MeliaRewards gave an interesting presentation at the recent ‘Loyalty & Awards’ conference in Madrid about how the programme is set up and how its members are split between tiers. I thought you might find it interesting.
I wasn’t at the conference due a clash with another event. Melia agreed that their slides could be made publicly available (many speakers did not) and you can find them on the organiser’s website. We are not sharing anything here which was meant to remain confidential.
If you’re not familiar with Melia, it is a Spanish-based hotel group with nine core brands. These run from the luxurious ME by Melia brand (with a London flagship on Strand) through to Sol by Melia which is very much a ‘bucket and spade’ holiday brand.
The group claims to be:
- the largest leisure hotel group in the world
- the biggest hotel company in Spain
- the third biggest hotel company in Europe
- the 20th biggest hotel company globally
Here are a few interesting facts about how hotel room sales have changed:
- 2009 – only 9% of rooms were booked direct, now it is 34%
- 2009 – only 8% of rooms were booked by Online Travel Agents (Expedia etc), now it is 21%
- 2009 – 51% of rooms were sold by tour operators, this is now down to 24% (it was down to 21% but business travel is recovering more slowly than tour operator-driven leisure travel)
The other 20% is made up of conference and events bookings and bookings made via Melia’s corporate booking tools.
Some of the shift, of course, is from Melia pushing into the business sector more. We’ve seen brands such as INNSIDE springing up in UK cities – here is our recent review of INNSiDE Newcastle, image below.
How big is MeliaRewards?
Let’s take a look at MeliaRewards. The scheme has 14.4 million members worldwide, of which 11% are in the UK.
You need to be slightly suspicious these days about membership numbers when looking at hotel programmes. After all, when a website offers you a discount on a one-off room booking for signing up, you will do it. It doesn’t say much about your future loyalty.
The 14.4 million members are split as follows:
- 13.5 million – no status
- 740,000 – Silver status
- 190,000 – Gold status
- 37,000 – Platinum status
Looked at as a ratio of the three elite tiers, for every one Platinum member there are five Gold members and 20 Silver members.
Melia has seen a strong increase in elite members. Since 2019, Platinum members are up 65%, Gold members up 48% and Silver members up 30%.
Remember that Gold is offered free to American Express Platinum cardholders in many countries, including the UK, which will skew that number higher than it would otherwise be.
Here are the average number of annual bookings per tier:
- No status – 1.2 stays per year
- Silver status – 2.0 stays per year
- Gold status – 4.3 stays per year
- Platinum status – 8.2 stays per year
These numbers obviously look low. After all, in theory you need 15 stays / 30 nights to obtain Gold and 30 stays / 50 nights for Platinum. The low average is presumably down to:
- the pandemic, with status extensions given to people who are still not doing stays
- people who earned status last year but are not staying this year and won’t retain it (I am currently Accor Diamond but have managed just one stay this year)
- the number of comped Gold members via American Express Platinum, which includes many HfP readers, and comped Platinum members via American Express Centurion
- the comments below suggest that Gold and Platinum status can also be obtained via co-brand credit cards in Spain
What you can tell from the numbers here is that – whilst the ‘big six’ hotel groups usually claim that over 50% of nights stayed are from programme members (albeit most with no status) – the loyalty scheme is not such a huge driver for Melia. Whilst 84% of direct bookings are from MeliaRewards members, you would expect this given the incentives and prompting offered online to sign up.
The roughly 15 million nights done by ‘no status’ members exceed, by a factor of six, the combined nights done by Silver, Gold and Platinum members. This is before you factor in the nights done by people who are not members of the programme at all.
How to get MeliaRewards Gold status from American Express (February 2024)
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.
You can discover the benefits of MeliaRewards Gold status on the Melia website here. It includes three vouchers per year worth 20% off any booking.
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.)