Accor Live Limitless guide

Accor rewards program review

ALL you want to know about Accor Live Limitless

by Neil McPherson

This Accor Live Limitless guide is based upon ALL Terms & Conditions

Last updated: 21 November 2020.


Latest News:

21 November 2020
Qantas and Accor unveil strategic partnership to give customers greater rewards"

22 August 2020

Accor rumoured to be crunching the numbers on an move on IHG.  We look at the implications of a potential Accor/IHG merger.   

Introduction

Accor's revamped loyalty program renamed Accor Live Limitless (or ALL) has now commenced. 

Accor is one of the world's largest hotel chains, with French roots and an extensive network of properties.  Its rewards program ranked well (top 5) in our comparison of the best hotel rewards programs, particularly for folk making mostly short stays in the categories of:

This program may initially look like a simple program, yet it is also one of the hardest from which to extract out-sized value, unless you do your homework.

The difficulty of working with ALL is that it is like "wrestling with an octopus" (almost literally - there are 8 sub-programs you could be part of).

So, imagine having a "road map" that cuts through the complexity and shows how to navigate both the "sweet spots" of the program as well as its pitfalls.

Our complete guide to Accor's revamped ALL program does exactly that. We go through the key features of the program and then show you how to best use them, with specific tips and strategies.

Curious?  Let's dig a bit deeper into the ALL program.  

Alternatively, jump ahead to the special sub-programs if you are already familiar with the basics of ALL.  Some sub-programs have their own special promotions separate to those of the core Accor ALL program.


Table of Contents

Accor brands and their positioning
Geographic spread of Accor properties
How the Accor Live Limitless  program works
ALL elite tiers & benefits
breakfast
discounted spa treatments & products
guaranteed room availability
room upgrade
Suite Night Upgrade
dining & spa rewards
gifting Gold Tier status
Earning & maintaining your tier status
Earning ALL points
Retaining your ALL points
Transfer or pooling your ALL points
Using your ALL points
ALL program promotions
Special features of the ALL program
ALL for business owners
Best uses of ALL points for value-enhanced stays
Observations about Accor Live Limitless
Conclusions about Accor Live Limitless
How to join Accor Live Limitless



Accor Hotels Brands & their positioning

AccorHotels covers approximately 5,350 hotels globally, making it comparable in size to Hilton (5,850).  Only Marriott (over 7,700) surpasses them in size. 

Accor's hotels operate primarily under the brands of Sofitel (236), Pullman (140), MGallery (7), Novotel (549), Mercure (866), Rixos (21), Adagio (64), Banyan Tree (26), Angsana (13), Raffles (14), Swissotel (33), Fairmont (83) and Ibis (2,442).

Accor also owns the Formule1 brand but this does not participate in the ALL program.  Nor does Ibis Budget.  

The Accor Live Limitless launch coincides with amalgamation of new brands, including The House of Originals, Delano, Mondrian, Hyde, Mantis, Mövenpick, Sebel (33), Mantra (77), Art Series (9), Peppers (25) & Breakfree (22) brands,

Historically Accor was not well represented in the luxury market but that has improved markedly with the recent acquisitions of Swissotel, Raffles and Fairmont and alliances with Banyan Tree and Delano.

Table 1 - Accor's brands and approximate alignment with some competitor brands

Company Luxury Upper upscale Upscale Upper midscale
AccorHotels Raffles, Orient Express, Banyan Tree, Delano, Fairmont, SLS, SO/, Sofitel 

 The House of Originals, Rixos,  OneFineStay MGallery, Mantis, Art Series, Mondrian, Pullman, Swissôtel, Angsana, 25hours, Movenpick,
Grand Mercure, Adagio Premium, , Peppers, Quay West, The Sebel,
Mantra, Novotel, Mercure,  Adagio, 
Mama Shelter,
Best Western Hotels
WorldHotels Best Western Premier, Vīb, BW Premier Collection
Best Western Plus, Executive Residency by Best Western
Hilton Worldwide Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Hotels, LXR
Hilton, DoubleTree, 
Canopy by Hilton, 
Curio Collection
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, 
Home2 Suites
Hyatt Hotels Corporation Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Hotels, Andaz Hyatt Place, Hyatt House Hotels, Hyatt Centric   
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Six Senses, InterContinental, Regent  Crowne Plaza, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Select, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts

Holiday Inn
Meliá Hotels International Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus
Meliá, Innside
Marriott International Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari Hotels, Edition Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, St. Regis, Luxury Collection
Renaissance Hotels, Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, Marriott Executive Apartment, Gaylord Hotels, W Hotels, Design Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio
AC Hotels, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels MOXY Hotels, Protea Hotels, 
TownePlace Suites
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Grand Millennium Hotels
Millennium Hotels, 
Grand Copthrone Hotels
Copthorne Hotels, M Hotels

Source: extract from wikipedia.org

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The iconic Farmont is one of Accor's brands

Geographic spread of Accor Hotels

Relative to the other major hotel chains, Accor is well represented in Europe, but lightly represented in North America, where it currently has 51 locations.  However, it is larger than even Marriott in Europe, Asia and Oceania and has only a slightly smaller presence in the Middle-East and Africa than Marriott (226 vs 250 properties).

