I have written before about the points-earning ‘Places’ app run by Le Club AccorHotels (the loyalty scheme for Ibis, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, M Gallery etc). I had never managed to try it until last month, when I found myself in the Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s hotel.
(Whilst I’m not reviewing the Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s hotel, I do recommend it. It is far better than your average Mercure – the only reason it isn’t a Novotel is that there is a Novotel directly behind it, and with minor upgrades it could be a Pullman given its good swimming pool and a restaurant which opens out into the Winter Gardens. The junior suites are a good size and overlook the dancing fountains outside.)
Accor’s ‘Places’ app offers bonus points on every stay when you do a ‘virtual check-in’ via their special app during or after your visit.
You will need to download the Places’ app for your iOS or Android device. The links for the downloads are here. There is also a Facebook app you can add if you don’t want the smartphone version.
Here is a dummy screen which shows lots of activity:
Here is my actual screenshot which shows very little activity! Click to enlarge:
Each time you are staying at an Accor property – you cannot earn points simply by popping in – you open the ‘Places’ app and register. As long as your Le Club account shows that you are staying at the property, you will earn points. Accor is very slow at adding new hotels to the app, unfortunately, which I why I couldn’t use it when I reviewed the new Novotel London Blackfriars a couple of years ago.
You do NOT have to access the app whilst you are physically in the property. You can check in retrospectively for up to six months after checking out.
The different ‘badges’ that you can collect are listed in the app. You start by earning 50 Le Club AccorHotels points on your first check-in and then proceed to higher bonuses based on multiple stays at different brands (or the same brand) or different countries. Three stays at the same hotel earns 300 points, for example, whilst five stays at different Accor hotels also earns 300 points.
The 50 points from my Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s check-in posted promptly to my Accor account. They were automatically sent over to my Iberia Plus account which got me 50 Avios, as my account is set to auto-transfer.
I would got better value saving them up for a hotel voucher – Accor points have a fixed value of 2 Eurocents per point – but you need a minimum of 2,000 points to convert and I will never reach that.
Whilst none of the ‘Places’ bonuses will make you points rich, there is enough there to justify the few seconds work required to ‘check in’. You can find out more by watching the short video here.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)