I am running three articles this week to outline three hacks that I used to maximise the Accor Live Limitless points I earned on a stay in Barbados last week.
I earned Diamond status in Accor Live Limitless in just one stay, as well as picking up 30,000 points.
Part 1 of this series explains how I managed to hit Diamond because of Accor’s unique benefit of letting points from multiple rooms count towards status (click to read).
In Part 2 today, I want to show how I turned a £65 investment in an ibis Business card into €189.
EDIT: ibis Business closed in March 2023
Accor offers a paid loyalty programme for regular ibis guests – ibis Business.
You are probably thinking that “I don’t stay much in ibis hotels” and “I don’t stay much on ‘Business'”. However, ibis Business comes with a key benefit – members get Gold status in Accor Live Limitless.
Full details of ibis Business are on this page of the Accor website.
ibis Business is not free. There is a fee of £65 for one year, or £119 for two years.
My Accor Live Limitless status, originally ‘Classic’, was upgraded immediately to Gold as soon as I applied, although I have seen reports elsewhere saying that it can take a week.
Is it worth £65 to get Accor Live Limitless Gold status?
For some people, Accor Live Limitless Gold status may be worth £65 even if you rarely stay at ibis Hotels.
Gold is mid-tier status with Accor and usually requires 30 nights or €2,800 of spending per year. The benefits include:
free internet (although all UK Accor hotels offer this to everyone)
an upgrade on arrival if available
a free welcome drink
early check-in or late check-out on request
50% base points bonus (3.7 per €1 instead of 2.5 at most brands)
Note that having Accor Gold status does not make it any easier to earn Platinum or Diamond status. You would still have 0 qualifying nights and €0 of qualifying spend for the year.
Full details of Accor Live Limitless Gold benefits are on the Accor website here.
Why was this a no-brainer on my trip last week?
The only benefit that I wanted was the 50% points bonus for being Gold.
I earned 18,872 base points in Accor Live Limitless from my stay at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion. Remember that Accor counted my spend on both of the rooms we had.
18,872 base points meant that I earned a Gold status bonus of 9,435 points.
Accor points are worth 2 Eurocents each, so those 9,435 points are worth €189 of credit towards future Accor stays.
Given I paid £65 (€76) for my ibis Business card, I made a 2.5x return on my money.
In the worse case scenario, ie the points are at risk of expiring after a year because I don’t have any activity on my Accor account, I could transfer them to 9,435 Avios via Iberia Plus. This would also represent a decent deal for £65, although not as good as getting €189 of free hotel rooms.
What are the other benefits of ibis Business?
Here are the other benefits which you get as part of your ibis Business package. Remember that these benefits are ONLY valid at ibis and ibis Styles. ibis Budget is excluded.
10% discount on your room on flexible rates, and 5% on all other rates
10% discount on a room for a colleague
10% discount on restaurant and bar bills
early check-in or late check-out
guaranteed room availability up to 48 hours in advance
If you have an expensive Accor stay coming up, it may be worth paying for an ibis Business card to earn Gold status and a 50% points bonus as well as the other Accor Gold benefits.
The break-even point would be around €3,000 of spending.
Here is the maths. A €3,000 stay, net of taxes, would earn you 11,250 points as a Gold versus 7,500 points as a base level member. Those extra 3,750 points are worth €75 (£64) of credit towards future Accor stays.
Note that this strategy doesn’t work as well if you are doing lots of cheaper Accor stays. This is because you would be upgraded to Gold status anyway as soon as you hit €2,800 of spending. Someone spending a lot of money in one go would benefit more.
Accor Live Limitless update – December 2023:
Earn bonus Accor points: Accor is not currently running a global promotion
New to Accor Live Limitless? Read our review 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.