Melia Rewards unveils new member benefits – and Amex Centurion holders will get top tier status

Spanish hotel group Melia has a small but growing presence in the UK, most recently in the shape of the new INNSIDE hotel in Manchester which I am trying out this week.

Elsewhere in Europe it is a far larger player and, because you can earn Avios points by converting your Melia Rewards points into Iberia Plus, it should be of interest to Head for Points readers.

If you have an (invitation only) American Express Centurion card, this article should be of particular interest.   You are about to gain Platinum status in Melia Rewards as part of your benefits package.  I understand that top-tier status in Shangri-La Golden Circle is also being added as a Centurion benefit from next month.  There is going to be a sharp fee increase to accompany this, apparently …..

Melia Rewards logo

Anyway, back to Melia.  Melia Rewards recently unveiled a new set of member benefits:

Base level members receive 2,000 points for joining and 10 points per $ or € spent

At Silver level, you receive 11 points per $ or € spent, two breakfasts for the price of one when both guests are sharing a room and free wi-fi.  This requires just 2 stays or 5 nights or 10,000 points earned.

At Gold level, you receive 13 points per $ or € spent, two breakfasts for the price of one when both guests are sharing a room, free Wi-Fi, late check-out and three discount vouchers entitling you to 20% off a stay.  This requires 15 stays or 30 nights or 60,000 points earned.

At Platinum level, you receive 14 points per $ or € spent, two breakfasts for the price of one when both guests are sharing a room, free wi-fi, three discount vouchers entitling you to 20% off a stay, late check-out and a guaranteed one level upgrade.  You also receive a Priority Pass for airport lounge access and ‘Access to the VIP areas of our Meliá, Gran Meliá, ME and Paradisus hotels’ – it is not fully clear what this means.  This requires 30 stays or 50 nights or 150,000 points earned.

(I have edited the text regarding the breakfast benefit as the original version I wrote was not clear.  The way it works is that, once you are Silver status or above, your companion gets a free breakfast if they are sharing your room as long as you pay for your own breakfast.)

The Priority Pass given to Platinum members is generous as this costs Melia ‘real” money to arrange for you.

All members receive a ‘birthday bonus’ of a ‘two nights for the price of one’ voucher.  I have written about this before and consider it a very attractive deal.

Other perks of the scheme remain.  You can transfer your points for free to another member, for example, with no conditions attached.  If you live in Spain there are plenty of options to redeem for non-travel rewards such as leisure parks, golf passes, ski passes and Avis car rentals.

Melia Rewards

How does the earning rate stack up?

The numbers of points you can earn means little, of course, without seeing the redemption chart.

If you want to earn Avios points, the conversion rate is 100 points = 15 Iberia Plus Avios points.  At 10 points per €, you are earning roughly 1.5 points per €1, so just under 1 point per £1.

This is not hugely generous.  Club Carlson members earn 2 Avios points per $.  Hilton HHonors members earn a similar 1.5 Avios in Iberia Plus for every $1 spent but also earn some Hilton points on top.

Details of all Melia airline partners can be found here (log-in required).

Room redemptions are a more accurate way of judging how rewarding a programme can be as the airline conversion rate is often driven by the willingness (or not) of a programme to hand over real cash to a third party for point redemptions.

The cheapest redemptions (3-star Sol or TRYP hotels) start at 11,000 points.  That requires just €1,100 of spending.  That is a better deal than an equivalent 20,000 point Hilton HHonors redemption which would need £1,333 of spending.

At the top end, you are looking at between 23,000 and 45,000 points for the ‘trophy’ hotels.  ME London on The Strand is the most expensive, whilst the Melia hotels in Paris start at 26,000.  The Melia White House in London is from 21,500 points.

These are well priced.  A night at the Melia White House or a Paris hotel, requiring around €2,000 – €2,500 of spending, is probably worth around €250-€300.  That is a return of over 10% of spending.

Where Melia Rewards has always been weak is with bonus points.  These can make up a substantial proportion of your earnings with most chains.  In some ways it is pointless to make comparisons with the Hilton HHonors standard rates because Hilton almost always has a promotion.  Until August 31st, for example, you receive double points on every stay. Because Melia does not focus so heavily on promotions, your earnings will be restricted.

You can learn more about the new Melia Rewards benefits here.  If you are not already a Melia Rewards member, the sign-up page is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

My review of the Singapore Airlines business class lounge at Changi Terminal 3
My review of the Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER business class seat
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Free breakfast in silver or gold is for your companion (clearer in Spanish and French versions). No idea if this means your own is always free or you’re supposed to watch or it’s a 2-4-1 offer.

  2. Phillip says:

    I’ve been having some serious issues with their website over the last year – even when I do manage to log in, the functionality is pretty appalling. And I keep getting credited 10s of thousands of points randomly, which then get removed a week later on a frequent basis!