So if your travel patterns are typically within the corridor between the UK/Europe, Middle-East, Asia and Oceania then Accor (and ALL) should definitely be on your short-list for devoting your travel loyalty.  

The strong presence of its property portfolio in Oceania across the business, leisure and resorts markets makes it especially attractive for Australians and residents in the APAC region generally.

Chart 1 - Number of Accor Properties by Region (as at 25 Feb 2020).  (Source: Accor.com )  

Number of Accor properties by region - February 2020

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How the Accor Live Limitless program works

Membership is free and anyone over the age of 18 can apply to join (T&C 7.4).

Like most other programs, members can earn Reward Points (count towards rewards only) and Tier Points (determine the members tier and associated benefits).

Unlike many other hotel rewards and hotel loyalty programs, Accor's programs is entirely revenue-based.  Points are earned at a fixed rate based on spending (except these Accor properties not participating in ALL) and are redeemed at a fixed rate (€40 per 2,000 points) for rebates against further spending. As the rebate is fixed, the value of Accor ALL points is €20 per thousand points (or 2 eurocents each).

Essentially, you earn a discount on your spending, which is used as a credit towards your next stay.  

There are tier bonuses, so as you progress to higher elite tiers, you earn points (and rebates) at a faster pace (T&C 7.8). 

Tier bonuses do not apply to status points, so everyone earns status points at the same rate, which is that at which Classic (base tier) members also earn rewards points.


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ALL Elite tiers & benefits

As part of the new ALL program, Accor has added a new elite tier and now has a base level and four elite levels in the program (and a further one by invitation-only):

Base membership

Upon joining the program, you are given "Classic" status - the base member level.  

You are then qualified to:

Elite tiers & benefits

The table below summarises the criteria for attaining and the benefits associated with each of the membership tiers.


Table 3  - Tier benefits and Rewards Points earned per €10 spent at current tier status

Membership Tier Qualifying
Criteria

Benefits
Adagio Access, Jo&Joe, Ibis Budget* Adagio, Peppers, Art Series, Breakfree & Mantra Ibis, Ibis Styles  & Mama Shelter Other Participating Accor Brands
Tier Points (all tiers)

5 10 12.5 25
Accor silver membership cardSilver
  • 10 nights

or

  • 2,000 points (€800 spend)

As above plus

  • free internet
  • welcome drink
  • late check-out
  • 25% tier bonus on reward points
6.25 12.5 15.5 31
Accor gold membership cardGold
  • 30 nights 
or
  • 7,000 points (€2,800 spend)

As above plus

  • Guaranteed room up to 3 days in advance
  • Late check-in or late check-out
  • Upgrade to next room category (s.t. availability)
  • 50% tier bonus on reward points 
7.5 15 18.5 37
Accor platinum membership cardPlatinum
  • 60 nights 
or
  • 14,000 points (€5,600 spend)

As above plus
  • Guaranteed room up to 2 days in advance
  • Access to executive lounge (where one exists)
  • Upgrade to a suite for one night with Suite Night Upgrade benefit
  • 75% bonus on reward points
8.75 17.5 22 44
Accor diamond membership cardDiamond

26,000 points (€10,400 spend)

  • Free breakfast - weekends only
  • 4 dining & spa rewards pa
8.75 17.5 22 44



Discounts off Spa treatments and Products

This benefit varies with status tier but there is something for everyone:


Any ALL members - Earning points from Food & Beverage without a stay

(T&C 9.4)

You can earn points (if over the age of 18) when dining at Accor participating restaurants (minibars and private functions excluded), even without staying as a guest at the property.  

You can also use points when paying your bill (minimum spend is €1 or 1,000 points). 

Payment must be made in either case via:

  1. the Accor ALL app
  2. an Amex or Visa credit card
  3. in some countries, notably especially Eastern Europe, Middle-East and Africa, in cash only and requesting the points be manually credited.  In this instance, the number of points credited may be capped.  

This can be a handy way to boost your points. Not all programs allow you to earn points when dining, without being a guest at the hotel.

points N places logo for travel tipsTip: Complimentary Breakfast

Not strictly speaking status benefits, but you do need to be an Accor ALL member (of any tier status) to be able to access these offers. Being (reasonably ongoing) offers rather than benefits, you should check at your time of booking to see that they are current. 

APAC region only

An "indirect" benefit for all tiers is potential access to PartnerRewards - a collection of offers for Accor ALL members who are also Mastercard holders.

The often available "All Day Smiling" offer (complimentary wifi and breakfast for two during stays) only applies for stays within the APAC region and you must pay for your booking with your Mastercard. A worthwhile "elite-like" benefit when on offer and available regardless of your Accor ALL tier status.

This gets even better for 5 locations when it is extended to Breakfast with a View when you can enjoy local breakfast delicacies while your senses feast on a spectacular sight.  This very special way to start the day is available at:

#BreakfastsAtAccor

Selected Sofitel hotels only

If you don't qualify for the above offer, there remains the Sofitel Breakfast Included offer - stay in selected Sofitel Hotels and receive free breakfast every morning.  There are participating properties in France, Thailand, Brazil and the UAE.

