MeliáRewards: how to get the best of this rewards program

by Neil McPherson

First published 9 May 2020
23 August 2020 updated to add
Melia Rewards Airline Transfer Partners
Updated to include the
2021 covid-19 Points and Status Extension       


MeliaRewards Logo  -   Thinking of joining ?

I'm not surprised if you are! It regularly has very attractive promotions and ranked very well in almost all categories in our comparison of Hotel Rewards programs.

It is easy to open an account and it's free.  Unfortunately, Meliá does not status-match to any other programs.

On the other hand, automatic Meliá Rewards Gold status is a benefit of an AMEX Platinum card (if you have one) - not really a status-match, but there is no need to (re) qualify through stays.

Once accepted as a MeliaRewards member, interested businesses can 
apply for membership of MeliaPRO - the program for Corporate Travel bookers and Event Planners.



MeliáRewards Summary / Overview

MeliaRewards is the loyalty program of Meliá Hotels International - a Spanish hotel chain originally established in 1956. The program offers:

Its weaknesses are:

MeliaRewards is best for:



Contents - MeliáRewards

Meliá Hotels Brands and their Market Positioning
Geographic spread of Meliá Hotels locations
How the MeliáRewards program works
MeliáRewards Eiite Tiers & Benefits
Earning MeliáRewards & Tier Status
Retaining your MeliáRewards
Using your MeliáRewards 
Program Partners
MeliáRewards benefits for business owners
Special Features of the MeliáRewards program
Conclusions
Applying for MeliáRewards membership
MeliáRewards FAQ
Footnotes



Introduction to the MeliáRewards programme

Increasingly, I am asked about alternatives to some larger programs with which current members are becoming increasingly dis-satisfied.

Together with the larger chain hotel programs, I like looking into some of the smaller programs to see if we could uncover some gems for you. They may be sufficient for your needs, or they may provide a useful supplement to another program to give you the combination of coverage and features that you seek.

This guide to the Melia Rewards program does exactly that. We go through the key features of the program and then show you how to best use them, with specific tips and strategies.

Let's take a closer look.   ¡disfrutar!


Meliá Brands & their positioning


Melia Hotels  International has a range of 7 brands, covering the range from midscale to luxury.  The range includes both city hotels and a collection of Melia resorts.

They also previously owned the TRYP (now Tryp By Wyndham) range that you can still book through Melia, but all of them are excluded from earning or spending reward points.  Unfortunately that includes a lot of the hotels in Brazil and Germany.


Table 1 - Melia's brands and approximate alignment with some competitor brands

Company Luxury Upper upscale Upscale Upper midscale
AccorHotels Sofitel, Fairmont, Raffles Swissôtel, Grand Mercure
Pullman, MGallery, The Sebel, Adagio Premium
Suite Novotel, Adagio, 
Mama Shelter
Best Western Hotels
WorldHotels Best Western Premier, Vīb, BW Premier Collection
Best Western Plus, Executive Residency by Best Western
Hilton Worldwide Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Hotels
Hilton, DoubleTree, 
Canopy by Hilton, 
Curio Collection
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, 
Home2 Suites
Hyatt Hotels Corporation Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Hotels, Andaz Hyatt Place, Hyatt House Hotels, Hyatt Centric   
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Six Senses, InterContinental, Regent  Crowne Plaza, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Select, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts

Holiday Inn
Meliá Hotels International Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus
Meliá, Innside
Marriott International Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari Hotels, Edition Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, St. Regis, Luxury Collection
Renaissance Hotels, Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, Marriott Executive Apartment, Gaylord Hotels, W Hotels, Design Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio
AC Hotels, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels MOXY Hotels, Protea Hotels, 
TownePlace Suites
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Grand Millennium Hotels
Millennium Hotels, 
Grand Copthrone Hotels
Copthorne Hotels, M Hotels


Source: extract from wikipedia.org



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Meliá Hotels & Resorts Geographic spread

Varadero Beach seen from Melia Varadero resortMelia Varadero resort and Varadero Beach

There are 358 properties around the world, making it a small to medium size program.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given its Spanish roots, Melia properties are well spread throughout Europe and Latin America, with little presence elsewhere (and none in Oceania).  

New properties are planned for Asia - 2 in China and one in the Maldives (a Gran Melia - looking forward to seeing that one!)

Within Europe, 140 of the 227 properties are in Spain, Germany (28), Portugal (14), Croatia (13), France (7) and Italy (6) round out the top half-dozen by number of European properties. 

