This article is our attempt to decide what Accor Live Limitless points are worth.
Valuing miles and points is a thankless job. We have always published articles on what Avios points are worth, but that Avios article is so complex that it simply proves my point.
In the face of constant reader requests, however, I am launching a series of articles on how we value each of the major hotel points currencies.
Our first article on ‘What are Hilton Honors points worth?’ is here. Our article on ‘What are IHG Rewards points worth?’ is here. If you read those, feel free to skip the first half of this article which repeats our methodology.
The reason I have changed my mind after all these years is that I have found a methodology that works for me. It takes a subjective valuation and then explains the boundaries around it. Or, in plain English:
- I will tell you (without justifying it) what I think an Accor Live Limitless point is worth
- I will tell you, on the upside, how far wrong I can be (which is good news)
- I will tell you, on the downside, how far wrong I can be (which is bad news)
- I will tell you what Accor Live Limitless points are worth if you turn them into something else – usually airline miles – which effectively locks in a floor value
Why I think ‘range’ is important when valuing hotel points
When we look at using Avios for business or First Class flights, the ‘cash alternative’ is often a poor comparison. Most HfP readers don’t want to, or simply can’t afford to, pay cash for business or First Class flights. Their choice is Avios or nothing. Even if you can afford to pay, what are you comparing with? A cheap non-refundable sale flight? A pricier flexible ticket? The cost of an indirect flight, not on BA?
Hotels redemptions are different:
- you stay in far more hotels each year compared to the number of premium cabin flights you take, so you can be selective about when you use points
- you can usually afford to pay for a hotel if you choose not to use points
- there are far more options in the hotel market than in the flight market – most people only have a lot of miles in one airline programme, whereas you are likely to hold hotel points in multiple schemes
It is easy to sit on hotel points until you get a good deal
The net result of the three facts above is that it is easy to turn down a hotel redemption when it doesn’t seem like good value. You can pay cash or redeem via another hotel scheme instead.
Here is the crux of what I am trying to say. If you compare two hotel schemes:
- scheme A usually gets you 0.3p per point but if you are lucky you can get 1p
- scheme B usually gets you 0.4p per point but if you are lucky you can get 0.6p
…. scheme A may actually be the best.
Most people who try to ‘value’ hotel points don’t take this into account.
If you redeemed points for every stay you did, regardless of the cash price, scheme B would be the best. No-one does this though. In reality you can pay cash for your stays in scheme A until the day when a bumper redemption arrives and you can get 1p.
Here’s a real example. I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.5p as this article explains. If you do 20 Marriott hotel stays and use Bonvoy points for all of them, I think you will average 0.5p, give or take.
However, in December 2020, I redeemed 400,000 points for two villas at The Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert in Ras Al-Khaimah. This would have cost £4,800 for cash, which I would have paid if necessary. I got 1.2p per point. It justified all of the Marriott stays where I paid cash rather than redeem for 0.5p per point.
What are Accor Live Limitless points worth?
With our methodology out of the way, let’s take a look at what Accor Live Limitless points are worth.
To keep things simple, we do not adjust for the fact that you would earn points back if you paid cash instead. This can have a noticeable impact when generous bonuses are running.
Accor Live Limitless is different to other hotel programmes
Eagle eyed readers will notice that – as we covering hotel programme alphabetically – we should have covered Accor Live Limitless first. The reason we didn’t is that Accor Live Limitless is different to other hotel schemes and I wanted to get this series into its stride before coming to it.
For all of the other programmes we cover, our valuation is an educated estimate based on years of redeeming points. For Accor Live Limitless, it is NOT a guess. Your points have a fixed cash value.
This is both good and bad. The real problem it causes is psychological. It is difficult to get excited about Accor Live Limitless because you can never ‘beat the system’.
Redeem in the Ibis Rotherham East or the Raffles Maldives Meradhoo resort and you get the same value per point. There is no logical reason to save your points for a high value redemption, and as you can never be sure that Accor won’t devalue it could even be risky. ‘Earn and burn’ is the logical option with Accor.
‘Earn and burn’ is bad for Accor. Members do not build up huge balances – there is no reason to do so – and so the programme sees cash going out more quickly than it otherwise would. Members are not incentivised to spend at Accor because there is no reason to target ‘aspirational’ redemptions.
