Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Collect Flying Blue miles or use Accor hotels? You can double dip

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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. This is the final one

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, I showed how I turned a £65 investment in an ibis Business card into €189.

Accor Flying Blue partnership

In Part 3, below, I will show you how I picked up an extra 2,000 Accor Live Limitless points due to their partnership with Flying Blue.

It is now almost three years since Accor Live Limitless, the loyalty scheme for Novotel, Ibis, Mercure, Sofitel etc, and Flying Blue, the loyalty scheme for Air France and KLM, launched their partnership.

It is a genuine improvement and EVERYONE benefits.  Despite this, it has a very low profile and I think many HfP readers are not even aware it exists.

This is a clear win for anyone who either flies on Air France KLM or stays in Accor hotels.  You are going to be better off.

You can find full details, and register, on the Accor website here.

How does the Accor and Flying Blue partnership work?

This is going to get a little complicated, so let’s start with a simple overview:

Accor Flying Blue partnership

As you can see:

  • When you stay at Accor hotels, you will earn 1 Flying Blue airline mile per €1 – on top of the Accor points you would usually earn
  • When you fly with Air France or KLM, you will earn 1 Accor hotel point per €2 – on top of the Flying Blue miles you would usually earn

You can only be better off by registering for this offer.  There is no downside.

There is a tiny bit of small print on the Accor offer.  Stays at their low end brands (Adagio, Adagio Access, ibis, ibis Styles and Mama Shelter) earn miles at lower rates.

Accor Flying Blue Air France KLM partnership

You can also transfer Flying Blue miles into Accor points

You have always been able to transfer Accor points into Flying Blue at the rate of:

  • 2,000 Accor points = 1,000 Flying Blue miles

However, you can now transfer the other way too:

  • 4,000 Flying Blue miles = 1,000 Accor points

What happened after my Barbados stay?

My base spend, converted in to Euros, was just over €7,500 excluding taxes. (Yes, I know, but Barbados luxury hotels at October half-term are never going to be cheap, and when you have two rooms ….)

This got me just over 7,500 miles in Flying Blue – or it will then they post. No sign yet ….

I have no interest, at all, in 7,500 Flying Blue miles. Even ignoring their tough expiry policy, I have over 1 million Virgin Points which I can use to book Air France or KLM flights.

What I intend to do, when the miles post, is to transfer 500 American Express Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue.

This will take me to 8,000 Flying Blue miles, which I can transfer to 2,000 Accor Live Limitless points. It will take my points from my stay from 28,000 to 30,000.

If no good Accor Live Limitless redemptions turn up, the 2,000 Accor points I got from my 8,000 Flying Blue miles can be turned into 2,000 Avios via Iberia Plus.

Accor Flying Blue partnership

There is a sign-up offer too

There is even a sign-up offer if you link your Accor and Flying Blue accounts:

You receive 1 Accor status night and 5 Flying Blue XP status points on your next Accor stay

and

You receive 1 Accor status night and 5 Flying Blue XP status points on your next Air France or KLM flight

This has very little value in terms of getting Accor status, but is certainly useful if you collect Flying Blue points and earn status in that programme.

Again, the ability to get these sign up bonuses means that any Accor or Flying Blue member who is chasing status should sign up for this, irrespective of their interest in the other partner.

Here is the page to register your accounts, which need to be linked – click here.

Conclusion

I have not focused too heavily on Accor Live Limitless in the past, but as I was spending a lot of money in one it made sense to see how I could make the most of it. I hope these three articles proved useful.

Remember that Fairmont Great Windsor Park (website here) is gearing up to open in the New Year – I am hoping to get a sneak peak of the spa this week. Gleaneagles (reviewed here) is also about to join the Accor Live Limitless fold. If you are looking for somewhere plush for a UK weekend break, you too may be spending more time looking at Accor Live Limitless.


Accor Live Limitless update – November 2021:

Earn bonus Accor points: Accor is not currently running a global promotion

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.

Comments (40)

  • John says:

    Every time I’ve decided that an accor hotel is really the best option in terms of location for me, it has been cheaper on hotels.com – and I get the 9.1% back too

  • Alan says:

    That’s not right re needing a flight every 12 months, Rob – it’s 24 months now. They also have a very confusing system re ‘partial extending activity’ although I’ve found it extends everything so far!

