Is the MeliaRewards hotel programme moving towards revenue based redemptions?
Yesterday we told you how Shangri-La hotels is moving its Golden Circle programme to fully revenue based redemptions from April. The reward chart will disappear and you will receive a fixed $1 discount off your booking for every 15 points you redeem. It’s simple, but it’s not exciting.
Something seems to be ‘up’ at MeliaRewards too.
MeliaRewards often goes under the radar but has offered some great deals for points. Even if you never stay at their hotels for cash, Melia has run heavily discounted deals for buying points. They have even sold them on Amazon in the past at very low rates.
There were some great deals to be had here. When my brother came down to London last Summer, I put him in the 5-star ME London on the Strand. By buying points from Amazon I got a 2/3rd discount on the cash cost of the room, and my MeliaRewards Gold status from my American Express Platinum card got him an upgrade to a junior suite. It worked out very nicely.
Is MeliaRewards also moving to dynamic pricing?
Melia’s reward pricing always seemed random – they never rounded up numbers, so a room could be 23,483 points – but there was always some logic to it. Pricing seemed to be fixed for the first few reward rooms booked per night but then got more flexible. I’m not sure anyone ever worked out the formula.
What IS true, however, is that from 1st May the way that MeliaRewards is pricing its rooms seems to be changing – and for the worse.
Here’s an example.
On 13th April – under the current pricing model – ME London (above) is £361 for cash or 55,396 points for a ‘Vibe’ room. This is what I paid in points last Summer, when the cash price was £500+.
Jump forward to 11th May, and the same room is £350 for cash or 85,998 points. This is a huge increase.
On 7th June, the cash rate is £412 or the points rate is 101,235 points.
If you compare the two rooms above from May and June, you get exactly 0.407p per point. A £500 room would now cost over 120,000 points per night compared to the 55,000 I used last Summer.
The ‘pence per point’ rate varies by hotel
The rate per point seems to differ by hotel.
Take INNSIDE Hamburg which we reviewed here. The standard rate for this hotel is currently 23,154 points per night.
From 1st May, it seems to move to variable pricing of 0.36p per point. A £205 room in June is 56,594 points whilst a £106 room in May is 29,215 points.
Let’s move to the new ME Barcelona pictured above. In June you’re paying £257 or 69,092 points, so 0.37p per point. In September, a random night is 57,622 points or £215, the same 0.37p per point.
Stay before 1st May, however, and you pay a fixed 38,769 points per night unless the allocation of ‘standard’ reward nights has gone.
What’s happening here?
What seems to be happening is that:
- at present, MeliaRewards offers a number of rooms per night at a low fixed points price, and once those have gone it moves onto dynamic pricing
- from 1st May, it seems to be removing the ‘fixed price’ rooms and pricing ALL reward inventory at dynamic levels, somewhere around 0.35p – 0.4p per point
At Melia hasn’t made any announcements, we can’t be sure if this is strategic or if cheaper fixed price reward nights have simply not been loaded. It seems unthinkable that reward nights for May wouldn’t be loaded by mid January.
If this is a devaluation, you should be looking to spend any MeliaRewards points you still have by 1st May. If you don’t, you may find your points won’t go as far as you were expecting.
How to get MeliaRewards Gold status from American Express (May 2022)
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE MeliaRewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Hilton Honors Gold and Radisson Rewards Gold status.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
You can discover the benefits of MeliaRewards Gold status on the Melia website here.
Small business owners may want to consider American Express Business Platinum instead:
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)