Oh and in Australia, at the very desirably located Sofitel Noosa Pacific on Hastings Street.

Gold Tier benefit - Guaranteed Room Availability

(T&C 9.2)

You can request guaranteed room availability for a future booking. The guarantee is for a room to be available, not necessarily a particular type of room.  

A guaranteed room is always a good benefit to have, especially if you need to work your stay into particular time-frames.

Importantly, you must remember to request this guarantee at the time of booking, which can be no later than 12:00 PM (local time at the hotel) and at least three days (for Gold cardholders) or two days (for Platinum cardholders or higher Members) prior to the date of arrival at the hotel.

In hotels identified as belonging to the ‘resorts’ category and at Thalassa Sea & Spa establishments, the guarantee of availability applies only to stays of at least seven nights.

The guarantee only applies for the  room you are staying in as a member, paying a non-promotional price.  Accor room guarantee blackout dates also apply.

Gold Tier benefit - Room Upgrade

Gold tier members are eligible for a room upgrade (subject to availability) to the next higher room category.  This could be a suite, although villas and specialty suites (eg Presidential suites) are excluded.

What I like about Accor's upgrades is that they are genuine ones you will notice and appreciate.  Some other chains have many more room "categories", where the upgrade difference may be quite trivial (eg coffee making facilities, etc). 

Platinum Tier benefit - Suite Night Upgrade

(T&C 9.3)

On reaching Platinum status (eg 14,000 points), you receive 2 Suite Night Upgrades. Booked in advance, and guaranteed. You can then Earn a third Suite Night Upgrade at 18,000 Status points, and then an additional one with every further 4,000 Status points, up to 12 upgrades per year.  In order to be considered eligible, stays must be booked at eligible rates by calling your local Accor Booking Office, Accor website or direct to participating hotels only. Stays booked via other channels (travel agents, tour operators or third-party online travel agents such as Expedia.com, booking.com, etc.) are not eligible.

This benefit allows members to spend the night in a ‘suite’ for the price of a ‘room’ selected by the member when making a pre-confirmed booking. Note that not all Accor properties offer the Suite Night benefit, so it pays to check prior completing your booking.

You should have plenty of time to arrange your bookings, as each Suite Night Upgrade is valid until 31st December of the year following its date of issue.

In contrast to the Accor ALL Gold tier benefit of room upgrades for any stay, your 2 Suite Night Upgrades are guaranteed, not subject to availability, making them a valuable benefit.

By comparison, only Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elites (and higher) can be upgraded to select suites at any time and their Suite Night benefit is for 5 nights pa but in both cases are subject to availability.  Their Gold elites do not qualify for upgrades to suites at all.


Diamond Tier benefit - Dining & Spa Rewards

This tier enjoys all the advantages of Platinum along with free breakfast on weekends (T&C 9.5) and 4 Dining & Spa rewards per year (value 25 each), valid for use at any Accor restaurants or spas, during your stay and beyond.  Use is limited to two vouchers per visit.

The benefit is limited but more appealing to me than the "free breakfast, but only on weekends for Platinum members". Given this is Accor's ultimate tier, both seem stingy compared to other programs.

Diamond Tier benefit -  Gifting Gold Tier Status

(T&C 9.6)


Members of the Diamond tier are able to gift Gold Tier status to a person of their choice,  Their status remains at this level for the duration of your own current status. You can arrange for the gift by signing on to your account

Earning & Maintaining Tier Status

(T&C 8)

The only way to earn status tier points is through paid stays (or events).  There is no status-matching offer available.

At the start of each new year, an assessment is made of Eligible Status Nights completed and Status Points earned by a Member during the previous calendar year.

If, during the previous calendar year, you reached one of the thresholds allowing you to maintain their current Status or access a higher Status, then you retain that Status for the current calendar year.

If, during the previous calendar year, you did not reach one of the thresholds allowing you to maintain your current Status, you will be awarded the Status directly below the one previously held..  

points N places logo for travel tipsTip: Only falling a single status tier is a valuable feature, as you do not lose your entire status due to one unusually quiet year,  Some programs have you start from their base level each year, while others have you drop back to the level consistent with the number of points you did earn.


Status Nights and Status Points counters for the current year are then reset to zero (effective 1st January of each year).

The use of Rewards Points has no effect on retaining or changing a Status.

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How to earn ALL Points

Paid Stays

Accor ALL points are earned on a wide range of spending during a stay:

    However, only base points from hotel room tariffs count towards Accor ALL status points

    Each 1,000 ALL points are worth EUR 20 in rebates with Accor hotels.  Alternatively, each ALL point is worth EUR 0.02 or 2 eurocents.

    Looking at table 4 below, the rebates really don't get very interesting unless you are staying at the upper end of the Accor brands while holding at least Gold tier status.  Even then, the rebates earned at APAC brands seem to be consistently at a lower rate than the more established brands in the same category (Art Series vs Movenpick or Swissotel,  Peppers vs Sebel, Mantra vs Novotel) and even the "lower" Ibis brands.