Comparison of Melia properties  - number by region

Melia's appeal lies in the locations themselves, with a notable concentration in particularly Europe and also Latin America.  It has far fewer properties in total (355) than the behemoths of Marriott (7,700+), Hilton (6,000+), Best Western (3900+) and Accor (5300+) and even Hyatt (1400+), Yet in Europe, its presence is not too much smaller than that of Hyatt (227 vs 289).  There, even Marriott (723) and Hilton (422) are dwarfed by Accor (3080+) and Best Western (1240+).

So for folk seeking a stay in a European or Latin American location (including the very nice Gran Melia and Paradisus properties), Melia Rewards is a very attractive proposition (in more ways than one...read more below).  


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How the MeliáRewards program works

MeliáRewards are earned from hotel stays at qualifying properties (for up to 2 rooms, one of which must be used by the MeliáRewards member).  Once you join, you earn 10 Meliá Rewards points for every USD/EUR of the total of your reservation.

As you earn more points, you progress through the elite tiers and qualify for additional benefits (including faster earning rates through tier bonuses).

Meliá Rewards Points earned can be redeemed for award stays (or use cash plus points) at properties.  They can also be redeemed at restaurants and spas associated with the properties.

If you prefer, you can transfer your MeliáReward points into airline or other partner programs or spend them in the online shopping portal.

There is also the ability to transfer or gift points to other members.

If you have insufficient points for the flight or stay that you want, you can also buy MeliáReward points to top up your earned balance.

All of these make MeliáRewards a quite flexible program, especially given its relative size.

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MeliáRewards Elite tiers & benefits

Base membership


Upon joining the program, you become a base level (white) member.

All members receive:

As well as the base (white) level membership, there are three elite levels - Silver, Gold and Platinum.

MeliáRewards benefit table

MeliáRewards benefit


White Silver Status Gold Status Platinum Status
Points earning rate (per EUR or USD spent) 10 11 13 14 
Exclusive prices

2000 welcome points
(for activating your MeliáRewards account Online)

Birthday Surprise

3 vouchers for a 20% discount on stays. 

Discounts are not cumulative.



Free breakfast for your companion (bookings for accommodation only)
Free WiFi
Superior room upgrade (st availability at time of online check-in or arrival at the hotel)


Platinum for Life status after 10 consecutive years at Platinum status


More use of MeliaRewards points

MeliáRewards benefit


White Silver Gold Platinum
at properties

at own-brand spas

with partners

Time Savers

MeliáRewards benefit


White Silver Gold Platinum
Online check-in

Late check-out in holiday hotels until 2pm and 4pm in city hotels
(except when hotel is 100% full)



Priority access when you arrive at the hotel

Access to VIP areas at our brand hotels including Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá and Paradisus by Meliá

(does not include breakfast, unless it is already included in your booking)




Priority access on arrival at the hotel with pre-check-in online
Access to VIP lounges in more than 900 airports with Priority Pass



Moving to a higher Elite tier

A MeliáRewards member at the the base (white) level membership earns 10 points per USD/EUR of the total of their reservation.  

To move up to the next membership tier, you are promoted as soon as you satisfy the criteria for that level (T&C 8), which are based on either:

As your points accrue, you move through the elite membership levels, qualifying for additional benefits, including bonus points associated with paid stays:

MeliáRewards Tier and Qualification Criteria

Qualifying Nights Qualifying
Stays
Points earned Tier Bonus
Silver: 5 2 10,000 + 10%
Gold: 30 15 60,000 + 30%
Platinum 50 30 150,000 + 40 %

Maintaining Your Elite Tier

Once you have reached an Elite tier, you have a period of twelve (12) months from the initial date of attainment of the respective category to meet and maintain the aforementioned conditions of that category

If the period has elapsed and you have not fulfilled the requirements of that category, you will be moved to the level immediately below

So membership of an elite tier lasts for 12 months and is maintained on a rolling basis - unlike other programs based on calendar years.

Complimentary breakfast

Complimentary breakfast for your companion is a benefit of all elite membership tiers.  Members of all levels still pay for their own.

Complimentary room upgrades

Only available at the top (Platinum) tier. This is not guaranteed, but subject to availability and may be obtained by the Platinum member by pre-check-in online. If there is no availability at the time of pre-check-in online, the member may request it again upon arrival at the Hotel.

Complimentary VIP/executive lounge access

Access to VIP areas of a property is only available at the top tier (Platinum) tier.  Unlike many other programs, this access does not include breakfast.

Status-matching

Status-matching from another program is not offered. 

