal for Accor Live Limitless with Paris St Germain football club, replacing Emirates.
As part of the deal, Accor Live Limitless will sponsor the Taste of London food festival in 2020 as well as the versions in Paris, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong and Toronto
The programme will include 30 brands including recent acquisitions such as Orient Express, Banyan Tree, Raffles, Delano, Angsana, SLS, OneFineStay, Mondrian, Movenpick, Fairmont and Swissotel as well as legacy brands such as Ibis, Novotel, Mercure and Pullman
The full press release is here (PDF) but isn’t hugely helpful, containing lines such as:
“Accor announces today a disruptive and dramatic shift of its loyalty program into a fully integrated global platform integrating rewards, services, and experiences across our entire ecosystem to bring value everyday life whether you work, live or play.”
Accor is investing €225m into Accor Live Limitless so it will be interesting to see what they get for their money. That said, Emirates was paying €25m-€30m per year for the Paris St Germain shirt sponsorship and reportedly walked when asked for €80m per season to renew.
There is also a new corporate logo, which looks like this:
But will Accor Live Limitless solve Accor’s fundamental problem?
The problem with Le Club AccorHotels today isn’t the lack of access to restaurant festivals or pop concerts.
It is the fact that the loyalty programme has revenue-based redemptions.
1 Accor point gets you 2 Eurocents off your next Accor hotel booking. You can transfer them to airline miles, but with a few exceptions (luckily Iberia Avios is one of them) the conversion rate is 2:1 so you are ‘paying’ a ludicrous 4 Eurocents per airline mile.
There is no incentive to build up your Accor points by doing more stays. Whether you have 2,000 or 2 million, they are only worth 2 Eurocents each.
There are no high profile redemption opportunities. If a room is €500 on a peak night, you will need a 25,000 points to book it (2 Eurocents per point) whilst when the same hotel is €100 you pay just 5,000 points. You never get that feeling you get with other programmes when you realise that you can make a huge saving on a peak night stay with just a handful of points.
For the new programme to be a success, Accor needs to:
offer aspirational redemptions at sensible points prices
give members a reason to build up their balance, since at present there is no logic to keeping more than the minimum 2,000 points in your account that is needed for a €40 hotel voucher
improve their elite benefits and make them GUARANTEED, not at the discretion of the hotel
If Accor does move away from fixed value redemptions, it would also open the door to offering transfers from American Express Membership Rewards or similar programmes.
(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.)