Bits: the best Amex MR redemption is dropped, don’t appeal your BA compensation!

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News in brief:

The most valuable Membership Rewards redemption has been dropped

Once a year I publish this list which ranks American Express Membership Rewards redemptions in terms of ‘value per point’.

It is clearly very subjective but – on my maths – the best deal was, surprisingly, Melia Hotels redemptions.  You could redeem Membership Rewards points for a voucher for a free night – 14,000 points for Grand Melia down to 5,500 points for a Sol Hotel.

I reckon that you would easily get 1p per Membership Rewards point at those prices, and probably more.

The problem was that the booking process was complex and not well explained by Amex.  You had to ring Melia and speak to an agent who had probably not heard of this offer.  They had to find availability and reserve your room.  After that, you called Amex and ordered a voucher which you presented at the hotel at check-in.

Melia Hotels redemptions have now disappeared from the Membership Rewards website.  This is a little odd as Melia has been deepening its Amex partnership and now offers Melia Rewards Gold status to Amex Platinum cardholders.  My best guess is that the vouchers proved too complex to use and were causing negative feedback.

PS.  A review of Melia’s smart new INNSIDE hotel in Hamburg will appear next week.

Melia Hotels American Express Membership Rewards

Why you shouldn’t appeal your BA compensation!

A friend of mine recently flew British Airways First Class.  After a litany of issues, including BA only loading one fish plate for a cabin of nine people and only loading one bottle of a particular wine, he wrote to complain.

10,000 Avios was offered.  He felt that was not suitable and wrote back to say so.  This is what happened (note that the person is BA Gold):

Apparently he can have the 10,000 Avios back if, at any point in the next 12 months, he changes his mind and decides that it is suitable compensation.

PS.  I have, in the past, received a written complaint from BA for referring to Avios as ‘Avios points’, which apparently they are not.  It seems no-one told the app development team.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. OT Amex Platinum. I’ve read many articles on this blog about Hotel chain status that you get with Amex Platinum but, as yet, I haven’t found any of the articles state how you go about getting those statuses.
    How do you go about claiming your higher status and is it the same process for all chains involved with AMEX platiunum? If there is an article explaining the process then I apologise for this post but I couldn’t find it

    • Lottietiger says:

      If you log onto your account and go to rhe card benefits section you will find the links to the relevant hotel chain upgrades under the travel section. You then just need to fill each one in separately with you hotel membership numbers. All sorted very quickly apart from Hilton who is still sorting despite several chats.

      • I had to give details 3 times for HH, on the third go it worked!

        • Amex Platinum kindly awarded HH status to some complete stranger, no idea who. Certainly not me though as the HH number shown on my Amex account is not mine. It’s at least six weeks since I raised this with Amex and I’ve had a number of sympathetic emails but as yet nothing concrete to sort this out.

        • Took 23hrs when I did it. Havent had confirm on others but not checked

        • Stuart_f says:

          Louie – it probably is yours. Amex have most likely opened a second account in your name.

    • Whilst not necessary, you should open the relevant accounts yourself first so you have the log-in details.

      Go to americanexpress.co.uk/platinum where there are online forms to fill in for each chain. That’s it. Wait a few days (longer for some chains) and your status will update.

      Following the website revamp, your supplementary cardholder now needs to register their card via their own online Amex account. They can then also log in at the Platinum website and request their status upgrades.

  2. Wow, that really is a new CS low. We’ve come to expect very little in terms of the way BA handle these kind of things, especially over the past couple of years since Cruz took over.

    Even so, 1530 TP over a year is likely to represent a reasonable amount of spend, and they’re being petty over that person accepting 10K avios for service issues of BA’s own making. Clearly they thought that was an appropriate level of compensation, so why not just say that’s all they’re able to offer?

    • Cate ⛱️ says:

      But are they being petty or is this a correction in our thinking that loyalty schemes were created just for our benefit? Like you say Mark all those tier points have come from spending. They’ve had this customer’s money – ‘next please’.

      • It’s not really about the loyalty scheme though, it’s about how you treat your customers and how that message plays out to a wider audience.

        Travel spend is typically not a one time thing. I’m assuming there’s future travel spend up for grabs (BA wouldn’t know if there wasn’t).