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Earning MeliáRewards points

Paid stays earn 10 points (base members) per USD/EUR spent on up to 2 rooms per stay (T&C 6). The member must be staying in a room to earn the points.  Points are earned on the purchase of (T&C 4a)

If points + cash is used, only the cash portion earns points (T&C 4b).

Points will not be awarded for stays that are prior to the member's registration date, nor the first stay/night, as well as bookings/registrations that are made directly at the hotel.  Nor will points be awarded for bookings made through third-parties (Expedia etc).

To qualify, bookings must be made via your online account, the Meliá App or Melia's Contact Centre..

Points either purchased or earned from program promotions do not count towards membership tier criteria.

However points earned from the following do help you satisfy tier qualification (T&C 4):


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Buying MeliáRewards points

You can purchase MeliáRewards points quite easily and they are also very good value. Points post almost immediately.
Points.com is one of our advertisers. Should you purchase something there, then at no additional cost to you we may receive a small compensation.

Key things to be aware of are:




Retaining MeliáRewards points

Normal Expiry


There are some very nice Melia properties that can give massive value for reward bookings. The problem is a quite strict policy for Melia points expiry.

"The points earned by a Member in their account, including promotional ones, will expire once the Membership has been inactive for more than 12 months from the date of the last acquisition or redemption."  (T&C 16)

This is quite tough. Not monitoring your balance could cost you dearly. Fortunately it is quite easy to prevent their expiry if you plan ahead

Melia (covid-19) Points and Status Extension

MeliáRewards like many other programs, has extended the life of its points and status tiers, so that members are not disadvantaged by the difficulty in redeeming points due to travel restrictions during the coronavirus crisis.

  • For all members, points will not expire until September 30, 2021.
  • If you are an Elite Member (Silver, Gold or Platinum levels) your membership level has been extended for one extra year.
  • A nice touch - so that no one misses the opportunity to enjoy their birthday gift, MeliáRewards extended the validity of its use until December 31, 2021 for all those that expired between 1 February and 31 December,2020.  

Strategy prior to expiry

"The points earned by a Member in their account, including promotional ones, will expire once the Membership has been inactive for more than 12 months from the date of the last acquisition or redemption"  - MeliáRewards T&C 16


The options to prevent loss of value through you points expiring are limited to:

  1. Earning points through spending in the “MeliáRewards Shopping” portal. This generally provides a relatively low earning rate, so isn't my suggested option.
  2. Credit Avis or Sixt rentals to Melia - if relevant to you.  Note that it may take a few weeks for the points to be credited, so this isn't suitable if you are close to the expiry date.
  3. Buy MeliáRewards. My recommended option. The minimum purchase is 1,000 points which costs only €5.  This is not too much to spend to keep your points safe and let you relax. Better yet, if you buy when the Black Friday promotion is on, you get exceptional value, In the 2019 Black Friday promotion, points were just €3.60 per 1000.  (At that price, you should put a note in your calendar right now).
  4. If you don't want to use the points for future stays, you could transfer points out of Melia to (say) BA Avios at the rate of 100 Melia points to 30 Avios. You can only transfer in multiples of 100. Visit this page and disable ad blockers or it won’t work. You may prefer other airline transfer partners.

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Using your MeliáRewards points


Most of the places that give MeliáRewards for contracting services also accept them as a form of payment. Where they do, 200 MeliáRewards points are equivalent to 1 € or US$.

Redeeming points for stays at a Melia Hotel

The MeliáRewards website provides the following guide rather than an awards table (points required per free night):

MeliáRewards points exceptions


You can redeem points only or with points plus cash.  Both rates are displayed on the members' page when you make your booking. Note that stays paid for by redeeming or exchanging points (whether in whole or in part payment) do not earn points (T&C 4(b) ).

Purchasing points once a year for a "points only" stay could provide you with a 5 night stay at a Gran Meliá property for as little as €140 per night, compared to a cash price of €380* per night - exceptional value!

based on prices at time of publication for PALACIO DE LOS DUQUES GRAN MELIÁ in Madrid, mid-October 2020.

Note that bookings made using points redemption cannot be modified after check-in. If the Member wishes to shorten their stay, they will lose all the points for the remaining nights. Should the stay be lengthened, the Member must make a new booking for the extra days. If the booking is made for a date after the points expire, the booking cannot be modified and the points cannot be recovered.


points N places logo Tip:
Combined with a purchase price of €5 (or less ) per thousand points, the redemption amounts above offer many exceptional opportunities for stays at attractive properties in popular locations. This is the key attraction of the MeliáRewards program and the reason it should be part of your loyalty program portfolio if you travel within Europe and/or Latin America. It may not offer the number of options of some larger programs, but the value for the options it does offer is far better.