    “How long are my Miles valid?expand_less
    All your Miles are valid for life as long as you take an eligible flight on Air France, KLM, Aircalin, Kenya Airways, TAROM or other airline partners at least once every 2 years, or if you’re an Elite or Elite Plus member, or if you make a purchase with an eligible co-branded credit card at least once every 2 years. These “Overall extending activities” extend the validity of all Miles 2 years from the date of the activity.

    You can also extend the validity of Miles earned with all other partners (car rental partners, hotel partners, and experience partners) for 2 years by earning Miles with any of these other partners. These “Partial extending activities” with other partners will extend the validity of Miles earned with any of these other partners by 2 years from the date of the activity. Please note, “Partial extending activities” do not extend the validity of Miles earned from “Overall extending activities”.”

    • Flying Misfit says:

      This. In simple terms, for those without high AF status or a AF credit card, the programme seperates your miles into 2 categories, those earnt from flying on the above airlines, and all the rest from other partners including erewards, accor and the like.

      I have found that an Amex MR transfer always resets the clock for 2 years on all the miles (other than the ones earnt by flying), so you end up in a situation with a twin expiry date of miles depending on how they were earnt.

      Naturally, a flight on AF for example resets all of them by 2 years.

      • Flying Misfit says:

        And to follow up on the AF scheme, I have previously credited some Garuda and China Southern J flights to them so as to take advantage of any miles generated from those flights.

        I have found the monthly award ticket promos by AF quite useful on occassion and actually providing real good value, although that was all pre pandemic.

        Not the most ideal of schemes but does have value to be found.

      • Rob says:

        Thanks, will amend.

  • Jan M says:

    Thanks! I had forgotten I had registered for this, and as a frequent KLM traveller just discovered a nice stash of ALL points. 😊

  • Max says:

    I have 9000 Flying Blue points expiring next month. Would transferring them to Accor points stop them expiring? – with the possibility of transferring them back to Flying Blue?

    • Rob says:

      It’s a decent way to get some value BUT there is no point transferring them back – you’ve basically destroyed all the value if you do. You’d go 8000 FB to 2000 Accor to 1000 FB.

  • DarrenS says:

    Good in theory, but I am not getting any Flying Blue miles crediting at present and Accor CS is worse than useless.

  • AlanC says:

    Award wallet informed me I have 39k AF/KLM points expiring at year end. Any advice? Cheers

    • Rob says:

      Move to Accor? Move 1k Amex offer to hit 40k, would get you 10,000 Accor so €200 of hotel room.

    • Lady London says:

      Have a drink in an Accor hotel, which you can now credit to Accor, asap to give it time for the Accor to also.credit to AF/KLM?

  • Simon Adlington says:

    Orient Express from Paris to Montreux, 6 course lunch cooked enroute by winner of the Young French Chef of the year, 2 nights in Lake View room with full board at Fairmont Hotel ,tickets for Janet Jackson one night and Chilly Gonzales the other. VIP afterparty both nights . 30,000 Accor points for 2. .What’s not to like about Accor ?

    • Rob says:

      Wow. Very tempting …. if it wasn’t for those pesky kids etc. I may post this.

  • Stuart says:

    One downside I did not see in this article. As far as I can see your status in the ALL program does not affect the amount of FB Miles you get. Since in the ALL program if you have status (Silver for me at the moment) the Reward Points are given in two separate amounts: the base Reward Points (e.g. 25 per 10EUR spent from a non-budget hotel stay) and Accelerator (e.g. 31 per 10EUR spent minus 25 per 10EUR spent as a Silver member above the baseline Classic status). It then appears that the FB Miles are based on the base Reward Points only. Correct me if I am wrong, but that is how I see it when adding up the numbers from the line entries in my ALL and FB accounts.

    • Rob says:

      That’s correct. FB points (mine finally arrived today from my Barbados trip by the way) are based on the Euro you spend, not the total number of ALL points you earn which is impacted by status bonuses.

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