Our detailed review reveals everything you need to know about the membership and what it offers the average cardholder.
Updated 18 October 2023
Our guide covers:
- As a background, Accor Hotels include Novotel, Sofitel, Ibis and many other hotel brands such as MGallery, Pullman and Grand Mercure. There are dozens around New Zealand and hundreds in Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
- Accor Plus membership is a paid program that entitles members to 10% off Accor hotels and up to 50% off dining, among other benefits. Memberships that cost $399 or more include a free night's stay, known as the 'Stay Plus' benefit, in an Accor property in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Accor Plus members are also upgraded to 'Accor Silver', which entitles anyone who books a room to one drink voucher per guest per stay and the option of late check-out (if available). Members also earn points from their stays which can be redeemed for future hotel stays.
- Annual membership costs between $249 and $448, including GST. Selecting the most cost-effective membership level depends on whether you plan to use the free Stay Plus night offered by the Explorer ($399) and Discovery ($448) memberships or stick to the entry-level Traveller ($249).
- Members receive a digital card (which can be accessed via the Accor Plus website and using the Accor app) as well as a physical card in the mail.
- The following Accor hotel brands participate in the Accor Plus program: Banyan Tree, Sofitel Legend, Fairmont, SO/, Sofitel, MGallery, Art Series, Mondrian, Pullman, Swissôtel, Angsana, Grand Mercure, Quay West, Peppers, The Sebel, Mantra, Cassia, Novotel, Mercure, BreakFree, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis Budget.
- Advertising Disclosure: Our reviews and research are based always independent. In some situations, a company we review may work with MoneyHub and pay us for promotion. This does not influence our information. Our Advertising Policy has more details.
Our guide covers:
- If you travel for business and/or holiday more than five times a year, Accor Plus offers a lot of good benefits, convenience and general savings.
- However, you're restricted to Accor Hotels properties which, while widely located throughout New Zealand and worldwide, are not always the cheapest or available in any given city.
- Our view is simple - if you need to evaluate in detail whether you can justify the annual fee and/or whether you'll use the perks, the card is probably not for you. While the card offers hundreds of dollars in restaurant and hotel rewards, you'll most likely need to spend $1,000+ a year on hotels and dining to enjoy most of the benefits.
- However, if you use the free one-stay offered by the Explore and Discovery memberships, this card delivers benefits and perks that well exceed the annual membership fee which can make it a 'good to have' card for when you need it.
Accor Plus has 100+ 1-star TrustPilot reviews. What is the reason, and what do I need to know?
- Our research team extensively analyzed the reviews listed on TrustPilot. Most of the complaints had nothing to do with Accor Plus. From those that did, the majority of the complaints related to Accor Plus were, more often than not, discussing free night availability. Therefore, to maximize your benefit, we suggest booking the free night stay within the first three months of joining to give yourself enough flexibility around dates and locations. Our video explains how to do this.
- We've also encountered sentiments about pro-rata refunds for Accor Plus membership, meaning if you don't cancel your membership within the cooling-off period (10 days), you won't receive a refund for the unused days. For this reason, you must be comfortable with the offering before signing up.
"I'm rarely impressed by hotel memberships – they usually involve expensive stays, limited benefits, and arguably a hamster-wheel-type situation of big spends for small rewards. However, Accor Plus is different, and something I see the financial benefits for my work and leisure travel. For this reason, I feel comfortable writing this review and talking fondly of the product, just as I do with things like the Wise travel money card and free budgeting apps, among others".
"For $249 a year, you get the benefits of up to 50% off food at any Accor hotel restaurant in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. The 50% maximum applies when a member dines with one other person. The value and savings can be significant. For example, Movenpick Auckland charges $40+ per person for its extensive breakfast, but with an Accor Plus card, you can dine with someone else and get 50% off the price. And many couples and friends take advantage of this, given the cost of coffee and breakfast in cafes around New Zealand and overseas. The benefits extend to all restaurant food, just as you would get with First Table but without the $5 or $10 fee and limited times".
"There's something very convenient about being able to ask for a late check-out as an entitlement and not feeling guilty for arriving early at a hotel and asking to check-in. I've found neither to be an issue, given each Accor Plus member is automatically given Accor Silver status, which usually requires around $1,500 of annual hotel spending".
"To me, it's a cost-effective way to make hotel stays more personal, better value and rewarding, but I accept it's not for everyone which is why this review goes into great detail to explain everything you need to know about the membership".
In this section, we list the benefits that come with the membership, as summarised here.
Accor Plus benefits extend beyond New Zealand and Australia. With most borders reopened, members are automically upgraded to the Accor Live Limitless Silver status which offers perks like welcome drink vouchers and late check-outs. We expand on some of these key benefits below.
Silver status means an automatic 10% saving on standard rates when booking on the Accor Plus and Accor website. The video below explains how that works and how much can be saved.
Bonus tip: If you want breakfast at a hotel, it's often cheaper to book a room-only rate and pay for breakfast using your Accor Plus card to get 50% off on the mornings you want. The cost difference between room-only and breakfast-inclusive rates can, at certain hotels, be $60+, as our video below outlines:
The countries you can use all of these benefits include:
Our video explains how different prices exist for the same hotel room, and how to book the cheapest:
Our video explains the process of redeeming a free night using the Accor website.