Redeeming points for other items at a hotel

MeliáRewards points can also be redeemed to pay for additional items consumed at the hotel during a stay. Points can be redeemed for hotel services even if the customer is not currently staying there. T&C 4(b) 

However, services that are not offered by the hotel cannot be paid with points unless the MeliáRewards member is staying at the hotel and charges these services on their bill to be paid upon check-out.

Pooling and transferring points

While pooling of points is not part of the program, points can be transferred to other members. Note that points transferred to another member will not be taken into account to consider a MeliáRewards level upgrade.

Points can be transferred between MeliáRewards members and also to other programs up to the maximum total number of 150,000 points per year and limited to no more than 3 transfers per week..  If you select a preferred partner option, there are no limits.

Promotional points cannot be transferred to another program.

In the event of the death of a member, the account and category associated with them will be cancelled, but the points accrued therein may be transferred to the heir of the deceased member who provides required documents/certificates to the satisfaction of MeliáRewards. To do so, it will be necessary to send by email to privacy@melia.com or meliarewards.com.

Transfer Partners for uses other than free nights

Table 2 - MeliáRewards' transfer partners

Company Miles / 300 points from MeliáRewards Airlines Earn From Stays
AAdvantage 50 250 miles per stay (TRYP by Wyndham and Sol by Melia)
500 miles per stay  (all other brands)
AerClub Avios 90 3 Avios per EUR spent
AeroMexico Club Premier N/A 500 miles per stay (TRYP by Wyndham and Sol by Melia)
1,000 miles (all other brands)
Air Europe SUMA 100 Yes
ANA Mileage Club N/A 250 miles per stay (TRYP by Wyndham and Sol by Melia)
500 miles per stay (all other brands)
BA Avios 90 Yes
Bintermas
(can also redeem miles for stays)
N/A 100 miles per stay (TRYP by Wyndham and Sol by Melia)
200 miles per stay (all other brands)
Copa Airlines Connect Miles 50 2 miles per USD/EUR spent
Eastern Miles 50 Yes
Iberia Plus
(can also redeem Avios for stays)
90 3 Avios per EUR spent
JAL Mileage Bank N/A 500 miles per stay
Lufthansa Miles & More 50 Yes
Malaysian Airlines Enrich 75 Yes
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer N/A 300 miles per stay (TRYP by Wyndham and Sol by Melia)
500 miles per stay (all other brands)
TAP Miles & Go N/A 500 miles per stay
Vueling Club Avios 90 Yes


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Special features of the MeliáRewards program

Special features available to all members

All members receive:

Paradisus upgrades

Paradisus is Melia's brand of all-inclusive luxury resort hotels with properties in Punta Cana and Mexico.  If this is your type of holiday, then something very different to many other chains or brands is that within some of its properties, upgrades in services (rather than rooms) are available:

family concierge - offered in 5 locations and ideal for vacations with younger families.  Depending on location, either 1 or 2 children (age 12 or less) stay free if sharing a standard double room with two adults. Free return airport-hotel transfers are also included in most properties.  Other benefits included are:

royal service - ideal for adult vacationers.  Depending on location, either 1 or 2 children (age 12 or less) stay free if sharing a standard double room with two adults. Free return airport-hotel transfers are also included for most properties. Other benefits included are:

the reserve - the ultimate for vacations for either adults-only or families.  Only 3 properties, all located in the Dominican Republic, offer this resort-within-resort  feature, It includes the family concierge benefits, together with luxury benefits that differ between properties . Free return airport-hotel transfers are included for most properties.

ME+ upgrades

ME+ is a VIP experience with personalised service, available at ME by Melia branded properties.  The benefits of ME+ vary by location, but generally include:

(*) Booking required

(**) One service per person and stay


points + cash

The points + cash feature enables you to combine points with cash to book a room.  When you login as a member and make a booking online. you can see the price in points only, cash only or points + cash, with a range of points able to be selected.

If booking using all points, you typically receive a value of approx USD 5.29 or € 4.88 per thousand points.

Using points + cash you can receive very good value of USD 7.90 or € 7.29 per thousand (based on Melia Rewards Flexible rate - short stay).

points N places logo Tip :This may be seen as way of tidying up low points balances, but can also be used to slash the effective price you pay by more than 33% .