    Table 4  - Rebates earned per €100 spent (% rebate)

    Membership Tier Adagio Access Adagio, Peppers, Art Series, Breakfree & Mantra Ibis, Ibis Styles  & Mama Shelter Other Participating Accor Brands
    Classic

    1.0

    2.0

    2.5

    5.0

    Silver

    1.3

    2.5

    3.1

    6.2

    Gold

    1.5

    3.0

    3.7

    7.4

    Platinum

    1.8

    3.5

    4.4

    8.8


    To give this some perspective, if you remain on a single tier and all your stays are at one of the upper brands and at the same cost each time, it would require a Classic member to stay 20 nights to earn a free night. The number of nights required drops as tier status increases.  For a Silver member, it is 16 nights, 14 nights for Gold and 12 for a Platinum member.

    Planning your stays around times of points promotions (eg 4X promotions) will significantly reduce these amounts.


    points N places logo for travel tips

    TipThe amount of rebate you receive from a paid stay at a Pullman or Sebel property is 150% more (or 2.5x) than that from an Art Series, Peppers or Mantra property.  So for Australians who earn points through business stays to enhance their domestic vacation stays, your best Accor options are from staying for business in a legacy brand (Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel) and staying on vacation at a Peppers, Sebel or Mantra resort.  This does seem to unfairly disadvantage the very nice Art Series properties, which may become more reliant on non-member stays.

    points N places logo for travel tips

    TipThe rebate obtained from stays at the the upper end of the Accor brands is 6.2% for a member with Silver status and a very attractive 7.4% for a member with Gold status  (Platinum even better).  This means that:

    • if your yearly accommodation spend is AUD 6,435 or more, then you could recoup the cost of ALL Plus membership (from the automatic Silver membership status and ignoring all other benefits).
    • if your yearly business accommodation spend is only EUR 1,216 then you could recoup the EUR 90 cost of Ibis Business membership from the automatic Gold tier membership and receive all associated benefits.

    This offer is very good value if relevant to your circumstances.

    Road and Rail

    You can earn ALL Rewards points from car hire and rail travel:

    Shopping

    You can earn ALL rewards points for shopping in the Accor ALL online store. The earning rate is generally 1 point per €1 spent.  This equates to a relatively poor 2%, so don't pay any more here than you would elsewhere.

    Credit Cards

    Currently there are no Accor co-branded creditcards available.  

    However, on 18 February, Accor announced that it had signed a global partnership with Visa to create the new ALL Visa card, able to be used for everyday purchases everywhere Visa is accepted.

    The new ALL Visa card will be issued in key markets across Europe, North and South America, Middle East and Asia Pacific and will offer members tailored rewards based on customer preferences and the ability to earn more loyalty points when staying at an Accor property or when making purchases.  The launch date will be announced once merchant agreements are in place.



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    Retaining ALL Points

    Reward points are valid for 365 days from earning them and extended for a further 365 days each time a further eligible stay is completed. However, if no stay is made then the points are forfeited and cannot be restored (T&C 7.6).  

    So your rewards points do not expire, as long as you make a paid stay of at least one night each year.

    Tier points are reset to zero each 1 January.

    points N places logo for travel tips

    Tip: To prevent losing points prior to their expiry, if you cannot use them for a stay in time, consider a transfer to an airline partner and perhaps later transfer them back (eg Flying Blue and perhaps from mid-2021 also Qantas).  Note that the exchange rate is very poor but still better than forfeiting the points entirely.

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    Transfer or Pooling of ALL points

    Points and Status Nights may not be transferred to another Member. They are strictly personal and non-transferable.  This means that family pooling is not a possibility.

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    Using your ALL points

    Accommodation

    This is the simplest part of the program, for two key reasons:

    1. Generally, 2,000 points = EUR 40 rebate when used by a member for a stay.
    2. There are no blackout dates for the core Accor ALL program, other than the special  Room Availability Guarantee and Suite Night Upgrade features.


    When settling your accommodation account at Accor properties, you can pay in any combination of points and cash.

    This includes OneFineStay (luxury home rental) properties.  To use your Rewards points in this case, you will need to convert them into a gift card which will entitle you to a rebate when renting a premium property. Gift cards are purchased at the rate of 7,200 points per 100 EUR card ( 2,000 points = EUR 27.77).  This is a less attractive rebate than that for hotel or resort stays (EUR 40).

    points N places logo for travel tips TipThe same number of points provides a rebate at OneFineStay at a less attractive rate than that for hotel or resort stays.  The rebate for hotel or resort stays is almost 1.5x  that for OneFineStays.  A better option for families may be a villa in one of the resort brands, with use of the Family Offer feature which provides a 50% discount off the second room.
    If three or more bedrooms are required, OneFineStay may be the better option, depending on how it is priced for the time of your stay.


    You can also pay for your Accor accommodation using Qatar Qmiles.
    To do this, you convert your Qmiles to ALL rewards points.  You need to log in to your Qatar Privilege account and from the My Dashboard page, click the Redeem Qmiles tab. Then select Convert Qmiles from the Redemption with Partners section and complete the request form.