        Whether it makes any difference will depend in part of course in whether Rob’s friend has any control over who they fly with. But even if they don’t this is the sort of thing that has the potential to generate negative publicity, for the sake of 10K avios and a point being made…?

        If it’s CS policy I really don’t understand what they’re trying to achieve.

        • Cate ⛱️ says:

          They’re not trying to achieve anything though, alas they don’t have to. They’ve had this person’s money – obviously many many times over – and that’s all their interested in sad to say. They’re not thinking about the future, they’re thinking now.

          The only thing that causes significant damage to an airline’s reputation is if their aircraft makes an unscheduled landing into terrain.

        • I have total control of who I fly.

          Been an EC member for 20 odd years and scrap by gold and sometimes silver.

          All this has done is made me smile, realisss they don’t care any loyalty is one way. I have been flying less and less BA over the last 3 years. This single CS agent has made my TP target for next year zero.

  3. Here’s the real mind boggler… Is ‘Avios’ plural or singular… or both?

  4. OT: Just in from Bloomberg:
    BRITISH AIRWAYS OWNER IAG SAID TO WEIGH BID FOR NORWEGIAN AIR

    Damn, that’s Norwegian downgrading from a low-cost carrier to BA standards 😉

    In all seriousness, big news

  5. Cate ⛱️ says:

    Damn, that’s Norwegian downgrading from a low-cost carrier to BA standards ????

    Lol!!

  6. Faithy says:

    OT
    Plat referral. Do you get 18000mr for refering any card?

  7. Jason K says:

    OT
    Does anyone know how long the MBNA Virgin upgrade and companion vouchers are valid for?

    Ive hit 10k spend, just waiting for my anniversary in June to get the 2x upgrade vouchers. Im assuming MBNA are still obligated to issue these vouchers even if they remove the product?

  8. OT: Re the closure of the Avios Programme.

    I got a letter in the post from avios today telling me about the closure and reminding me how many points I had. Interestingly my points balance on the letter is totally wrong but on closer examination the account number quoted is not my normal account number. It looks like I might have a 2nd Avios Account that I had forgotten about if so it must be very old, and is maybe a hangover from when I converted my paper Air Miles vouchers many many years ago! Either that or its an Avios IT error! Sadly the balance on this 2nd account is only 2,110

    Has anything similar happened to anyone else?

    I wonder if they will merge it with my correct BAEC Account if I do nothing about it!

  9. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – those with an AwardWallet account, have you received the email about FoundersCard? I know it’s US only but wouldn’t it be great to have something like this in UK?

    Membership includes:
    Elite status and/or preferred rates with top travel partners:
    PREMIUM AIR: American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas
    LIMO & CAR: Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Silvercar, GroundLink, Carey, EmpireCLS
    HOTEL PROGRAM: Hilton Honors, Marriott Rewards, Caesars Total Rewards, Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, W, Kempinski, Omni
    Over $10,000 of account credits and complimentary subscriptions including MR PORTER, Trunk Club, BMW, CLEAR, TripIt Pro, ShopRunner, and JetSmarter.
    Savings on business services and supplies from UPS, AT&T, Dell, Lenovo, Shopify, TriNet, LegalZoom.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Doesn’t mention the actual elite level. I guess it’ll be the lowest one – i.e. BA Bronze and equivalent.

      • The ONLY airline status is Cathay Silver (ie BA Bronze). The other airlines listed just give fare discounts, often restricted to ex US flights.

  10. OT. I booked a flight 2 weeks ago on the phone with BA using companion voucher. BA haven’t taken the voucher or the avios for the flight but the flights are showing on my BAEC account. Do you think BA will take the avios and the voucher in the future or maybe just a glitch?

    • they do often take some time

    • Genghis says:

      Has it ticketed? Though even if ticketed, I’ve seen it where they haven’t taken avios or cash payment until later.

      • Darren says:

        +1 ring them and confirm, better than not getting the flights.

      • Yes the flight is ticketed got the confirmation straight away, plus took the taxes aswell. Just thought it’s strange they haven’t took the Avios or the voucher.

  11. OT – seen BA have up to 40% off sale on CW/CE holidays until Monday. Any good?

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