Where should I transfer my Accor LeClub points to given the current bonus on LeClub transfers to Qantas (detailed question!)

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This is a question for some of the more advanced point guru’s out there! I’m an avid points collector and have been for the past 2 years. After first becoming involved thru reading Point Hacks as well as other blogs I owe much of my success to Keith and the others as I’ve positively managed to improve my travel experience. Over the years Ive successfully accrued, purchased, and redeemed points for F & J on EY, EK, JL & QF but I’m stumped as to what I should do with my Accor leClub points!

I’ve built up approx 50k of leclub points over the past 24mths thru hotel stays and other promos and as accor allow you to redeem these at set rates its easy to attribute a set value to these points:

2000 pts = 40eur Value
(50000/2000) x 40eur = 1000
ie 50k points = 1000 Euro Value.

Obviously the above only applies when using for hotel stays however having a set value unlike IHG & SPG points allows you to calculate the value in transferring these points to other currencies like QF Freqflyer, SQ KrisFlyer, VA Velocity etc. LeClub offers some great and not so great conversion rates, and I value their 1:1 exchange for QF, and VA to be particularly good. Even more so with VA as they now offer direct conversion to SQ at a 1:1.35 exchange. This proves to be a sweet spot as you can effectively transfer points leClub points to SQ via VA at a rate of 1:1.35 instead of the usual 2:1 leClub offers!

I’m usually very cautious about transferring points out of programs such as SPG, IHG, and leClub as I classify these currencies as being very flexible. Allowing you the opportunity to transfer points onto other airline programs in which to redeem is invaluable and in my mind increases the value of these points.

This has all complicated things a little of late with QF offering leClub point bonus’ to get a competitive edge over the newly introduced transfer partner of leClub to Velocity.
QF at the moment are offering 50% bonus points:

Earn 50% more Qantas Points
“Reach your destination sooner – set your ‘automatic conversion’ to Qantas Frequent Flyer now and for all Le Club AccorHotels Points that convert to Qantas Points before 30 November 2015, you’ll earn a bonus of 50% more Qantas Points!”

Therefore under this promo: 50000 leClub points = 75000 QF Points

I’ve read the terms and conditions and although you have to activate automatic conversions, it doesn’t state that only the latest stay benefit would be the amount you’d earn the bonus on. So I would assume that with one stay (after setting automatic conversion) I could transfer my leClub points to QF with a bonus of 25k QF points?

I’m very cautious about my point redemptions and only use points when I find significant value in doing so. Generally, I’ll use my points on Med-Long Haul flights (7+hrs) to either upgrade or redeem outright for a higher class of travel. This is where Point values fluctuate to create fluid valuations between individuals. I don’t have a set value for my QF redemptions however based on my recent redemptions, you could say that I aim to achieve 3-3.5cents value out of each QF point.

Therefore:
QF
(50000+25000)pts x $0.035 = $2625
leClub
(50000/2000) x 40eur = 1000eur

Using current market rates 1000 EUR = $1600 AUD

Therefore you could say that there is $600 more value for me in using my accor points for flight redemptions with QF if I transfer under the current 50% bonus promotion.

So you’ll probably be asking whats the question behind all this rambling? Although I have a fair amount of experience with the QF, VA, and AA reward programs, I have very little knowledge of others such as KrisFlyer & Asia Miles which you seem to gain significant value from! Would you bite the bullet and transfer to a non flexible currency such as QF under this bonus, or do you think I can get better value out of SQ/VA/CX’s programs if I hold my points in leClub and only convert when I have a specific redemption planned?

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Hey Nathan! Great question, and thank you for outlining your rationale in detail.

The first decision point for me is whether you should transfer out of Accor (to Qantas) at all. On the assumption that you would happily use your LeClub points for vouchers (it seems you stay a fair bit with Accor, so I assume this is the case) then under the current promo you are valuing the 75,000 Qantas Points at $1600. This is a per point cost (as you are forgoing a fixed value redemption as you know) of 2.13 cents per Qantas Point.

I’d argue that this is too high to consider now, and therefore even less valuable outside of the transfer bonus window. I’d pay no more than 1-1.5c per point. If you have a specific need for your Qantas Points though, and/or know you won’t use the Accor vouchers, then it’s not a too bad deal.

As for transfers to VFF or SQ – value of Velocity points is comparable in my view to Qantas Points. So without the bonus, not much to be gained. SQ and Asia Miles are 2 LeClub to 1 airline mile so I think again, there’s lesser value here (although as you say the LeClub -> Velocity -> SQ method will earn you more, and is worth considering.

So I’d say you are best off continuing to hold your points in LeClub until you know where you want to use them, bearing in mind the best use is probably with Accor hotels if that makes sense for you.

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