Please be aware there are limitations, and you'll need to be flexible with your dates and hotels. However, the further you can book in advance, the better, and, arguably, the best value comes from staying at a top-tier hotel (e.g. Sofitel, MGallery and Pullman) than an entry-level option (ibis or Mercure etc.).
Our View: High-end hotels in New Zealand and Australia are available using the Stay Plus benefit, which, in one night, can offset the price of the membership. Another benefit is that a Stay Plus booking can be cancelled and rebooked at no cost, so you're not fixed should your plans change later.
For example, the hotels below were all available for a free night and most cost NZ$400+ per night for a fully refundable one-night stay. We looked at dates 3-6 months in advance on a week night and saw wide availability. The pricing is sample only and was performed on 13 October 2022 for a 8 March 2023 one-night stay.
Our video explains how to find free nights:
Accor Plus makes it clear on their dedicated dining page how this benefit works. The discounts are as follows:
Excluding all drinks, we explain the discount system where the average dining cost per person is $40.
Our view: It's an usual discount system where it starts off at the lowest discount (25%) and then gets better (up to 50%) then goes back to the lowest discount (25%), however the 'sweet spot' is when you dine as a table of two or three where the savings will be significant.
Know This: Accor restaurants in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji allow you to use multiple cards per table for even greater savings. For example, if you're dining in a group of four with two people who each have a card, the food bill will be reduced by 50%.
Important: Not all restaurants participate - you'll need to check the website to make sure where you want to dine is covered.
You can use the website or contact the restaurant directly. You'll need to quote your Accor Plus card and show either a physical or digital copy when you dine. While most Accor hotel restaurants participate in the program, be sure to check to avoid any confusion, as some will have black-out dates. There is no limit on how many times you can visit a restaurant and use the discount.
Our video explains the process:
Accor Plus members are also emailed weekly promotions, which include up to 50% off room rates at selected hotels. One example from October 2022 can be downloaded here, which we've done a simple comparison of below.
The Red Hot Room selection largely represents Asian hotels rather than New Zealand hotels, the the offer availability is usually less than three months. This makes it more difficult to plan and book from New Zealand unless you're planning a trip in the coming weeks.
Despite the limitations and lack of local hotels, there are 50+ hotels at any one time on sale and it's a benefit nonetheless given the discounts are significant.
Accor Plus members regularly receive emails with wine tasting, golf, spa and hotel offers. An example of such a newsletter and the offers available at the time can be seen here. While the promotions won't appeal to everyone, the offers include discounted pricing for Accor Plus members and their guests.
- It depends on how much you travel and your dining habits. It's likely to be a useful card for anyone who stays more than ten nights a year in hotels – the benefits of room and dining discounts are likely to outweigh the annual cost. Add in a free night's stay at a high-end hotel and the ongoing perks of drink vouchers and late check-outs, and Accor Plus has wider appeal.
- To make it work, you'll need to commit to staying in Accor hotels and be prepared to be somewhat restricted in your choices by doing so. That being said, the number of Accor hotels continues to grow in New Zealand and around the Pacific, which gives ever-increasing holiday options
- Furthermore, you don't need to be 'away' to enjoy the benefits. Accor Plus members can dine at any hotel whenever they want and get up to 50% off; couples who book breakfasts at top hotels arguably find excellent ongoing value vs ordinary café alternatives.
- If you have Accor Plus Explorer ($399 per year) and can book a night in a Sofitel or MGallery in Australia or New Zealand, the membership almost pays for itself in one go when the room rates are NZ$350+ per night.
- Accor Plus is less useful if you prefer to use booking.com or a similar website, don't plan to be loyal to any hotel and/or don't care about luxury hotels.
- You earn membership points with every stay and dining spend. These points can be used to redeem further hotel nights.
- Accor Plus avoids building up stays to reach the Silver level. Instead, you get all the benefits as soon as you pay your membership fee, which means you enjoy the perks on the first booking. By doing this, you are effectively buying a hotel program status.
There are three memberships ($249, $399 and $448), which are paid upfront and last for 12 months. The $399 and $448 memberships include one free night per year ('Stay Plus') at participating Accor Hotels in Asia-Pacific.
If you can redeem the Stay Plus free night, book at least ten nights a year in an Accor hotel (to generate the stay perks), and use the discounted dining benefits. Accor Plus can be significantly more valuable than the annual fee of $399 (which includes a Stay Plus free night).
Yes – you can add a supplementary cardholder for NZ$159. You can also apply for membership for a day, valid for 24 hours.
You can share the benefits of Accor Plus with others up to three times per year with something called "Member For Day certificates". The certificates are requested online and valid for 24 hours from check-in or first used for casual dining, which entitles the certificate to up to 50% off dining. More information can be found here.
Silver is Accor's loyalty program's entry-level; you get a few more benefits than base-level members:
- Late check-out on request (and upon availability on arrival)
- Welcome drink voucher for everyone staying on your reservation
- Bonus rewards points on eligible spend
Accor Plus is a paid membership with specific benefits such as dining discounts and free night stays. Accor Live Limitless (also known as 'ALL') is Accor's loyalty program every Accor hotel participates in. Membership is free.