This is possibly the oddest Black Friday deal I’ve seen today – but it could work out very nicely.
MeliaRewards has started using Amazon to sell gift cards containing points. This TravelWeekly article explains the arrangement – in theory they will soon be on the UK site too (EDIT: it is now on the UK site but only at full price, and it looks as if they are shipping it from Spain anyway given the delivery dates.)
They are on the Spanish site (amazon.es). And, for FRIDAY ONLY (EDIT: deal is back for Cyber Monday), there is a 55% discount:
35,000 MeliaRewards points cost €105
55,000 MeliaRewards points cost €165
Here is the link to buy.
Postage to the UK is €4. You will be posted a plastic card which I presume contains a number which lets you upload the points to your Melia account.
Now …. MeliaRewards points can be converted to Avios at 10:3. However, I am not 100% certain that these points will be transferable – Melia has a track record of restricting transfers to airline miles of certain promotional points. Whilst you would be buying Avios at 0.8p each (€169 inc postage for 55,000 points which is 18,333 Avios) you can’t be certain this will be allowed.
You CAN use the points for hotel stays of course. And this is where it starts to look interesting.
(EDIT: Looking at the comments, what I wrote below is not totally correct. MeliaRewards actually makes a small number of rooms available per night for a fixed redemption price – lower than what I quote below – but once those have gone it switches to the revenue-based model. This makes the gift cards better value than my calculations suggest, assuming you can book these rooms.)
MeliaRewards pricing is based on the cash cost of a room, but is not uniform. In London, it is usually around 0.45p per point. In New York, it is around 0.65p. In Rome, I found it was 0.31p. It is a VARIABLE reward chart which goes up and down with the daily rate but the value per point seems to vary by hotel.
The values above are based on paying for a non-refundable room, so you may value them more highly given that reward nights can be cancelled
With this deal, you are paying 0.27p per point
ME London on a random January date is £189 or 41,649 points. Using this promo, you would be buying 41,649 points for €125 (£110).
INNSIDE New York NoMad on a random January date is £152 including taxes or 22,917 points. Using this promo, you would be buying 22,917 points for €69 (£61) which is a huge saving.
Grand Melia Rome on a random February date is £173 or 54,545 points. You make a relatively modest saving using points here – your €165 gift card is worth £146 so you save £27 – or more if you value the flexibility of a redemption.
You would have some points left over of course. However, MeliaRewards does ‘points and money’ so you could book a room costing more than 55,000 points and empty your entire balance in one transaction, just paying cash for the remaining sum.
You can also redeem points for food, drink and spa services at participating Melia hotels EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT A GUEST. I’m not sure how you do this – I imagine the plastic card which Melia sends you can be swiped, but how it works if you don’t have a plastic card I don’t know.
The rate here is 200 points per €1. In this promo you are buying points for 60c per €1, so there is a guaranteed profit here. You make even more money in the US where the rate is 200 points per $1.
There is something interesting here. However, since I don’t know if the points could be converted to Avios (even if you only used up the spare ones this way), I am not wholeheartedly recommending it. The card must be activated within 6 months and the points spent within a year from then.
If you’re planning a hotel stay somewhere which has a Melia, however, it may be worth a look. They are in more places than you think, eg the INNSIDE New York NoMad which Anika reviewed 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.)