Free 5-star Melia hotel night – a decent reason to get Amex Platinum this Summer

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Ironically, last Friday, I published a post criticising American Express Platinum for launching a poor quality Priority Club promotion.

And then, what should appear in the post, than a genuinely very attractive deal.  A free night, for all American Express Platinum cardholders, at a selection of Melia hotels.  Importantly, there is NO requirement to book further nights – a one-night, totally free, stay is permitted.

What I find a little hard to believe is that the new ME London is included.  This is on The Strand, in the old BBC World Service building.  Designed by Norman Foster, it is creating a stir for its very funky rootop bar, below:

ME London

The full list of hotels included is:

These are all very nice properties, in theory.  Gran Melia is the top tier of the Melia brand portfolio, whilst ME is their ‘W-style’ lifestyle brand.

Even better, the Fenix in Madrid is a member of American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts.  The rules specifically state that FHR benefits ARE included in your free night, so if you stay at the Fenix (and only the Fenix) you will also receive:

  • Noon check-in
  • 4pm check-out
  • Free breakfast for 2 people
  • Free lunch or dinner for 2 people (excluding alcoholic drinks)
  • Room upgrade on arrival if available

I like the sound of this one!

You can book from now until 30th November, for travel dates between 1st July and 30th November.

Full details, including some black-out dates, can be found here (link deleted as now dead).

It is not clear if you still need to have the Platinum card when you do your free stay.  One person who booked last week was told that the hotel would charge the stay to his card and then Amex would automatically cancel it, but I don’t believe this as Amex would not know the underlying room rate.  My guess is that you probably could get away with it if you had cancelled your card, but I wouldn’t personally risk it.

If you signed up for Amex Platinum now, you would still be able to take part in this promotion.  Don’t forget that you also receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up, worth 30,000 Avios points.

My full review of Amex Platinum can be found here, and full details of the 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus can be found hereThe Amex home page for the card is here.

Bits and pieces: Avis opens in the T5 car park, Hilton website upgrade mess
Special deals for Starwood members when dining in their hotels as a non-guest

Click here to join the 15,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
Get points worth 15,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus!
15,000 Avios with Capital on Tap Mastercard
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.


  1. Noticed the Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold status has been removed though?

    • Cathay status is still there. It has NEVER been listed on the Amex website as a benefit, because they are very nervous about (further) upsetting British Airways, who as we all know is Amex’s biggest UK client.

      • Ah that’s good news, need to apply for the platinum card so it’ll be good to get oneworld saphire status and a free melia night now!

      • Hi Raffles,
        Are you sure you still get the cathay gold status for new amex platinum memberships as just spoke to amex CS who told me it wasn’t offered anymore? She was getting very confused between the amex gold card and cathay gold status so she might have got it wrong.

        • The_Pope says:

          Yep – it’s clearly listed under View All Benefits > Partner Programmes on the dedicated Platinum site, along with SPG Gold, Club Carlson Gold Elite, Accor Platinum and the other benefits 🙂

          • Do you have link for this? Amex CSR on the phone are still telling me its not available for new applications. If I can point them to this that might clarify it … thanks!

          • Johnny5a says:

            Are you referring to the Melia deal or the Cathay Pacfic card?

          • Sorry, deleted my reply. Cathay card is available until Feb 2014 according to the ad in Departures magazine recently. Ignore what the rep says, just apply for it via the Plat website and it will turn up.

            And what is the worse case scenario? You apply for Plat, get the 30,000 bonus Avios, find you can’t get the Cathay card (highly unlikely) and so cancel for a fee refund, and you keep all the hotel status cards too!

          • Sorry was referring to the cathay gold status, maybe slightly OT…

  2. It doesn’t appear to be targetted. Log onto the Platinum web site and go to Platinum Travel / Offers. The Melia offer is listed first for me.

  3. Polly says:

    Hi Raffles, do you know if breakfast, wi fi etc is included in the london melia, or is it room only? Tnx

    • It’s room only and it looks like there’s a charge for wifi unless you’re in a suite.

