Accor Hotels Introducing New Elite Benefits Including Confirmed Suite Upgrades

There’s probably no travel company that’s been as aggressively building the way that Accor Hotels has, even if they’re lesser-known in the United States.

Accor bought Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel in 2016. They bought sharing economy company onefinestay. They bought concierge company John Paul. Last year they announced the acquisition of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. They’ve made numerous other acquisitions. They talked about buying into Air France.

Fairmont Royal York Toronto

I really like Isabelle Birem, Accor’s Senior Vice-President of Loyalty. She’s always told me that they were a young program, starting out slowly with what they knew they could deliver, but that they had a big vision.

Accor has played with using biomatrics to market to loyalty program members. They’ve introduced double dipping with Air France KLM Flying Blue

Copyright: radututa / 123RF Stock Photo

The program was a few years in before they introduced early check-in, late check-out, and lounge access to the elite program. And they instructed hotels to offer surprise and delights to members that were unpublished before they were ready to roll out more consistent benefit delivery.

In February they announced new branding for their loyalty program to encompass earning and benefits across over 4000 properties and 30 brands (not all brands participate yet). The new program is ALL or Accor Live Limitless. With that they promised:

  • New elite status
  • Better benefits
  • Earn and burn across more brands and a new app
  • Experiences

They’ve now announced a new top Diamond tier and confirmed suite upgrades.

25 Accor status points are earned for every 10 euros in spend, so it’s a straight revenue-based program. I’ve converted, then, status points into Euros and Euros into Dollars at current exchange rates.

There will also be an ‘invitation only’ level outside of this chart, and Accor hasn’t released anything about how it will be earned or what the benefits will be.

Tier Status Points Spend in Euros Spend in Dollars
Classic                    –                      –               –
Silver 2,500 1,000 1,130
Gold 7,000 2,800 3,164
Platinum 14,000 5,600 6,328
Diamond 26,000 10,400 11,752

Members who earn 26,000 status points in 2019 will become Diamond once the new tier launches.

Platinum members will receive 2 confirmed suite nights later this year, and will earn an additional one for each 4000 status points earned during a calendar year. A Diamond, at 26,000 points, will have earned 5 confirmed suite nights and can continue earning suite nights.

Diamonds can gift gold status and will receive free breakfast on weekends. (Platinums and above receive it already across the board in Asia Pacific).

The nice things here are:

  • The introduction of a new top Diamond tier doesn’t take anything away from existing Platinums (like club lounge access)
  • Most hotel chains don’t offer confirmed suite upgrades, but Accor is driving towards this unique benefit.

I’d like to see the breakfast benefit richer for top tier, but Platinums and Diamonds get club lounge access at properties with a lounge and their model is certainly that business travelers expense meals during the week so weekends is where it matters most to members if they’re focused on that customer segment. (It took years for Marriott to offer breakfast on weekends, they used to limit it to only during the week!)

I’d also like to see them move away from ‘subject to availability’ for early check-in and late check-out.

However it’s nice to see a program getting better and offering more, even if they aren’t yet hitting all the areas where they could possibly improve (or releasing all the details of how new benefits will work). There will be additional announcements to come.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — I assume the lounge benefit still excludes Fairmont? If so, this benefit is a total joke. I certainly hope Lifetime Fairmont Plat = Lifetime Diamond ALL. Otherwise, I would expect legal action agaianst Accor.

  2. So difficult for Accor to offer any meaningful benefits to elites, because they have a subscription-membership paying around $300 annually for a set of benefits (such as 50% off breakfast) which would normally be offered free to elites of Hilton & other chains. You’ll be unlikely to see Accor offering a free breakfast to elites except maybe at weekends, see the press release.

    As for the “confirmed” suite upgrades – or any upgrades – many Accor properties don’t think the rules apply to them, especially in France. As for “Subject to availability” benefits, they are routinely denied.

    Nevertheless, Accor properties are generally nice and worth booking even if you can’t count on any extra benefits.

  3. Ah, Accor. Big on talk, short on execution and getting the details right. I have more faith that pigs will fly versus expecting anything to come out of this development. Let’s see what happens!

  4. with all these new benefits.. i believe that Accor elite benefits are still away from other programs like Marriott or even Hilton..
    i strongly believe that marriott is still the best in term of elite benefits such as breakfast..guaranteed late check out ..suite upgrade.. lounge access ..and titanium welcome gift .. so no way to compare..

  5. I am still confused a bit about the 2 suite night upgrades.
    When they say 2 upgrades, do they mean literally just 2 nights or are these two suite night certificates that you can apply to your stays that are more than 2 nights, i.e if i have a stay of 4 nights, does it require 1 suite night upgrade certificate to upgrade the whole stay or am i just going to get 2 of my 4 nights upgraded with the 2 “suite night upgrades”

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