The HfP average valuation of an Accor Live Limitless point:
2.0 Eurocents (currently 1.72p)
This is not an estimate. It is your guaranteed return when you redeem Accor Live Limitless points for payment towards a hotel room.
The only caveat is that you may want to adjust downwards to offset the fact that you do not earn points on redemption stays. The higher your status in Accor Live Limitless, the more points you would have earned if you had paid cash.
How high can value go on the upside?
Because your reward is fixed, you can’t do better than 2.0 Eurocents per point. Don’t hoard your points.
If you want to extract maximum value, redeem at a hotel which charges in Euro. You will receive the full 2 Eurocents per point without being hit by a potentially dubious FX calculation by Accor.
There is one exception. Accor runs a small events programme via the Accor Experiences website.
Events promoted on this page tend to be offered VERY cheaply compared to what you get. For example, at the 2021 Taste of London food festival, it offered a set menu meal for two people, with wine pairings, in a private dining room at Taste plus tickets for fast track entry plus a goody bag for as little as 2,000 points for two people. This was worth substantially more than the €40 of hotel credit you would get otherwise.
Accor runs very few UK events via this platform so it isn’t a realistic route for spending large amounts of points. That said, I have a stay at the Fairmont Barbados in October which will generate a lot of points and I am tempted to sit on them for a potential future Accor Experiences event.
How low can value go on the downside?
There is never a bad day to redeem Accor Live Limitless points. You will receive 2 Eurocents per point everywhere, on every day.
Some people clearly value this level of certainty or Accor would not continue offering it. If you are reading this website, however, I imagine that you are the sort of person who wants to maximise their returns via a higher than usual ‘pence per point’ redemption. Accor Live Limitless is not the programme for you.
If Accor Live Limitless devalues hugely tomorrow, what is my escape route?
This is our floor price. What can you do with your points if Accor Live Limitless devalues massively overnight? It could, with very little IT trouble, change the rate from 2 Eurocents to 2.5 Eurocents or worse.
With Accor Live Limitless, the best value is to convert your points to airline miles.
What is confusing about Accor is that there are generally two different rates used for converting to airline miles. Some programmes convert at 2:1 whilst others convert at 1:1.
Even more confusing is that:
- Accor to Iberia Plus Avios is 1:1 but
- Accor to British Airways Executive Club Avios is 2:1
If you are converting Accor Live Limitless points to Avios, send them to an Iberia Plus account and use ‘Combine My Avios’ – explained here – to move them to British Airways Executive Club. You will double the Avios you receive.
Head for Points values airline miles at 1p, for simplicity.
This means that, converting Accor Live Limitless points to Iberia Plus Avios, you are getting 1p (1.15 Eurocents) per Accor point. You are losing 40% of their value compared to redeeming for a hotel room.
Looked at from the other direction, you are ‘paying’ 1.72p per Avios, which is too high.
If your preferred airline partner has a 2:1 conversion rate from Accor, moving Accor points to miles is a terrible deal. You are giving up 4 Eurocents (3.45p) of hotel room for every airline mile you receive.
In summary …. what do we think Accor Live Limitless points are worth?
- on average: 2.0 Eurocents (1.72p) per point – this isn’t an estimate, it is a fact
- on a very good day: 2.0 Eurocents per point unless you get lucky with an Accor Experiences event ticket
- on a bad day: 2.0 Eurocents per point
- if you transfer out in a worse case scenario: 0.5p or 1p per Accor point, depending on the transfer rate to your preferred frequent flyer programme
The bottom line with Accor Live Limitless is that there is no point saving up for a bumper redemption at a luxury resort because revenue-based pricing makes those rewards no better value than your local Novotel.
As soon as your balance reaches 2,000 points, you should pull the trigger and redeem for a €40 discount on your next booking. There is no value in holding on.
Accor Live Limitless update – August 2021:
Earn bonus Accor points: You will receive double base points on Accor stays in the UK and Europe until 5th September 2021, but you must register before booking. You can register here.
New to Accor Live Limitless? Read our overview of Accor Live Limitless here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our analysis of what Accor Live Limitless points are worth is here.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Accor and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.