Last May half term, I stayed at the Meliá Cala Galdana hotel in Menorca. It was a great hotel in a fabulous location with top notch service in The Level.
Now, as a standard member, points are earned at the rate of 10 per € spent. There is a multiplier as you go up the levels, and as a Gold member, free by virtue of the AmEx Platinum card, it would be 13 per €. I earned a total of 10465 points from the stay which have a year’s validity, so I recently got an email to say they were going to expire.
With no stay upcoming, I started to look around to find out how I could keep them because who wants to lose out?!
Rob at Head for Points has been running a great series recently about the expiry rules of the various hotel programmes and how one can stop miles expiring. I emailed to ask if he knew anything, but as it doesn’t have a big UK footprint, it doesn’t get much coverage. So I started looking myself.
Sometimes American Express points can be used but they only allow Hilton, Marriot and Radisson.
I then thought about buying some, and this is where it got interesting!
You can buy up to 150,000 points at a time, with a minimum of 1000 for €5. Each 2 additional points is €0.01, so you can actually get 1001 for €5 too!
The terms and conditions say:
- The purchase of MeliáRewards points is not eligible for direct access to the Silver, Gold or Platinum levels
- The price includes all applicable fees. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents
- Purchased points are not refundable
- Points purchased with this option will be deposited in the account of the MeliáRewards that makes the purchase within 24 hours
- The minimum purchase is €5. The maximum purchase per transaction is 150,000 MeliáRewards points
I had 10465 with an expiry date of 27/05/19. I bought 1001 which instantly posted and, more importantly, extended the expiry date for a year. Success!
I could have swapped them for a £30 Amazon voucher. The hotel redemptions seems pretty expensive:
Approximate prices in points for a one-night stay in each brand:
- Sol 3* from 11,000
- Sol 4* from 14,000
- Sol All inclusive Hotels from 25,000
- TRYP by Wyndham 3* from 11,000
- TRYP by Wyndham 4* from 17,000
- INNSIDE by Meliá from 17,000
- Meliá Hotels & Resorts 4* from 17,000
- Meliá Hotels & Resorts 5* from 22,000
- Meliá Hotels & Resorts All Inclusive from 34,000
- ME by Meliá from 28,000
- Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts from 28,000
- ME All Inclusive from 42,000
- Paradisus Resorts from 42,000
Given the that the Melia Cala Galdana would have been “from 17,000” I would have needed to stay for a week to have a free night on points.
They can be transferred to airline miles, including Avios. The rate is 100 points transfer to 30 Avios. The maximum 150,000 points would transfer to 45,00 Avios and would cost €750 (£661). Buying direct via BA would cost £735 so there is a decent saving to be made. It is still 1.47p/Avios which is high, but a cheaper way to top off an account than buying direct.
You can also transfer to Lufthansa’s Miles & More programme with 6 points equal to 1 Mike. Given how hard it is to earn these in the UK without flying, this is a reasonably easy way to top up a balance.
Whilst it is not ground breaking, it is nice to know that they are there and easy to transfer, renew and use if needed, and can be slightly cheaper than buying Avios outright.