The Le Club AccorHotels program for Aussie business travellers

The Le Club AccorHotels program for Aussie business travellers

The Le Club AccorHotels scheme allows members to earn and redeem points at a number of business and luxury hotels in the Accor family including Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel and Mercure.

And with perks like free Internet access, room upgrades and executive lounge privileges for frequent guests, you’ll want to make a shiny Le Club AccorHotels card part of your regular travel kit.

Guests earn Le Club AccorHotels points, which can later be swapped for discounts on hotel stays or frequent flyer points with Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad and more.

Across the globe, 2,800 hotels in 92 countries are part of Le Club, providing not only blanket coverage, but also choice in most of the world’s major business destinations.

There are many reasons for Australian road warriors to befriend the Le Club AccorHotels program, so we've put together a beginner’s guide to get you started.

Le Club AccorHotels 101

Across the Accor range of brands, members can earn and redeem points with Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Mercure, Grand Mercure, The Sebel, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Ibis, Ibis Styles, Adagio and Adagio Access.

Membership comes at no charge so head to across the Accor website and enrol. You’ll receive your membership number immediately, and can start earning points straight away.

Provided you spend a night at a Le Club participating hotel every 12 months, those points will never expire.

Le Club AccorHotels tiers

Beginning at the base-level Classic tier, you’ll progress through Silver, Gold and Platinum as you begin to frequent hotels within the Accor portfolio.

The number of points earned depends on both a member’s Le Club status and the hotel brand they’re staying with.

With headquarters in Paris, the number of points earned is based on your spend in euros.

Here’s what you’ll earn in Le Club for every 10€ spent (or the equivalent in a hotel’s local currency):

Hotel / Status Classic Silver Gold Platinum
Sofitel 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
Pullman 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
Grand Mercure 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
M Gallery 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
The Sebel 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
Novotel 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
Suite Novotel 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
Mercure 25 points 31 points 37 points 44 points
Ibis 12.5 points 15.5 points 18.5 points 22 points
Ibis Styles 12.5 points 15.5 points 18.5 points 22 points
Adagio 10 points 12.5 points 15 points 17.5 points
Adagio Access 5 points 6.25 points 7.5 points 8.75 points

Straight off the bat, Classic members can use hotel priority check-in desks, get free Internet in most hotels and have access to private sale rates available through the Accor website from time to time.

Moving up through the program, higher status levels can be reached by either the number of nights spent in Accor hotels each year, or the number of Le Club points earned throughout the same period.

That’s different to both Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), which also consider the number of stays made each year when awarding status.

For travellers who often spend just one night in a given hotel, it’s a great way to recognise what still amounts to very frequent travel, although unfortunately isn’t part of Le Club AccorHotels.

That aside, there’s no requirement to hit both the number of nights and the number of points earned in a year – regardless of how you’ve qualified, you’ll automatically move up the ladder.

Le Club AccorHotels Silver

After spending 10 nights in Accor’s hotels within a twelve month period or earning 2,500 points throughout the year, you’ll progress from Classic to Silver status.

Silver members go from earning 25 points per 10€ to 31 points on the same spend at most brands, with the earn rates at budget hotels also seeing an increase.

Where not already offered, in-room Internet access is free – although in many cases it’s the same low-speed connection available to all guests, with faster downloads a chargeable extra.

Free web-enabled computers are also available for use in many Accor lobbies...

These guests also enjoy a welcome drink at Novotel and Suite Novotel and can take advantage of a free late check-out at all brands, where hotel capacity permits.

Le Club AccorHotels Gold

Thirty nights over 12 months will bump you up to Gold, as will earning 10,000 points over the same period.

Topping the Silver benefits, Gold-level guests receive a welcome drink at all Accor properties along with a room upgrade to a higher category if available for the full duration of the stay.

While late check-out remains an option, members can instead check-in early at no extra charge, but it’s not guaranteed and depends on the rooms available at the hotel.

Even in fully-booked hotels, Gold members can often grab a room when booking at least three days before the planned arrival date, although the perk isn’t honoured during the busiest times of the year, which makes it less useful.

At the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney, you won’t have any luck on New Year’s Eve or around the NRL final, for example.

Similar rules apply at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, which bars elite members from procuring VIP rooms during the Melbourne Cup, the AFL grand final and the Australian Open.

Members are also entitled to non-descript ‘VIP treatment’, which can encompass little niceties such as welcome gifts or handwritten cards from a hotel’s manager.

Here's an example from the luxe Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, which included fruit, chocolate, bottled water and a signed card:

Le Club AccorHotels Platinum

At the top of the pecking order is Platinum, yours each year after either 60 nights or a haul exceeding 25,000 points.

Improving on the benefits given to Gold members, Platinum guests can take advantage of guaranteed room availability when booking at least two days before arrival, although the same blackout periods still apply.

Platinum members can also make use of any available Executive Lounge, with the unfortunate exception of the Sofitel properties in Sydney and Melbourne.

