How I got a great deal from Melia’s Black Friday ‘buy points’ offer

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On Friday, I covered a very generous ‘buy points’ offer from Melia Hotels.  Initially I thought that the offer was only available to people who bought points gift cards from Amazon Spain (link here), but it turned out that Melia had reduced its ‘buy points’ prices online to match.

Most people seem to have missed the value that this deal offered.  I didn’t see our article picked up by anyone else.  More fool them.

Here is an example to show you how good it was.

Every July, my brother and his family come to London for Wimbledon.  I have always offered to sort out their hotel accommodation for them, since this is generally the most expensive week of the year for London hotels.

I decided to book them into ME London, Melia’s funky luxury lifestyle hotel on the Strand:

ME London at a large discount

Here is the pricing for Saturday 4th July (click to enlarge):

ME London at a large discount

As you can, a reassuringly expensive £599 for Bed & Breakfast.  And he needs two rooms.

(This price is not out of line.  InterCon Park Lane is £793, whilst Holiday Inn Camden Lock is £268.  Admittedly, there are better deals at some hotels.)

This is what it costs for MeliaRewards points:

ME London at a large discount

We’re looking at 51,412 points for Bed & Breakfast.  Whilst an odd number, this is the standard price for B&B at ME London.  I saw the same points price on offer on dates when the cash price was far, far lower than £599.

And what does it cost to buy 102,824 points?  (51,412 x 2 rooms)

ME London at a large discount

The answer is €370.17, or £320.

The points post instantly and I immediately made my points booking.

I picked up two rooms at ME London, retailing for £599 each, for £160 each.  You can’t argue with that.  For comparison, the best IHG alternative for that price, including breakfast, was the Holiday Inn Express Earl’s Court, which is not exactly comparable with a luxury five star hotel on the Strand.

Here is another example from a reader who emailed to say he booked INNSIDE New York (Anika reviewed INNSIDE New York here) for 3 nights in May.  Here is a cash price of £667.64, which includes taxes:

ME London at a large discount

and for points, the total needed is 71,222 MeliaRewards points:

ME London at a large discount

which costs you €256.40 (£221):

ME London at a large discount

Buying and immediately redeeming points at INNSIDE New York means you pay £221 for three nights instead of £667.64.  Importantly, the redemption is also fully refundable whilst the cash rate I quoted is non-refundable.

I don’t know if this offer will still be running on Tuesday or if it was only for Cyber Weekend.  The Amazon Spain page is here for buying postal gift cards – the offer price was from €126 per 35,000.  If it shows from €210 per 35,000 then the price has gone back up (EDIT: still available at 7am).  Similarly, you can try buying points on the Melia website – these post instantly – to see if you get the same rates I quote above.

Have a read at Friday’s article first before you go down the Amazon Spain route.

You may well have missed out now, but if so this is still one to consider for Black Friday 2020 or whenever Melia next runs a major ‘buy points’ promotion.

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Comments

  1. David H says:

    OT – but urgent for a transaction I want to do today – can anyone advise me whether your 2-4-1 certificate re-appears instantly on our BA account for re-use if you cancel online your current 2-4-1 booking ? If not then I had better call to change.

    • If it was a straight forward booking when you first made it i.e. you did it yourself online, then in my own experience it will refund within a (frantic) minute or so, both the points and voucher. Need to log out then back in.

      If it was an open jaw booking, which you need to do over the phone, then i have had mixed experiences – one time it refunded automatically, another time it took a week as it was done manually – however that was on a booking i had changed over the phone a few times.

      • I should add i have cancelled over the phone before and the BA operators have advised that its never guaranteed what will happen.

        • David H says:

          Big Thanks CV3V. Based on your advice I gambled and the Avios and certificate were back within a minute (the refund email promised within 24 hours). Now booked LHR-SEZ business return on the 2-4-1 out Oct 28 back Nov 12. For anyone else out there interested there is also (or was a few minutes ago) reward availability in business out Nov 4 back Nov 19. Seems to be a good time of year for the Seychelles from what I have read.

          • From the time stamp it looks like you hit the cancel button straight away! Glad it worked out (it usually does).

  2. pommy ray says:

    has it ended?

  3. Anyone stayed in Rome Meliá Gran? Any thoughts/recommendations/concerns? Going with wife and 1.5 year old child in April. Have two nights booked with points, was going to hotel hop but thinking might stick an extra night on with this points offer? Was going for room only but thinking of upgrading to with breakfast for an extra 24k points (8k*3nts). Any comments welcome.

    • I stayed there a few years ago – I got a nice upgrade with a birthday voucher. The bathroom was a glassed off area with a huge bath,, but if memory serves there was a blind, and the toilet was separate. The walls were decorated with prints of Italian masters, and the spa was great. It’s also very close to the border with the Vatican, but reasonably central. I’d recommend!

  4. Concerto says:

    My question is, when you buy points directly from Melia, do those points retain normal validity and expiry in your account? Or are they ring fenced to expire after a year if not actually used by then?

    • My understanding is that any activity (eg buying another 1000 points) pushes out expiry.

      The rules over ring-fencing are not clear. After I had done my Melia stay this year, I COULD transfer the remaining 6,000 points to Avios. This was not possible when I first bought 55,000. I did this after the stay (which earned a handful of points back from incidental spend) which may have made the difference.

  5. Thanks for highlighting this offer. Just booked a night at the ME London.
    Can recommend the Melia Luxembourg – the Level rooms and service were excellent.
    You can also use points towards meals in the restaurants/bars (2000 = 10 euro)

  6. pointsarb says:

    Does anyone have any recommendations for the best Melia resort for families other than the one in Tenerife (Gran Melia) that I have read about?

    Cyber Sale cash prices for the Tenerife property are virtually the same as the points cost equivalent and so wondered if there are any other family resorts that anyone else knows about that would provide excellent points value under this promo? Europe or worldwide, doesn’t matter, looking to book for Easter next year.

    Thanks!

    • Would also love to know this.

      • I looked at the melias in Cape Verde and for a family, the room price in the cash sale equalled near enough the price of buying the points so haven’t replicated the kind of deal Rob had

    • Bootlace says:

      I stayed at the Melia in Marbella ( the cheaper one!) earlier this year, it was very good , especially the room sizes and the breakfast. good pools for kids and close to the beach.

    • pointsarb says:

      Thanks all for the replies!

  7. Bootlace says:

    Offer is still available at 16.00 today on Melia website. Thanks for the tip

  8. Toppcat says:

    Thanks for the tip, Rob! 3x nights in NYC booked for next year. Not a massive saving unlike some places, but makes the booking refundable, which is pretty useful when combined with Avios flights….

  9. Harry T says:

    Looking at the weekend of 9th to 11th July, the points rate for the ME London appears to go up to 138,812 points vs 51,252 the week Rob was looking at. Cash prices don’t vary much. Anyone know why?

    • Once the fixed price redemptions are booked (they are limited), I think the pricing reverts to a dynamic system based on the cash price of the room.

    • Yes. The ‘standard’ reward nights are sold out. The hotel is now selling you a cash room, converting the cash price to points at a rubbish rate. Same as Hilton does.

    • And it’s Wimbledon final weekend…

  10. The link to the Melia site to buy points no longer works, and can’t find anywhere on the site that sells points at all. Does anyone have a working link or is Amazon the only option now?

  11. Just used it for NY, 3 nights around £200 in March. (+$35 per night resort fee payable when there)
    Thanks Rob, that’s a steal, even better than the 50% Hilton in Asia offer!!!

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