You might not have heard of Accor Plus before. Accor’s subscription-based membership allows you to pay a yearly fee of $399 or the equivalent in Accor Live Limitless (ALL) points. In exchange, you get a number of benefits, including discounts on rooms, dining, access to exclusive sales and a free upgrade to Accor ALL Silver status. But is Accor Plus worth it? I think it is if you enjoy staying in Accor’s hotels and are a frequent traveller in the Asia-Pacific region. Let’s go through the benefits and how the scheme works.
What is Accor Plus?
Accor Plus is a subscription service offered to residents of the Asia-Pacific region. It includes hotels in most countries in the region, including popular travel destinations from Australia like Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and, of course, Australia itself. There are several membership tiers available:
- Traveller: At $249 per year this gives you access to all the discounts that Accor Plus members get access to (see below)
- Explorer: At $399 per year this includes what’s in the Traveller plan but gives you 1 Stay Plus complimentary night per year. In my opinion, this is the best value for money as you can essentially make your money back with just the free hotel night.
- Discover: At $448 per year, you get access to Accor’s booking portal, allowing you to access additional travel/tour/cruise offers and earn ‘Discovery Dollars’ for booking flights through the portal. This is part of Accor’s aim to transition their hotel loyalty program into a ‘Lifestyle’ program.
Every tier of Accor Plus membership comes with what are termed Universal benefits. These are discounts and special offers available on a rolling basis. These include:
- 10% off the room rate available to the public.
- Early access to promotions
- Red Hot Room benefits – essentially deeply discounted rooms available on a limited basis.
- Dining discounts – if dining alone, 25% off; if more than one person, then you get one person’s meal for free.
- Drinks discounts – 15% off drinks in Accor Hotels in Asia only
- Free Silver ALL status + 20 Status Nights – meaning you only need to stay 10 nights to upgrade to Gold.
How does the Red-Hot Room discount work?
These discounts are for hotels generally presented as rooms at various budgets in a specific country or region. You will generally be alerted to these deals by email and need to book the room by the end of the month within a specified booking period and while the rooms last. I personally find this quite limited in prospect as it is rare that my travel plans and the rooms on offer line up. For those looking for a spontaneous getaway, it may be a benefit to make use of, but overall, nothing new is brought to the table with this offer.
How to use the Stay Plus complimentary night
For me, this is one of the primary benefits of Accor Plus. The Stay Plus night can pay off your whole membership fee if you use it correctly, with any other benefits being a bonus. Stay Plus lets you book a night in a fairly large selection of hotels in the Asia Pacific region. It can be booked on its own or used to reduce the price of a larger booking. Think of it like a reward night, so during peak times and in more exclusive hotels, it will be harder to find an available room. In saying this, I have generally been able to make use of the night during peak periods. For example, I was able to book the Swissotel in Sydney for 1 night which would normally cost $390. The included room is only a standard room, and you can often upgrade to a larger room for a small fee if desired. From my experience, this can be between $25 and $50 extra. There are hotels that are unable to be booked with Stay Plus. Accor provides a list of these on their website.
How does the dining benefit work?
The dining benefit is a useful side benefit of Accor Plus. A big advantage of this is you do not need to be staying at the hotel to make use of the benefit. The way the discount works can be confusing. If one person is dining, you receive 25% off your bill. If two or more people are dining, you receive 100% divided by the number of diners off your bill. So, if you had 3 people it would be 100/3 or 33% off your total bill. This effectively means one person dines free. A cool potential benefit is if you’re in Australia, New Zealand or Fiji, multiple people can stack their discounts if you have more than one Accor Plus member, giving you a larger discount. The discount does not include drinks unless it’s in Asia in which case you will receive 15% off. As with the Stay Plus night, there are exceptions to when the dining benefit can be used so make sure you check the website before going.
Is ALL Elite Status worth getting?
While Accor Plus allows you a free upgrade to Silver status and a fast-track pathway to Gold, this is the least useful benefit of the program. Accor’s loyalty program, unfortunately, does a poor job of status recognition and recognising benefits. Silver status does give you a welcome drink and late check-out. The welcome drink is a small consolation, but a late check-out can often be accommodated without being an Elite member. While a Gold membership promises an upgrade if space is available, I have never seen this benefit recognised. In saying this, a potential benefit lies in ALL’s partnership with Airlines. Qatar Airways offers a status match with elite Accor members. This means if you have Gold ALL status, you will get a free upgrade to Silver Privilege Club membership, giving you bonus points, extra luggage and lounge passes.
How is Accor Plus different from ALL Plus?
Confusingly, Accor has two similar but different programs. ALL Plus is another subscription service offered by Accor that focuses more on specific brands and is targeted towards frequent travellers and businesspeople. While Accor Plus offers discounts on dining and exclusive offers, ALL Plus focuses on a defined discount on certain hotel brands. The Ibis card offers a 15% discount on all Ibis brand hotels, while the Voyageur card offers between 15 and 20% discount depending on the brand you stay at. ALL Plus doesn’t come with Stay Plus or Red-Hot room discounts but does upgrade you to Silver ALL status.
How to get the most value from Accor Plus?
- The Stay Plus complimentary night allows you to take back the entire cost of the membership in one stay if you use it correctly. For this reason, I would skip the Traveller plan and go straight for the Explorer plan.
- Make use of the dining benefit wherever you are. Remember, you don’t need to be staying in the hotel to use the benefit so you can make use of it in your own city as well.
- Keep an eye on the Red Hot rooms. While they might not always fit with your requirements, it’s worth keeping an eye out as on occasion you might find a great deal.
- If you’re travelling in Asia-Pacific, remember to book directly with Accor as this allows you to get 10% off the best available rate.
- Remember my other tips for getting the cheapest hotel rates and use these tips in conjunction with the above.
Another way to obtain Accor Plus is through your credit card. People who hold the American Express Platinum Card get the Accor Plus Explorer plan for free. This means you don’t have to worry about making back the membership cost and can take advantage of many of the amazing perks.
The Accor Plus program is a great program for those who travel frequently around the Asia-Pacific region. It offers the potential to save large amounts of money and easily make back the membership fee, provided you stay loyal to Accor and don’t stay in hotels which are added to the exception list. It’s an option worth considering, and in my opinion, is worth it for the right person.