    Qatar isn't the only one though.  The following all convert into 1,000 ALL rewards points (value EUR 20):

    Program Partners

    Accor also has more traditional one-way partnerships with British Airways and another with Iberia which allow you to transfer your ALL rewards points into Avios.  Oddly, BA and Iberia have different exchange rates.  Swapping your points to Avios with BA gives you a 2:1 rate whilst doing so with Iberia gets you a far better 1:1 transfer rate

    What you should do is convert to Iberia and then move your Avios from Iberia Plus to British Airways Executive Club using the ‘Combine My Avios’ function.  Think carefully before you do this, however, because you could use your points for an Accor voucher instead, You are effectively paying 2 eurocents per Avios (2,000 Accor points = €40 or 2,000 Iberia Plus Avios). This is very expensive and you would be better off using the points for a hotel stay if possible.

    If you don't want to retain ALL points for stays, but want to use them for flights, the direct earn option provides a better outcome.  This is where instead of earning ALL reward points, you elect instead to earn airline miles.  You must inform the desk of this election at the time of check-in (or in advance on the ALL app). 

    Experiences

    Use your points to purchase often hard to obtain experiences, including sporting events (PSG football matches, Golf Pro clinics...), concerts/performances and culinary experiences.  Note that most seem to be held in either Europe or the Middle East.

    Shopping

    Your All Rewards points can also be used to purchase a range of items in the online shopping portal.  From cosmetics through electronics to luggage and travel accessories and more.  Just check your prices and remember 2,000 points = EUR 40 when used for accommodation.


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    ALL Program Promotions

    Accor ALL has some very attractive offers, 
    .
    Best Deals of the Day: up to 40% off selected destinations (which vary over time).

    Stay Longer and save up to 25%.

    Points offers for either bonus earning rates or discounted requirements for a stay.

    Private Sales: Each week, there are discounts of up to 40% offered at selected locations within 2,000 Accor destinations worldwide. These Private Sales for hotels are offered exclusively online and are only available to members of the ALL program.

    In addition to these, there are ad hoc promotions for discounted stays or multiple reward points earning (up to 4x!).  Such promotions are often "stackable" too which can result in exceptionally good deals.

    The "sub-programs" also have their own special promotions, so there are plenty of opportunities to find bargains.


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    Special features of the Accor ALL program

    Best price guarantee

    If you find a lower price than that available on ALL's member website, Accor will match it and give you up to 25% off the competitor’s rate! (nb 10% off applies for Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel). Best Rate Guarantee T&C's apply (eg special group rates are excluded and you must make your claim within 24 hours following confirmation of your booking and no later than 48 hours before the planned date of arrival at the hotel ), but the offer seems quite fair and transparent.

    Special Ongoing Offers

    ALL members receive access to special ongoing offers.  Unlike promotional offers, these offers are described as available all year.

    1. Family Trip: free accommodation for children in their parents' room or 50% off the second room, plus a discounted rate on children's breakfast.  This offer is available in more than 2 000 locations and across most of Accor's brands from ibis budget, ibis, ibis Styles, Mercure, Novotel, to Novotel Suites, The Sebel, Pullman, MGallery and Sofitel . You must book via the dedicated page.
    2. Family Time: similar to the Family Trip offer, but limited to only stays in the upscale rooms and suites of Accor's more prestigious brands of MGallery, Pullman and Sofitel.  Under this offer, you receive a luxurious stay as a family with a reduced rate for the 2nd room and free breakfast for the children.  You must book via the dedicated page for this offer too.
    3. Early booking deals: book 30 days ahead or more and save up to 25% off your stay. 


    Discounted price for Priority Pass membership

    At least 10% discount and 500 ALL Reward Points when you subscribe to Priority Pass via Accor ALL to gain access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world.  This can combine well with the Miles+Points benefit until you gain airline tier status.

    Miles+Points for double-dipping

    The Miles+Points feature is similar to other crossover programs (eg Marriott and both Emirates and United; Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines; Hyatt and American Airlines).

    Once you register for Miles+Points, you earn both Accor points and Flying Blue miles when either:


    The number of points/miles is based on your spending on:

    A key difference from the other crossover programs is that while you must be a member of both programs, you do not need to hold any tier status with either Accor or Air France/KLM. This makes it a very attractive feature and an easy way to boost for everyone to boost rewards earning with both loyalty programs.

    This benefit is now additionally attractive following the alliance launched in February 2020 between Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic. This allows miles earned with Air France/KLM to be redeemed for Virgin Atlantic flights (or vice versa).  Also included is reciprocal recognition of your airline membership tier status (including lounge access).  


    Accor ALL sub-programs

    There are also sub-programs available for members to join.  Their key features are compared in the following table, with further details below.