While it depends on the specific hotel, Executive Lounges typically offer breakfast, snacks throughout the day and evening drinks and canapés.

Unlike Gold, Platinum members can settle in their rooms before the published check-in time and can also take a late check-out – so you won't have to decide between one or the other if both are available during your stay.

Other benefits are also available and differ between the various brands.

At Pullman hotels, Platinum members enjoy complimentary pressing of one garment, while at M Gallery, you can drink all of the mini bar’s non-alcoholic beverages without being charged a penny.

The Sebel hotels upgrade their elite Platinum guests to the best available room in the hotel – including suites – and most properties provide a 10% discount on in-house spa treatments where offered.

Earning Le Club AccorHotels points

Within Australia, Accor has properties spanning most of the country's capital cities and an extensive list of regional areas.

At 25 points per 10€, an overnight stay with a A$200 room rate and $25 spent on room service would earn around 382 points at most brands including Sofitel, Novotel and Pullman, based on the exchange rate on July 10 2015.

On that same spend, Silver members pocket 474 points, Gold members pick-up 565 points, and Platinum-grade travellers amass an impressive 672 points.

Redeeming Le Club AccorHotels points

Points in the Le Club AccorHotels program are best traded for either discounts on hotel stays or for airline points or miles.

For the former, proceed to book your stay as normal, but keep your eyes peeled for this option on the payment page:

Two thousand points can be exchanged for a 40€ discount, which at the time of booking converted to A$58.15:

Alternately, after piling up 4,000 Le Club points, you can swap your hard-earned bounty for Qantas Frequent Flyer points on a 1:1 basis.

With as many Le Club points currently returning A$119.17 on hotel bookings, only you can decide if 4,000 Qantas Points are really worth 2.98 cents each in lost discounts.

Also partner to Le Club AccorHotels are the likes of Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad, but Le Club points funnel across on a 2:1 basis to these airlines, which presents less value.

The bottom line: if you normally swap Qantas Points for business or first class travel, you’re better off shipping Le Club points straight across to Qantas.

On the other hand, redeeming Qantas Points for economy flights already represents relatively poor value, in which case you’re best to use Le Club points for discounts with Accor.

Also read: Your guide to the Accor Plus program

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

14 comments

  • Peter Loh

    PeterLoh

    24 Jul, 2014 11:47 am

    No mention of Accor Advantage Plus?

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    24 Jul, 2014 12:57 pm

    Indeed not – AAP is a different program entirely with a different set of benefits, and one that could be covered in a separate article (similar to Marco Polo and Asia Miles for Cathay Pacific).

    No member give thanks

  • Brent

    bammac

    24 Jul, 2014 02:01 pm

    I wonder if the program has improved since I last bothered with it a few years ago. Many hotels were indifferent to the platinum status and I would have to remind them of the benefits I'm entitled to. Some hotels in the group don't acknowledge the program, others do in a different city.

    Then my wife and I suffer through aggresive phone monkeys try to push the Accor Advantage Plus.

    Overall it felt like an after thought back then, has things changed for the better?

    No member give thanks

  • factfinder

    factfinder

    25 Jul, 2014 09:23 pm

    Yes, things have changed - but whether for the better or not - yet to see. 

    No member give thanks

  • Bavarian

    Bavarian

    30 Jul, 2014 05:01 am

    This is my experience with Accor as well: Never got points posted to my profile, never been treated as Platinum, even though I had this status due to a promotion, never seen any benefits and usually crappy service. No way I would stay with them again, any other chain does better. So there is no reason.
    Member who gave thanks

    Lmc

  • jack3

    jack3

    24 Jul, 2014 08:28 pm

    Accor club is the only loyalty club that I know of that sends you a new card when the loyalty level changes - together with a new membership number. They have now since removed $US dollar redemption, but previously they set their own US$ to A$ exchange rate which was complete rip off. Finally the sofitels in Brisbane and Gold Coast are now offering accor points, which is good. Looks like they have added benefits of membership which in the past close to non-existant.

    No member give thanks

  • Jason

    cooper81

    24 Jul, 2014 08:55 pm

    Does anyone know why Platinum members receive executive lounge access from Amsterdam to Zurich with the only two worldwide exceptions being Sydney and Melbourne Sofitels?  Last time I stayed at the Sofitel Sydney I asked and was unable to be given an answer.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    25 Jul, 2014 10:46 am

    Don't forget the Sofitel Brisbane too – no access there.

    No member give thanks

  • Michael Michael Harrison

    Mike747

    25 Jul, 2014 10:06 am

    One of their managers recently told me that they don't give any upgrades until very late in the day in case they can sell the room at a higher price.

