The offer is gone, and it was gone fast. Congrats to those who got in on it! The offer is back, but it will likely go away again soon, see it here. Part Two (Intro to Status Matching) is maybe one of the most useful things a new frequent flyer can master. If you haven't already take a close look at the latter half of this post.
This post is going to be broken into two parts.
Accor Hotels is offering free top tier status to new members. Credit where credit is due, in this case it goes to Loyalty Lobby who broke this story. It's a really great offer for a couple of reasons. In order to obtain this status you would usually need to spend 60 nights per year in their fine hotels. That's A LOT of nights and there is no higher status so you should be treated like royalty when you stay with them. Here is how take advantage of the offer:
- If you don't already have an Award Wallet account, (shame on you) - you should do it now. If you already have an account, get it open.
- Signup here. If you already have an account, you may want to sign yourself up at a new email address and consolidate the two accounts later.
- Add the account credentials to Award Wallet.
If you regularly stay in Sofitel, Mercure, Pullman or Novotel properties this is a great way to enjoy a better stay with a free welcome gift, complimentary drink, 4PM checkout and an upgrade. If you don't already stay with them, maybe you should start. This would be the ideal way to experience the hotel group Had I known this before I booked my most recent hotel, I would have definitely booked the Sofitel Bangkok, one of the nicest properties in the city.
For those that know about status matching, there has been reported matching success for Best Western and Club Carlson, you can take it from there.
For those that have no idea what the last line means, you NEED to read part two.
Status matching is a great way to get treated like royalty every time you travel. Google got this mostly right:
(Status match) A “fast track” to a elite status in which an airline will award status in its program based on a member’s status in another program, usually because the member is switching. Status matches are once-in-a-lifetime affairs and airlines may match only to a lower level.
The deal for airlines or hotel chains is great. Loyal customers are the holy grail for the travel industry and these are customers who have already proven that they spend lots of money in your industry so how could you not want to take away business from your competition? They are also giving something for free, that if you stay as loyal to them as you were to your previous airline or hotel chain you would earn anyway, they are just giving it to you right away as opposed to making you earn it from scratch.
The proposition from the consumer is really clear too. I spend lots of money with your competition, something has made me want to change that, I am unwilling to start from scratch with you, but if you give me the same status I had with my previous provider I will start spending money with you instead of them.
It's as win-win as it gets.
Here is what is usually required for a status match:
- Contact the customer service department of the new company you want to match your current status.
- Over the phone, via fax (yes people still use this) or email; send a copy of your membership card and any other credentials they may require along with a membership number in the new company (if you don't already have one, sign up first, it makes it much easier).
- Send it off, watch Award Wallet and follow-up. If it's not been approved within four weeks, contact them back and see if this was an oversight or a denial. Usually it's the former.
In this case, let's assume you signed up for the offer in part one of this post. You should of course stay in a Le Accor Hotel, but outside of the major cities in the US, this may be difficult to do. You could contact Best Western or Club Carlson and ask if they would status match you to their chain. Some programs are pickier than others requiring a statement of activity, but most are not. These are tough times and they want your business. At the end of the day, they are giving you an upgraded room that would otherwise go empty, and letting you checkout at 4PM instead of noon which costs them nothing.
The benefit to you however, is quite significant. In addition to the benefits I have already listed, you will also earn points faster for redemption nights making your stays more valuable to you in real dollars and cents (or pounds and pence). Best of all, if you are unable to re-qualify for next year, most programs will step you down to the next level for a "soft landing" meaning that a top tier match really gets you 2-3 years of some sort of status within a given chain.
The best benefit of top tier status: Getting treated like royalty when you walk in the door.