    For individuals:


    Restrictions

    Cost
    (EUR pa)

    Room Discount %

    Free Night Room Upgrade

    Breakfast Included

    F&B Discount % Late check-out? Days Notice for Guaranteed Room Earn Rewards Points Earn Tier Points Tier Boost
    Accor Plus

    Benefits in APAC only

    $A 399 pa
    (+ 159 per secondary member)


    10%
    off best public rates

    1 pa  (condtions)


    25%-50%
    Dining

    15% 
    Drinks (Asia)


    Y

    Y

    Silver Personal
     ALL
    My Resorts


    Benefits in APAC only

    Nil



    MyGlass* package (cost varies) ALL silver or higher, cost applies


    Y

    Y


    Mantra+


    Australia, NZ,
    Honolulu Seminyak

    Free but Closed to new applicants



    Y
    (breakfast and room service excluded)
    Noon


    Y

    Y


    Miles + Points Must be member of both ALL and FlyingBlue


    Nil







    EXTRA
    5 reward points per EUR 10 spent on flights



    Accor Family & Friends

     Employee + their family & friends

    Nil up to 30% or fixed price voucher

    Sometimes included in fixed price voucher







    For business owners:


    Restrictions

    Cost (EUR pa)

    Room Discount %

    Free Night Room Upgrade

    Breakfast Included

    Breakfast Discount % Late check-out? Days Notice for Guaranteed Room Earn Rewards Points Earn Tier Points Tier Boost
    Business Plus



    270


    up to 20% 





    4 pm

    3

    Y


    N
    Ibis BUSINESS

    Ibis, Ibis Styles, Ibis Budget

    90 10%
    (up to 2 rooms)



    10% 4 pm

    2


    On personal membership


    Gold Personal
     ALL
    Mantra BizBeds

    Australia, NZ
    (& Hawaii)


    Nil

    10%







    Y


    N


    ALL Meeting Planners

    Must be an individual ALL member

    Nil







    1 per EUR 2 spend

    1 per EUR 2 spend

    No.  But can share points with other ALL member accounts (including your own).



    Accor Family and Friends

    Employees of the Accor group have access to team-member discounts and deals via the Bienvenue portal.  
    Bookings at discounted employee rates can be made on the dedicated Accor employee booking portal.

    If you are a friend or family member of an employee within the Accor group of companies, you can receive significant discounts on paid stays around the world. The size of discount varies by region, but is generally 30% off the accommodation cost.  Some regions offer fixed price vouchers, which offer hefty discounts and may also include breakfast.                      

    To access Accor Family and Friends deals you must, you must:


    Note that family offers do not earn reward or tier points.



    Mantra+   (APAC only - closed to new membership)

    Based on current Mantra+ Terms & Conditions

    Mantra is a brand that appears only in Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Hawaii. Unfortunately, Mantra+ is closed to new membership.

    For existing members, stays must be booked via a Mantra+ Booking Office: 1300 263 543 (Australia) or +61 7 5665 4499 (International).

    Participating properties offer:  



    MyResorts (APAC only)

    Based on current MyResorts Terms & Conditions version 171121

    MyResorts is a suite of benefits for Accor ALL members, aimed at giving you access  to "VIP experiences" for resorts stays, based on your Accor ALL membership tier.  The purchased experiences can be bought on any day during your stay - no need to pre-book.

    Membership is free, but specific details vary by property and many of the benefits can have a fee applied when used. This makes it far less attractive than the Mantra+ program which is now closed to new members.    
           


    Accor Plus (APAC only)

    Based on current Accor Plus Terms & Conditions, dated November 2019.

    This is open to all members globally, but benefits can only be used in the APAC region.  Its cost is AUD 399 or equivalent.  So if you reside in say the UK but holiday in Asia, you could use this membership at a cost of approx GBP 200 pa.  

    Benefits can be used at Accor hotels in the following destinations, some of which have restrictions or exceptions :

    Australia, Cambodia, China, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Key benefits include:


    * The free night (Stay Plus) benefit is based on availability for a standard room at participating Sofitel Legend, Fairmont, SO/, Sofitel, MGallery, Art Series, Pullman, Swissôtel, Mövenpick, Grand Mercure, Quay West, Peppers, Sebel, Mantra, Novotel and Mercure properties. Some hotels may also offer members an opportunity to upgrade their stay by using their Stay Plus benefit and paying an additional supplement.  


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      Accor ALL for Business Owners

      There are four memberships aimed at business customers.  Two are free, two are paid and one is limited to the APAC region. Each has its own features, so every business should be able to select at least one of them that suits their needs.

      ALL Meeting Planners

      Based on ALL Meeting Planner Terms and Conditions dated January 2020.

      An often overlooked feature of the Accor loyalty  program is the meeting planners program. 

      Meeting planners who register and organise events can earn per EUR 2 of eligible spending (T&C 10):

      which is the same rate as a Classic member earns for stays.  Generous!

      These points accrue in the Meeting Planner's account, but can be transferred on up to 30 occasions pa to another ALL Accor member's account (T&C 13).

      Additionally, if a separate individual attending an event booked by a registered ALL Meeting Planner is an Accor ALL member and pays for their own accommodation, they also earn ALL rewards points in accordance with their personal membership (T&C 17).

      points N places logo for travel tipsTip: This is an especially attractive feature for business owners.  Business events and meetings can substantially boost the points balance of a trusted employee (who is possibly also a family member) which is then shared with other employees (an incentives prize?) or the owners.

      Some special conditions form part of the ALL Meeting Planner registration.



      Business Plus

      Based on Business Plus Terms & Conditions dated 11 July 2019

      Accor's Business Plus is a paid subscription.  For an annual fee of EUR 270 pa you receive:



        ibis Business

        Based on ibis Business Terms and Conditions dated 1 August 2019.

         Ibis Business is also paid subscription.  It is only available for use at participating Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget properties.  It is not available in China.  

