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 …..
What are the new Melia Rewards member benefits?
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.
How many points do you need for a good redemption?
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.
How to get MeliaRewards Gold status from American Express (January 2021)
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE MeliaRewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status.
You can discover the benefits of MeliaRewards Gold status on the Melia website here.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)