UPDATE: This offer has been extended January 31st!
Melia Hotels International Mas Rewards program just launched a buy points option (powered by points.com) and to celebrate the launch they are offering a 20% bonus on points purchased. So I started evaluating ways that you could utilize this offer for some redemption options that can save you money. I’m sure there may be more than this but here one example of a redemption option that can save a good chunk of change:
Disclaimer: I will email Mas Rewards to see if points purchased can be transferred to their airline partners. I sent them a tweet on Nov 30 with no response:
Update: According to their Facebook page you can, so I have decided to make this post live that has been sitting in my drafts for a little while!
airBerlin topbonus is partner of the Mas Rewards program and Mas Rewards points transfer to Top Bonus at a rate of 2:1, which is probably their best ratio compared to their other partners like American and Delta.
So I wanted to see if it would be worthwhile to buy Mas Rewards points to redeem on airBerlin. Mas Rewards only allows you to buy up to 100,000 points in a 12 month period so I looked at airBerlin options at 60,000 miles and lower (100,000 Mas Points + 20% bonus of 20,000 Points converted to topbonus equals 60,000 Miles). One option under this amount is for a one way airBerlin Business Class ticket between North America and Berlin. According to airBerlin it costs 40,000 miles one way. This would require the purchase of 80,000 Mas Points, which with this promo the closest option is to buy 67,000 points + the 13,400 points bonus for 536EUR
I then looked at the cost of a one way Business Class ticket between New York and Dusseldorf on January 6, 2013. The cost total cost was 1758.30EUR
Next I checked availability for the same flight using topbonus Miles and there was availability at 40,000 Miles + 136.41 EUR
So to buy the Mas points and redeem for the flight you are looking at a total cost of 672.41EUR. That’s nearly a 1,100EUR savings on the flight if you take the Mas Rewards route!
I can’t see any reason this won’t work as the only rule I see in the Mas Rewards program is that the points you get when you join the program cannot be converted but they don’t state anything about points that are bought via this new route. The only rules under the buy option are that the points do not count towards elite status in the Mas program.
I’d love the hear comments/suggestions about this, other redemption options or even let me know if I am flat out wrong!