Update: February 21, 2013. mas Rewards is now MeliáRewards. Additions include a new level, free Internet in many brands, and contests and prizes during the re-branding. More emphasis on (recently added) discounts for members booking directly. First reaction — only a few downgrades: lower breakfast discounts and expiration dates on points.
Even the basic Blue MAS Rewards card is cool for a number of reasons:
- 50% off breakfast
- free newspaper
- Late check-out
- More benefits if you stay often
- Signing up is free
- Melia has great hotels in Spain
I first stayed with them over a week-end in Barcelona, then a week around Thanksgiving in Madrid, and this year in Bilbao when we went to see the Guggenheim museum. I usually avoid chains, but Melia employees have won me over.
Three stays over three years does not Platinum make. I did accumulate 17,286 MAS points in my rewards account — never enough for the Melia room I wanted. I was pleased to find I could transfer miles to a number of airline partners. The transfer ratios defied any logic I could come up with:
- AA 6 MAS points : 1 AAdvantage Mile
- Air France 6:1
- Iberia 100:15 Avios (about 6:1)
- Delta 3:1
- Lufthansa 2:1
I’m liable to see patterns where they don’t exist, but I was seeing a lot of 6:1 ratios. Rather than wake up some day to find that the Delta Skymiles ratio had gone to 6:1, I exchanged 15,000 MAS Rewards points for 5,000 Skymiles. (I might have picked Lufthansa if I lived anywhere except Cincinnati.) The transfer happened overnight. Once again, I was very pleased with Melia’s service.