How I got Le Club AccorHotels Gold Status without staying at any Accor Hotels
In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus or affiliate income for anyone that makes a purchase through some of the below links. This helps to support the running of this website. Opinions expressed here are mine alone, and the article has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any company.
So last week, I showed you how you can 'acquire' elite status with four different hire car companies without hiring a car. This week, I am showing you how you can receive Gold elite status with Le Club AccorHotels, without booking a hotel stay.
What is Le Club?
- Raffles Hotels & Resorts
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
- Grand Mercure
- The Sebel
- Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts
- Suite Novotel
- Mama Shelter
- Adagio / Adagio Access
- Ibis Styles
- Ibis Budget
- Hotel F1
- Thalassa Sea & Spa
While the brand portfolio is quite extensive, your Le Club membership is only valid at (most) Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis styles, Adagio, Adagio Access, The Sebel, Grand Mercure and Thalassa sea & spa hotels. Swissôtel, Raffles and Fairmont, for example, are recent brand acquisitions and currently retain their own membership programmes.
However with your membership still being valid at around 3,400 hotels - that's still quite an extensive reach. AccorHotels can be found in 92 countries, with a strong presence in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.
The Le Club AccorHotels program lets members earn Le Club points around the world on all expenditure in participating hotels from AccorHotels group.
Points are valid for life and have no expiry date, as long as members stay at a participating hotels from AccorHotels group at least once a year. Depending on how often used, the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty card enables members to earn more and more points and enjoy exclusive advantages by gaining access to the Le Club AccorHotels Silver, Gold and Platinum elite statuses.
When transferring to a higher status, Le Club AccorHotels members multiply their points, receive exclusive special attention and privileges during each stay, personalised welcome, welcome drink, room upgrade, private sales, etc.
What can I do with the Le Club points?
From 2,000 Le Club points, members can spend their points on a wide choice of rewards:
- Members can directly deduct points from the cost of their stay when booking on AccorHotels.com or participating AccorHotels brand websites.
- Le Club AccorHotels members can also convert their points into hotel vouchers or partner vouchers of a value of €40 (or currency equivalent, depending on where the hotel is located in the world).
- Le Club AccorHotels points can be freely transformed into air miles / points from a wide choice of flight company loyalty programs.
- Members can also choose to convert all or some of their points into donations to charity.
What do I get with Le Club AccorHotels Gold Status?
While I find that the programme doesn't compare well to others, such as Hilton and Starwood Preferred Guest, it's still useful to have some sort of status when you're travelling and where you may find yourself needing to stay at one of their hotels.
To acquire Gold Status, you would usually need 30 nights or 7,000 Status points. 30 nights is a lot of loyalty to one hotel chain, especially for those mainly going overseas on holiday breaks.
The benefits you receive from Gold Status include:
- Member Rate
- Priority Check-in
- Enjoy exclusive rates 48 hours before everyone else, twice a year
- Free Internet worldwide
- Le Club AccorHotels Customer Care
- Welcome drink (at select hotels)
- Late check-out on request
- Guaranteed room availability up to 3 days before arrival
- VIP Treatment
- Upgrade to the next available room (at select hotels)
- Additional benefits depending on brand
So.... How do I get Gold?
Well, you purchase the Ibis Business card, of course!
For only 90 Euros (NZ$133/AU$124/SG$135/US$95), you can receive a Le Club AccorHotels Gold status, and the following benefits at Ibis Hotels:
- 10% discount on your room, and a second room during the same stay, from the best current flexible rate
- 10% discount on breakfast
- 10% discount on your expenses at the restaurant and bar, even if you are not staying at the hotel
- 5% additional discount in promotional rates
- Guaranteed room availability when booking made at least 48 hours before the date of arrival
As a bonus, if you purchase the Ibis Business card on the same day that you stay at an Ibis Budget Hotel, you'll be reimbursed 30 Euros.
You'll be able to instantly enjoy your benefits as soon as you join.
Keeping Gold status is easy - you'll just continue to pay the same rate on an annual basis.
While your Gold status is available all across the AccorHotels network, there are a few exceptions for your Ibis benefits. For example, hotels in China and a few in France do not participate in the programme. The full list can be found here.
For the guaranteed room availability benefit, the rate charged will be at the ibis BUSINESS rate (excluding preferential rates on general public promotions) and only to the room that you are occupying.
If the hotel is unable to honor this availability guarantee, it is obliged to find you alternative accommodation nearby in another ibis family hotel or in a hotel of an equivalent category. If you are relocated to a non-ibis hotel, the hotel that relocated you will reimburse you, on presentation of a supporting invoice, for any difference in accommodation price for the first night as well as any travel costs incurred.
In case of special events leading to high demand at the selected destination, you won't be able to take advantage of the guaranteed room availability. In the last quarter of each year, the official calendar of unavailable dates for the following year is made available. You'll be able to find all the locations and dates here.
In order to ensure that you benefit from the availability guarantee, you must always make an express request for this when booking.
Full T&Cs of the programme can be found here.
Any other ways I can save with AccorHotels?
If you're from Australia, sign up with CashRewards - you can get 4.8% cashback on any booking through the AccorHotels website.
If you're from New Zealand, sign up with Lyoness - you can get 2% cashback.
This has to be one of the easiest ways to acquire elite membership with one of the world's largest hotel chains - yes it costs you a bit of money, and no you won't get free breakfast or club access like you do with Gold status at some of the other chains - however the room upgrades often pay for themselves, if you're lucky enough to receive one. Also, if you find yourself frequently staying at Ibis branded hotels, the discounts can quickly add up, and then the membership can pay for itself.
And yes - you can try matching this status with other chains. For example, Hilton will match Le Club AccorHotels Gold Status with Hilton Honors Gold Status (for at least 90 days). This will give you access to guaranteed complimentary continental breakfast for you and one other guest at any Hilton Hotel - this can often be worth US$20 per person per night, which adds up quickly if you're staying for 4-5 nights, for example. You can also try this with other chains. There are definitely ways to recoup the 90 Euro fee if you're travelling for even a few weeks per year.
Tell us your experiences with using this deal, in the comments section below.