        For an annual fee of approx EUR 90 / AUD 150 / GBP 65 / CHF 99 pa you receive:

        When you have an ibis BUSINESS card, your individual ALL loyalty card is automatically upgraded to GOLD status. Normally this would require 30 nights stays or a spend of EUR 2,800.  So this is a significant saving.

        You will then be eligible for all associated tier benefits of the ALL program at all Accor brands (not only ibis) while still earning points for each stay.


        Mantra BizBeds (Australia & NZ)

        Based on current Mantra BizBeds Terms & Conditions

        There is no fee to join BizBeds. However, Mantra is a brand that is currently only in Australia, New Zealand (and Honolulu).  For properties outside of these, you need to join one of the paid programs to get the discounts.

        With BizBeds you'll have access to exclusive online rates, receiving up to 10% off the Best Available Daily Rate at a range of over 130 Art Series, Peppers, Mantra or BreakFree properties.  BizBeds guarantees a discount on the Mantra Daily Rate from any Mantra Group website and guarantees no booking fees.

        Late check out up to 12 noon is at the discretion of the resort manager and must be requested the night before check out. Late check out after 12 noon will incur the following additional charges:


        To qualify for BizBeds you need to be a business with an ABN number that does not have a corporate accommodation rate with Mantra Group or an affiliation with a travel agency.

        Bookings must be made online via a dedicated website.  If you book direct you will not receive the BizBeds discount.

        There are no ALL tier points earned, but stays will earn ALL reward points.

        The range of Mantra retreats, hotels and apartments provides a wide choice of accommodation to suit both business or leisure travellers. While the benefits of joining are very limited from a traveller's perspective, the systems support for folk making the bookings is good.  See for example their User Guide.



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        Best uses of ALL points for value-enhanced stays

        Best use of Accor programs

        To get the maximum value for minimal cost, I would:

        1. join Accor ALL as an individual (free); 
        2. enrol in the Miles+Points program (free double-dipping for reward points and miles);
        3. make good use of the Accor ALL special ongoing offers;
        4. if planning a stay at an aspirational property in the APAC region, subscribe to Accor Plus for that year. You could easily recoup the annual cost of AUD 399 with only one nights free stay at a property with Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman or even Quay West.  Also, bookmark and keep a keen eye on the weekly Red-Hot Specials as these can be VERY attractive.
        5. keep an eye on the ALL Mastercard Partner Rewards page for potential breakfast deals (must be a member of both programs)
        6. watch out for the new ALL Visa card and potential offers it may have too (no details available yet).

        points N places logo for travel tipsTip: For an extra free night with your partner, have them independently subscribe at the individual member rate, rather than being an additional member (at the lower fee) on your account. Additional members do not receive the free night (Stay Plus) benefit.


        If also a business owner, I would then:

        1. join ibis Business (cost €90 pa for Gold Accor ALL status - room upgrades and 50% tier bonuses in all Accor brands immediately from the time of subscription rather than earnt through the year);
        2. enrol in the ALL Meeting Planner program and hold meetings/events at participating properties (free to join and you earn both rewards points and tier points).

        Best use of Accor tiers 

        If you hold Gold tier status, you can book a room just one level under the room with lounge access and then receive a complimentary upgrade to a room with lounge access. Free breakfast and sometimes evening cocktails are served in the lounge.  This is a better deal than the "weekend only" breakfast benefit  provided to Diamond members (or Platinum members staying in APAC).

        The value of the rebate for the points you own does not vary.  So you will receive a greatest % benefit when booking at less popular   (expensive) times.  Programs that have peak/off-peak pricing (Hilton, Marriott and most recently, Hyatt) increase/decrease the number of points required at peak/off=peak periods, but not in direct proportion to the changes in cash prices.

        Best Accor redemptions

        My experience of Accor hotels is not extensive. However, the Sofitel St James in Mayfair is a very impressive UK flagship and a great place to stay when wanting a break in London.

        For an Australian resort holiday, my first choice would be the Sofitel in Noosa Heads, Queensland. A stone's throw from the north-facing beach (with child-friendly waves), cafes and restaurants.  It is also only a short drive to national parks for walks here or along Sunshine beach and then others for miles of sand and larger waves,  The also very good Sebel Noosa is located behind it and faces the river.

        Not as far north, in Mooloolaba are self-catering apartments of the Mantra Sirocco and the Mantra Zanzibar.  Both overlook the ocean and are located near shops, cafes and of course the beach.  Good for family holidays.

        For a Melbourne city stay, the Quay West Suites overlook the river and city - perfect location, right next to the entertainment precinct. To escape the city for a weekend, the Peppers Hepburn Springs is only an hour or so away in a relaxed spa town.

        In Sydney, my preferences are the MGallery, Harbour Rocks - a boutique property located in the "Rocks" near Circular Quay or the larger "city" hotel of the iconic Sydney Wentworth, with the Sebel Quay West Suites more relaxed and offering spectacular views combining Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from some rooms.

        For more aspirational stays further afield in the APAC region, while I have not yet stayed at any of the following any one of these would be a great application of the Accor Plus free night (Stay Plus) benefit and discounted tariffs:       

        .  For other aspirational stays to consider, these are all on my "bucket list" ...

