One of the benefits of the American Express Platinum charge card is the hotel statuses which come with it.
You can receive status in five hotel chains for free:
Hilton Honors (Gold status)
Club Carlson – Radisson, Park Inn, Park Plaza (Gold status)
MeliaRewards (Gold status)
Starwood Preferred Guest (Gold status)
Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade status)
In December, this list grew to include:
Marriott Rewards (Gold status)
because, with the acquisition of Starwood by Marriott, you can instantly match your Starwood status to the equivalent Marriott status via the respective websites.
And, in March, the list grew again to include a new status:
Taj Hotels InnerCircle (Gold status)
…. because, due to a new partnership, you can now match your Shangri-La status to Taj Hotels status.
To be honest, I haven’t bothered setting up all of these. It is highly unlikely that I will be staying in most of these chains in the medium term and, if I did have a booking, I know that I could get the relevant status activated in time.
I did recently activate my MeliaRewards Gold status. It wasn’t as fast as Hilton – who recently processed my wife’s upgrade in 3 days – but my existing Melia Rewards account was upgraded within a week.
You can find out more about the MeliaRewards programme here on the Melia website.
As usual, I recommend you open an account yourself (the sign-up page is here) instead of asking Amex to open one for you. This way, you have details of the account number and password.
What are the benefits of MeliaRewards Gold status?
MeliaRewards Gold does not offer a huge amount, to be honest, but it is certainly better than nothing if you have a Melia, INNSIDE, Tryp, ME etc stay coming up:
13 points per € or $ spent, compared to the standard 10 points per € or $
‘Buy 1, get 1 free’ on hotel breakfast
3 x 20% discount vouchers
Late check-out until 2pm (resort hotels) or 4pm (city hotels) unless the hotel is 100% full
And an interesting welcome offer worth 3,000 Avios …..
When I received my ‘welcome to Gold’ email from MeliaRewards, there was an interesting offer in it.
If I made a booking within 30 days, I would receive 10,000 bonus MeliaRewards points.
This is an attractive offer. 10,000 MeliaRewards points converts into 3,000 Avios points which would be an excellent return on a cheap one-night stay.
Note that British Airways is not a MeliaRewards partner, only Iberia Plus. This means that your 3,000 Avios would be sent over to an Iberia Plus account and you can then move them via ‘Combine My Avios’ to BA or avios.com.
MeliaRewards is also a partner with various other airlines, but the transfer rates are a lot poorer. The main ones that would interest HfP readers are Miles & More, American AAdvantage and Flying Club. 10,000 MeliaRewards points only gets you 1,666 miles in those programmes – although that is still a decent reward for one stay.
You could also use your 10,000 MeliaRewards points for a €50 ‘in hotel’ food and drink credit on a future stay. This is a better deal than taking the 3,000 Avios points, to be honest. 10,000 points isn’t enough for a free room – INNSIDE and 4-star Melia hotels start at 17,000 points, 5-star Melia hotels start at 22,000 points and ME hotels start at 28,000 points.
You should time your MeliaRewards Gold upgrade properly
This is a very good offer from Melia Rewards. If you have an American Express Platinum card, I would delay claiming your MeliaRewards Gold status until you think you can fit in a Melia / INNSIDE night.
There is obviously no guarantee that Melia will continue to offer 10,000 bonus MeliaRewards points for your first booking in 30 days after becoming Gold. On the other hand, there is no point blowing your chance of getting it by upgrading your account when you have no intention of staying in the short term.
If you are looking for a few ideas for Melia stays, we recently reviewed the impressive new Gran Melia in Madrid (review), the ME in Milan (review), the INNSIDE in New York (review) and the INNSIDE in Manchester (review). And, if you came to our Christmas party last year, you would have been able to take a look at the Melia White House in Regents Park.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.