It also means that when booking a room, the cheapest form of payment is by using points + cash after purchasing points (at €5 per thousand or less).

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Does Meliá offer a program for business?


Meliá offers two programs for businesses, under the collective program name of Meliá Pro.

MeliáPro for Corporates

By registering as a corporate member, you gain access to rate plans and will receive up to 20% discount on all bookings, whether for business or leisure.

MeliáPro for Event Planners

For Event Planners, there are special meetings or events packages by Melia. These include meeting / event rooms, morning and afternoon coffee breaks and for lunch, either a 3 course business lunch or finger-food.   Tailored packages of dining experiences are also available.

There is a fixed price for the basics, with flexibility to tailor to particular requirements at additional cost.  Once the event is booked, a personalised webpage designed especially for that particular event is deployed, so that attendees are able to make their own online bookings- convenience for both you and them.

For assistance, there is a dedicated team of specialists available 24/7.

Melia even has a list of properties that specialise in MICE, another list of properties that specialise in weddings.  Even a special list for car launches!

Benefits to you from MeliáPro membership

Joining MeliáPro is free and aimed at professionals such as Travel Agents, Event Managers and Travel Managers.  Note that the same individual cannot be a member of both MELIÁ PRO Rewards and MeliáRewards.  This differs from many other programs. 

After joining, you earn 2 points for every USD or EUR spent (regardless of your MeliáRewards membership tier) with no maximum.
Regular MeliáRewards members receive a 20% discount when booking rooms online. As a MeliáPro member, you receive a 36% discount when you book accommodation.

Other benefits (tier benefits etc) are the same as for MeliáRewards members.  Qualification criteria for tiers are different however.
The conditions for obtaining or maintaining, depending on the levels of the Program, are as follows:

  1. Meliá PRO Rewards: basic program level to which all users are initially assigned.
  2. Meliá PRO Rewards Gold: completed the MELIÁ PRO Training at www.meliapro.com.
  3. Meliá PRO Rewards Platinum: having completed the MELIÁ PRO Training at www.meliapro.com and achieved a determined level of bookings during one calendar year.

 
More details can be found in the MeliáPro flyer.


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Observations - MeliáRewards

  1. The base tier points earning rate of 10 points per Euro or US$  spent and the reasonably priced redemption values mean that your effective earning rate for redemption on stays is at least 4.88%.
  2. Your earning rate is better outside Europe (10 points per US$) than in Europe (10 points per €). For the same reason, your value for redemptions is better inside Europe.
  3. For elite tiers of Silver, Gold and Platinum, the "minimum yield" increases to 5.36%, 6.34% and 6.83% respectively..
  4. The complimentary breakfast for your companion is nice, but won't suit single travellers.  
  5. Complimentary breakfast for yourself isn’t available at any tier. Other programs offer this to their upper-tier members.
  6. Points + cash and purchasing points at the reasonable price of EUR 5 per thousand results in very attractive pricing.
  7. Points earned from stays can be readily transferred to another  member (but not pooled) - up to 150,000 points per year. 
  8. The member discount of 20% for stays is more generous than the usual 10% of other programs.
  9. The points required for a wide range of brands is very reasonable.  In fact possibly cheap when compared to cash prices, especially during peak periods.
  10. The cash prices themselves are quite reasonable compared to other larger chains.


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Conclusions - MeliáRewards

This is not a program with a large range of properties all around the world.

It is however a program that provides inexpensive access to attractive properties in its key markets of Europe and Latin America.  This is true also in Asia, although the number of choices is more limited.

Although look out for the forthcoming Gran Melia Maldives.

Overall. I see this as a program offering very good value for both business and leisure travellers.  Quality properties in attractive locations are available at reasonable prices. If you book your room in the most cost-effective strategies (buy points on black Friday and use points + cash) you will obtain exceptionally good value and won't be disappointed.

Definitely one to belong to if their property destinations suit your travel plans. In fact it’s so good, I suggest you be a little flexible in your planning to take advantage of the exceptional value-for-money at (all, but especially the) luxury properties.

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How to Join / Status-match to MeliáRewards

It is easy to open an account and it's free - MeliáRewards sign up.  

You can also apply at any participating property.

Unfortunately, Melia does not status-match from any other programs.


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FAQ - MeliáRewards


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Footnotes

This guide is based upon MeliaRewards Terms & Conditions

There are multiple references to EUR within this article.  At the time of publication, EUR 100 = USD 109 = AUD 170 = GBP 87.  
Check exchange rates before taking any actions.