Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is MeliaRewards moving to revenue based hotel redemptions from May?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 devaluation

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.

ME London

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.

ME Barcelona pool

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

How to get MeliaRewards Gold status from American Express (June 2023)

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 Premium status.

We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

You can discover the benefits of MeliaRewards Gold status on the Melia website here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Small business owners may want to consider American Express Business Platinum instead:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

(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.)

Comments (48)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    “When my brother came down to London last Summer”

    Up, surely.

    • Erico1875 says:

      My last batch of Melia points worked out at around 3p each when they were on sale at Melia direct. So worst case if you can get them at this price, there is still a saving.
      Usually direct, they are €5 per thousand.
      BEWARE! at the moment have 55000 for €350 which is a terrible deal.

    • Erico1875 says:

      South is down. North is up

      • Jonty says:

        Up to the capital, down to the country

        • John says:

          Depends where you live or the method of transport. If you travel by train or live in the country it’s as you say. If you live in London as Rob does, use cardinal directions

        • Sandgrounder says:

          From the North, it’s always down to London. And Town will generally be your local town centre. Not the capital.

        • Charles Martel says:

          This is the convention on the railway, lines are “up” to London, and “down” to country.

        • will says:

          Down the the hebrides?

    • Toby says:

      Definitely down.

  • dougzz99 says:

    What I’ve found particularly odd with Melia is that better rooms cost disproportionate amounts extra. I suppose that fits with the certain amount of rooms at fixed, and then it’s dynamic, presumably the better rooms are always dynamic, or sell very quickly. Usually go with cash for this reason. I find Melia to be the one chain were direct is always better than a third party like hotels Expedia or whoever. The discount vouchers they give you are real, and the extra 5% in the app, when it works, also stacks, making very a price usually the lowest.

    • Mark says:

      I think Hilton do this too? When looking at the price of a standard redemption the next room category above is normally 50% (or more) additional points whereas the cash price increase is much smaller

  • MattB says:

    I noticed something was up a few days ago when I was looking to book Innside NYC. We’ve got almost 200k points that were originally planned for April 2020 for my 40th which was rebooked and cancelled twice more.

    I ended up trying every week in the calendar and the usual 25kish a night rooms were gone after the first week in April as per the article.

  • Niall says:

    I had spotted this but hoped it was just that they hadn’t loaded in reward availability. But even for Meliá this is weird. A system of reward availability then dynamic pricing always seemed sensible to me. But the contrast between the reward availability pricing and the dynamic pricing is massive.

    I’ve enjoyed Meliá hotels and managed to get platinum status in MeliaRewards, but If this is the end of reward pricing then the program is dead for me 🙁
    They’ve done a lot to irritate me over time but not announcing this change will be the tipping point.

  • JFSV says:

    I have found good use of Melia Rewards for points bookings over the years, though the number of points required has always been very random indeed.

    I have two bookings for Melia’s ME Dubai for February when the cash rate is around GBP 300 or so per night yet only 24000 points per night for their standard Aura room. So this is a good example of a decent redemption, at least for me. Particularly as you can buy extra points if needed at 1000 points per 5 EUR.

  • astra19 says:

    That’s annoying. I have a big stock of points I was planning to use for NY but ended up staying elsewhere.
    Any recommendations for a good value, luxury redemption in Europe that I can use before the devaluation?

    • Andreas says:

      Try the new ME in Barcelona, or any Gran Melia hotels like Madrid or Rome for a city break or even their GM properties in Mallorca for a relaxed break.

  • Gavin454 says:

    I was always put off by how opaque the redemption system is. No clear logic to it and very random points amounts needed. Many hotels didn’t have the cheap redemptions when I wanted. I did get a great value booking at the NY hotel, but unfortunately the trip was cancelled and I ended up cashing out to Avios. I have had good value from their 20% discount vouchers and reward points being sent to Iberia (sometimes there is a double avios promotion)

    • MattB says:

      What’s the cashout rate to avios? I’ll struggle to use mine by the time the changes kick in.

  • Niall says:

    I think that you can transfer MeliáRewards points to other members. Additionally, while you can’t change the name on an individual booking (to book a reward room for someone else), you can make a two room booking.

    Amazon gift card points were supposed to be ring fenced to stop transfer to avios. Not sure if this was/is the actual case.

    Even before May I have plenty of use for the points, so any unused Amazon gift cards or any points anyone wants to transfer to me, can make sure you’re not out of pocket…

    • Rob says:

      Amazon points were ring fenced if unused but make a booking and cancel it and it may free up. You can definitely transfer any remaining Amazon points to Avios after booking a redemption.

      • Niall says:

        Thanks! 30 Avios for every 100 Meliá points.

        If you bought points direct with Meliá it is 5€ per 1000 points. So €5/£4.25 for 300 Avios, which is 1.42p per Avios.

        If you bought on Amazon in 2020, £2.92 per 1000 Meliá points / 300 avios so 0.97p per Avios.

        Definitely best to use for stays if you can. Or transfer to someone if allowed!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.