    • Room only, wifi would only be included if all guests got free wifi. You are dead centre of London, though, so no shortage of breakfast or free wi-fi joints within 2 mins walk.

  4. Thanks for this – but just a quick pedant’s note: this isn’t the old BBC World Service building – that’s Bush House, which is next door, and which has only recently been vacated.

    ME London is in what was Marconi House, which does have an important place in broadcasting history as the home of 2LO, the forerunner to the BBC, in 1922-23, and of various Marconi companies.

  5. danksy says:

    Thanks for the tip….

    Just signed up for Platinum card using a targetted brochure I got via the post.

    40,000 Avios if I spend £2,500 in 3 months, plus £225 fee instead of £450.

    Cheap weekend somewhere in Europe 😀

    Thanks Raffles, great work as ever!

  6. danksy says:

    No, I’ve never had a platinum card, and interestingly the mailshot was sent to a previous address that I lived at (but luckily I have tenants who forwarded the mail!) so doesn’t seem linked to my current BA Amex account in anyway.

    When I did the online application they didn’t approve straight away, maybe they smelt a rat when I over-wrote the mailshot address with my proper address?

    Interestingly the redemption required confirmation of the postcode to which the mailshot went, and the unique reference number…

    The portal to redeem is

  7. aristeides says:

    Forgive my total ignorance, but does it have to be the card holder who stays in the room or can the booking be made for someone else? And would the same go for the Fenix Madrid FHR benefits?

    • Booking must be made in name of cardholder. Easiest way to try to get round it usually is to book for 2 people, put both names in booking, and for other person to check in. However, it seems the hotel will want to see a Plat card before comping the room, give what callers are being told when booking, so unless you want someone else to impersonate you it won’t work. And impersonation only works in countries where the law does not insist on seeing photo ID at check-in.

      • Johnny5a says:

        I was not told about showing the Platinum card. But I will now to make sure. Thx!

  8. Polly says:

    Are ME part of any of the hotel group cards that come with plat? Tnx

    • No. Although you could join Melia Rewards and see if they would match your status in another programme by emailing a screenshot of your status,

      • Polly says:

        ThanksAre ME part of any of the hotel group cards that come with plat? Tnx

  9. Just booked a Saturday night at the Gran Melia Fenix Madrid in September. The operator said breakfast was not included so I’m assuming FHR benefits are not included in your free night. 🙁
    I will probably call back at some point to double check.

    • Hmm – the brochure explicitly stated FHR benefits were honoured at that property so hopefully it’s just a dodgy agent! Any issues re availability or was it quite easy to get the dates you wanted? Considering that one myself!

      • I called back and looks like it was just the operator who was not aware of it. So now getting dinner, breakfast, late and early checkout and possible room upgrade from a “Deluxe room with patio view”. This must add £150 to the value of the booking. Woohoo!!. I had no problem booking and they gave me the first night I asked for (Saturday 28th September) .

        • Excellent – really glad you got someone that saw sense! 😀

        • Johnny5a says:

          brilliant, I wish we could have done that, we’ve max’ed out our all our weekends! this year. We’re staying in ME London

  10. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Hi all,

    Well, thought I had missed out – one of the three blackout dates for the Fenix was the one date we wanted!

    But a call to the helpful Amex travel chap led to the question: why the ME, the Fenix is a much better deal – and we have a room available!

    What a result.

    Flight in from UK on the Big Orange for £50, free dinner, night and breakie at the Fenix, and then off to Argentina on IB in Biz for 60 euros and a load of LloydsTSB avios (yes, still wokring my way through them!)

    Now if we get IB new Business Class that would be the cherry on top!

  11. expatbear says:

    Thanks Rob, another great pointer… booked the Fenix in Madrid, one night on mine and one night on my partner’s Platinum card (we have two card accounts, not for much longer though!). Platinum line travel agent was helpful enough to call the hotel and tell them to make sure and link the bookings… also confirmed the FSH deal with free lunch/dinner at the hotel, late check out, etc. Booked a couple of BA saver tix on avios, and voila! A pre-birthday weekend trip to Madrid for only £60 out of pocket!

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.