1. If I remember correctly there is a quality to different kinds of merit. Doing something nice/kind for an animal is inferior to something kind for a human. And then, performing merit for someone not enlightened is inferior to merit for an enlightened being.
I myself don't really care about what merit is inferior and so on. For me, merit is merit. Whether it's of inferior quality or not. What does make a difference though is thinking about making merit before actually doing it. Recollecting 'I'm about to do something nice' helps to increase the joy of performing the merit. So, yes to being mindful of making merit.
When does the act of merit making become an act of kindness?
How do you make merit without kindness? I don't think it's possible. When one is performing merit a wholesome state will be in the mind. Has to be. Otherwise one can't perform a wholesome act.
3. Accumulating Karma points
I have no idea where this idea that there are karma points that could be accumulated comes from. Imho., it's nonsensical. Kamma is a volitional act (thought, speech, bodily action). When it's performed it's done, it's over. There is nothing that can be accumulated, nothing will 'add up'. There is no storage that holds performed kamma.
We perform merit because it leads to joy. And joy is one of the enlightenment factors. Recollecting ones performed merits can help to bring joy to ones mind. And with joy there comes a gladdening, a peacefulness and serenity. And these in turn are antidotes to unwholesome states, such as restlessness, worry. In a peaceful mind wisdom can arise. And wisdom can lead to uprooting of defilements and enlightenment.
4. "Does meditation help?
Meditation is always useful.
Hope this helps a bit.