Matt and I have been AccorPlus members since about 2010. We love it, obviously. We’ve used it so much over the past 8 years that we’ve gone up to Platinum members, which is nothing to scoff at, but I’ll get to that. Let’s start with the basics.
An Accor Plus membership will set you back $395 AUD per year. Those pretty pennies will buy you;
- a swanky card with a points system,
- a free night in an Accor hotel (subject to availability),
- early access to global sales, plus extra members sales,
- 50% off dining in the Asia Pacific region,
- members benefits with Accor partners (like 20% off with Europcar),
- members benefits during your stay, depending on what your status is.
Matt and I first purchased the membership knowing that a few nights a year we would do weekend stints in Sydney (which would be around $250 AUD per night) and there was a really good seafood buffet in Wollongong where we could get 50% off. After a free night in Sydney and a few dinners the card was basically paid off – we were in the plus. Totally worth it.
Our membership status went wild after the first time we were in Europe. We made the effort to stay in Accor hotels like the ibis or Mercure, actually trying to get our status bumped up – and bump up we did. Once we got a taste of the rewards, we were hooked, and when we hit platinum there was no turning back. We were enjoying benefits like;
- room upgrades,
- welcome drinks,
- welcome gifts (usually a fruit and chocolate basket, but a bottle of wine wasn’t unheard of),
- fantastic points acceleration, which we would use to pay the hotel bar tab,
- other sweet benefits, like upgrades for friends and free ironing at Grand Mercure Phuket.
The system was great. The more we spent, the more benefits you earn, the more you wanted to spend. We were lucky in 2015 to wrangle a 6 week stay at an Accor hotel in Perth during our relocation. I remember that as when it started getting a bit tricky and quite frankly, going downhill.
Membership Flaw #1 – who’s name do you put it under?
Matt and I have been together for 9 years, but we are not married. We don’t plan on it. Our membership is in Matt’s name, which is fine. The problem was I travelled for work without him, under my own name (obviously). Prior to 2015, it was never a problem, I just took the card with me, the points would go onto the system. Post 2015, it was all of a sudden a problem; it wasn’t under Matt’s name, he wasn’t with me, I get no points. I stayed in Launceston for a week and had nothing to show for it. Matt and I decided to get one of their “joint cards” for $150 AUD. It was like we had 2 accounts. I was on entry level, Matt was on Platinum. None of my points went towards the Platinum account. The only way we could share an account is if we shared a name. What is this bullshit?
Membership Flaw #2 – AccorPlus doesn’t count for shit outside of Asia Pacific.
Room upgrades in Paris? Maybe you’ll get Eiffel Tower views!? Better think again. AccorPlus isn’t really a thing in Europe, so there will be no room upgrades and you’ll be lucky to get a welcome drink voucher. Global program? Maybe not.
Membership Flaw #3 – the fabulous points system changed.
We travelled through Europe, had stays in Australia, Asia and New Zealand this year, but there’s no way we’ll be keeping our platinum status. And now that we’re living the nomadic life, I don’t even think we can afford an ibis Styles hotel.
Membership Flaw #4 – customer service is (in one word) horrible.
Do you like arguing with someone over the phone? Repeating yourself? Dealing with sales tactics? Smashing your head against a brick wall while you repeat your problem to your service agent for the third time, only to be told you’ll need to be transferred to someone else? Then oh man, this is the loyalty program for you. We recently had to put in a formal complaint; angry old person letter and everything!
So in the end it boils down to this; are you a frequent traveller, travelling solo or sharing your partners name, who stays at mid range to high end hotels, mainly in the Asia Pacific region? Do you also eat out at hotel restaurants a fair bit, even when you’re not travelling? Then this membership is for you.
Otherwise, there may be a different loyalty program out there that is better suited to your needs. It’s a good system, but only beneficial to those within that very specific niche. With the low cost, smaller locations that Matt and I are planning on going to over the next year, we’re not sure we can justify the cost of the membership. It’s not likely we will be able to afford the Accor locations. It seems a pity to throw away 8 years of membership, but there’s just no talking that membership price down.
Is there a good loyalty program that you’re a member of? I’d love to join a new one that better suits our new (cheaper) way of travel.