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        Observations

        Business Owners

        1. If you are a business owner and your hotel stays are infrequent, the BizBeds membership costs nothing and provides a 10% discount, regardless of whether your stay is for business or leisure.  A handy discount for holidays.  But it is only available for properties in Australia and New Zealand.
        2. If you travel frequently enough to attain Platinum or Diamond status, the tier benefits make stays quite comfortable, so the 20% price discount associated with the Business Plus (paid) membership will be your best choice to cut costs without sacrificing comforts.
        3. In between lies the Ibis Business (paid) membership.  It has a lower fee than the Business Plus membership, but provides automatic  ALL Gold status.  You can then use the latter card for stays at more upmarket (non Ibis) properties, with complimentary room upgrades and potentially from that, lounge access (for complimentary breakfast). For anyone not likely to be qualifying for Platinum or Diamond status, this is a sweet spot within Accor ALL and provides exceptional value when used well.

        Individuals

        1. ALL is very much aimed at being a loyalty program.  You must stay at least one night per year to retain your rewards points (or lose them).
        2. Paid stays in APAC properties under the newer brands earn rebates at a lower rate than the established brands.
        3. There are promotions and special treatment for Platinum members staying in APAC properties.  In the short-term, this may overcome the lower earning rates.  In the medium-term it may be smarter to earn points in established properties in the region (or elsewhere) and redeem them for vacations at discounted cash rates at the newer brands.
        4. The Gold tier status opens up opportunities for upgrades to stay in rooms with lounge access.  This is a way of gaining "free" breakfasts - a popular benefit.  You can either earn the Gold status through stays, or businesses can purchase an annual Ibis Business membership for automatic Gold ALL status.
        5. Accor Plus may be worthwhile if you can recoup your AUD 399 annual membership fee from the Dining discounts.  I would more likely aim to recoup the cost with the 1 free night benefit used at a luxury property (eg Fairmont).
        6. Participating Sofitel properties (including the Sofitel Noosa) offer free breakfast every day of your stay, regardless of tier status.
        7. The breakfast benefit offered for ALL Diamond (the top tier) members seems stingy, as it is only during the weekends. For the program to be competitive, this should be one of the benefits starting at Platinum-level.  Hilton offers free breakfast from its Gold tier upwards.
        8. Platinum tier breakfast benefit:
          1. To be fair, Accor does provide free breakfast every day of a stay to Platinum (2nd top tier) members, but only in the Asia Pacific region.
          2. This is confirmed on the Accor site which says "Once you reach ALL Platinum membership status, you will enjoy free breakfast wherever you stay in Asia Pacific; either in the executive lounge, or in the hotel restaurant if the hotel does not have a lounge. Registered guests sharing your room are also invited to enjoy breakfast with you".  

        So breakfast is offered to not only the member, but also to a guest staying in their room. This "double breakfast" benefit is a very attractive one for Platinum members, but is only available when staying in an APAC property.



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        Conclusions

        If you manage to earn at least Gold, preferably Platinum or Diamond status, stay in brands which have lounges (limited) and are happy to use your points for hotel room discounts, it can work out well.

        Members staying in the new brands that are concentrated in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are disadvantaged by a lower earning rate than comparable properties in other brands.  However:

        1. Platinum members receive a valuable double breakfast benefit for every day during stays in that region.  
        2. The sub-programs that are available for the APAC region offset the lower earning rate for the newer brands to a good degree and many are available regardless of Accor ALL tier status.

        The suite upgrades benefits available at Platinum and above aren't as attractive as those of  other programs.  If your stays are outside the APAC region, there isn't a lot of additional value above Accor ALL Gold status.

        On balance, I think that:

        1. The best value will come from targeting Gold status (possibly via Ibis Business paid membership for business folk), then paying cash for rooms at the level just below that providing lounge access (and being upgraded to that level).  
        2. The strong presence in Europe and now Oceania means a very good range of options for stays outside of the USA..
        3. Supplementing your Gold tier by joining Accor Plus will give you nice benefits for stays in the Asia Pacific properties - equivalent to Platinum at far lower "qualifying" requirements.


        The Accor ALL is a program with a lot of complexity to work through.  Once you have done that (or hired a marine biologist to do it), if you stay frequently in Europe (lots of locations) or especially APAC (lots of benefits), there are ways of making it work well.  

        Accor ALL would be more attractive if they simplified the program, reduced the number of its brands and re-focused on customer service.

        Nevertheless, it is a good core program (particularly for APAC members/stays), if supplemented by another program for folk seeking wider coverage in North America.

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        How to Join


        For individuals

        Accor Live Limitless (free)

        Miles+Points (free but requires registration in both ALL and Flying Blue)

        Accor Plus (APAC properties only, paid subscription)

        MyResorts (APAC properties only, fees for some benefits)

        Mantra+ (was free to join, now closed to new membership. New applications are now re-directed to ALL membership)

        For business owners

        Note that you will need to be a registered business.  Have your registration details (VAT registration, Australian Business Number, or similar) ready when applying.

        ALL Meeting Planner (free)

        Business Plus (paid subscription)

        Ibis Business (paid subscription)

        Mantra BizBeds (Australia & New Zealand only, free membership)



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