Le Club is the loyalty programme of the Accor hotels – brands like Mercure, Sofitel and Ibis to name but a few. It is not a chain that I am particularly familiar with, but I have been working my way through a number stays to try them out!
The loyalty scheme is free to join at the base level, Classic, although this doesn’t really do much. The number of points earned per stay is dependant on the brand you’re staying at and the level you hold. A calculator to work out how many points you should earn can be found here. These points can be redeemed for a discount of 40EUR per 2,000 points, which has become a stronger prospect given the beating that Sterling has taken against he Euro in the last month.
To progress to the next level, Silver, you need 2,500 points or 10 stays. To be honest, a free drink and a late check out for this level is not really worth that much given that it might take 10 stays to get.
More useful is Gold, earned after 10,000 points or 30 stays, which gives a welcome drink, VIP treatment and an upgrade as standard. This is only topped by Platinum which gives all the above, plus access to the Exceutive Lounges regardless of room type. To reach this you need 60 nights or 25,000 points. Having Gold or Platinum could be worth a lot as the upgrade or access to the lounge might give you a free breakfast.
There was a time, about 4 years ago, when Platinum was being given out for free to anyone, but this is no longer the case. However, there is a short-cut to Gold which means that you can benefit from the upgrades without having to spend a month staying in hotels.
One of the chains in the group is Ibis. They offer a Business Card for a payment of £65.
This gives 10% off the standard room rate in Ibis hotels, as well as 10% off breakfast and off the bar bill. The most important benefit, however, is the instant uplift to Gold Le Club status.
A payment of £65 for the card will guarantee you an upgrade on your next stay at an Accor hotel. As an example at the Sofitel London Heathrow where I was staying last week, at the end of September, a Superior Room will cost you £239.20 and a Luxury room £283.30.
Your Gold card should get you an upgrade worth £44. Throw in the fact that the upgrade will give you access to the lounge which will give you evening drinks, say £10 per person, and breakfast the following day, which would cost at least £15 each in the restaurant, you are getting over £80 in value from your £65 investment for one stay. If you have several stays, or a long one planned, this could be very worthwhile indeed.
At present there is no status match into Le Club but if you have no status, you could probably match from Le Club into Hilton Hhonors .