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.
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