    • HayMow says:

      Phillip – I too wondered re the free points as I somehow seem to not get email notifications… but they apply to specific promotions that you should be emailed about and you have a certain time to use them towards a reward (or maybe part-pay) stay, then they are debited again. However this has a huge positive aspect in that the points activity counts towards activity for maintaining points / membership even if you haven’t had a stay in the last 12 months! 😀

  3. Interesting wording re breakfast – even in Spanish/French as Jon said it’s not entirely clear! Seems generous after 2 stays but perhaps less so if it only means BOGOF!

    Not this and the Shangri-La status will be enough to appease many Centurion cardholders if the fee is going up – the PP benefit doesn’t really mean much if they’ve got it anyway with their card.

    • Petit-déjeuner gratuit pour la personne qui vous accompagne.

      It could hardly be clearer :) Free breakfast is certainly for the person accompanying you.

      No information on the principal’s right to a freebie – BOGOF definitely possible.

      • Haha, quite – clear in a way we don’t want it to be, hopefully the opaqueness around the main person might work to our favour!

  4. Always intrigued by the Centurion Card- Rob – have you ever been invited?

    Any ideas of any Platinum card benefit changes this year? I remember reading free Amazon Prime (£79) could be offered.

    • Thanks! Ever since I took out a BA Premium Card, I’ve also stopped using my Plat. Now it only comes out for buying travel (to ensure I’m fully covered insurance-wise) promo’s and when I need to buy items where customer limits apply (eg. iphone, apple watch etc)

      • You’d still be covered for travel insurance if using your BAPP – as long as you use an Amex-issued Amex (or the retailer doesn’t take Amex) then you’re covered – the T&Cs stipulate this.

        • Thanks, I did not know that. But then which policy would you claim under? I understand the BAPP benefit is better for delays/lost luggage – but the Plat insurance comes out trump for medical claims?

          Or can one pick and choose?

          • I think so – the main thing is you can claim under the Plat one despite not paying on it – handy when using other Amex cards (e.g SPG or basic BA) that don’t have much by way of cover.

    • The fee is going up by £400 – hard to see these changes as being good value.

    • Havr they announced anything about cutting MR bonuses? Not very happy about that.

      • MR will be 1 per £1, so if you get double then that goes, centurion partners bonus go, I am not 100% certain about supermarket spend. The formal notice goes out July, I was called and told about the changes

  5. Donna Rowbottom says:

    Dammit – I’ve just completed a stay at a Melia hotel in Cuba! Does anyone know if I join today can I add points for retrospective stays?

    I’m a complete newbie to points cards and I’m kicking myself for the things I’ve missed out on!

    • It seems not, looking at the rules.

      The rules also contain this line: “Hotels belonging to the Sol Meliá chain that are located in Cuba are expressly excluded from the Programme, except for those hotels in city destinations. Sol Meliá reserves the right to modify the list of hotels taking part in the Programme at any time.” so you may have been out of luck anyway.

  6. OT: I’ve just received my Supercard in the post and got it all activated – can you change the pin number at an ATM like you would do a debit/credit card? Going to test it out next week when we head off to the USA on hols! Two credit card targets to hit and a new Supercard to test out!

    • Yes

      • sandgrounder says:

        Has anyone tried a cash advance from a credit card yet? I have charged a $0.60 toll payment to mine so far (bounced from a closed PRG) but no debit as yet. I think Barclaycard would class a prepaid top up as a ‘cash-like transaction’, so I want to see how Supercard is handled before I go crazy with it.

        • I took some cash in Amsterdam on my Supercard on Monday but it has not yet filtered through to my credit card statement. The app is playing up so I cannot see the transaction detail.

          I can see my last transaction which was €32.50 of hotel bill. The hotel tried to charge me in £ and presented me with a credit card slip showing £25.55. The actual total when I used Supercard was £23.84.

  7. Rob, are you going to cover all the changed to AmEx Platinum anytime soon? Cheers!

    • BlueHorizonUK says:

      Which changes?

    • I have not been told what they are yet, which makes it difficult :-)

      • Sorry about the confusion, guys. Just spotted people talking about some changes above :)

        • Something may happen. We may get mid tier Melia and Shangri La status?

          • That’s possible. I think Hong Kong Platinum card holders got mid-tier Shangri La status last year.

          • Fingers crossed!

          • Although not if it means a fee hike as has happened to Centurion cardholders!

          • Not really equivalent to HH-G and CX-G though.

          • RIccati says:

            I had a grim joke: what can they possibly do with Amex Plat, raise the fee and remove PP, so that not to incur any direct expenses for benefits they provide…

            They have a model. If people stop using BA card or Platinum they are bound to either (a) raise the rates or (b) raise the annual fee. They have to do it to be prudent.

            But raising the fee while not adding benefits leads to less people using/subscribing for Platinum. Vicious circle. Generous benefits are only possible from a rich pool (i.e., a majority of Platinum cardholders NOT using the benefits actively while using the card).

Trackbacks

  1. homepage says:

    homepage

    Melia Rewards is relaunched with new benefits