    No member give thanks

  • Michael Gibbons

    rowwdy

    25 Jul, 2014 10:09 am

    The benefits to Le Club are good, but beware of the booking system (app) when in Europe. I've been put in a smokers room prior to a marathon (which the hotel was sponsoring), and it has booked me in twice on the same night, with the hotel refusing to refund the second booking. I discovered that the international help centre was less than helpful in sorting the problem out, and reading some articles, found this to be common. The trick is to get onto Customer Relations in Australia. They are very helpful, and in my instance, managed to make the hotel refund the excess room.

    No member give thanks

  • Rolof

    Rolof

    25 Jul, 2014 01:18 pm

    All well and good - only problem with this program is that they have a shifting anniversary for accumulating points and night, unlike Frequet flyer points where you have an anniversary of beginning and your status is assessed on one day anually this system changes daily making it hard to move up the scale.

    No member give thanks

  • factfinder

    factfinder

    25 Jul, 2014 09:20 pm

    A lot of the information posted here is put together from the accorhotel website - and is appreciated - and I thank the author. However the below are my personal experiences with Accor - as previous Platinum and Gold tiers and now Gold tier (from a co-recognition program).

    1. Previously as Platinum tier (about 2 years ago), there was no recognition at Accor properties, i.e. no room upgrades at any brand (stayed at Sofitel, Novotel and Mercure), no exec lounge access, no special late check-out (hotels are always fully booked whenever I requested late check-out) - even though these were part of the benefits. I am less inclined to think that this have changed now - because the recognition between Gold and Platinum is not quite as pronounced - considering one would have to clock 60 nights to achieve Platinum. 

    2. When in Paris last year (as the author indicated - the HQ of LeCLub), my Gold tier status was not acknowledged or recognised at all by Mercure M (and that Mercure was a participating hotel). There was no room upgrade, no 'VIP' treatment, no thank you for your loyalty, etc. IMO, simply treated like any other guest - perhaps it was because I didn't speak French. 

    3. Whilst previously Platinum and Gold, Mercure and Grand Mercure Swanston also didn't provide any room upgrades - for the previous years I've stayed with them. Didn't bother to look at my card when I showed them as they only wanted last name at the check-in. That said I still chose to stay there because of the location convenience. No 'special' late check-out as compared with the Hilton. It's always the 11 am to 12 noon limit - and then hourly rate after that. Perhaps their ideal locality calls for augmented arrogance - IMO. 

    4. On the positive side, Mercure Sydney acknowledged my Gold tier, gave me a welcome drink voucher and upgraded me from a privilege room to a corner executive - that was really nice. Then also, Sofitel Broadbeach thanked me for my loyalty, provided couple chocs and upgraded to a sea-view room on a very high floor (from a city-view room purchased). Sofitel Broadbeach only granted 1 hour later check-out because "we are fully booked".  

    The above are all my personal experiences - and I think it's a hit-and-miss for LeClub (internationally and dometically); whereas under the Hilton portfolio (internationally and domestically), Gold and Diamond members' benefits and treatment are more consistent - again from experience. 

    No member give thanks

  • Jason

    cooper81

    26 Jul, 2014 06:10 am

    I agree my experiences have been much more 'hit and miss' with Accor (i'm Platinum) than with Hilton (i'm Gold).  Hilton consistently upgrade and provide lounge access across the board.  My experience with Accor has been from fantastic (most recently Sofitel Budapest and Mercure Roxy Singapore) to dire (Sofitel Sydney).  I can honestly say that within Australia I give Accor absolutely zero loyalty as I do not feel I am rewarded for it.  As a comparison I made two stays at Accor hotels last week - the Sofitel Sydney and the Mercure Roxy Singapore.  

    Sydney - checked in, loyalty not recognised.  No exec lounge access, no welcome drink.  Went to room.  Tiny basic room no view.  Phoned and asked whether I had been upgraded.  Apparently I had - I would hate to see the size of the base room then.  Enquired about a late check out - flat out no initially (without even looking at my reservation).  When I said 'even for platnimum card holders' I was given an extra hour - jeez thanks.

    Singapore - reached reception desk.  Told 'welcome back' and escorted to the executive lounge to check in.  At check in given a letter outlining the benefits I was to receive as a plat - I had been upgraded to an Executive room, Executive Club access granted, and two vouchers for a free drink in the bar.  Free breakfast in the lounge or restaurant - which ever I preferred.  Enquired about a late checkout, 16:00 granted without issue.

    If Accor hotels all followed the Singapore example I would not consider staying anywhere else for my 100-odd nights in hotels p.a.  But I am starting to lean more and more to Hilton as I find their loyalty proposition more consistent and I feel they value and reward my loyalty better than Accor.

    No member give thanks

  • Jonathan Oon

    JonOon

    4 Jan, 2016 08:37 pm

    Would anybody have any thoughts on the Le Club program vs IHG Rewards?
    Deciding between these two programs at present

    Comparing the two in terms of general quality of hotels, customer service/recognition of status and value of redeeming points for free nights.

     

    No member give thanks

Guest

26 May, 2019 04:02 am

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