When the email arrived this afternoon about the change in name for the Accor loyalty program – A|Club to Le Club Accorhotels – I didn’t think much of it other than that the new name pretty much sucks from a marketing perspective. Still, that’s their choice and I generally don’t really care about the names of the programs so long as they work.
And then I actually opened the email and read it. Needless to say, the name change is being used as cover for a rather significant change in the program:
Like most other programs out there Accor is now requiring customers to book in-house to get the benefits of their program. This isn’t much of a surprise – the commissions paid to agencies for handling hotel bookings are still pretty sizable and they may as well try to cut those costs – but it does suck a bit for guests. The ability to double-dip via programs like hotels.com or similar is now dead. Ditto for taking advantage of better rates elsewhere while still collecting points.
Not a huge devaluation, but definitely a downgrade to the program.
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